Each year the Library hosts readings, lectures, and discussions by authors and other public figures. You may watch video recordings of recent programs on our YouTube channel. Our archive of audio recordings goes back more than 10 years and includes thousands of memorable Library events.
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Michael Schein presents 'John Surratt, The Lincoln Assassin Who Got Away'
Historian Michael Schein presents his new book on John Surratt, a Confederate Secret Service agent and Booth's closest associate in the four months leading up to the assassination of President Lincoln. Schein leads a lively discussion of his book, illustrated by historical slides. He will discuss Surratt's involvement in the assassination plot, his meetings with the Confederate high command in Richmond, and his wild flight from justice as his mother stood trial for her life.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 24.19MB] [Play time: 0 hr 42 min]
Seattle Writes: A Book's Journey -- What It Takes to Get Published Today
Publishing pros share insights on querying, finding an agent, working with an editor, getting your book to readers, and all the steps along the way. -- A panel of multi-published authors discuss their writing processes and adventures in publishing. They'll share solid tips on making your book the best it can be and how to get it into the hands of readers. The panel includes: Martha Brockenbrough, Justina Chen, Bridget Foley, Boyd Morrison, and Jennifer Murphy.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 51.37MB] [Play time: 01 hr 29 min]
Of Memory: An Artist Talk by Lynne Yamamoto
Hear Lynne Yamamoto talk about her work. She was also interviewed by Susan Kunimatsu, a writer, consultant on arts and culture and artist. -- Libraries are places of memory. They are, also, catalysts of an unforeseen future. In Yamamoto's hands shadowy, stark forms interrogate culture, identity and place. Created as a public art work for the Central Library, Yamamoto's card catalog is a ghost hovering far above the computerized catalogs that have taken its place. Lynne Yamamoto's sculpture "Of Memory" at the Central Library harkens to an era when finding the title of a book, subject or an author required the use of a card catalog.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 30.76MB] [Play time: 0 hr 53 min]
Seattle Design Festival: Questioning Youth Incarceration
Join us for a public conversation held by community activists who oppose the King County's proposed $210 million Children and Family Justice Center. The panel will raise questions about seemingly "normal" institutions in our society. Is designing prisons, youth jails, and detention centers inevitable? Who designs these spaces, and who is affected by the existence and harms of these spaces? What does a community movement to resist incarceration and caging look like? -- Facilitated by Shannon Perez-Darby, Youth Services Program Manager at The Northwest Network of LGBT Survivors of Abuse.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 42.00MB] [Play time: 01 hr 13 min]
Bestselling author Erica Jong reads from 'Fear of Dying'
Erica Jong reads from her first book in 10 years -- a sequel to her first and most famous one, "Fear of Flying," the sexually candid novel starring the intrepid Isadora Wing. -- In her sixties and still beautiful, former actress Vanessa Wonderman is caught between her ailing parents, aging husband and pregnant daughter. Since her husband isn't up for sex anymore, she places an ad on a site called Zipless.com and must turn for help to friend Isadora Wing when the responses start upending her life.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 29.29MB] [Play time: 0 hr 51 min]
Cultivating Readers: Celebrating Food Literacy Month
See what's cooking at this evening celebrating local food, local authors, writing and community! Special guest: Trudi Inslee, First Lady of the State of Washington. Join a discussion with chefs and authors on the ways we talk about, and build community around, food. The main presentation begins with opening remarks from Trudi Inslee, First Lady of the State of Washington. A lively panel discussion will follow featuring chefs and authors sharing their literary inspirations, favorite food books, and thoughts on the mixing bowl of food, education and writing. The evening will wrap up with local children's authors sharing the food-inspired stories behind their books. -- Panelists: Tarik Abdullah, Chef and Educator, DJ and a Cook Pop Up Series; Bridget Charters, Director, Hot Stove Society, Tom Douglas Restaurants; Rebekah Denn, freelance food writer for the Seattle Times; Edouardo Jordan, Chef/Owner of Salare Restaurant; Kate Lebo, author of "Pie School: Lessons in Fruit, Flour and Butter." Philip Lee, Publisher at Readers to Eaters, moderates. -- Next, children's book authors share the inside food stories featured in: "Maddi's Fridge" by Lois Brandt; "Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer" by Kelly Jones; "Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me" by Sara Nickerson; and "Zora's Zucchini" by Katherine Pryor.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 35.59MB] [Play time: 01 hr 17 min]
Songwriter Thomas Teller Jönsson discusses his love of libraries and composing at the Central Library
Swedish singer-songwriter Thomas Teller Jönsson loves libraries. His song "Library" is set in his hometown library in Malmö, Sweden. -- On August, 18, 2015 , he composed, "Tomorrow" in the Central Library music room here at The Seattle Public Library. This summer, Thomas travelled from Malmö, Sweden to collaborate and perform with the Seattle Bushwick Book Club. In this podcast, Thomas discusses his connection with libraries and performs these songs.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 18.60MB] [Play time: 0 hr 20 min]
Celebrating the life and legacy of science fiction master Octavia Butler
Listen to a conversation with writers from the new anthology "Octavia's Brood," Walidah Imarisha and Gabriel Teodros. They'll be discussing where science fiction and social justice meet. The event kicks off with a live music set by local hip-hop legend Gabriel Teodros.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 50.09MB] [Play time: 01 hr 27 min]
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Adam Johnson reads from 'Fortune Smiles'
In six large-scale stories, Adam Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters, the influence of technology, and how the political shapes the personal. "A half-dozen sometimes Carver-esque yarns that find more-or-less ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges and somehow holding up. Tragedy is always close to the surface in Johnson's work with tragicomic layerings. . . . Bittersweet, elegant, full of hard-won wisdom: this is no ordinary book, either." - Kirkus Reviews starred review.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 30.43MB] [Play time: 01 hr 06 min]
John Scalzi reads from his new novel 'The End of All Things'
John Scalzi returns with another thought-proving science fiction novel, the 6th in the Old Man's War universe and the sequel to 'The Human Division.' -- 'The End of All Things' finds Colonial Defense Forces lieutenant Harry Wilson in the stressful throes of investigating alien attacks on Earth while Earth's survivors are in conflict with the Colonial Union. John Scalzi brings humor, strong characters and action-packed stories in his Old Man's War universe and 'The End of All Things' includes 4 novellas that explore some of the darker themes in the series. Kirkus calls it "delightful, compulsively readable, and even somewhat nutritious brain candy." -- Attendees of this event heard John Scalzi reading from an upcoming work which has been edited out of this podcast at the author's request.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 26.30MB] [Play time: 0 hr 57 min]