A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

A pillar of the downtown LA cultural scene, the ALOUD series presents an award-winning and distinguished array of authors to discuss trending topics and engage in critical discourse with audiences at the LA Public Library and beyond.

Spring 2017 Schedule:

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 winner 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)
Jonathan White in conversation with environmental advocate and producer Philippe Cousteau
Two leading environmental advocates consider the current state of our oceans’ infinitely complex and ever-changing ecosystems.

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’s 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 50-year endeavor to capture the elusive sounds of gravitational waves.

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 online reservations 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.

Online reservations are currently available at LFLA.org/ALOUD or by calling (213) 292-6254.  ALOUD programs are free to the public and presented at the Mark Taper Auditorium at the Central Library in Downtown Los Angeles beginning at 7:15 p.m., unless otherwise indicated. Programs on March 28 and May 23 are being presented at different venues and require a ticket purchase.