22 episodes

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.

SAL/on air Seattle Arts & Lectures

    • Arts

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.

    Eavan Boland

    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.

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Ross Gay

    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.”

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Valeria Luiselli

    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.

    • 1 hr 18 min
    Adam Davidson

    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.

    • 1 hr 19 min
    Rachel Maddow

    Rachel Maddow

    When Rachel Maddow, host of the Emmy Award-winning Rachel Maddow Show on 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.

    • 1 hr 24 min
    Wendell Berry

    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”).

    • 1 hr 12 min

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