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In Residence—How Our Bodies Become Imprinted With Life Experiences

Artists Imani Sims, Tani Ikeda, and Jordan Alam share a passion in creating work relating to the ways personal experiences are held in the body. We’re thrilled to welcome them to present their narratives through film, prose, and poetry explorations of the events of their lives that have impacted their bodies, and how those changes have affected their encounters with the world. First we hear from local poet and author Imani Sims, who has been hailed as a “cultural ambassador, leader and...


Richard Powers

An Air Force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hearing and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. These characters and their struggles exemplify the sweeping, impassioned story of activism—and stunning evocation of the natural world—that is author Richard Powers’ twelfth novel, The...


Trust Issues Podcast Live

Town Hall is excited to invite you to a live taping of Trust Issues, a podcast about facts gone wrong. Each week, journalists Sydney Brownstone and Heidi Groover dive into conspiracy theories run amok, fake news stories, shady health claims, or chain emails sent by our grandparents. They took us down the rabbit hole to find the strange ideas we construct, and try to understand why people believe they’re true. Sydney and Heidi are reporters at The Stranger, where they cover city politics,...


William T. Vollmann

In 2011 a magnitude-9 earthquake shook northeast Japan and wracked the coast with a massive tsunami, devastating towns, destabilizing economies nationwide—and causing meltdowns in nuclear power plants. Nonfiction author William T. Vollmann joined us to share firsthand accounts of the fallout from these disasters, bringing excerpts from his newest book No Immediate Danger, whose title sardonically co-opts the reassuring mantra of official Japanese energy experts. Vollman cautioned against...


In Residence—Kathleen Alcala with Donna Miscolta

Mexican-American author Kathleen Alcala explored the indestructible link between a people and their land in her novels and nonfiction work. With a deep interest in the forces of history that shape an individual’s experience and worldview, Kathleen creates characters that reflect the evolution of society as it has changed from traditional to modern. To lend us a unique glimpse of her perspective, Alcala took our stage to discuss the role of archives and historical research in the process of...


Samantha Irby with Lindy West

Writer Samantha Irby is known for her brazen wit and boldly honest feminist writing from her blog bitches gotta eat, as well as her book We Are Never Meeting In Real Life and her essay work contributing to Nasty Women, a collection of feminist essays on life in Trump’s America—and a discussion recently hosted on Town Hall’s stage earlier this season (where author Samhita Mukhopadhyay hailed Irby as “the funniest writer in the world right now.”) Irby took our stage to present a reprint of...


In Residence—How the Body Holds Its Stories

How do our bodies retain memory of the events they experience? How can we connect with the emotions and life-altering changes recorded within our physical selves? Local artists Neve Mazique and Nic Masangkay took the stage with Inside/Out Neighborhood Resident Jordan Alam to share original works of prose, movement, and music expressing how personal experiences are held within the body. They presented their narratives of life altering and intensely physical moments—from birth to...


Kory Stamper

Do you have strong feelings about the word “irregardless”? Have you ever tried to define the word “is”? Many of us take dictionaries for granted, and few may realize that the process of writing dictionaries is, in fact, as lively and dynamic as language itself. Kory Stamper took our stage to crack open the complex, obsessive world of lexicography—the practice of making dictionaries—in her book Word By Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries. Stamper revealed the agonizing decisions about...


In Residence — Sacred in the Everyday

Known for the warmth, humor, clarity, and depth of his teachings, Zen teacher Peter Levitt is also the author of fourteen books of poetry and prose. Legendary poet Robert Creeley wrote that Peter Levitt’s poetry “sounds the honor of our common dance.” Town Hall is thrilled to welcome Peter to the stage for an evening sharing his recent works of poetry that explores our connection to the natural world and sing the sacred in the everyday. After the readings, he was joined in conversation...


Lamont ‘U-God’ Hawkins with Dr. Daudi Abe

Parental Guidance recommended. This recording contains explicit language. Many music fans consider the Wu-Tang Clan to be hip-hop royalty. But remarkably, none of the founding members have told their story. Town Hall is excited to partner with 206 Zulu to present Raw: My Journey into the Wu-Tang, a history of this seminal hip-hop group by Lamont “U-God” Hawkins, one of the group’s founding members. U-God charts the group’s origins—how, brought up by the streets and bonding over their love...


The Bittersweet Life Podcast Live!

