SAL/on air

SAL/on air is a literary podcast featuring the best author talks from over thirty-five years of Seattle Arts & Lectures’ programming.

Season Three

Richard Powers

Recorded Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Richard Powers’ characters are often both artists and scientists—disciplines he sees as intertwined. In a delicious moment in this March 2008 reading, he describes the commonality between art and science as a state of “bewilderment,” which happens to be the title of his new book, released thirteen years later in September 2021. A story that […]

Dean Baquet, Timothy Egan, & Jim Rainey

Recorded Tuesday, March 5, 2019

In this new episode of SAL/on air, Dean Baquet, the executive editor of the New York Times, and Jim Rainey, an award-winning reporter with the Los Angeles Times, spoke with hometown hero Timothy Egan in March of 2019 about the importance of investigative journalism and the path forward for media in this political era. These […]

Rita Dove

Recorded Thursday, May 13, 2010

In this episode of SAL/on air, former U. S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove shares poems from Sonata Mulattica. This collection tells the story of George Augustus Polgreen Bridgetower. Previously a footnote in Beethoven’s biography—the composer dedicated a sonata to Bridgetower, then renamed it after the two fell out over a woman—Bridgetower disappeared from history. In […]

Adam Zagajewski

Recorded Wednesday, March 21, 2001

This reading by Adam Zagajewski, recorded in March 2001, was postponed from its original date by the forces of Mother Nature. On February 28, 2001, the Nisqually Earthquake struck. In wry form, Zagajewski banters about the interplay between reality and poetry, life and art. He notes thematic links between his book Tremor, his poem “Lava,” […]

Wallace Stegner

Recorded Wednesday, November 28, 1990

This talk by celebrated novelist Wallace Stegner, recorded in 1990, is really a master class on the intermingling of life and art. With equal measures of charm and critique, Stegner questions the very nature of storytelling: is it method, perspective, experience, or technique? The writers he admires aren’t carpenters working from blueprints, he says, but […]

Imbolo Mbue

Recorded Friday, June 7, 2019

“I live in a space between,” Imbolo Mbue says in this talk. “It is the immigrant’s burden to live with the body in one place, and the heart in another.” In this episode, recorded on June 7, 2019, at Town Hall Seattle, Imbolo Mbue describes how her in-between began in Cameroon, where she was born, […]

Maxine Kumin

Recorded Monday, April 11, 2005

Maxine Kumin, whom we lost in 2014, once said that, quote, “The garden has to be attended every day, just as the horses have to be tended to. Not just every day, but morning, noon and night. Writing, I think, exerts the same kind of discipline. I think of myself as a Jewish Calvinist. You […]

Soraya Chemaly

Recorded Thursday, January 31, 2019

As with any condition, until we have language for what we are experiencing, until we can name it, we often feel controlled by it. In January of 2019, Soraya Chemaly renamed and redefined anger for us. In a riveting talk based upon her book, Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger, Chemaly puts female […]

Barry Lopez

Recorded Wednesday, April 7, 2010

When Barry Lopez died at the age of 75 this past December, we knew we had lost one of the greats. His writings have frequently been compared to those of Henry David Thoreau, as he brought a depth of erudition to the text by immersing himself in his surroundings, deftly integrating his environmental and humanitarian […]

Rick Barot, dressed in a grey striped sweater, stand with arms crossed, leaning against a concrete wall

Rick Barot

Recorded Friday, May 15, 2020

“Every generation has to reiterate, rewrite what those genres are and what they mean in the vocabulary of the moment. So the elegy is not a set genre, it’s not a set form. We each have to re-write that thing when we write. That’s our job, in a way.”—Rick Barot On May 15, 2020, Rick […]