Capitol Hill Community Post | Hugo House, Seattle’s hub for writers and readers, opens new home on September 22


From Hugo House

Hugo House announced a packed calendar of readings, events, and creative writing classes to take place in the literary nonprofit’s new—and permanent—home this fall season.

At the opening celebration on September 22 from 5:00-8:00 p.m., visitors are invited to explore the new Hugo House—10,000 square feet of space designed specifically for writers and readers by internationally renowned architectural firm NBBJ. The event, which is free and open to the public, will feature Maria Semple, emcee Nancy Guppy, literary experiences and installations by performers and artists, and readings from local literary luminaries popping up in all corners to capture the imagination.

9/22: Opening Celebration with Maria Semple

9/28: Hugo Literary Series: Jim ShepardCedar Sigo, and Sabina Murray

10/3: Word Works: Sarah Manguso

10/5: Carolyn Forché

10/6: Natalie Diaz: Self-Portraits

10/16: Ted Chiang in conversation with Karen Joy Fowler

10/18: Word Works: Elizabeth George

11/9: Hugo Literary Series: Lauren GroffR.O. Kwon, and Kim Fu

11/12: Eileen Myles

11/17: Writers Under the Influence: a tribute to Ursula K. Le Guin

11/29: Word Works: Natalie Baszile

More events listed at

“Hugo House’s opening celebration is meant to reflect our vision for the new home—a space where language lovers of all ages and from all backgrounds are welcome to come and find inspiration in the power of words,” said Executive Director Tree Swenson.

Once open, Hugo House’s programming doesn’t skip a beat, with readings, book launches, and events happening nearly every night of the week.

“While programming the first season of events in the new home, I thought about how long Hugo House has served Seattle’s literary community,” said Events Director Rob Arnold. “It’s our goal to both honor and build on this incredible decades-long legacy while also making space for new voices and new conversations.”

Hugo House events emphasize the importance of craft, reading broadly, making room for lively discussions about literature, and celebrating the work of writers whose voices have resonated in the culture as well as those who are shaping the literary future.

Highlights include Sarah MangusoElizabeth George, and Natalie Baszile as part of the Word Works: Writers on Writing series; new work on themes, commissioned by Hugo House, from Jim ShepardLauren GroffR.O. Kwonand musician Shelby Earl for the long-running Hugo Literary Series; book launches with the eminent Eileen Myles, emerging and established poets such as Katie Ford and Pulitzer Prize-winning Rae Armantrout, and poet and human rights advocate Carolyn Forché; an event with Native poet Natalie Diaz as part of Beyond the Frame, a series of exhibitions revisiting the complicated legacy of photographer Edward S. Curtis; the return of the occasional Writers Under the Influence series to celebrate the legacy of Ursula K. Le Guin featuring Eileen Gunn, David Naimon, and Nisi Shawl; and a conversation between two masters of science fiction, Ted Chiang and Karen Joy Fowler.

In addition to events, Hugo House will offer more than 100 creative writing classes for writers of all levels during the first fall quarter—more classes than ever before thanks to six classrooms.

“The Hugo House staff worked closely with the design team at NBBJ to conceive of and build a creative—and practical—space for writers and readers,” added Swenson. “And, thanks to the inspiring and humbling support of our community, Hugo House will own the new space, which means Seattle will have a dedicated home for writers and readers for decades to come.”

About the New Hugo House

The new Hugo House features six classrooms for adult and youth creative writing classes; a 150-seat auditorium for readings and events; and plenty of gathering spaces, nooks, and built-in fixtures for reading and writing. A bar in the front salon will be open during events and special occasions.

Mission & Vision

Hugo House opens the literary world to everyone who loves books or has a drive to write—giving people a place to read words, hear words, and make their own words better.

Hours & Location

Open 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and during classes and events

1634 Eleventh Avenue

Seattle, Washington 98122

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