Former Town Hall Programing Director Katy Sewall and children’s author and travel writer Tiffany Parks invite you to a special live installment of The Bittersweet Life podcast. The episode centers on Tiffany Parks’ new book for young readers Midnight in the Piazza, an all-ages adventure following a young girl in Rome racing to solve a centuries-old unsolved mystery and navigate a world of unscrupulous ambassadors, tricky tutors, and international art thieves! The Bittersweet Life podcast...


John Grade

Visitors to the Seattle Art Museum can’t miss John Grade’s largest sculpture to date: an enormous wooden structure in the shape of a tree, over a hundred feet long and hanging from the lobby ceiling. Grade has made his mark on the Pacific Northwest with art that recreates—and coexists with—the natural world. He has assembled large teams of helpers to build structures that are then intended to degrade and return to the environment, such as his wooden tower at MOHAI which is taller than the...


Jonathan Kauffman

Many consider sprouts, tofu, yogurt, brown rice, and whole-grain bread to be health-food standbys, but how did these foods gain their reputation as such ubiquitous healthy choices? In his book Hippie Food: How Back-to-the-Landers, Longhairs, and Revolutionaries Changed the Way We Eat, food writer Jonathan Kauffman traces the colorful origins of once unconventional foods—and the diverse fringe movements, charismatic gurus, and counterculture elements that brought them to the mainstream. He...


Shaun Scott with Minh Nguyen

A generation on the move, a country on the brink, and a young author’s search to find out how we got here. Shaun Scott presented a cultural history of the United States in his book Millennials and the Moments That Made Us: A Cultural History of the U.S. from 1982-Present, lending us insight into the factors that have shaped the development of the Millennial image and outlook. He was joined onstage by freelance writer and curator of exhibitions Minh Nguyen to share a relatable pop culture...


Bob Roth and David Lynch

Every day we face a growing epidemic of stress that is damaging to our physical and emotional health. While there is no one single cure, a simple practice dramatically changes how we respond to stress and life’s challenges: the Transcendental Meditation technique. Bob Roth, a world authority on Transcendental Meditation for forty-five years, joined us to present wisdom from his book 'Strength In Stillness: The Power of Transcendental Meditation'. He was joined onstage by Oscar-nominated...


Frances McCue with Cary Moon

The 2016 demolition and relocation of Seattle’s beloved literary center, The Richard Hugo House, inspired comments and musings from local luminaries on the future of our city’s cultural and physical landscape. Among them are recent mayoral candidate Cary Moon and Hugo House founding director Frances McCue, who take our stage for a conversation on McCue’s latest poetry collection Timber Curtain. The pair offered a mediation on the intersection of poetry and urban planning, and the ethics of...


Sam Wasson with Andrew McMasters

In many ways comedy is a great equalizer—a ubiquitous and nationally beloved form of entertainment. To give us some perspective on the meteoric rise of American comedy, Sam Wasson took the stage to discuss his book Improv Nation: How We Made A Great American Art, a richly reported, scene-driven narrative that moves fast and digs deep. Wasson tracked the origins of improv, from the experimental theater troupe Second City who set up shop in Chicago at the height of the McCarthy era, to Dan...


Neil Patrick Harris

Who hasn’t entertained childhood fantasies of magic? To help us rekindle that shared dream, award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris brought us The Magic Misfits, the debut book in his newly premiering children’s series. The story follows a young magician’s adventure to discover a family of friends and their own self-worth. The book itself is cleverly designed as a treasure trove rich with codes and ciphers, and promises to engage active young readers with secrets of how to make their own...


Mayor Greg Nickels and Steven Agen

The Seattle Sounders 2016 MLS ‘worst-to-first’ run was as thrilling as it was improbable. When they lifted the Cup last December, their achievement represented a major success for a community fostering soccer culture within the city for more than 40 years. Few are more familiar with the development of the Seattle soccer scene than former Seattle mayor Greg Nickels. Both a fan in their NASL days and a key player in bringing MLS to the Emerald City decades later, Nickels joined Steven...


Irene Skyriver

Many of us are inspired at the thought of taking a journey of self discovery. Irene Skyriver took just such a journey—an epic solo kayaking trip to find herself and a new sense of connection with her ancestors. In her memoir Paddling with Spirits she chronicled her solo voyage from Alaska to her home in Washington’s San Juan Islands. Town Hall is proud to debut Irene as she vividly reimagined stories of her family history and native coastal ancestors (Tlingit and Makah), interweaving them...


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