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Seattle Arts & Lectures just announced the headliners for the 2018/19 season, and series tickets are up for sale this week. This is an extraordinary year for SAL; the all-woman lineup for the Literary Arts Series includes Doris Kearns Goodwin, Barbara Kingsolver, Valeria Luiselli, and Tayari Jones, with two more to be announced; they have a new series on the free press, curated by Timothy Egan and Sam Howe Verhovek; and Alice Walker, Solmaz Sharif, Ilya Kaminsky, and Jericho Brown are already signed up for the poetry series, again, with additional speakers to be announced.

This season, SAL "wanted to respond to the moment and the many movements shaping our national discourse." They've put a stake in the ground with this selection of speakers — put your own stake down now, and you'll thank yourself in the fall.

Ticket availability dates to know:

  • Literary Arts: on sale now
  • Journalism series: on sale now
  • Women You Need to Know (WYNK): on sale May 15
  • Poetry series: on sale May 21
  • Create-Your-Own: on sale June 18
  • Single ticket sales start July 16

Check out more detailed information about the lineup for individual series below, then buy your tickets here.

Series and speaker information

Literary Arts Series
The Literary Arts Series presents original talks with the leading fiction and non-fiction writers of our time. The 2018/19 Literary Arts Series will feature a line-up of all female writers.

Doris Kearns Goodwin (October 1, 2018)
Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. She will speak on her forthcoming book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, which will explore presidential leadership throughout history.

Barbara Kingsolver (October 25, 2018)
Kingsolver is a renowned American novelist and author of the instant classics Flight Behavior, The Poisonwood Bible, The Lacuna, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. She will speak about her life in reading and writing, as well as her forthcoming novel, Unsheltered.

Valeria Luiselli (April 17, 2019)
Luiselli is an award-winning Mexican author living in the United States. She is the author of a book of essays, Sidewalks, and two novels — Faces in the Crowd and The Story of My Teeth — which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Best Translated Book Award, and won the Los Angeles Times Prize for Best Fiction. Her most recent book, Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions, was described by the Texas Observer as "the First Must-Read Book of the Trump Era."

Tayari Jones (May 14, 2019)
Tayari Jones is the author of four novels, including An American Marriage which is about an African-American couple whose lives are shaken when the husband is incarcerated for a crime he did not commit. This event will feature a Q&A with Lisa Lucas, the Executive Director of the National Book Foundation.

Two more Literary Arts Series speakers to be announced!

Poetry Series
The Poetry Series presents established and emerging poets for readings and lectures.

Alice Walker (October 4, 2018)
Walker is one of the United States’ preeminent writers: an award-winning author of novels, stories, essays, and poetry. In 1983, Walker became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction with her novel The Color Purple, which also won the National Book Award. Walker will read from her new collection of poetry, Taking the Arrow Out of the Heart.

Solmaz Sharif (February 11, 2019)
Sharif was born in Istanbul to Iranian parents. Her debut collection LOOK (Graywolf Press) was a finalist for the 2016 National Book Award and 2017 PEN Open Book Award. In LOOK, Sharif recounts some of her family’s experiences with exile and immigration in the aftermath of warfare — including living under surveillance and in detention in the United States.

Ilya Kaminsky (April 1, 2019)
Kaminsky was born in Odessa, in the former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum. Ilya is the author of Dancing in Odessa, and his forthcoming book, Deaf Republic, deals both with Russia and his own hearing loss.

Eco-Poetics (April 25, 2019)
This event will celebrate Earth Day and National Poetry Month, in collaboration with a new eco-poetics anthology from Copper Canyon Press.

Jericho Brown (May 21, 2019)
Brown is the author of three books of poetry, including Please, The New Testament, and a forthcoming collection with Copper Canyon Press. His work deals with race, masculinity, and sexuality, often through the lens of the Bible.

One more Poetry Series speaker to be announced!

SAL Presents
SAL Presents includes authors, artists, and prominent thinkers discussing their latest works and other literary surprises.

The Moth Mainstage (May 23, 2019)

Each Moth Mainstage features simple, old-fashioned storytelling by five wildly divergent raconteurs who develop and shape their stories with The Moth’s directors. Theme and storytellers to be announced in the spring of 2019.

More events will be added throughout the year.

Journalism series
The Journalism series is a new series created in partnership with National Book Award-winning writer and correspondent Timothy Egan, and renowned journalist Sam Howe Verhovek. Created by journalists for journalists and protectors of free press, this three-part series will feature:

Van Jones (October 10, 2018)
Jones is a regular CNN contributor and host of The Van Jones Show. He is a co-founder of several nonprofit organizations, including the Dream Corps, a "social justice accelerator.” He served as President Barack Obama's Special Advisor for Green Jobs, as a distinguished visiting fellow at Princeton University, and as a co-host of CNN 's political debate show Crossfire. This will highlight the paperback release of Jones’ recent book, Beyond the Messy Truth: How We Came Apart, How We Come Together.

Dean Baquet & Marty Baron in Conversation (March 5, 2019)
Baquet is the executive editor of the New York Times and a winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism. He is the first black editor of the New York Times. Baron is the editor of the Washington Post and was previously the editor of the Boston Globe. The two editors will talk about the state of journalism, their respective papers, and the intersection of media and politics.

One more Journalism Series speaker to be announced!

Women You Need to Know (WYNK)
The Women You Need to Know (WYNK) series features and celebrates three fierce female voices at the top of their respective industries.

Jill Lepore (October 12, 2018)
Lepore is an award-winning historian at Harvard University, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and the author of ten previous books including The Secret History of Wonder Woman. In her new book, These Truths: A History of the United States, Lepore offers a magisterial account of the origins and rise of a divided nation.

Two more WYNK series speakers to be announced!

Writers in the Schools (WITS)
Writers in the Schools (WITS) serves 27 local public schools in Seattle, Highline, Shoreline, and Port Townsend as well as Seattle Children’s. WITS honors the writing created through this program with two annual “book-end” events, which are free and open to the public.

WITS Student Anthology Launch (September 2018)
WITS will celebrate the publication of its program-wide anthology, featuring 140 pieces of creative writing by students in last year’s WITS program. Fifty young writers will read their work and celebrate their publication. Free and open to the public!

WITS Student Year-End Readings & Celebrations (May 2019)
WITS will celebrate the 2018/19 program by featuring two student writers from each WITS school, introduced by their Writer-in-Residence. The first evening will feature students from WITS elementary and middle school programs; the second evening will feature students from WITS middle and high school programs.

And still to come

  • Hinge: featuring low-cost tickets for evenings with artists, authors, and thinkers.
  • Local Voices: three free events featuring the Writers-in-Residence from SAL’s
  • Participants in the Writers in the School (WITS) program reading their own works-in-progress.