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SAL/on air

Seattle Arts & Lectures

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SAL/on air

SAL/on air

Seattle Arts & Lectures

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Followers
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Plays
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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

Eavan Boland

Four weeks after her passing in her hometown of Dublin, we want to celebrate the ways Eavan Boland drew up a new science of cartography for Irish poetry—one that included women in their everyday lives. One that depicted children, the routines of the suburbs, marriage, and then radically, that laid this map over received ideas about Irish history, about poetic form. Her poems elegantly re-charted the tensions of history, memory and legends, with the unnamed. In this episode of SAL/on air, we hear Eavan Boland's 2007/08 Poetry Series reading with Seattle Arts & Lectures, followed by an interview with SAL Associate Director Rebecca Hoogs.

65 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Eavan Boland

Ross Gay

In a time like this, where do you look to for joy? In a recent episode of Krista Tippett’s podcast, On Being, poet Ross Gay recently said, “It is joy by which the labor that will make the life that I want, possible. It is not at all puzzling to me that joy is possible in the midst of difficulty.” Besides being a disciple of joy, Ross Gay is a gardener, a painter, a professor, a basketball player, and a founding member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a free-fruit-for-all non-profit focused on food, justice, and joy. He is the author of three collections of poetry. The title poem in his most recent, "Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude," is a long piece which, Ross told the Los Angeles Times, was begun as a “way to publicly imagine what it means for a person to be adamantly in love with his life. I wanted to realize joy as a fundamental aspect of our lives and practice it as a discipline.”

70 MINAPR 10
Comments
Ross Gay

Valeria Luiselli

What drives storytelling? What is the story—who gets to tell it—and how? In a twist on the American road trip genre, Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive explores these tensions. As an artist couple and their children embark on trip from New York to Arizona, wrestling with their family’s crisis, a bigger one comes to them through the car radio: that of the tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American and Mexican children arriving in the U.S. without papers. Author Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. She was only able to write her new novel, she tells us, after writing a work of non-fiction first, Tell Me How It Ends. That book, a polemic about the US-Mexico border, is structured around the 40 questions that she translated and asked undocumented children facing deportation as a volunteer court translator. After Valeria’s talk about these two works she’s joined by Florangela Davila, news director at the Seattle-Tacoma NPR station, KNKX, for a Q&A. This event took place at Benaroya Hall in April of 2019.

78 MINMAR 25
Comments
Valeria Luiselli

Adam Davidson

What the 20th century economy typically required of Americans who wanted success was to step away from their passions and embrace sameness. Now, in this new century—amidst concerns about our jobs being stolen by computers, about the middle class vanishing, and about the super-rich getting richer, Adam Davidson sees another narrative. Davidson, who is the founder of NPR’s Planet Money and an economics writer at The New Yorker, argues that living a passionate life and living a financially stable life aren’t as separate as they used to be. Despite the pain and anxiety of around our current economy, Davidson admits that he sees a lot to be optimistic about in his new book, The Passion Economy. In this talk, he explores what’s next for Americans, from Amish furniture makers to accountants after the invention of AI, social media, outsourcing, and global trade. After Davidson’s talk, which took place at Benaroya Hall in January 2020, he’s joined by Jon Talton for the Q&A. Jon is a novelist and former long-time economics columnist for the Seattle Times.

79 MINMAR 10
Comments
Adam Davidson

Rachel Maddow

When Rachel Maddow, host of the Emmy Award-winningRachel Maddow Showon MSNBC, set out to research her latest book, "Blowout," she wasn’t necessarily looking to write about the oil and gas industry. Instead, the question she was asking was this: At a time when democracy is falling and authoritarianism is rising globally, what do we do? In October of this year, Maddow gave a lecture and had a conversation with multi-media journalist Joni Balter at a packed Benaroya Hall. From man-made earthquake swarms in Oklahoma, to Ukrainian revolutionaries, to Russians hacking the 2016 election, Maddow unwinds the skein of the unimaginably lucrative and equally corrupting oil and gas industry worldwide, and warns us what’s at stake if we leave the industry highly subsidized—and largely unregulated.

83 MINFEB 4
Comments
Rachel Maddow

Wendell Berry

Port Royal in Henry County, Kentucky has a population of less than a hundred. And it’s there that farmer, novelist, poet, and cultural critic Wendell Berry—whose family farmed Kentucky land for 7 generations—has been writing for much of his life. With work like The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture, Wendell has functioned as both literary maverick and visionary to Americans for half a century, issuing warnings about industrial farming and the breaking apart of rural communities—concerns that are more immediate than ever. Back in May 2011, Berry appeared at Benaroya Hall for what he, with his trademark humor, terms a “prose sandwich:” the reading of a few poems, followed by his short story “Sold,” and ending with a final poem. After, he is joined by editor and publisher Jack Shoemaker, who talks with him about what “sustainability” really means, how to save our agricultural landscapes, and advising the young (which he calls “a cheap form of entertainment”).

