good news

January 23, 2018

Terrific news for Hugo House, which has received a Building for the Arts grant of $1.032 million from Washington state — a significant portion of the funds needed to purchase the new space and turn it into a home for writers.

Thank you to everyone who contacted their legislators and advocated to secure this funding, which will not only fund our new home but also supports many other arts and cultural organizations across the state. Everything we’re most proud of in our city has been realized because of community action, and that includes Hugo House. And thank you to our legislators for investing in the cultural vitality of Seattle.

Seattle needs writers and writers need Hugo House. With UNESCO’s recent designation of Seattle as a City of Literature, it’s fitting that our city will have a new literary destination — a place where people can come any night of the week to hear readers, get feedback on works-in-progress, exchange ideas, and come together over a shared belief in careful attention to language.

Learn more about Hugo House and its tremendous selection of writing programs and events.


winter writing

December 9, 2017

The Hugo House Winter 2018 Writing Classes catalog is now available online and early-bird registration continues through December 11 (save $10 off one-session classes, $20 off classes that are two to six sessions, and $35 off classes that are eight sessions or more). Click to see the Class Catalog, and while you’re in the neighborhood, have a look at the listing of Events in store at Hugo House.

good words ahead

August 7, 2017

Hugo House has released its Word Works craft talks schedule for the 2017-2018 season and it’s a terrific lineup. Tickets are now on sale. And that’s just for starters… There’s also the Hugo Literary Series, the Fall Course Catalog, and numerous other readings and events.


Kim Stafford will teach a one-day generative writing class at Hugo House on Sunday, May 14, 2017. Here’s what he has to say:

The idea for the class, “Poems for a Better Nation,” began when I found myself writing a series of “post-election poems” last fall, which culminated in a book called The Flavor of Unity which I was able to give away in all directions in advance of the Inauguration Jan. 20, and the Women’s March, Jan. 21 — via couriers in Seattle, Portland, Washington, D.C., Ohio, Utah, California and Scotland, France, Bhutan…. Poems from the book have been featured at PBS NewsHour,, and other landmarks of the faithful.

This is not a time for reticence, paralysis, silence. This is an essential age for lyric testimony. As Richard Hugo said, “Writing is a way of saying you and the world have a chance.”

In this one-day writing retreat, we will write up a storm, and discuss how best to launch our citizen poems into the conversation of our time.

The all-day workshop will be held at Hugo House (interim location), 1021 Columbia St., Seattle, 9:00am – 4:00pm. Registration includes a copy of The Flavor of Unity: Post-Election Poems. For a complete description and to register, visit the Hugo House course catalog.



March 13, 2017

The browse-worthy Hugo House Spring 2017 catalog is now posted. You can download a PDF or browse the catalog by writing genre and class duration.

Classes will be held in April and May and early bird pricing continues through March 27 only.

Features include a special two-day Master Class with Karen Russell, an intensive poetry workshop with Terrance Hayes, plus timely classes like Writing to Resist, Disturbing the Peace, Poems for a Better Nation, and much more.


browse and learn

December 16, 2016

Hugo House

The Winter Catalog is now available for Hugo House classes and there’s discount if you sign up by Monday, December 19. Poetry courses range from one to ten sessions, but there are many other genres on offer. So browse the catalog, take a class.


an invitation to write

November 11, 2016


A message from Tree Swenson
Executive Director, Hugo House

Dear Hugo House community,

Recent political events have left so many of us in deep grief and fear, with troubling feelings of alienation. We here at Hugo House want to reaffirm our commitment to being an inclusive and welcoming community, open to all who love books or have a drive to write.

Our mission has special relevance at a time when it is more important than ever to celebrate our diversity and share stories about the struggles we face because of the color of our skin, who we love, or what we believe. We believe that good writing has the power to inspire empathy, change lives, and connect us to one another and our deeper truths.

For those left reeling in the immediate wake of this election cycle, we will be open tomorrow, Saturday, November 12, 2016, from 1:00–3:00 p.m. and invite anyone who needs a place to write and reflect to come and write together. Hugo House instructor Anne Liu Kellor will be facilitating a writing circle with prompts and a time to share your words.

We are also here every day as a place to use words to forge the way forward.

We hope to see you soon.


Tree Swenson

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