A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

A middle school WITS student stands proudly with her mother in front of a SAL banner. The student is holding her handwritten poem up.

“Home in My Heart,” by Lesley Torres

With every breath You savor The honey flavored Air With every glance You catch The sun beams that Light up the ranch With every hearing You perceive The cows and dogs living here The cars in the main road appear With every touch You feel Mexico in such A way that makes it stay In […]

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In a portrait shot, Carmen Maria Machado stands at a reception with a young student.

“Valentine,” by Marina Chen

Valentine there is a red-quilted heart-shaped box of chocolates sitting on my bedside and a pink envelope with my name on it          written in a script that speaks          secrets I will never spill even if the time      comes that the script          is all I have left to remember rain on a green ice cream […]

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A collection of letterpress letter stamps, all facing upwards, in different shapes and sizes.

WITS Voices: Writing Advice from 10th Graders

By Christina Lee Barnes, WITS Writer-in-Residence I’m often asked if my time in the WITS classroom helps inspire my own writing. While I haven’t yet written very much that is directly about my work with the students, I do draw inspiration from the willingness that students show to try out prompts, to dive in and […]

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A workspace at Books to Prisoners, with beams of light flooding down and touching shelves and boxes full of books. Two volunteers are working in the background.

An Interview with Books to Prisoners

Each month, the Seattle-based nonprofit Books To Prisoners receives upwards of 1,000 requests for used book titles from inmates all across the country. And, every year, tens of thousands of free books leave their volunteer location in Greenwood to head to readers in U.S. prisons. Beyond this vital service, the organization has also fought to […]

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A kid with curly hair sits atop a box backstage at Benaroya Hall, legs swinging.

“I Remember,” by Julian Camba

A brown tree and its rough bark a boar with big tusks shifting through leaves my grandma strolling me through a park Singapore, and how it had so many trees When I wake up, when it’s still dark The bitterness of sour candy My grandma buying me sweets my grandma’s room, it was dandy my […]

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Naa Akua stands in a leather jacket with wide lapels and a hat, standing in front of a backlit crowd.

WITS Voices: The Ritual

By Naa Akua, WITS Writer-in-Residence When I was a student in elementary school, I was happy to not immediately start “working” as soon as we got to our desks. Since I went to Catholic school, the necessity of saying the “Our Father” and the Pledge of Allegiance were staples before “class” actually started. It was […]

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Bernini's sculpture, The Rape of Proserpina, stands against a black background.

Time Flown

This essay is part of a series in which Poetry Northwest partners with Seattle Arts & Lectures to present reflections on visiting writers from the SAL Poetry Series. At 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, Paisley Rekdal will read at Hugo House. Tickets are still available! By Bill Carty, Senior Editor at Poetry Northwest Pythagoras’s greatest influence upon his […]

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Faces of SAL: Jennifer Leatherman Wong

Just because she’s one of the newest additions to the SAL Board doesn’t mean that writer Jennifer Leatherman Wong hasn’t been attending SAL events for years. Today, we’re delighted to share a Faces of SAL feature with Jennifer so you can get better acquainted. Read on to learn more about “The Great Black Swamp” that […]

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Reading Carmen Maria Machado’s “In the Dream House”

By Bianca Glinskas Carmen Maria Machado’s new work, In the Dream House, uses elements of creative nonfiction, fantasy, pulp fiction, and horror, and more. Each genre uses the capital ‘I’ as its powerful entry point to retell Carmen’s experiences in an abusive queer romantic partnership with somebody who shares the same gender identity. Buzzfeed News […]

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A cozy window shot at Left Bank Books, with a reading nook in a window amidst shelves of books.

Winter Reads: SAL Staff Edition

What books did you gift this winter? While we love a good “Best of 2019” reading list (and share them with abandon), sometimes our favorite book recommendations come from taking a peek at the holiday shopping lists of avid readers. With that in mind, here is our compilation of 32 titles the SAL team gifted, […]

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