72 MINJAN 7
Comments
Wendell Berry

Barbara Kingsolver

What happens when your world shifts, and you have to come to terms with a whole new reality? Barbara Kingsolver – the bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and more – has some idea. In October 2018, SAL’s Executive Director, Ruth Dickey, sat down with Kingsolver to discuss her latest book, Unsheltered, at Benaroya Hall. The novel toggles between a small New Jersey town in 1870 and 2016, exploring both societal and family struggles. Unsheltered is a beautiful book about politics and economics and science and dogmatism and hope. It finds the parallels between the Victorian era, when Darwin’s theory challenged the Judeo-Christian worldview, and our own time, when global warming has challenged beliefs about the future of humanity. And Unsheltered is also—because this is Barbara Kingsolver we’re talking about here—a book about love and connection, about family and meaning and grief.

79 MIN2019 DEC 3
Comments
Barbara Kingsolver

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Why write about slavery in 2019? And when you write about, how do you defy the popular conceptions about slavery that readers have in their heads? How do you make the subject new? It took Ta-Nehisi Coates – author of the bestselling nonfiction works The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between The World And Me – ten years of writing and meticulous research to produce his first novel, The Water Dancer, and in that time, he unearthed some incredibly powerful answers to these questions. Dr. Charles Johnson, author of 24 books and winner of the 1990 National Book Award for his novel, Middle Passage, sat down with Coates in October 2019 to discuss The Water Dancer at Benaroya Hall. Already a NYT bestseller and Oprah's Book Club pick, his novel follows the life of Hiram Walker, born into slavery on a Virginia plantation. In the book, Harriet Tubman says of the Underground Railroad – “This is war. Soldiers fight in war for all kinds of reasons, but they die because they cannot bear to live in the world as it is.”

54 MIN2019 NOV 8
Comments
Ta-Nehisi Coates

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 MIN2019 MAY 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 MIN2019 MAY 29
Comments
Ada Limón

Latest Episodes

Eavan Boland

Four weeks after her passing in her hometown of Dublin, we want to celebrate the ways Eavan Boland drew up a new science of cartography for Irish poetry—one that included women in their everyday lives. One that depicted children, the routines of the suburbs, marriage, and then radically, that laid this map over received ideas about Irish history, about poetic form. Her poems elegantly re-charted the tensions of history, memory and legends, with the unnamed. In this episode of SAL/on air, we hear Eavan Boland's 2007/08 Poetry Series reading with Seattle Arts & Lectures, followed by an interview with SAL Associate Director Rebecca Hoogs.

65 MIN1 w ago
Comments
Eavan Boland

Ross Gay

In a time like this, where do you look to for joy? In a recent episode of Krista Tippett’s podcast, On Being, poet Ross Gay recently said, “It is joy by which the labor that will make the life that I want, possible. It is not at all puzzling to me that joy is possible in the midst of difficulty.” Besides being a disciple of joy, Ross Gay is a gardener, a painter, a professor, a basketball player, and a founding member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a free-fruit-for-all non-profit focused on food, justice, and joy. He is the author of three collections of poetry. The title poem in his most recent, "Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude," is a long piece which, Ross told the Los Angeles Times, was begun as a “way to publicly imagine what it means for a person to be adamantly in love with his life. I wanted to realize joy as a fundamental aspect of our lives and practice it as a discipline.”

70 MINAPR 10
Comments
Ross Gay

Valeria Luiselli

What drives storytelling? What is the story—who gets to tell it—and how? In a twist on the American road trip genre, Valeria Luiselli’s Lost Children Archive explores these tensions. As an artist couple and their children embark on trip from New York to Arizona, wrestling with their family’s crisis, a bigger one comes to them through the car radio: that of the tens of thousands of unaccompanied Central American and Mexican children arriving in the U.S. without papers. Author Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Korea, South Africa and India. She was only able to write her new novel, she tells us, after writing a work of non-fiction first, Tell Me How It Ends. That book, a polemic about the US-Mexico border, is structured around the 40 questions that she translated and asked undocumented children facing deportation as a volunteer court translator. After Valeria’s talk about these two works she’s joined by Florangela Davila, news director at the Seattle-Tacoma NPR station, KNKX, for a Q&A. This event took place at Benaroya Hall in April of 2019.

