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SAL/on air

Seattle Arts & Lectures

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SAL/on air
SAL/on air

SAL/on air

Seattle Arts & Lectures

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About Us

SAL/on air is a literary podcast featuring engaging author talks and readings from over thirty years of Seattle Arts & Lectures' programming. Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) is a literary nonprofit. We champion the literary arts by engaging and inspiring readers and writers of all generations in the greater Puget Sound region.Get tickets to SAL events at lectures.org.

Latest Episodes

Madhur Jaffrey

In this episode, we hear from Indian-born food and travel writer Madhur Jaffrey, who joined us in November 2013 for a talk on how we become who we are. At the time of her visit, Jaffrey, who is recognized for bringing Indian cuisine to the western hemisphere, had written nearly 30 cookbooks and won several James Beard Awards, as well as her critically-acclaimed memoir, Climbing the Mango Trees. We learn how Jaffrey evolved to be an ambassador for Indian cuisine through her career as a prolific cookbook writer. We also learn of Jaffrey’s lively, food-infused childhood in India, of her time in New York where she made a living as a freelance writer while waiting for acting gigs, and of the acting career that followed. Listen to find out how she became an unofficial ambassador for Coca-Cola, how Jaffrey learned to swim with the aid of a watermelon, and how she joined in a peace prayer with Gandhi.

88 MINMAY 31
Comments
Madhur Jaffrey

Ada Limón

In this episode, we hear from poet Ada Limón, who joined us in October 2016 at McCaw Hall for a reading from her collection Bright Dead Things. Named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry and the National Book Critics Circle, Bright Dead Things follows a female speaker’s experiences of love and loss, exploring how we build our identities from place and from human contact. “Ada Limón doesn't write as if she needs us. She writes as if she wants us. Her words reveal, coax, pull, see us,” writes poet Nikky Finney. “We read desire, ache, what human beings rarely have the heart or audacity to speak of alone—with the help of a poet with the most generous of eyes.”

69 MINMAY 29
Comments
Ada Limón

Tom Hanks

In our latest episode of SAL/on air, we hear from actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks, who joined us at McCaw Hall in December of 2017. Seattle’s beloved librarian, Nancy Pearl, was in conversation with Hanks, who shared with us how he came to write his first book, the short story collection "Uncommon Type," plus all about his obsession with vintage typewriters and highlights from his prolific career.

68 MINMAY 18
Comments
Tom Hanks

Azar Nafisi

In 2003, Azar Nafisi electrified readers worldwide with "Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books," which went on to become a long-running #1 New York Times bestseller. A modest professor of English literature, Nafisi taught at the University of Tehran as the Islamic Revolution raged around her, until she was fired in 1981 for her refusal to wear the mandatory veil. Before leaving the country in 1995, Nafisi spent two years holding secret classes on forbidden Western literature in her home. "Reading Lolita in Tehran" recounts seven young women students passionately relating Nabokov’s works, as well as novels like "Madame Bovary" and"Pride and Prejudice," to their own lives, claiming intellectual freedom through their survey of banned literature. In episode, we hear from Nafisi, who joined us at Benaroya Hall in February 2006 for Seattle Arts & Lectures’ 2005/06 Season. At the conclusion of Nafisi’s talk, Margit Rankin, then-Executive Director of Seattle Arts & Lectures, joins her in an interview about teaching, intellectual integrity, and the dire consequences of banning books.

73 MINAPR 23
Comments
Azar Nafisi

Jane Hirshfield

In this episode, we hear from poet Jane Hirshfield, who joined us in March 2009 at Benaroya Hall for a reading spanning across her career, and for a discussion on the importance of inviting the intimacies of poetry and finding ways to say “yes” to the difficult. Described by The New Yorker as “radiant and passionate,” Hirshfield is now the author of eight collections of verse, many of which are influenced by her Zen Buddhist practice and her knowledge of classical Japanese verse, and which are concerned with the many dimensions of our connections with others.

