Exchanging ideas, fostering dialogue, and bringing together our community is more important than ever. Spring into action with our upcoming season of ALOUD as a new slate of award-winning authors, trailblazing scientists, renowned historians, and more will explore some of today’s most timely issues. Discussing race and poverty, the current presidency, water wars, and also sharing from newly released fiction, memoirs, and poetry—read below to see this exciting spring line-up. Online reservations now available at lfla.org/ALOUD.
The Constitution and the Presidency–March 2
Erwin Chemerinsky in conversation with journalist Jim Newton
Chemerinsky, the founding Dean and Professor of First Amendment Law at UC Irvine, discusses the numerous constitutional issues raised in the first weeks of the new administration.
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City–March 7
Matthew Desmond in conversation with Steve Lopez, columnist, L.A. Times
MacArthur Prize winning and Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond bears witness to the human cost of economic exploitation and the housing crisis and offers ideas for solving these uniquely American problems in his New York Times bestselling book.
Night Sky with Exit Wounds–March 13
Ocean Vuong in conversation with author Viet Thanh Nguyen
Navigating worlds of history, sexuality, and humanity, Ocean Vuong reads from his award-winning poetry and reflects on what it means to write as a Vietnamese refugee in the contemporary space, joined by 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner Viet Thanh Nguyen.
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean–March 16
A leading environmental advocate considers the current state of our oceans’ infinitely complex and ever-changing ecosystems.
Elif Batuman by Beowulf Sheehan
The Idiot: A Novel–March 20
Elif Batuman in conversation with author Steve Hely
New Yorker staff writer Batuman shares her delightfully refreshing coming-of-age novel following a Harvard freshman and daughter of Turkish immigrants in the strange new worlds of academics, friendships, and falling in love via email.
An Evening with Cheech Marin*–March 28
Cheech Marin in conversation with “La Marisoul” Hernandez
Counterculture legend Cheech Marin candidly reflects on coming-of-age in 1960s Los Angeles and his 45-year career in his new memoir with L.A.’s own Marisol Hernandez.
Co-presented with the Japanese American Cultural & Community Center
*Ticketed event at the Aratani Theater. For more information please visit JACCC or call (213) 680-3700.
Infidels: A Novel–April 12
Abdella Taïa in conversation with poet Steven Reigns
Acclaimed novelist, filmmaker, and one of the most prominent and openly gay Arab writers of his generation, Taïa discusses his latest novel about a young gay Muslim’s search for love and belonging with the first City Poet of West Hollywood.
How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything–April 13
Rosa Brooks in conversation with Nicholas Goldberg editorial page editor, L.A. Times
Tracing the political, military, and cultural shifts in times of persistent wars, former Pentagon official Rosa Brooks examines the risks facing America’s founding values, laws, and institutions.
Where the Water Goes: Life and Death Along the Colorado River–April 18
David Owen in conversation with environmental writer Judith Lewis Mernit
Journalist David Owen traces the complexities of the vast man-made ecosystem of the Colorado River and illuminates the high-stakes of the water wars of the West.
Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards–April 20
25th Anniversary Celebration and Reading by 2017 Awardees
Hosted by Alice Quinn, Executive Director, Poetry Society of America
Celebrating 25 years of one of contemporary poetry’s most prestigious awards, this year’s awardees Vievee Francis and Phillip B. Williams will read recent work.
From L.A. to the Outback: Two Novelists–May 9
David Francis in conversation with author Jane Smiley
Friends and fellow authors discuss Francis’ (VP, PEN Center USA) latest work set in rural Australia that explores the timeless struggle between the past and present, town and country.
In a Western Light: Poetry at the Edge of America–May 11
Readings by poets Victoria Chang, Brendan Constantine, Kim Dower, Blas Falconer, Amy Gerstler, Doug Kearney and Brynn Saito
Contemporary California poets celebrate the widely diverse poetry of seven distinguished California writers, from Bukowski and Coleman to Stein and Herrera.
Co-presented by Red Hen Press
The Evolution of Beauty–May 16
Richard O. Prum in conversation with evolutionary biologist Amy Parish
Culminating 30 years of fieldwork, world renowned ornithologist and MacArthur Award-winner Richard Prum presents a scientific vision of how nature’s splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and ourselves.
Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space–May 18
Janna Levin in conversation with theoretical physicist Sean Carroll
Astrophysicist and award-winning writer Janna Levin explores the epic campaign of scientists who embarked on a fifty-year endeavor to capture the elusive sounds of gravitational waves.
Dennis Lehane. Photo by Gaby Gerster.
An Evening with Dennis Lehane*–May 23
Dennis Lehane in conversation with writer and producer Attica Locke
A special evening with international bestselling writer Dennis Lehane discussing his newest suspense novel “Since We Fell” and his wide-ranging work.
*Ticketed event at the Writers Guild Theater. Visit lfla.org/aloud for tickets.
Behave: The Biology of Humans at our Best and Worst–May 25
Robert Sapolsky in conversation with evolutionary biologist Amy Parish
From the environment and endocrinology to genetics and evolution MacArthur Award-winning neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky considers millions of years of science to wrestle with why humans do the things they do.
All events are free and take place at the historic Central Library unless noted. For more information about all of these programs, visit lfla.org/ALOUD. And if you can’t make a program, then listen to the podcast afterwards—explore our media archive for new and old programs.