A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

Required Reading: Claudia Rankine

As part of our Required Reading series, we share a list of three essential works for each of SAL’s featured writers. Up this time: groundbreaking poet, essayist, and playwright Claudia Rankine.  Citizen: An American Lyric (2014) In 1970, Harvard professor Chester Pierce came up the term “micro-aggression” to describe the unconscious dismissals and insults non-black Americans inflict on black people. In […]

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From the Archives: Twelve Amazing Moth Tales

One of America’s most beloved radio shows, The Moth features stories by luminaries in the arts and sciences, newsmakers and news breakers, and every day heroes (and even a few reformed villains). If you’re unfamiliar, here’s how it works: each show begins with a theme, and storytellers explore that theme in unexpected ways, crossing between documentary […]

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“Bathing in India,” by Jemma Jacks

Bathing in India Before I was a citizen of this country, I was a citizen of the bucket. Staring at the water right under my nose. I don’t believe I can fit. Lifting me up, my mom tells me it is the only way, my feet dangling centimeters above the bubbly water. An orange bucket […]

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Introductions: Teju Cole

On April 21st, writer, photographer, and art historian Teju Cole delivered a sweeping lecture on heritage, craft, and political responsibility at Town Hall Seattle for SAL’s 2015/16 Literary Arts Series. SAL Executive Director Ruth Dickey introduced his talk and moderated their conversation that evening. By Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director In a passage I love in Every […]

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“In My Own Underwater World,” by Frida Santos

In My Own Underwater World  Sometimes I feel like a fish in a tank in the jungle – out of place, silent while everyone is roaring, squawking respected in their hidden languages and I just sit there in my own underwater world I feel ignored, these animals drink my world while I breathe it as […]

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Clare Hodgson Meeker, WITS Writer-in-Residence

WITS Voices: Writing Hero Stories with Third Graders

By Clare Hodgson Meeker, WITS Writer-in-Residence Don’t ask kids what they want to be when they grow up but what problems do they want to solve. ―Jaime Casap, Google Global Education Evangelist On my first day of a nine-week residency with third graders at Whittier Elementary, I gathered the students on a bright throw rug […]

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2015‑2016 Youth Poet Laureate Leija Farr

WITS Voices: She Fills With Ink

By Matt Gano, WITS Writer-in-Residence when the poems with long lines salted raw on page make you aware of your meat, mark them with an asterisk, for the sky she fills with ink Over the past year, fellow writer Aaron Counts and I have had the privilege of mentoring Seattle’s first Youth Poet Laureate (YPL), […]

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Tangent Talk with Jacqueline Woodson

We were so lucky to have Allison Augustyn, Seattle writer and editor (and former SAL staff member!), join us for our recent event with Jacqueline Woodson. Allison is a writer of young adult fiction, and she has also written for the Chicago Sun-Times, Seattle Times, and the Field Museum. We are delighted to have a special guest blog […]

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WITS Voices: Teaching 6th Graders Poetry

By Nikkita Oliver, WITS Writer-in-Residence Sitting in a tiny interview room, Jeanine Walker asks me, “How do you feel about working with middle school students?” My gut instinct? “Oh, no way.” My professional interview response? “I prefer high school students.” The outcome: I am currently a writer-in-residence at Washington Middle School—and I love it! For […]

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Required Reading: Teju Cole

As part of our Required Reading series, we share a list of three essential works for each of SAL’s featured writers. Up this time: multi-talented writer, art historian, and photographer Teju Cole.  Open City Glancing at the title Open City, obvious associations spring to mind: open-minded, open-hearted, open-ended. Yet, the more sinister interpretation of “open city” is its literal definition: a city announcing that it […]

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