Murmurations: Local Voices Taking Flight

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Murmurations: Local Voices Taking Flight

Past Event: Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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 or who serve as mentors in the Youth Poetry Fellowship. Tonight’s program will feature Acca, Amy HirayamaRicardo Ruiz, Ann Teplick, and Ankober Yewondwossen. 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.

Free (no RSVP necessary; just come)

imagine it written in cursive, a water-wave like palindrome- acca (they/them/y’all) is a trans poet, educator and practitioner of abolitionist values and care work through daily actions and play. They facilitate creative interdependence through art and outdoor time since transitioning from ‘ablebodied’ to ‘no longer living that illusion’. They live into the queer disabled poc legacies of ferocity through tenderness, believe crying is a vital technology and have deep reverence for rest. They bring authenticity, adaptability and responsibility to unwinding our collective bodies into something more free. Our capacity to heal is not in question, it is only the matter of remembering ‘how’ together. and so, they write.

Amy Hirayama is a Hapa writer and educator from Seattle, Washington. She works as the residential workshop administrator for Clarion West, a speculative fiction writer’s workshop. She is also one of the founders of Beam Pedagogy, which provides workshops and retreats focused on educator wellness and changing systems that lead to burnout. Food, family, humor and nature are her favorite things, so she writes about them a lot, sometimes all at once.

Ricardo Ruiz is a multi-dimensional writer of poetry and prose. The son of potato factory workers, Ricardo hails from Othello, Washington. His work draws from his experience as a first-generation Mexican-American, and from his military service. Ricardo holds an Associate Degree in Business and Accounting from Big Bend Community College, where he was recognized as Student of the Year in both Business and Economics, and English Composition. He also holds a Bachelor of Art in Creative Writing from the University of Washington. While in the military, Ricardo earned the rank of Staff Sergeant while serving on four deployments, two to Afghanistan. His debut collection of poetry reached #1 on Amazon’s Hispanic-American Poetry Chart. He is passionate about elevating marginalized voices from rural communities and takes pride in being a conduit for cultural connection.

Ann Teplick is a poet, playwright, and prose writer with an MFA in creative writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. For twenty-three years, she’s been a teaching artist in Seattle public schools; Hugo House; Coyote Central; and Pongo Teen Writing, at King Co. juvenile detention and the Washington State psychiatric hospital. She has received funding from Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, 4 Culture, Artist Trust, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She is also a Hedgebrook and Jack Straw alumna.

Ankober Yewondwossen is an Ethiopian first-gen fortunate to be born in Seattle & creatively raised by the Seattle Hip Hop scene at the height of its renaissance. Surrounded by a milieu of ingenious, burgeoning artist-groups from Hella Dope to theeSatisfaction; it was Hip Hop, and the Hidmo, which cultivated her pedagogy for community & critical race theory, while grounding her in the ultimate tenet of the art form—being true to oneself. A legacy student of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, North Carolina; she studied non-fiction writing while pursuing a self-designed major in Womanist Spiritual Quest—melding her love for Plato’s Republic with Ntozake Shange’s “For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf”. Previous apprentice roles include a Monastic Apprenticeship in the Garifuna populated region of Honduras where, while living in a Quaker nunnery, she surveyed and studied the intersections of writing & spirituality. Ankober believes writing, in its highest form, is prayer, and, as Paulo Freire once said “there is, in fact, no teaching without learning”. You can find her 11 year old poetry blog at and her essays on

Event Details

Common Area Maintenance

2125 2nd Ave Seattle, WA 98121

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