71 MINJAN 25
Comments
Jane Hirshfield

Viet Thanh Nguyen

In this special Thanksgiving episode, we hear from Viet Thanh Nguyen, author ofThe Sympathizer andThe Refugees, who joined us at Benaroya Hall in May 2018. He is introduced by Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director, and is interviewed after his talk by Jamie Ford, celebrated author ofHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. In Viet Thanh Nguyen’s story “Black Eyed Woman” from The Refugees, the narrator speaks to us about the arrival of stories and of ghosts, saying: “Stories are just things we fabricate, nothing more. We search for them in a world beside our own, then leave them here to be found, garments shed by ghosts.” This slight of hand illuminates the heart of Nguyen’s writing – the ideas that stories are just fabricated things, nothing more. Yet also that stories are everything we search for, the only things that remain of us, the things we leave to be found, the things that give meaning.

87 MIN2018 NOV 21
Comments
Viet Thanh Nguyen

Frank McCourt

In this episode, we hear from Frank McCourt, who joined us in November 2006 for a lively talk about committing his youth to paper in his phenomenally popular memoir series, beginning with Angela’s Ashes. At the conclusion of McCourt’s talk, Margit Rankin, then-Executive Director of Seattle Arts & Lectures, joins him in an interview. McCourt, a New York City schoolteacher who taught for nearly three decades, always told his writing students, “Write what you know.” It wasn’t until his mid-60s, in 1996, that he decided to follow his own advice, sitting down to produce the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Angela’s Ashes, based on his poverty-stricken childhood in Limerick, Ireland. At the time of McCourt’s visit, two more best-selling installments had followed his first offering: ’Tis, describing his struggle to gain his footing in New York, and Teacher Man, an account of his misadventures as a public-school teacher. Sadly, McCourt is no longer with us, but his inc...

66 MIN2018 OCT 19
Comments
Frank McCourt

Lucie Brock-Broido

When Lucie Brock-Broido, poet of the witching hour,sadly passed away in March 2018, we releasedaudio of her reading "Infinite Riches in the Smallest Room," a title that's an apt description of her entire body of work. In our latestepisode of SAL/on air, we are delighted to share her SAL reading in its entirety, which took place on April 2015 at Chihuly Garden and Glass. At the time of Brock-Broido’s visit, she had produced four astonishing collections of poetry: A Hunger, The Master Letters, Trouble in Mind, and Stay, Illusion, a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Books Critics Circle Award. "You have harnessed yourself ridiculously to this world," she read, words that ring true hearing her now.

74 MIN2018 SEP 21
Comments
Lucie Brock-Broido

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright wasAmerica'sfirst-ever female Secretary of State, from 1997 to 2001. Herdistinguished career of public service includes positions in the National Security Council, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and on Capitol Hill. In her latest book,Fascism: A Warning,Albright gives us an urgent examination of fascism in the 20th century and how its legacy shapes today’s world.A fascist, observes Albright, “is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have.” In this episode, we hear from Albright, who sat down in April 2018 at the Paramount Theatre to discuss Fascism: A Warning with Mark Suzman, Chief Strategy Officer and President in Global Policy and Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Albright draws upon both her experiences as a child in war-torn Europe and her distinguished care...

79 MIN2018 AUG 21
Comments
Madeleine Albright

Philip Roth

In our latest episode of SAL/on air, we hear from one of the pre-eminent authors of the 20th century—Philip Roth. He joined us back in October 1992 for a reading from his National Book Award-winning memoir, Patrimony: A True Story. Written with great intimacy at the height of his literary powers, Patrimony is Roth’s elegy to his father, who he accompanies, full of love and dread, through each stage of terminal brain cancer. As he does so, Roth wrestles with the stubborn, survivalist drive that distinguished Herman Roth’s engagement with life, and his own anxieties around remembering the man with precision. “You mustn’t forget anything – that’s the inscription on [my father’s] coat of arms,” Roth writes. “To be alive, to him, is to be made of memory.” At the conclusion of Roth’s reading, he takes questions from the audience. Sadly, Roth passed away in May 2018 at the age of eighty-five, after a long and vital career of investigating what it meant for him to be an American...

