A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

The shadowy foreground of the image shows the backlit heads of several audience members, listening to a short-haired woman who is reading and slightly out of focus in the background.

WITS Voices: A Tower of Dreams

By Arlene Naganawa, WITS Writer-in-Residence I love how poets use language in surprising, transformative ways, creating metaphors and images that we don’t often encounter in academic or journalistic writing. When I work with students, I encourage them to take leaps in their poems, to elevate their language. I don’t mean for students to use words […]

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Two women with long, dark hair stand at a lucite lectern in front of a full Benaroya Hall, a brigh SAL banner and a living room stage set-up behind them.

How to Confront a Bully: A WITS Student Reflects on “She Said”

Today, February 24, marks a watershed in the #MeToo movement—a Manhattan jury has found former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein guilty of sex crimes. To reflect upon the moment, we’re sharing an essay from Akshaya Ajith, a ninth grader at Overlake High School and a former Writers in the Schools student. Akshaya attended SAL’s Literary Arts […]

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Paisley Rekdal, in a red satin suit, stands against a wall at Hugo House that is designed to look like the shadows cast by Emily Dickinson's bedroom window.

Paisley Rekdal on Writing the Wrong Thing

Writers, what is your deepest fear about your craft? On February 6, we hosted a reading with Seattle-born poet and current Utah Poet Laureate, Paisley Rekdal. During the Q&A with SAL’s Associate Director, Rebecca Hoogs, Paisley answered questions about her writing process and her new work, Nightingale, but it was this question about fear that followed her home: “What […]

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A man wearing a golf cap speaks into a microphone at a lectern. The stage lights cast a blue, artsy lens flare across half of the image.

WITS Voices: The List Poem

By Daemond Arrindell, WITS Writer-in-Residence I have been teaching a lesson focused on anaphora, aka list poems, for over ten years. I’ve used it so consistently because of the positive results it yields, especially at the beginning of a residency, when the students are still wrestling with the ideas of what poetry is “supposed to […]

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Introductions: Jodi Kantor & Megan Twohey

By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director On October 7, 2017, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey published the first of several explosive New York Times stories on Harvey Weinstein. From that moment forward, their reporting fundamentally changed the conversation about sexual harassment and shifted a balance of power that had previously seemed intractable. In She Said, […]

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A woman with red hair, wearing a bright pink shirt, throws her hands up into the air, gesturing emphatically while reading at a lectern.

WITS Voices: Impossible Journeys

By Rachel Kessler, WITS Writer-in-Residence Where do you want to go that is impossible? Fifth graders at Salish Coast Elementary School in Port Townsend, WA, took this writing prompt and hurtled headlong into potatoes, climbed inside engines, bound themselves to basketballs, and rode guinea pigs into battle. How did they get there? We began our […]

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A young girl smiles into a camera backstage, wearing a silver necklace and denim jacket.

“Empire of Light, René Magritte,” by Ellery Burke

I look up I see the clouds so free and confident with the endless sky behind them I look down and see our lamppost the tree trunk and the things around me that fade away in the darkness I see the outline of the darkness hitting the light There is no pattern for this line […]

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A girl in her late teens, with braided hair, stands in front of a display of colored pencils, organized by color.

“A Poem For My Future Child,” by Zoë Mertz

Inspired by Sarah Kay’s “B” (or “If I Should Have A Daughter”) To my little chick, hidden away, not yet emergent, When you are born, your eyes will be planets reflecting the depths of the universe: moon-starer, they’ll call you, my young astronomer, a child of the stars. Chickadee, small and sweet, your feathers speckled […]

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Paisley Rekdal, wearing a red satin suit, reads from her book at a lectern, one hand gesturing. Her gaze is cast upwards.

Introductions: Paisley Rekdal

By Rebecca Hoogs, SAL Associate Director Born and raised in Seattle, Paisley Rekdal went to school at the University of Washington before continuing her studies at the University of Michigan and University of Toronto. She is now a professor at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, where it is surely sunnier and drier […]

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A Comic from Carmen Maria Machado’s Talk

Maybe the only genre missing from Carmen Maria Machado’s genre-bending memoir, In the Dream House, is the graphic novel. Luckily for us, Tessa Hulls, “SAL Official Doodler” and author of the forthcoming graphic novel Feeding Ghosts (MCD Books, 2022), was in the audience for Machado’s Women You Need to Know (WYNK) talk. From the crowd, she […]

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