Special Initiatives and Programs
Few of us know what it’s like to be a soldier. A slim majority of Americans know firsthand the dangers, camaraderie, regimentation, training, and uncertainty surrounding a life in uniform. For soldiers, returning from a life so disconnected from common experience can have an isolating effect.
Since human connection is at the heart of the humanities, Talking Service connects returning veterans to literature that speaks to their experiences. Using Standing Down, an anthology of short stories, essays, and poems about war and military service as its foundation, each Talking Service series consists of six to eight weekly reading discussions led by a trained facilitator. Through Talking Service, veterans are provided a forum to share their wartime experiences, expand their appreciation for literature, and understand the role the humanities can play in helping them analyze their experiences, think critically, and adjust to civilian life.
Talking Service is supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities, and was originally created by the Great Books Foundation and implemented by the New York Council for the Humanities. The program is held nationally, and is currently in its pilot phase in Washington State.
For more information, contact Ellen Terry at (206) 682-1770 x101 or by email.
Pulitzers in Person
Presented by Humanities Washington and Copper Canyon Press, Pulitzers in Person will bring Pulitzer Prize-winning and -nominated poets together for three webcasted conversations in fall 2016 about reading and writing poetry. The central question addressed will be “What makes a poem, or a poetry collection, ‘extraordinary?,’” featuring discussions on W.S. Merwin, Theodore Roethke, and more. The events will be available for viewing online, and Copper Canyon Press will create discussion guides and provide reduced-cost books for distribution among book clubs and writing circles throughout the state.
The first Pulitzers in Person discussion will be October 6, and is a tribute to the work of legendary poets W.S. Merwin and Lucille Clifton, featuring poets Ellen Bass, Maurice Manning, and Camille Rankine. Go here for the first webcast from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and check out the event’s Facebook page.
This program is part of the Pulitzer Prizes Centennial Campfires Initiative, a joint venture of the Pulitzer Prizes Board and the Federation of State Humanities Councils in celebration of the 2016 centennial of the Prizes. The initiative seeks to illuminate the impact of journalism and the humanities on American life today, to imagine their future and to inspire new generations to consider the values represented by the body of Pulitzer Prize-winning work. For their generous support for the Campfires Initiative, we thank the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Pulitzer Prizes Board, and Columbia University.
For more information, contact Caroline Epstein at (206) 682-1770 x101 or by email.
Humanities Washington Award
The Humanities Washington Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the public humanities in two categories: Philanthropy and Leadership and Scholarship and Service. These awards are presented annually to two individuals or organizations whose time and talents enlarge the meaning of the humanities in our lives and whose work reflects the spirit and programs of Humanities Washington.
The Humanities Washington Award was initiated in 1995 in memory of Heather C. Frank of Yakima. Frank was a dedicated and articulate supporter of the public humanities throughout her lifetime and gave generously of herself to a variety of cultural community activities.
The awards are given at our Bedtime Stories events in Seattle and Spokane. View our list of past Humanities Washington Award recipients.