2012-13 WITS Anthology Released This Weekend

On Sunday, September 29th we'll be celebrating the release of this year's WITS anthology, Only Rocks and Fire, with a book launch event at Benaroya Hall. The anthology showcases the best student work created in the program during the 2012-13 school year, and features the writing and illustrations of more than 100 students in grades K-12. Each of the sites that WITS worked with this year, including 23 schools in the Highline, Port Townsend, Seattle, and Shoreline School Districts and Seattle Children's Hospital, are represented in the anthology.


The book launch is free and open to the public and will include readings by the students, a book signing, and sweet treats from our friends at Cupcake Royale. Please join us in congratulating these wonderful student writers!

Seattle Arts & Lectures Announces 2013-14 Season Subscriptions Now On Sale
Subscriptions for the Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) 2013-14 season are now on sale and single tickets go on sale August 1. The Literary Arts Series and Poetry Series will each present six events featuring the best-established and emerging authors of our time. The Literary Arts Series will take place at Town Hall Seattle and the Poetry Series will take place at ACT Theatre and Town Hall. Both series will now feature book-signings with the authors, open to all ticket levels. While the Poetry Series will continue to be hosted by Rebecca Hoogs, SAL’s Program Director, the Literary Arts Series will be moderated entirely by local authors and experts, with an introduction by Hoogs or Ruth Dickey, the incoming Executive Director.
WITS Writers In the News

WITS writers-in-residence are in the news! Daemond Arrindell, who has taught middle and high school students through WITS for five years, was featured in The Seattle Times on Sunday, April 7. Check out the article here: http://ow.ly/kckoJ. Karen Finneyfrock, a local and national slam poetry legend whose first YA novel was released this winter, has an interview published in The Seattle Lesbianhttp://ow.ly/kckvj. Karen has taught elementary, middle, and high school students through Writers in the Schools for six years. Congratulations to Daemond and Karen!


The Poetry Series event with Jorie Graham originally scheduled for May 15 has had to be postponed for health reasons. We have rescheduled this event for Tuesday, September 17 when we hope that Ms. Graham will be in full health and good spirits. If you have tickets for this event and need more information or have any questions, please contact our Box Office by email or phone at (206) 621-2230 x10

Words Matter

On March 15, 2013, over 250 guests attended Seattle Arts & Lectures' 25th Anniversary Words Matter Benefit. The night was enlivened by the alchemy of good words and even better company. We were joined by our founder Sherry Prowda, authors Claire Dederer and Bruce Barcott, Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken, and Writers in the Schools (WITS) student Angel Cielo. Vis-à-Vis Society also made a special appearance collecting data from our guests during the cocktail hour.

We exceeded our goal and raised more than $175,000 in support of Seattle Arts & Lectures' programs! Our guests' generosity thrilled and humbled us. With this support, we are excited to continue bringing another quarter-century of unforgettable and inspiring stories to our community. 
Thank you for helping us make Words Matter!
A Story about SAL: annual appeal

Maga Barzallo Sockemtickem, a 10th grader, walked to the stage at the annual WITS reading at Benaroya Hall. As she read her poem "Snow Turtle," the audience stilled. A patient at Seattle Children's Hospital, Maga shared the intensity of her experience through the power of her precise words and brought together hundreds of people in a moving poetic moment.*

Maga cultivated her writing through WITS, a Seattle Arts & Lectures program that teaches 5,000 public school students and employs local writers to build the next generation of the literary community. Maga's "Snow Turtle" is inspiration for SAL; as we transform throughout this winter during our 25th anniversary, we find it is good to be "the turtle with fire through the snow." SAL has big plans to burn brightly in 2013 and for another 25 years. You can help us do that.

Now is the perfect time to contribute. $5, $25, $100, $500 or more will fund WITS (Writers in the Schools), allow us to bring excellent speakers like Joan Didion and Nick Flynn, and create vibrant education programs like David Domke's SAL U political courses at the University of Washington.

We couldn't do it without your help, so please consider us as the year draws to a close. From all of us at SAL, we thank you!

*Snow Turtle
She ran.
Delicate arrival, blazing alarm.
The wind blew through with ice in its arms.
She listened.
Whispers of sickness, she refused
to be alarmed.
She walked.
Gone through the city.
Healing slowly.
She walked slow.
She grieved
and wondered how
she'd get through.
She realized she'd be the turtle,
this turtle with fire through the snow.

SAL receives $25,000 grant from Amazon

Amazon.com will support Seattle Arts & Lectures’ innovative Writers in the Schools (WITS) program for the fourth year with a $25,000 gift, helping to inspire thousands of public school students throughout the region to discover and develop their authentic writing voice through in-school residencies staffed by local professional writers.

The WITS program, founded in 1994, places professional writers-in-residence at public elementary, middle, and high schools around Puget Sound plus Seattle Children’s Hospital, giving young people the opportunity to create, present, and receive feedback on their writing. The program culminates each year in two showcase events: public readings at the Seattle Public Library, and a printed anthology of selected works. The WITS program also offers in-school professional development opportunities for teachers and provides local writers with meaningful employment.

In the 2012-13 school year, the WITS program is serving over 5,000 K-12 students at 24 sites: Seattle Children’s Hospital plus 23 public schools in Seattle, Highline, Port Townsend, and Shoreline School Districts. In addition, the WITS program is providing 22 professional writers with meaningful employment.

About Amazon.com’s Support for the Writing Community
A love of reading and an appreciation for the people who create great books is part of the DNA at Amazon.com. Amazon.com offers grants for nonprofit author and publisher groups that share an obsession with fostering the creation, discussion, and publication of books. Please visit www.amazon.com/authorgiving for more information.

Interview with the Proprietors of Open Books: A Poem Emporium
When and why did you open the store?
Christine Deavel: Open Books: A Poem Emporium came into being in 1995 when we decided to transform the general bookstore we’d run for seven years into one devoted to poetry, moving it down the street in the process. It was a decision made out of necessity and desire. The lively world of the independent bookstore had begun to crumble at that point (Barnes and Noble had moved into University Village and Amazon had been founded). By becoming poetry-only, we hoped to play to our strengths (we both read, write, and have studied poetry) and to set Open Books apart. And we could spend our days surrounded by what we love -- poetry books -- and talking with people who love them too. Read more.