This November, something new is coming to Seattle Central’s Broadway Performance Hall: Seattle Arts & Lecture (SAL), a nationally-known organizer of literary presentations and education programs, is bringing the 18th season of their Poetry Series to Central.
Rebecca Hoogs, Associate Director of SAL and curator/manager of the Poetry Series says that the move is intended to make the performances more accessible; the previous location, in Seattle Center, was too difficult to get to either by public or private transport for most people, with expensive parking and few major bus routes. The Broadway Performance Hall, being near several major buses, the lightrail and the streetcar, make it a “more central location.”
Hoogs also notes that beyond the location, the lineup of this series is intended to be “super diverse, [and] super appealing to… all people.” The series opens November 26 with Danez Smith, a “Black, queer, poz writer and performer,” and continues through May with poets such as Solmaz Sharif and Illya Kaminsky before closing with Jericho Brown, who writes concerning “questions about race, masculinity, and sexuality, often through the lens of the Bible.”
-The goal of the series, says Hoogs, is for audience members to “become more politically and poetically engaged,” as well as for those new to poetry to experience different styles and authors and find what kinds of poetry appeal to them.
Kate Krieg, an Associate Dean in Seattle Central’s Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences department, was responsible for much of the work on the Central side of things to bring SAL to Capitol Hill. Krieg reiterates Hoogs’ desire to expand the series’ audience and bring poetry to more people, saying that she hopes the move will make literary experiences “easily accessible” for students and for them to “see themselves in the poets and performances.” The program will also, Krieg hopes, “make sure that school isn’t a bubble,” keeping students and staff connected with the community around them.
SAL’s move to Central isn’t their only decision intended to make sure as many people as possible can come see the shows; they’ve also added several ticketing discounts to make the performances financially accessible. Just this year, a 25 and under/student bracket was added such that anyone who is 25 and under or who is a student (so students above 25 are welcome to take advantage of the discount) ticket price was introduced — and tickets cost just $10 per person as long as a valid ID is presented to the box office. SAL also participates in TeenTix, so people with passes are welcomed to come purchase tickets the night of (although Hoogs says come early, as they sell out fast!). If people truly cannot afford tickets and still want to come, there are also a limited number of tickets made available through the Community Access Tickets (CAT) lottery program. To enter the lottery for either one or two tickets, visit SAL’s website lectures.org, scroll to the bottom, and click on “Community Access.” Filling out the form on the site and selecting the performances you want to see will automatically enter you in a lottery for your preferred number of tickets for the shows.
Dates, other ticketing information, and performer information are also all available at SAL’s website.