The English Department at the University of Washington sponsors a number of lectures, readings, and publications. See the department homepage for a calendar of upcoming events. The following reading series and publications may be of special interest to creative writing students.
Student run, Watermark has brought such writers as novelist Pam Houston and Pulitzer-Prize winning poet Yusef Kumunyakaa to campus. Students are responsible for choosing visiting writers, raising funds, and hosting the readers.
Instituted by the late Nelson Bentley, Castalia is organized by and showcases MFA students' work in progress.
Begun in 1965, the annual Roethke readings are held in late May, and honor the memory of Theodore Roethke, who taught in the English Department at the University of Washington from 1947 to 1964. Former Roethke readers have included such poets as Elizabeth Bishop, Richard Hugo, Robert Lowell, Robert Penn Warren, W. S. Merwin, Carolyn Kizer, Seamus Heaney, Adrienne Rich, May Swenson, Denise Levertov, Mark Strand, Maxine Kumin, Galway Kinnell, Lucille Clifton, and Charles Wright.
Faculty present their current works in progress on a rotating basis during a small reception in the Faculty Club.
This literary journal has been published at the University of Washington since 1978. MFA students often serve as fiction readers, screening the numerous prose submissions the Review receives each year. Poetry is submitted to a separate board. Colleen McElroy is the editor of this publication.
Bricolage Bricolage is an undergraduate-run literary publication. It accepts work by UW students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty, alumni, and staff.
Seattle is known for a variety of literary events on and off campus. Seattle Arts & Lectures hosts a lecture series by well-known authors, as well as a poetry series. Seattle is also home to Open Books, one of the few bookstores in the country devoted solely to poetry. The Elliott Bay Book Company has author readings practically every night of the week, and the University Bookstore hosts a regular series of readings at its Main Branch on University Way as well as at its Bellevue and HUB branches, and other local venues, both on- and off-campus. Local taverns host poetry "slams" and open mike readings. The annual Labor Day Arts festival, Bumbershoot, features national and local writers as well as presenting music and other arts, and the Northwest Bookfest, held in late October, has been described as "the book lover's holiday weekend, Seattle style," showcasing a wide variety of authors, publishers, and all manner of book arts and activities. The Friends of Nelson Bentley, founded by former students of the late UW Professor Nelson Bentley, sponsors poetry readings and has established the Bentley Fellowship for MFA Students in Poetry at the University of Washington. The Hugo House (named for northwest poet Richard Hugo) is a gathering place for writers and readers located at 1634 Eleventh Ave., Seattle, WA; (206) 322-7030; firstname.lastname@example.org.