SAL/ON

A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Faces of SAL: Sherry Prowda, Founder of SAL

By Gabriela Denise Frank Sherry Prowda, the founder of Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL), never used the word synchronicity when she unfolded SAL’s origin story for me, but it hovered over our conversation. Instead, she spoke of fortune and luck, gifts and generosity, even signs from the gods. When I asked how SAL began, she […]

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Bookshop Superheroes: Phinney Books

As we approach the anniversary of the start of the pandemic in our region, we are reflecting back on the year that has passed. And we know this for sure: bookstore workers and owners have been absolute essential workers—heroes on the frontlines of our mental health. After those first months when reading felt really hard, […]

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“How to Ask a Question” by Christian Adams

1 Trail blazing through his work, a student loses himself to the sound of thoughts and inquiries echoing throughout his skull, disregarding exchanged pleasantries passing by that would only encave him. 2 Blindly wandering the streets, a child loses themselves, taking their time getting home, asking the question of where it ever was, if they […]

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A Letter from Melanie and Conner

Dear SAL community, As you learned last week, Ruth will be leaving SAL at the end of April to become the next Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. On behalf of the Board, we thank Ruth for her work over the past 8 years. SAL is strong and stable, with a talented leadership team and staff, an […]

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On Love: Book Recommendations from the SAL Staff

What books about love do you love? Lately, the staff at Seattle Arts & Lectures have been sharing and chatting a lot about this essay by Matthew Salesses, which came out this past August. In it, Salesses scrutinizes the popular belief that literary fiction gives rise to empathy in readers—and whether empathy can even be […]

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News from SAL’s Executive Director

Dear friends, I am writing with news that is deeply bittersweet. As you may have seen today, at the end of April, I will leave SAL to become the next Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. While I am thrilled to get to continue championing books and reading on a national scale, I will […]

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“Somewhere” by Kai Ryan

Somewhere, deep in the valley, I sit in the darkness. I am reading; it is intriguing. As I sit reading, the words seem to fly off the page and into the night sky. The words seem to illuminate the meadow, illuminate the meadow in which I sit. The words seem to dig down deep inside […]

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What’s Worth Retelling: A WITS Intern Reflects on Madeline Miller’s Event

Zoë Mertz is a University of Washington student doing a remote internship with the Writers in the Schools program at SAL. After attending SAL’s recent Literary Arts Series event with Madeline Miller on January 27, Zoë reflects on her own obsession with retelling and adapting classic tales, as well as the anxiety—and the creative power—that […]

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“The Giant Chicken” by Samara Kingfisher

At a word, we jump, run, and jostle our way to a far corner, vying for a spot on the cushioned couch instead of the cold floor. We attempt to be quiet and hold in our laughter as we peek over the edge of the couch towards the door amidst scolding words from our teacher. […]

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