SAL/ON

A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

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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Carmen Maria Machado, wearing all black with short-cropped hair, stands a lectern and smiles during her lecture, gazing at a point off camera.

Introductions: Carmen Maria Machado

By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director In the story “The Husband Stitch,” Carmen Maria Machado tells a version of a story about a woman who cooks and eats the liver her husband has bought, and then unable to afford another, cuts out her own liver to feed him. She writes, “That may not be the […]

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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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