Maggie Smith

Devon Albeit Photography

Maggie Smith

Friday, January 22, 2021 7:30 pm PST

01/22/2021 7:30 pm 01/22/2021 America/Los_Angeles Maggie Smith https://lectures.org/event/maggie-smith/ Hugo House—Lapis Theater

At Hugo House—Lapis Theater

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Poetry

Maggie Smith is the author of four award-winning books: Lamp of the BodyThe Well Speaks of Its Own Poison, and Good Bones, named by the Washington Post as one of the Five Best Poetry Books of 2017. Her most recent book, Keep Moving, is a beautiful nonfiction work of quotes and essays, in which she writes about new beginnings as opportunities for transformation.

Maggie Smith is the author of four books of poetry: Keep Moving (Simon & Schuster, 2020); Good Bones (Tupelo Press, 2017); The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison (Tupelo Press, 2015); and Lamp of the Body (Red Hen Press, 2005). Lamp of the Body won the 2003 Benjamin Saltman Award from Red Hen Press. The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison won the 2012 Dorset Prize, selected by Kimiko Hahn, and the 2016 Gold Medal in Poetry for the Independent Publishers Book Awards. The collection was also a finalist for the National Poetry Series and the Montaigne Medal, and poems from this collection were awarded an NEA Fellowship in poetry. Smith is also the author of three chapbooks: Disasterology (Dream Horse Press, 2016); The List of Dangers (Kent State/Wick Poetry Series, 2010); and Nesting Dolls (Pudding House, 2005).

The Well Speaks of Its Own Poison delves into the depths of fairy tales to transform the daily into encounters with the marvelous but dangerous. The Rumpus writes: “These poems are studded with images we recognize from fairytales, offering iconic color in the forest gloom: wolves, foxes, deer, skinned rabbits, apples, hearts, white bones. Through Smith’s imaginative leaps, a kind of sorcery occurs, the lines shape-shifting quickly and musically.”

Good Bones is Maggie Smith’s most intimate and direct book yet. Smith writes out of the experience of motherhood, inspired by watching her own children read the world like a book they’ve just opened, knowing nothing of the characters or plot. These are poems that have a sense of moral gravitas and personal urgency, poems that stare down darkness while cultivating and sustaining possibility. Ada Limón writes, “Truthful, tender, and unafraid of the dark, the poems in Good Bones are lyrically charged love letters to a world in desperate need of her generous eye.”

The title poem of Good Bones went viral internationally after the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, and the murder of MP Jo Cox in England. To date the poem has touched more than a million readers and has been translated into nearly a dozen languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, German, Bengali, Korean, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam. It was called the “Official Poem of 2016” by Public Radio International, but the poem has continued to be shared widely around the world in these tumultuous times. In April 2017 “Good Bones” was featured on the CBS primetime drama Madam Secretary—in an episode also called “Good Bones”—and Meryl Streep read the poem at the 2017 Academy of American Poets gala at Lincoln Center. The Telegraph (London) wrote that the poem is “a beautiful elegy for an imperfect world marked by tragedy, exploring the difficulty of finding positivity in the face of suffering…. The poem is a call for us all to improve the world, even if it might just this moment seem beyond repair.”

Smith is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Academy of American Poets, the Ohio Arts Council, and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, among others. Her poems have appeared in the New York Times, the Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, the Kenyon Review, The Southern Review, and Virginia Quarterly Review. Poems have been widely anthologized in volumes such as The Best American Poetry series, the Knopf anthology, Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems NowSpeigel & Grau’s How Lovely the Ruins: Inspirational Poems and Words for Difficult Times, and a number of textbooks.

Smith holds a B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. from The Ohio State University. She has taught creative writing at Gettysburg College, Ohio Wesleyan University, in the MFA and undergraduate programs at The Ohio State University, and for the Antioch University Los Angeles Low-Residency MFA. After working for several years in trade book and educational publishing, she now works as a freelance writer and editor, and as an Editor at Large for the Kenyon Review. Smith recently joined the core MFA faculty of Spalding University’s School of Creative and Professional Writing. She lives with her family in Ohio.

Event Details

Hugo House—Lapis Theater

1634 11th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Know Before You Go

Don't have your tickets? Need to access your online event?

Most tickets have been emailed for Smith’s in-person event, so be sure to check your inbox for an email from boxoffice@lectures.org. Call us at 206-621-2230 x10 or email us if you can’t find them.

Your e-tickets, which come attached in a PDF with your ticket order confirmation email, will contain your digital access password as well. Return to the event page the night of the event at lectures.org and enter the password where prompted. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. (PST) and will be available for viewing for a week after the event.

SAL will also send an email the day of the event, containing the same information. If you have opted out of receiving SAL emails, you will miss this important information—please email us at boxoffice@lectures.org and we will assist you.

Have a question for the speaker?

Want to ask Maggie Smith something? Send your question to SAL’s Associate Director at rahoogs@lectures.org—it might be asked on stage!

Books

Open Books will have copies of Smith’s work available for purchase at their table in the lobby.

The event will conclude with a book signing.

Patrons & Grand Patrons, you're invited to Happy Hour!

Patrons & Grand Patrons, join us for light bites and wine down the street at The Tin Table (915 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122) from 6:30 to 7:15 p.m.

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, including routes 8, 10, 11, 43, 49, and 60.

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.

Accessibility

SAL is for everyone. We want all audience members to be able to experience our lectures and readings regardless of accessibility concerns. Accessibility services at our venues are provided at no cost to ticket holders. If you find you need to sit closer to the stage to accommodate your needs but find the cost of a Patron ticket prohibitive, then please contact us—we will seat you where you need to be, regardless of cost.

Open Captioning occurs at every event that takes place at Benaroya Hall. It is also always available upon request for all events in our other halls, with a two-week minimum notice. To make a request for Open Captioning services, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10.

Assistive Listening Devices, including Hearing Loop Assisted Listening Systems at Benaroya Hall and Town Hall, 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.

ASL-Interpretated Events are always available upon request, with a two-week minimum notice. To make a request for ASL interpretation, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10.

Wheelchair Accessible Ticketing is available in all sections at our venues, and and our venues are fully accessible to ticket holders with physical mobility concerns. If you would like more information, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10.

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.