on writing

February 11, 2018


“Good writing never soothes or comforts. It is no prescription, neither is it diversionary, although it can and should enchant while it explodes in the reader’s face.”
Joy Williams
(b. February 11, 1944)

. . . . .
Photo: © Rollie McKenna
Quote: Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals

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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.

on poetry

January 22, 2018

“If I do not write to empty my mind, I go mad.”
Lord Byron (George Gordon)
(January 22, 1788 – April 19, 1824)

. . . . .
Lord Byron painted by Thomas Phillips in 1813. Venizelos Mansion, Athens

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.

on poetry

November 29, 2017

“I have advice for people who want to write. I don’t care whether they’re 5 or 500. There are three things that are important: First, if you want to write, you need to keep an honest, unpublishable journal that nobody reads, nobody but you. Where you just put down what you think about life, what you think about things, what you think is fair and what you think is unfair. And second, you need to read. You can’t be a writer if you’re not a reader. It’s the great writers who teach us how to write. The third thing is to write. Just write a little bit every day. Even if it’s for only half an hour — write, write, write.”
Madeleine L’Engle
(November 29, 1918 – September 06, 2007)

. . . . .
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A recent update from Soapstone included the following note from Kim Stafford, which we pass along in its entirety. (Follow links for details, some yet to be posted; most events are in Portland, Oregon, or online.)

Dear Friends Writing in Complex Times:

In writing workshops, these days, I’m finding, people long to testify for tender things, to tell saving stories, to witness for the good. In spite of dark days, this may be a golden age of writing remedy for trouble. I invite you to join one of the workshops I’ll be doing this year, either in person or online, and be a citizen of collaborative conscience. Bring friends.

Kim Stafford

Workshops & Events with Kim Stafford
Fall 2017 to Summer 2018

These workshops are dedicated to inviting “what wants to be written” by each participant. They are inclusive, non-competitive, exploratory, collaborative. We become a learning community devoted to a spell of safety and curiosity that welcomes what comes to the page without expectation or judgment. Along the way, we begin to envision doors opening in multiple directions for what we are ready to tell, and what the world needs from each voice among us.

November 2017
Poetry Reading
First Unitarian Church, Portland, Oregon, Saturday, November 17, 2017, 7pm.

Poems for a Better Nation
A one-day generative writing workshop to address the mysteries of our divisions.
First Unitarian Church, Portland, Oregon, Saturday, November 18, 2017, 9am-3pm.

December 2017
Daily Writing in the Spirit of William Stafford
A weekend workshop that examines the writing practice of WS, and tries it out.
Lewis & Clark College, Saturday-Sunday, December 2-3, 9am-5pm.

January 2018
ONLINE: Memoir: Essays, Poems, Manifestos
A 10-week online generative writing workshop, with films, prompts, and response groups.
Lewis & Clark College, beginning with an orientation week January 10, 2018.

ONLINE: Daily Writing in the Spirit of William Stafford
A 5-week online generative writing workshop, with films, prompts, and response groups.
Lewis & Clark College, beginning with an orientation week January 22, 2018.

Works in Progress
A 5-session creative community for advancing personal projects in writing.
Lewis & Clark College, alternate Tuesdays beginning January 23, 2018, 5-8pm.

February 2018
Courage to Lead Through Writing, with Kim Stafford, Sherri Carreker & Dawn Montgomery
A three-day writing retreat for teachers and citizens.
Menucha Retreat Center, Friday-Sunday, February 15-17.

March 2018
EXTRA: A workshop taught by my colleague, Laura MoultonWielding the Pen to Make a Difference
A weekend workshop for writers in all genres.
Saturday-Sunday, March 3-4, 9am-5pm

April 2018
Poetry Writing
Five Wednesdays, beginning April 4, 2018, 4:30-7:15pm, location TBA.

June 2018
The Practice of Writing
A weeklong writing retreat, Monday-Friday, June 25-29, 2018.

July 2018
Your Episodes of Origin
A weeklong writing workshop in poetry, essays, & stories at the Fishtrap Gathering.
July 9-13, 2018.

Continuing Education credit is available for classes offered through Lewis & Clark.

A series of tiny books by Kim Stafford is available through Lulu.com.
The Flavory of Unity: Post Election Poems
The Right to Be Forgotten: Poems while Traveling
Meditations & Poems for Writers
Circumference: Poems of Consolation & Blessing
Earth Verse

on poetry

October 7, 2017

“Writing, which is my form of celebration and prayer, is also my form of inquiry.”
Diane Ackerman
(b. October 7, 1948)

. . . . .
Photo: Sue Michlovitz

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