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Writers, musicians, and cultural critics gather to pay tribute and explore the forty-year career of Prince. Drawing on original work, music clips and the emerging field of Prince Studies, cultural workers will consider the impact of Prince on literary culture and beyond.


Join our guests after the program for a public reception in the Library courtyard!

Tisa Bryant

Tisa Bryant is the author of Unexplained Presence, a collection of fiction-essays on black presences in film, literature and visual arts; co-editor of the cross-referenced literary journal, The Encyclopedia Project, and a commissioned writer/researcher for Radio Imagination, the year-long Los Angeles celebration of science fiction writer Octavia Butler, created by Clockshop.  She is working on a novel, The Curator, and on Residual, an exploration of grief, longing, desire and archival research.  She teaches at CalArts, and lives in Los Angeles.

Lynnée Denise

DJ Lynnée Denise is a DJ, writer, and scholar who creates work informed and inspired by underground cultural movements, the 1980s, migration studies, theories of escape, and electronic music of the African Diaspora. Denise has received support from the Jerome Foundation, The Astrae Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Idea Capital, Residency BiljmAIR (Netherlands) and The Rauschenberg Artists as Activists Grant. 

Ernest Hardy

Ernest Hardy’s criticism has appeared in the New York Times, the Village Voice, Vibe, Rolling Stone, the LA Times, and the LA Weekly. He’s a contributor to the reference books 1,001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and Classic Material: the Hip-Hop Album Guide. His collection of criticism, Blood Beats Vol. 1: Demos, Remixes and Extended Versions was a recipient of the 2007 PEN / Beyond Margins Award. His forthcoming collection of poetry and short will be published by Writ Large Press.

Greg Tate

Greg Tate is a writer, cultural producer and musician who has lived in Harlem since 1984. He was a Staff Writer at The Village Voice from 1987–2004. His books include Flyboy in The Buttermilk, Everything But The Burden—What White People Are Taking From Black Culture and Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix And The Black Experience. In 1985 Tate helped co-found the Black Rock Coalition with Vernon Reid and other firebrands of the era. Since 1999 he has led the Conducted Improv ensemble, Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, who’ve released 16 albums on their own AvantGroidd imprint. The group also recently launched the band Rebellum, which they call ”our avant-pop splinter-cell unit.” Tate has taught seminar classes for Yale’s Graduate Art Program, Columbia University’s Jazz Studies module, Williams College, and Brown University, where he taught courses on the History of AfroFuturism and Black Science Fiction. In 2016 Duke University Press published Flyboy 2: The Greg Tate Reader.


Reservation Policy for Free Programs:
As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at approximately 7 PM.


Standby Policy:
Standby numbers are distributed in person only one hour before the program, on a first-come, first-served, basis. There is no advance wait list for full programs. Standby patrons will be admitted subject to availability. Most programs will be available via podcast.


Book Signing Policy:
ALOUD is one of many free programs at the Los Angeles Public Library made possible by the Library Foundation of Los Angeles. Most ALOUD author programs are followed by book signings. At least one copy of the author’s book must be purchased from The Library Store in order to participate in any post-program book signing, and you will be asked to show proof of purchase. Please be prepared to show your proof of purchase when you enter the book signing line. Proceeds support the Los Angeles Public Library.


Main image: Prince at the 2013 Skanderborg Festival in Denmark  Credit: Gonzales Photo/Christian Hjorth/Corbis

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.

  • Where can I find podcasts and videos of ALOUD programs?

    Podcasts and videos from our programs are available free online at our growing Media Archive. Visit the archive at lfla.org/media-archive to explore hundreds of podcasts and videos spanning 20+ years of ALOUD’s history bringing authors, artists, and t thinkers to the Los Angeles Public Library.