Why Hugo? — Catherine Sutthoff Slaton

Posted Fri, 12/20/2013 - 7:28pm by  |  Category:

Last year, we asked those who are deeply involved here: Why Hugo? The fun continues this year with more anecdotes from instructors, students, members, and more. We hope they’ll show you why should support Hugo House this holiday season. Here’s what Hugo House student Catherine Sutthoff Slaton has to say.

Had it really been nearly 30 years since studying creative writing?  Did my writing tote board really read zero? Enter Hugo House. My teen daughter had recently completed the Scribes program and pushed me to rediscover writing. They have classes for old people, Mom!

I can’t recall my first teacher’s name, but I can tell you the reading materials were well selected (I still carry How to Read Like a Writer in my backpack) and workshop was so positive (in a tough-love kind of way) I knew I’d made a fast friend with this writing Mecca. 

Each new course catalog induces salivation — each term its own box of chocolates with no cream-filleds! Every teacher has guided me closer to completing my book, publishing poems, and trying something new. RHH opened that sometimes elusive wormhole to the creative process and expanded my writing life by putting me in touch not only with talented teachers, but with other writers in a common goal of pushing the art. You’ll see no fouling of petri dishes here. 

RHH creates and fosters a writing community and allows me to Hugo by immersion.  The combined offerings of the Literary Series, Works in Progress, Word Works: Writers on Writing, and Write-O-Rama enables me to work the word from all angles, to develop a strong body of work, and to foster the creative force within of everyone that walks through those double doors off 11th Avenue. How could I not Hugo?


Catherine Slaton is a member of the Seattle poets’ collective Hobo and of the Greenwood Poets, also of Seattle.  She has published poems in Soundings Review and in the online journal Switched-on Gutenberg. She is currently working on a memoir titled Anonymity of Moths. Her main objective in life is to set the Guinness world record for number of classes completed at Hugo House. When not writing, she can be found pleading with her dog Edwin to for God’s sake bring the ball back. Fine, but this is the last time I swear. You can visit her at CatherineSlaton.com.