Creative Writing Readings and Publications

Image of University Avenue from University District Station with colorful buildings in the background

The English Department at the University of Washington sponsors a number of lectures, readings, and publications. See the department calendar for upcoming events. The following reading series and publications may be of special interest to creative writing students.

Reading Series

The Castalia Reading Series

Instituted by the late Nelson Bentley, Castalia is organized by and showcases MFA students' work in progress.

Held at the Richard Hugo House each month during the academic year, a member of the CW faculty and alumni also read at each event.

The Roethke Memorial Poetry Reading

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, Charles Wright, Paul Muldoon, D.A. Powell, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, and Kay Ryan.

Literary Publications


Bricolage is an undergraduate-run literary publication.  It accepts work by UW students (graduate and undergraduate), faculty, alumni, and staff.

Around Town

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. 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;