We are excited to announce that Rob Arnold has joined our staff to program readings and events. Welcome, Rob!
An arts administrator, creative organizer, and poet with an extensive background in publishing and working with writers, Rob brings a decade of literary and cultural experience to the House.
He has held key positions at Ploughshares, Beacon Press, Fence Books, the National Poetry Series, PEN New England and, most recently, at Aevitas Creative Management in Boston, Massachusetts.
His Seattle roots extend back to the late ‘90s, when he was completing his undergraduate poetry studies at the University of Washington — a pivotal time for him as a writer as well as a momentous time for Hugo House, which had opened its doors in 1996.
“I’m delighted to be returning to Seattle, a city that nurtured me as a young person, and even more so to be curating events for Hugo House, a place I cherished as a student of writing,” said Rob. “It feels like a double-homecoming.”
Arnold is joining Hugo House at another momentous time for our organization: we’ll be moving into our new 10,000-square-foot facility in the designated arts district of Capitol Hill. Set to open this September, our new home will enable dramatic growth in classes and event programming.
“Hugo House is poised to move back into the heart of one of the most literate cities in the country,” Executive Director Tree Swenson noted. “Rob shares our organization’s vision of engaging the local literary community on contemporary issues through a lively mix of readings and events.”
As Associate Director of PEN New England, Arnold partnered with prominent cultural institutions and produced innovative programs in response to critical current issues, from Black Lives Matter to the lack of diversity in publishing.
“It’s an inspiration that the values of Hugo House have remained consistent since the organization’s founding yet feel more relevant today than ever before,” Rob added. “My hope is that our literary calendar not only embodies these values but probes them in new and challenging ways, and extends the conversation about the vitality of literature – all literatures – to audiences from all parts of the city.”