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January 2022

Psyche Unbound: Celebrating the Pioneering Work of Stanislav Grof

January 22 @ 11:00 am

Stanislav Grof is one of the founders of transpersonal psychology and is recognized by many as having both inherited and extended the great revolution in psychology begun by Freud and Jung. His investigations of the nature and healing potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness led him to propose a model of the psyche which honors the full range of human experience. Unconstrained by the dogmatic prejudices of mainstream psychology and of the dominant – reductive, mechanistic, and materialistic – scientific…

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Peter Richardson on Hunter S. Thompson and the Weird Road to Gonzo

January 25 @ 6:00 pm

A superbly crafted study of Hunter S. Thompson’s literary formation, achievement, and continuing relevance. Savage Journey is a “supremely crafted” study of Hunter S. Thompson’s literary formation and achievement. Focusing on Thompson’s influences, development, and unique model of authorship, Savage Journey argues that his literary formation was largely a San Francisco story. During the 1960s, Thompson rode with the Hell’s Angels, explored the San Francisco counterculture, and met talented editors who shared his dissatisfaction with mainstream journalism. Author Peter Richardson…

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John Nichols in conversation with Congressman Ro Khanna

January 26 @ 6:00 pm

A furious denunciation of America’s coronavirus criminals Hundreds of thousands of deaths were caused not by the vicissitudes of nature but by the callous and opportunistic decisions of powerful people, as revealed here by John Nichols. On March 10, 2020, president Donald Trump told a nation worried about a novel coronavirus, “We’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” It has since been estimated that had…

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Jordan Stein with Bruce Hainley

January 27 @ 6:00 pm

On the life and afterlives of Jay DeFeo’s Estocada, a work created in the shadow of The Rose In 1965, Jay DeFeo (1929–89) was evicted from her San Francisco apartment, along with the 2,000-pound colossus of a painting for which she would become legendary, The Rose. The morning after it was carried out the front window, DeFeo was forced to destroy the only other artwork she’d started in six years, an enormous painting on paper stapled directly to her hallway…

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Harry Freedman on Leonard Cohen

January 30 @ 12:00 pm

  This talk is part of the show titled “Experience Leonard Cohen” running from Aug 5, 2021–Feb 13, 2022 at the Contemporary Jewish Museum Leonard Cohen’s music is studded with allusions to Jewish and Christian tradition, as well as Kabbalah and Zen. In his 1994 classic ‘Hallelujah’ he opens with the words ‘Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord, That David played, and it pleased the Lord… the baffled king composing Hallelujah’. As the song progresses, Cohen takes us…

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February 2022

Nadifa Mohamed

February 1 @ 6:00 pm

A BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST, based on a true event, The Fortune Men is “a blues song cut straight from the heart … about the unjust death of an innocent Black man caught up in a corrupt system. The full life of Mahmood Mattan, the last man executed in Cardiff for a crime he was exonerated for forty years later brought alive with subtle artistry and heartbreaking humanity” (Walter Mosley, best-selling author of Devil in a Blue Dress). In Cardiff, Wales…

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Morgan Thomas

February 8 @ 7:00 pm

  Morgan Thomas’s Manywhere features lush and uncompromising stories about characters crossing geographical borders and gender binaries The nine stories in Morgan Thomas’s shimmering debut collection, Manywhere, witness Southern queer and genderqueer characters determined to find themselves reflected in the annals of history, at whatever cost. As each character traces deceit and violence through Southern tall tales and their own pasts, their journeys reveal the porous boundaries of body, land, and history, and the sometimes ruthless awakenings of self-discovery. A…

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Daniel Levin Becker

February 12 @ 1:00 pm

  What’s Good is a work of passionate lyrical analysis, a set of freewheeling liner notes, and a love letter to the most vital American art form of the last half century. Over a series of short chapters, each centered on a different lyric, Daniel Levin Becker considers how rap’s use of language operates and evolves at levels ranging from the local (slang, rhyme) to the analytical (quotation, transcription) to the philosophical (morality, criticism, irony), celebrating the pleasures and perils…

