September 8, 2020

Seattle was designated as a UNESCO City of Literature in 2017. But long before that title became official, local writers had begun reflecting on what it would mean to the citizens and the character of the city. They have continued to do so, and now Kristen Millares Young has collected and edited an anthology of essays by local writers, Seismic: Seattle, City of Literature, to be published this month.

Read an article by Trevor Lenzmeier in The Seattle Times and an excerpt by Claudia Castro Luna in Crosscut.

The Seattle Public Library will host a virtual release party for Seismic on Tuesday, September 15, 2020, at 7:00pm. The event is free, but registration is required.

returning Monday!

August 21, 2020

After a quite-long hiatus, Easy Speak Seattle returns for a night of poetry on Monday, August 24, 2020, 7:30pm, on Zoom. Theresa Whitehill will be the featured performer and open mike participants are invited to perform a single poem, song, or work of prose (3 minutes or less). Zoom link and open mike signup on the
Easy Speak Open Mike page and on Facebook.

see art

May 27, 2020

Seattle was one of the first cities in the United States to adopt a percent-for-art ordinance, in 1973. Since that time, the city has amassed a collection that includes more than 400 permanently sited and integrated works and nearly 3,000 portable works. Now the entire collection is available for viewing at the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Civic Art Collection. Let the ekphrastic poetry begin!

If you were feeling a little reluctant about taking a class, here’s the latest from Hugo House:

Hugo House spring classes are open for registration, and registrations through Monday, March 16, 2020, will receive an early bird discount. This season, students will have access to all classes via video conference for as long as COVID-19 remains a threat.

While our doors will remain open, some teachers may opt to hold their classes entirely via video conference. We have marked these classes as such in the online catalog. However, much is subject to change, and our cancellation policy will reflect our evolving situation.

Making time to reflect and write with others brings us joy and solace even — and perhaps even more so — in difficult and uncertain times. We invite you to join us in creating something beautiful this spring.

With that in mind, we encourage you to browse the full catalog and find the spring classes that are right for you.

This is good news not only for locals, but also for those who might not otherwise have an opportunity to take a class in Seattle. Hugo House offers classes of varying lengths in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, mixed genre, reading, the writing life, and youth workshops.


February 13, 2020

Five UNESCO Cities of Literature are currently accepting applications for writers in residence. Requirements vary, but most expect a connection with the culture and/or language of the country to be visited as well as residence in or connection with a UNESCO Creative City / City of Literature, such as Seattle. Application deadlines are coming up for

  • Tartu, Estonia
  • Bucheon, Korea
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Ulyanovsk, Russia

Find out more at Seattle City of Literature.

tonight in Seattle

January 16, 2020

It’s Thursday, January 16, 2020, and that means it’s time to crawl out of your snow cave, strap on your snowshoes, and go hear some live poetry. Tonight at Common AREA Maintenance in Belltown, Margin Shift Presents this stellar lineup: Sarah A. Chavez, Anne Liu Kellor, Rena Priest, and Suzanne Bottelli. Doors open at 6:30pm. Go!

Attention: video poets

January 10, 2020

If you work at the intersection of poetry and film, you may want to submit your work for Cadence: Video Poetry Festival. Northwest Film Forum is soliciting video poetry for inclusion in the festival, with selected submissions screening April 16-17, 2020 (mark your calendar!). The submission deadline is March 1, 2020.

Seattle City of Lit list

December 26, 2019

Here’s a new resource, just out from Seattle City of Literature: the Seattle Lit Community Catalog. The searchable online catalog offers (to date) 180 listings from Seattle’s books and writing communities. The geographic boundaries extend somewhat beyond the city limits (Tacoma, Bellevue). (See FAQs.) Browse them all, or enter a search term (e.g., books, poetry, conference, writers, publishers, etc.). Add yours.

be an early bird

December 11, 2019

The Hugo House Winter 2020 course catalog is now online and open for registration, with early-bird pricing available through Monday, December 16, 2019. With classes in many genres, ranging from a single session to a full year, there’s bound to be something that will catch your eye and inspire your writing.

orcas in Seattle, tonight!

November 12, 2019

Hear scientists and writers discuss the fate of the endangered Southern Resident orcas and read from the anthology, For Love of Orcas (Wandering Aengus Press, 2019), tonight, Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at 7:00pm, at Hugo House. Featured readers include Sarah DeWeerdt, Bob Friel, Paula MacKay, Brenda Miller, and Adrienne Ross Scanlon. The reading and talk, which is free and open to the public, will be moderated by anthology co-editor and poet Jill McCabe Johnson. Details and participant bios at Hugo House.

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