78 MINMAR 25
Comments
Valeria Luiselli

Adam Davidson

What the 20th century economy typically required of Americans who wanted success was to step away from their passions and embrace sameness. Now, in this new century—amidst concerns about our jobs being stolen by computers, about the middle class vanishing, and about the super-rich getting richer, Adam Davidson sees another narrative. Davidson, who is the founder of NPR’s Planet Money and an economics writer at The New Yorker, argues that living a passionate life and living a financially stable life aren’t as separate as they used to be. Despite the pain and anxiety of around our current economy, Davidson admits that he sees a lot to be optimistic about in his new book, The Passion Economy. In this talk, he explores what’s next for Americans, from Amish furniture makers to accountants after the invention of AI, social media, outsourcing, and global trade. After Davidson’s talk, which took place at Benaroya Hall in January 2020, he’s joined by Jon Talton for the Q&A. Jon is a novelist and former long-time economics columnist for the Seattle Times.

79 MINMAR 10
Comments
Adam Davidson

Rachel Maddow

When Rachel Maddow, host of the Emmy Award-winningRachel Maddow Showon MSNBC, set out to research her latest book, "Blowout," she wasn’t necessarily looking to write about the oil and gas industry. Instead, the question she was asking was this: At a time when democracy is falling and authoritarianism is rising globally, what do we do? In October of this year, Maddow gave a lecture and had a conversation with multi-media journalist Joni Balter at a packed Benaroya Hall. From man-made earthquake swarms in Oklahoma, to Ukrainian revolutionaries, to Russians hacking the 2016 election, Maddow unwinds the skein of the unimaginably lucrative and equally corrupting oil and gas industry worldwide, and warns us what’s at stake if we leave the industry highly subsidized—and largely unregulated.

83 MINFEB 4
Comments
Rachel Maddow

Wendell Berry

Port Royal in Henry County, Kentucky has a population of less than a hundred. And it’s there that farmer, novelist, poet, and cultural critic Wendell Berry—whose family farmed Kentucky land for 7 generations—has been writing for much of his life. With work like The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture, Wendell has functioned as both literary maverick and visionary to Americans for half a century, issuing warnings about industrial farming and the breaking apart of rural communities—concerns that are more immediate than ever. Back in May 2011, Berry appeared at Benaroya Hall for what he, with his trademark humor, terms a “prose sandwich:” the reading of a few poems, followed by his short story “Sold,” and ending with a final poem. After, he is joined by editor and publisher Jack Shoemaker, who talks with him about what “sustainability” really means, how to save our agricultural landscapes, and advising the young (which he calls “a cheap form of entertainment”).

72 MINJAN 7
Comments
Wendell Berry

Barbara Kingsolver

What happens when your world shifts, and you have to come to terms with a whole new reality? Barbara Kingsolver – the bestselling author of The Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, and more – has some idea. In October 2018, SAL’s Executive Director, Ruth Dickey, sat down with Kingsolver to discuss her latest book, Unsheltered, at Benaroya Hall. The novel toggles between a small New Jersey town in 1870 and 2016, exploring both societal and family struggles. Unsheltered is a beautiful book about politics and economics and science and dogmatism and hope. It finds the parallels between the Victorian era, when Darwin’s theory challenged the Judeo-Christian worldview, and our own time, when global warming has challenged beliefs about the future of humanity. And Unsheltered is also—because this is Barbara Kingsolver we’re talking about here—a book about love and connection, about family and meaning and grief.

79 MIN2019 DEC 3
Comments
Barbara Kingsolver

Ta-Nehisi Coates

Why write about slavery in 2019? And when you write about, how do you defy the popular conceptions about slavery that readers have in their heads? How do you make the subject new? It took Ta-Nehisi Coates – author of the bestselling nonfiction works The Beautiful Struggle, We Were Eight Years in Power, and Between The World And Me – ten years of writing and meticulous research to produce his first novel, The Water Dancer, and in that time, he unearthed some incredibly powerful answers to these questions. Dr. Charles Johnson, author of 24 books and winner of the 1990 National Book Award for his novel, Middle Passage, sat down with Coates in October 2019 to discuss The Water Dancer at Benaroya Hall. Already a NYT bestseller and Oprah's Book Club pick, his novel follows the life of Hiram Walker, born into slavery on a Virginia plantation. In the book, Harriet Tubman says of the Underground Railroad – “This is war. Soldiers fight in war for all kinds of reasons, but they die because they cannot bear to live in the world as it is.”

54 MIN2019 NOV 8
Comments
Ta-Nehisi Coates

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 MIN2019 MAY 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 MIN2019 MAY 29
Comments
Ada Limón
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