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.
Quick search for podcasts
An evening with Caroline Kennedy and 'Poems to Learn by Heart'
Kennedy will be joined by students from the Seattle Arts & Lectures' Writers in the Schools program, Seattle University and Sanislo Elementary, along with Washington State Poet Laureate Kathleen Flenniken, who will recite both poems from the book and their own original work. -- In 'Poems to Learn by Heart,' the companion to 'A Family of Poems,' Kennedy has chosen more than a hundred poems that show how vital and relevant poetry is and can be in the lives of children of all ages. Thoughtful introductions to sections on nature, sports, monsters and fairies, friendship and family reflect Kennedy's own family's engagement with and enjoyment of poetry. The new anthology is illustrated with watercolor paintings by award-winning artist Jon J. Muth, who also illustrated 'A Family of Poems.'
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 12.08MB] [Play time: 0 hr 26 min]
Marci Alboher presents 'The Encore Career Handbook'
Looking for a road map to your next career? Join Marci Alboher for a conversation about how to make a living and a difference in the second half of life. Alboher is joined by Paul Shoemaker of Social Ventures Partners Seattle for a conversation that explores the transition involved in an encore career, how much you need to make, the pros and cons of going back to school, when to volunteer or intern, how to network effectively and harness the power of social media, and who is hiring and for what jobs. -- They will also discuss Alboher's 'The Encore Career Handbook: How to Make a Living and a Difference in the Second Half of Life,' a comprehensive, nuts-and-bolts guide filled with inspiring stories and extensive FAQs that addresses how to strike a balance between doing good and doing well in a new career.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 27.16MB] [Play time: 0 hr 59 min]
Jamaica Kincaid reads from 'See Now Then'
In her first novel in ten years, Jamaica Kincaid reveals a marriage in all its joys and agonies. -- Kincaid offers a meditation on the doomed marriage between Mr. and Mrs. Sweet, a Caribbean-born writer and gardener and a New York City composer who are raising their children in Shirley Jackson's former home in a quaint Vermont town. -- "In this furious, funny, and sorrowful tirade and lament, Kincaid meshes autobiography with archetypes as the unraveling of an unlikely marriage turns into a heightened, hypnotic, and shrewdly complex inquiry into time, alienation, and metamorphosis." - Booklist starred review
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 24.83MB] [Play time: 0 hr 54 min]
Thrilling Tales: April 1, 2013
Thrilling Tales Storytime for Grown Ups presents: "The Hammer of God" by G.K. Chesterton. -- When an athiest is struck dead outside the village cathedral, who better to solve this perplexing mystery than that unassuming yet most perceptive little cleric, Father Brown. Recorded on April 1, 2013.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 17.95MB] [Play time: 0 hr 39 min]
Natalie Goldberg reads from 'The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language'
Poet, painter, teacher and writer Natalie Goldberg presents in book form what she's been teaching for years in small, intensive workshops. -- Sit. Walk. Write. These are the barest bones of Goldberg's revolutionary writing and life practice. The capstone to 40 years of teaching, 'The True Secret of Writing' covers Goldberg's own search for truth and clarity. Her students' breakthroughs and insights give testament to the workings of her unique, tough-love method. Homages to the work of other great teachers and observers of mind, life and love provide further secrets and inspiration for writing.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 29.75MB] [Play time: 01 hr 04 min]
Rebecca Miller reads from 'Jacob's Folly'
In Rebecca Miller's latest novel, an 18th-century Jewish peddler is reincarnated as a fly in present-day Long Island and becomes involved in the lives of two residents. -- Jacob, the peddler; Leslie and Deirdre Senzatimore, an American couple; and Masha, an alluring young ultra-Orthodox Jew who is gravely ill find their fates intertwined and the courses of their lives irrevocably altered. -- "Marvelous, deep, rich, sexy, transgressive, terrifying, tough, and very, very funny -- a great ingathering as multifaceted as a gem, or the eye of a fly!" - Tony Kushner, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright of 'Angels in America'. -- "A deeply pleasurable, darkly comic, and original reinterpretation of Jewish history's 'indestructible storyline,' alighting thoughtfully on forces both individual and collective, internal and external, from genocide to assimilation." - Booklist starred review.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 22.83MB] [Play time: 0 hr 49 min]
Bestselling author Jodi Picoult will read from her new book, 'The Storyteller.'
Sage Singer works in a bakery and is approached one day by a beloved community member, Josef Weber, who asks Sage the impossible: would she be willing to kill him? Josef, who has hid his past as a Nazi SS guard, asks Sage, a young Jewish woman, to hear his story and consider his request.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 22.83MB] [Play time: 0 hr 49 min]
Former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine K. Albright, discusses 'Prague Winter: A Personal Story of Remembrance and War, 1937-1948'
Using her parents' writings, as well as her own memories, Albright presents a moving and thoughtful memoir of her formative years in Czechoslovakia during the tumult of Nazi occupation, World War II, fascism, the onset of the Cold War and her eventual immigration to the United States. -- As she discusses her experience growing up during this period, Albright reflects on the discovery of her family's Jewish heritage many decades after the war, and the choices that her parents and their generation faced as complicated events unfolded on the world stage.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 35.52MB] [Play time: 01 hr 17 min]
Lorraine McConaghy & Judy Bentley discuss their new young adult biography, 'Free Boy'
In their young adult biography, Judy Bentley and Lorraine McConaghy tell the true story of a 13-year-old slave who escaped from Washington Territory to freedom in Canada on the West's Underground Railroad. -- When James Tilton came to Washington Territory as surveyor-general in the 1850s, he brought young Charles Mitchell with his household. The story of Charlie's escape in 1860 on a steamer bound for Victoria and the help he received from free blacks reveals how national issues on the eve of the Civil War were also being played out in the West. This biography explores issues of race, slavery, treason and secession in Washington Territory; making it a resource for teachers and a story for readers of all ages.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 30.63MB] [Play time: 01 hr 06 min]
John Wood presents an illustrated talk on 'Creating Room to Read'
'Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy' tells the inspirational story of a former Microsoft executive's quest to build libraries and promote education around the world. -- In his new book, Wood tackles the challenges of managing expansion while maintaining integrity; raising money in a collapsing economy; promoting gender equality through scholarships for girls; and changing the mission to include not just building libraries but publishing books for children who literally have no books in their native language.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 25.52MB] [Play time: 0 hr 55 min]