Paisley Rekdal

Emily London

Paisley Rekdal

Thursday, February 6, 2020 7:30 pm

02/06/2020 7:30 pm 02/06/2020 America/Los_Angeles Paisley Rekdal Seattle Central Community College—Broadway Performance Hall

At Seattle Central Community College—Broadway Performance Hall

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Paisley Rekdal is a Seattle-born poet whose latest work radically rewrites and contemporizes many of the myths central to Ovid’s epic, The Metamorphoses, examining personal transformation with intensity and a lyric sensibility.

Paisley Rekdal is the author of six poetry collections: A Crash of Rhinos (2000), Six Girls Without Pants (2002), The Invention of the Kaleidoscope (2007), Animal Eye (2013), Imaginary Vessels (2016), and her latest, Nightingale (2019). Retelling the myths of Ovid, Nightingale meditates on change and trauma. A starred review from Publishers Weekly praises: “Rekdal’s [work] is relentlessly heartbreaking and intense, but also full of the pleasures of closely observed detail and imagination given free rein.”

Beyond her poetry, Rekdal is also the author of a collection of cross-genre essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee (2000) and the hybrid photo-text memoir, Intimate (2011). Her book-length essay, The Broken Country: On Trauma, A Crime, and the Continuing Legacy of Vietnam (2016), won the prestigious Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ Creative Nonfiction award. As a family member of surviving war veterans, much of her work, like The Broken Country, turns towards the subject of inherited trauma and the intergenerational legacy of war.

Rekdal is the only daughter of a Chinese American mother and Norwegian father. She grew up in what she called “pre-Yuppie, Stoner Seattle” in an interview about her unusual first name with Matthew Batt. She went on to earn a B.A. from the University of Washington. Next, she received a MA from the University of Toronto Centre for Medieval Studies, and an M.F.A from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Rekdal currently teaches at the University of Utah; she was named the Poet Laureate of Utah in 2017. She is the creator and editor of the community web project Mapping Salt Lake City, a community-created archive of Salt Lake City’s neighborhoods and people that documents the city’s changes through art, critical and creative literature, personal maps, and multi-media projects. In April 2019, Rekdal won a $100,000 grant from the Academy of American Poets Laureate Fellowship to continue her work with this project.

She is the recipient of numerous prizes and fellowships, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship to South Korea, National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes (2009, 2013), a Village Voice Writers on the Verge Award, Narrative’s Poetry Prize, the AWP Creative Nonfiction Prize, and various state arts council awards. Rekdal is the guest editor for Best American Poetry 2020.

Event Details

Seattle Central Community College—Broadway Performance Hall

1625 Broadway
Seattle, WA 98122

View directions.

Know Before You Go

Don't have your tickets?

Most tickets have been emailed, so be sure to check your inbox for an email from Call us at 206-621-2230 x10 if you can’t find them.

Have a question for the speaker?

Want to ask Paisley Rekdal something? Send your question to SAL’s Associate Director at—it might be asked onstage!


Open Books will have copies of Rekdal’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 with Paisley Rekdal at The Tin Table, located at 915 E Pine St between 10th & Broadway, from 6:30 to 7:15pm.

Transportation & Parking

The Broadway Performance Hall is located at Seattle Central College’s main campus, in the heart of the vibrant Capitol Hill neighborhood.


Parking for visitors and event guests is available 24/7 at the Harvard Garage (1609 Harvard Ave.), which is operated by Seattle Central College. For rates, visit Seattle Central’s Public Parking & Transportation page. Metered street parking is also available in the area.

Public Transit

By bus: Metro buses 11, 49 and 60 all pass next to, or within a block of, both the Broadway Performance Hall and Erickson Theatre. Visit King County Metro Trip Planner to learn more about these and other nearby bus options.

By streetcar: Take the Broadway route to the stop at Broadway & Denny.

By light rail: The Capitol Hill Link station is located approximately one block north of the Broadway Performance Hall, and two blocks north of Erickson Theatre.


Open Captioning is an option for people who have hearing losses, where a captioning screen displaying the words that are spoken or sung is placed on stage. Please note: for events at Broadway Performance Hall, we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure captioning services.

Assisted Listening Devices (ALDs) are devices that people with hearing loss use in conjunction with their hearing device (hearing aids or cochlear implants). This season, Broadway Performance Hall has an FM assistive listening system, which transmits sound via radio waves. To pick up a headset, check one out at the box office on the main floor when you arrive.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals. To make a request for ASL interpretation, please contact us at or 206.621.2230×10. 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. Guide and service dogs are also welcome. Broadway Performance Hall is equipped with an elevator and has eight handicapped-accessible seats in the central section, and a ramp and handrail lead into the hall on the left side of the auditorium. For more venue details, click here.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services at our venues, and they are provided at no additional cost to ticket holders. Please contact us with any questions and feedback about how we can be more accessible and inclusive. Our Patron Services Manager is available at, or Monday-Thursday from 10:00am – 5:00pm, and Fridays from 10:00am – 1:00pm, at 206.621.2230×10.


Poetry Series Sponsor
Charles & Barbara Wright
Essay Sponsor