Local Voices: In-Person & Online

Free Events

Local Voices: In-Person & Online

Past Event: Tuesday, November 1, 2022

At Hugo House—Lapis Theater

In-Person event icon Online event icon

In Person & Online

This four-part reading series features acclaimed poets, writers, and comics artists who teach in SAL’s Writers in the Schools program. These resident writers come together to read from their own works-in-progress, inspiring the same craft and performance skills they teach in the classroom.

Join us in this free event at Hugo House to celebrate the brilliance of the WITS writer cohort on November 1, 2022! Featured writers include Meredith Arena, Rachel Kessler, Corinne Manning, and Putsata Reang.

Meredith Arena (she/they) is a queer writer and interdisciplinary human, originally from New York City, now living on the land of the Duwamish people, AKA, Seattle. She is a teaching artist, organizer, gardener, and ambivert. She began working with youth in NYC in 1999 teaching photography and zine making. Now in Seattle, her teaching draws on her roots in theater, visual arts and her current practice as a poet, essay writer, and organizer. Although not a native speaker, she is pretty good in Spanish and throughout her career, has taught bilingually. Her work can be found in various journals including, Poetry NW, Longleaf Review, Peatsmoke, and Blood Orange Review. She was the 2021 Erin Donovan fellow in poetry at Mineral School in Washington. She holds a BFA in photography, a BA in cultural studies, an MFA in creative writing and a Certificate in the Teaching of Creative Writing from Antioch University Los Angeles.

Rachel Kessler is a writer, cartoonist, multi-disciplinary collaborator and educator who explores landscape and community. As a mother of young children with limited resources she experimented with boundary-breaking performance art and video, co-founding interactive poetry collaborations Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society. Her work is deeply rooted in place: she lives and works on Yesler Way, the Seattle street her ancestors immigrated to, worked on, worshipped on and died on. She is working on a community cartography project called “Profanity Hill: A Tour of Yesler Way.” As Artist-In-Residence at public housing project Yesler Terrace, (where her great grandparents lived) she and community members activated a vacant apartment slated for demolition with live music, poetry and story-telling, potlucks, dancing, and collective murals. She co-founded the collective Wa Na Wari, a residential reclamation project centering Black art and media in Seattle’s Central District. Her latest publication features her illustrations of the Pacific Northwest urban shore, Cascadia Field Guide: Art, Ecology, Poetry, forthcoming March 2023. Currently, she is working on a children’s book about abortion.

Corinne Manning’s debut story collection We Had No Rules has received starred reviews from Booklist and Publisher’s Weekly, the latter noting it “exquisitely examines queer relationships with equal parts humor, heartache, and titillation.” They are a fiction writer and essayist and a collective member of The Anarchist Review of Books. Corinne has been a WITS writer since 2011.

Putsata Reang is a journalist and author of the debut memoir, Ma and Me (FSG/MCD May 2022). Her writing has appeared in publications including the New York TimesPolitico, The Seattle-Times, the San Jose Mercury NewsMs., and the Guardian, as well as anthologized in essay collections highlighting women’s and Khmer voices. She has trained reporters across the globe in conflict and post-conflict nations such as Cambodia, Afghanistan, Thailand and Bangladesh, Putsata is an alum of writers residencies at Hedgebrook, Mineral School and Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, as well as the Jack Straw Writing Fellowship program. She has received grants from Washington State Artist Trust and the Alicia Patterson Journalism Fellowship foundation.

Event Details

Hugo House—Lapis Theater

1634 11th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Transportation & Parking

Public transportation: The new Hugo House is a short walk from the Capitol Hill light rail station and the First Hill streetcar (Broadway & Pike-Pine stop), and within a half-mile of many buses.

Parking: A pay parking lot is available nearby at the Greek Orthodox Church at 13th and Howell, or at Seattle Central College’s Harvard Garage at 1609 Harvard Avenue. Street parking is also available but not guaranteed. The garage beneath Hugo House is for tenants only.


Open Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where a captioning screen displaying the words that are spoken or sung is placed on stage. Open Captioning is available upon request for all events at Hugo House. To make a request for Open Captioning services, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Open Captioning” during your ticket checkout process, and we will be in touch with you to confirm details. For events at Hugo House, we appreciated a two-week minimum notice to arrange open captioning.

Closed Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where captioning displays the words that are spoken or sung at the bottom of the video. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Assistive Listening Devices, including Hearing Loop Assisted Listening Systems at Benaroya Hall, Town Hall, and Hugo House, are available at all of our venues. If you would like more information, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals. To make a request for interpretation, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Sign Language Interpretation” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

Wheelchair Accessible Seating and Accessible Restrooms are available in all sections at our venues, and our venues are fully accessible to ticket holders with physical mobility concerns. If you would like more information or to make specific arrangements, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Wheelchair Accessible or Alternative Seating Options” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process.

Guide and service dogs are welcome.

Gender neutral restrooms are available.

For any further questions or requests, or to offer Seattle Arts & Lectures feedback on how we can be more accessible and inclusive, please reach out to our Patron Services Manager at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10.