Murmurations: Local Voices Taking Flight
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Murmurations: Local Voices Taking Flight

Past Event: Wednesday, November 29, 2023

At Common Area Maintenance

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This four-part reading series features acclaimed poets, writers, and comics artists who teach in SAL’s Writers in the Schools program. Tonight’s program features Karen Finneyfrock, Rachel Kessler, David Lasky, Sierra Nelson, and Jay Thompson! 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 Common Area Maintenance to celebrate the brilliance of the WITS writer cohort!


Karen Finneyfrock is a poet and novelist. She is the author of two young adult novels: The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door and Starbird Murphy and the World Outside, both published by Viking Children’s Books. She is one of the editors of the anthology Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls, and the author of Ceremony for the Choking Ghost, both released on Write Bloody press. She is a former Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House.

Rachel Kessler explores landscape and community through writing and multi-disciplinary collaboration. Co-founder of Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society, their book of collaborative poems, 100 Rooms, is forthcoming October 2019. She recently opened collective Wa Na Wari, a center for Black art in the CD, and is Artist-In-Residence at public housing project Yesler Terrace.

David Lasky is the co-author of the Eisner-Award-winning graphic novel, Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song, but he is better known to children as the guy who colored Cece Bell’s awesome graphic novel, El Deafo, a Newbery Honor Book. He teaches comics at numerous venues in the Seattle area, including Hugo House and Coyote Central.

Sierra Nelson is a poet, co-founder of literary performance art groups The Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society, and president of Seattle’s Cephalopod Appreciation Society. Her poetry books include The Lachrymose Report (PoetryNW Editions) and two collaborative books made with visual artist Loren Erdrich: I Take Back the Sponge Cake (Rose Metal Press) and artist book ISOLATION. Earning her M.F.A. in poetry from University of Washington, Nelson is a Pushcart Prize nominee and winner of the Carolyn Kizer Prize. Her poems have appeared in Seattle Metro buses, at the Seattle Aquarium, in soundboxes along Denny Way, with Nordic runes on lava stones in Iceland, read across the U.S. and Canada on the Wave Books Poetry Bus Tour, and at the Slovenian Natural History Museum, as well as in more traditional literary journals and anthologies. She is currently editing an anthology of cephalopod-inspired poetry and lyrical prose, forthcoming with World Enough Writers.

Jay Aquinas Thompson (they/he) is a poet, essayist, and teacher whose memoir, The Resurrection Appearances: Fragments of a Daybook, is available now from Gold Line Press. They have recent or forthcoming work in Neon Door, Essay Daily, Adroit, Guesthouse, and Poetry Northwest, where they’re a contributing editor, and they’ve been awarded grants and fellowships from the Ragdale Foundation, the Community of Writers, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, and King County 4Culture. In addition to teaching with WITS, they teach with the Golf Pencil Group, leading creative writing classes for women incarcerated at King County Jail. Substack and Twitter: @jayaquinas, IG: @freshwater_merman









Event Details

Common Area Maintenance

2125 2nd Ave Seattle, WA 98121

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