102 MIN2018 JUL 20
Comments
Philip Roth

Latest Episodes

Madhur Jaffrey

In this episode, we hear from Indian-born food and travel writer Madhur Jaffrey, who joined us in November 2013 for a talk on how we become who we are. At the time of her visit, Jaffrey, who is recognized for bringing Indian cuisine to the western hemisphere, had written nearly 30 cookbooks and won several James Beard Awards, as well as her critically-acclaimed memoir, Climbing the Mango Trees. We learn how Jaffrey evolved to be an ambassador for Indian cuisine through her career as a prolific cookbook writer. We also learn of Jaffrey’s lively, food-infused childhood in India, of her time in New York where she made a living as a freelance writer while waiting for acting gigs, and of the acting career that followed. Listen to find out how she became an unofficial ambassador for Coca-Cola, how Jaffrey learned to swim with the aid of a watermelon, and how she joined in a peace prayer with Gandhi.

88 MINMAY 31
Comments
Madhur Jaffrey

Ada Limón

In this episode, we hear from poet Ada Limón, who joined us in October 2016 at McCaw Hall for a reading from her collection Bright Dead Things. Named a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry and the National Book Critics Circle, Bright Dead Things follows a female speaker’s experiences of love and loss, exploring how we build our identities from place and from human contact. “Ada Limón doesn't write as if she needs us. She writes as if she wants us. Her words reveal, coax, pull, see us,” writes poet Nikky Finney. “We read desire, ache, what human beings rarely have the heart or audacity to speak of alone—with the help of a poet with the most generous of eyes.”

69 MINMAY 29
Comments
Ada Limón

Tom Hanks

In our latest episode of SAL/on air, we hear from actor and filmmaker Tom Hanks, who joined us at McCaw Hall in December of 2017. Seattle’s beloved librarian, Nancy Pearl, was in conversation with Hanks, who shared with us how he came to write his first book, the short story collection "Uncommon Type," plus all about his obsession with vintage typewriters and highlights from his prolific career.

68 MINMAY 18
Comments
Tom Hanks

Azar Nafisi

In 2003, Azar Nafisi electrified readers worldwide with "Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books," which went on to become a long-running #1 New York Times bestseller. A modest professor of English literature, Nafisi taught at the University of Tehran as the Islamic Revolution raged around her, until she was fired in 1981 for her refusal to wear the mandatory veil. Before leaving the country in 1995, Nafisi spent two years holding secret classes on forbidden Western literature in her home. "Reading Lolita in Tehran" recounts seven young women students passionately relating Nabokov’s works, as well as novels like "Madame Bovary" and"Pride and Prejudice," to their own lives, claiming intellectual freedom through their survey of banned literature. In episode, we hear from Nafisi, who joined us at Benaroya Hall in February 2006 for Seattle Arts & Lectures’ 2005/06 Season. At the conclusion of Nafisi’s talk, Margit Rankin, then-Executive Director of Seattle Arts & Lectures, joins her in an interview about teaching, intellectual integrity, and the dire consequences of banning books.

73 MINAPR 23
Comments
Azar Nafisi

Jane Hirshfield

In this episode, we hear from poet Jane Hirshfield, who joined us in March 2009 at Benaroya Hall for a reading spanning across her career, and for a discussion on the importance of inviting the intimacies of poetry and finding ways to say “yes” to the difficult. Described by The New Yorker as “radiant and passionate,” Hirshfield is now the author of eight collections of verse, many of which are influenced by her Zen Buddhist practice and her knowledge of classical Japanese verse, and which are concerned with the many dimensions of our connections with others.