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Garrett Hongo

February 16 @ 6:00 pm

Garrett Hongo’s passion for audio dates back to the Empire 398 turntable his father paired with a Dynakit tube amplifier in their modest tract home in Los Angeles in the early 1960s. But his adult quest begins in the CD-changer era, as he seeks out speakers and amps both powerful and refined enough to honor the top notes of the greatest opera sopranos. In recounting this search, he describes a journey of identity where meaning, fulfillment, and even liberation were…

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Ben Okri

February 17 @ 12:00 pm

A discussion in celebration of Ben Okri’s two new books “Every Leaf an Halleujah” and “Astonishing the Gods” both published by The Other Press For over thirty years, Ben Okri has been producing work which has awestruck successive generations of readers. His his groundbreaking and Booker Prize winning novel, The Famished Road, began a career which continues to this day with two new book releasaes, both published by The Other Press. Join Ben Okri and the publisher of the African…

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Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950 to 1985

February 22 @ 11:00 am

DAY ONE Session One: Imagining New Worlds: What activists can and have learnt from sci-fi – Saturday, February 26, 2022, 11:00 am PST / 2:00 pm EDT Moderated by Iain McIntyre with additional guests TBA (Registration Link TBA) Session Two: Bursting Through The Boundaries: Queering SF – Saturday, February 26, 2022, 12:30 pm PST / 3:30 pm EDT Moderated by Rebecca Baumann with Meg Elison and Maitland McDonagh (Registration Link TBA) Session Three: Wild Seed: Reflecting on the work and…

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Nahum Dimitri Chandler with Judith Butler and Robert Gooding-Williams

February 22 @ 6:00 pm

Esteemed scholars Nahum Dimitri Chandler, Judith Butler, and Robert Gooding-Williams come together for a rare evening of discussion and philosophical exploration. City Lights and Duke University Press celebrate Nahum Dimitri Chandler’s new book “Beyond This Narrow Now” Or, Delimitations, of W. E. B. Du Bois published by Duke University Press In “Beyond This Narrow Now” Nahum Dimitri Chandler shows that the premises of W. E. B. Du Bois’s thinking at the turn of the twentieth century stand as fundamental references…

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March 2022

Solmaz Sharif

March 1 @ 6:00 pm

In Customs, Solmaz Sharif examines what it means to exist in the nowhere of the arrivals terminal, a continual series of checkpoints, officers, searches, and questionings that become a relentless experience of America. With resignation and austerity, these poems trace a pointed indoctrination to the customs of the nation-state and the English language, and the realities they impose upon the imagination, the paces they put us through. While Sharif critiques the culture of performed social skills and poetry itself—its foreclosures, affects,…

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Wayne Koestenbaum

March 3 @ 6:00 pm

Ultramarine distills four years of Koestenbaum’s trance notebooks (2015–2019) into a series of tightly-sewn collage-poems, filled with desiring bodies, cultural touchstones, and salty memories. Beyond Proust’s madeleine we head toward a “deli” version of utopia, crafted from hamantaschen, cupcake, and cucumber. Painting and its processes bring bright colors to the surface. Through interludes in Rome, Paris, and Cologne, Ultramarine reaches across memory, back to Europe, beyond the literal world into dream-habitats conjured through language’s occult structures. The other two books…

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Brian Hochman on the history of Wiretapping in the U.S.

March 16 @ 6:00 pm

They’ve been listening for longer than you think. A new history reveals how—and why. Wiretapping is nearly as old as electronic communications. Telegraph operators intercepted enemy messages during the Civil War. Law enforcement agencies were listening to private telephone calls as early as 1895. Communications firms have assisted government eavesdropping programs since the early twentieth century—and they have spied on their own customers too. Such breaches of privacy once provoked outrage, but today most Americans have resigned themselves to constant…

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