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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Idle No More: Healing Historical Trauma
Facilitator Sweetwater Nannauck will guide participants through a brief history of colonization, the effects of historical trauma, and techniques for addressing historical trauma and oppression. Topics discussed include understanding how colonization affects indigenous people. This workshop shares easy-to-use tools to begin addressing historical trauma and healing at a community and personal level. -- This workshop uses self-reflection, group participation, role play, small group discussions, group meditation, and finally positive actions each individual can take. By acknowledging our collective past and focusing on healing traumas (rather than simply describing them), participants can explore ways to break down historical barriers in a safe and comfortable environment.
Listen to Audio (01:32:04)
A Conversation with Kevin Powell
Join writer, activist, and co-founder of BK Nation Kevin Powell for a real and interactive community dialogue at the Central Library. Kevin will share his critically acclaimed new book, "The Education of Kevin Powell: A Boy's Journey into Manhood," and lead a conversation with event attendees and guests.
Listen to Audio (01:53:28)
World AIDS Day: a Conversation with Phill Wilson
World AIDS Day is a moment to pause. It's a moment to stop and remember those we have loved and lost to AIDS, to remember their faces, to speak their names, and to renew our resolve to never forget. World AIDS Day is also a day to be reminded that HIV is not over. Join us for a conversation this World AIDS Day with Phill Wilson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Black AIDS Institute, about his experiences navigating the intersections between the black community, the LGBTQ community, and HIV.
Listen to Audio (00:49:09)
Clay Jenkinson portrays John Wesley Powell
Listen to history come alive as Clay Jenkinson presents his portrayal of John Wesley Powell, one-armed veteran of the Civil War and explorer of the West. Major John Wesley Powell was 35 years old when he led his first expedition through the Grand Canyon. He was the principal force in expanding geologic studies and topographic mapping throughout the country and in stimulating investigations of soil, ground water, rivers, flood control, and irrigation. Powell was a veteran of the Civil War who lost his right arm in the Battle of Shiloh, a teacher, and a geologist. Powell also had a great interest in the Indian people of the west and learned six Indian languages throughout this lifetime of exploring and charting the new Southwestern territory and is considered to be the most famous explorer of the West since Lewis and Clark.
Listen to Audio (01:39:40)
Your Business - Start Smart: Planning Your Business
Launching a successful business requires building a proper plan that helps to guide you toward generating sales and a positive cash flow. Proper planning is also a strong tool for presenting to potential investors and lenders. Learn the basics, including using marketing and financial data to generate a strong plan. Recorded on Nov. 19, 2015.
Jesse Eisenberg reads and discusses “Bream Gives Me Hiccups”
Listen in to actor and playwright Jesse Eisenberg give a reading and in conversation with Seattle's Sherman Alexie about Eisenberg's debut story collection. "Bream Gives Me Hiccups" takes its title from the story that opens the book -- a series of restaurant reviews written by a precocious nine-year-old who is taken out for expensive meals by his newly divorced mother. Other humorous, poignant stories are grouped into thematic sections like "Family," "Sports," and "Self-Help" that open with illustrations by award-winning cartoonist Jean Jullien. -- "A moving portrait of human beings at their weaker moments, and a wonderful send-up of the insanities of modern America." - Sherman Alexi.
Listen to Audio (01:14:44)
Beyond cedar-planked salmon: What is Northwest cuisine?
Listen to a panel discussion featuring Matthew Dillon, Tom Douglas, Maria Hines and Rachel Yang, moderated by Bethany Jean Clement, food writer for The Seattle Times. We're famous for our coffee, seafood and locally-sourced ingredients. Yet Northwest cuisine is largely undefined - or is it?
Listen to Audio (01:14:25)
2015 Jack Straw Writers Program
The Washington Center for the Book and Jack Straw Productions present readings by 12 of the literary artists who were selected for the program by curator Kevin Craft. This event features readings by Linda Andrews, Emily Bedard, Laura Da', Bernard Grant, Clare Johnson, Martha Kreiner, Erin Malone, Ross McMeekin, L. J. Morin, Matthew Schnirman, Anca Szilagyi, and Jeanine Walker. -- The purpose of the Jack Straw Writers Program is to introduce local writers to the medium of recorded audio, to encourage the creation of new literary work, and to provide new venues for the writer and their work. The program was created in 1997. Each year a single curator selects 12 writers/writing teams out of dozens of applicants based on artistic excellence, diversity of literary genres, and a cohesive grouping of writers.
Listen to Audio (01:16:01)
Ayse Birsel - Design the Life You Love
Join Ayse Birsel, author of "Design the Life You Love: A Step by Step Guide to Building a Meaningful Future," for a short talk and workshop on how to create a life you love using design principles and process. -- "Life, just like a design problem, is full of constraints -- time, money, age, location, and circumstances, said Birsel. "You cannot have everything, and if you want more out of it, you have to be creative about how to make what you need and what you want coexist. This requires design thinking." -- Learn how to create a meaningful life using Birsel's four-step process, "Deconstruction:Reconstruction." The methodology is based on the idea of designing a life that is consistent and coherent with who you are. Drawing from concepts in art, fashion, gastronomy and design, Birsel demonstrates how to apply design principles to real-life problem-solving using four simple steps. You will learn how to apply design thinking to help you focus on what you want, and discover ways to turn constraints into opportunities through visualization and holistic thinking strategies.
Listen to Audio (00:50:58)
Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk reads and discusses 'A Strangeness in My Mind'
Orhan Pamuk's latest novel tells the story of street vendor Mevlut, the woman to whom he wrote three years' worth of love letters, and their life in Istanbul. -- Twelve-year-old Mevlut travels from Central Anatolia to Istanbul and survives by hawking boza, the traditional Turkish drink. He's so hapless he inadvertently marries the sister of a girl he loves. Yet as he wanders the streets, enthralled by the city's glorious history and its booming future, he senses a satisfying "strangeness" that finally leads him to recognize what he's really wanted in life. -- 'A Strangeness in My Mind' is translated from the Turkish by Ekin Oklap. -- Walter Andrews, Professor of Ottoman and Turkish Literature, University of Washington, joins Pamuk for a conversation about Pamuk's novel.
Listen to Audio (01:01:45)