71 MINJAN 25
Comments
Jane Hirshfield

Viet Thanh Nguyen

In this special Thanksgiving episode, we hear from Viet Thanh Nguyen, author ofThe Sympathizer andThe Refugees, who joined us at Benaroya Hall in May 2018. He is introduced by Ruth Dickey, SAL Executive Director, and is interviewed after his talk by Jamie Ford, celebrated author ofHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. In Viet Thanh Nguyen’s story “Black Eyed Woman” from The Refugees, the narrator speaks to us about the arrival of stories and of ghosts, saying: “Stories are just things we fabricate, nothing more. We search for them in a world beside our own, then leave them here to be found, garments shed by ghosts.” This slight of hand illuminates the heart of Nguyen’s writing – the ideas that stories are just fabricated things, nothing more. Yet also that stories are everything we search for, the only things that remain of us, the things we leave to be found, the things that give meaning.

87 MIN2018 NOV 21
Comments
Viet Thanh Nguyen

Frank McCourt

In this episode, we hear from Frank McCourt, who joined us in November 2006 for a lively talk about committing his youth to paper in his phenomenally popular memoir series, beginning with Angela’s Ashes. At the conclusion of McCourt’s talk, Margit Rankin, then-Executive Director of Seattle Arts & Lectures, joins him in an interview. McCourt, a New York City schoolteacher who taught for nearly three decades, always told his writing students, “Write what you know.” It wasn’t until his mid-60s, in 1996, that he decided to follow his own advice, sitting down to produce the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Angela’s Ashes, based on his poverty-stricken childhood in Limerick, Ireland. At the time of McCourt’s visit, two more best-selling installments had followed his first offering: ’Tis, describing his struggle to gain his footing in New York, and Teacher Man, an account of his misadventures as a public-school teacher. Sadly, McCourt is no longer with us, but his inc...

66 MIN2018 OCT 19
Comments
Frank McCourt

Lucie Brock-Broido

When Lucie Brock-Broido, poet of the witching hour,sadly passed away in March 2018, we releasedaudio of her reading "Infinite Riches in the Smallest Room," a title that's an apt description of her entire body of work. In our latestepisode of SAL/on air, we are delighted to share her SAL reading in its entirety, which took place on April 2015 at Chihuly Garden and Glass. At the time of Brock-Broido’s visit, she had produced four astonishing collections of poetry: A Hunger, The Master Letters, Trouble in Mind, and Stay, Illusion, a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Books Critics Circle Award. "You have harnessed yourself ridiculously to this world," she read, words that ring true hearing her now.

74 MIN2018 SEP 21
Comments
Lucie Brock-Broido

Madeleine Albright

Madeleine Albright wasAmerica'sfirst-ever female Secretary of State, from 1997 to 2001. Herdistinguished career of public service includes positions in the National Security Council, as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and on Capitol Hill. In her latest book,Fascism: A Warning,Albright gives us an urgent examination of fascism in the 20th century and how its legacy shapes today’s world.A fascist, observes Albright, “is someone who claims to speak for a whole nation or group, is utterly unconcerned with the rights of others, and is willing to use violence and whatever other means are necessary to achieve the goals he or she might have.” In this episode, we hear from Albright, who sat down in April 2018 at the Paramount Theatre to discuss Fascism: A Warning with Mark Suzman, Chief Strategy Officer and President in Global Policy and Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Albright draws upon both her experiences as a child in war-torn Europe and her distinguished care...

79 MIN2018 AUG 21
Comments
Madeleine Albright

Philip Roth

In our latest episode of SAL/on air, we hear from one of the pre-eminent authors of the 20th century—Philip Roth. He joined us back in October 1992 for a reading from his National Book Award-winning memoir, Patrimony: A True Story. Written with great intimacy at the height of his literary powers, Patrimony is Roth’s elegy to his father, who he accompanies, full of love and dread, through each stage of terminal brain cancer. As he does so, Roth wrestles with the stubborn, survivalist drive that distinguished Herman Roth’s engagement with life, and his own anxieties around remembering the man with precision. “You mustn’t forget anything – that’s the inscription on [my father’s] coat of arms,” Roth writes. “To be alive, to him, is to be made of memory.” At the conclusion of Roth’s reading, he takes questions from the audience. Sadly, Roth passed away in May 2018 at the age of eighty-five, after a long and vital career of investigating what it meant for him to be an American...

102 MIN2018 JUL 20
Comments
Philip Roth