Carmen Maria Machado

Tom Storm Photography

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Women You Need to Know

Carmen Maria Machado

Past Event: Friday, January 24, 2020

At Town Hall Seattle—The Great Hall

Carmen Maria Machado’s short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties, has been called “beautifully atmospheric and weird, sometimes funny, sometimes heartbreaking—and full of knife-sharp commentary on living as a woman in the world” (Electric Literature). Her new memoir, In the Dream House, is Machado’s engrossing and wildly innovative account of a relationship gone bad, and a bold dissection of the mechanisms and cultural representations of psychological abuse.

In 2018, the New York Times included Her Body and Other Parties in a list of “15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century,” and Parul Sehgal called it “a love letter to an obstinate genre that won’t be gentrified. It’s a wild thing, this book, covered in sequins and scales.” In Jane Dykema’s viral essay on Machado’s opening story “The Husband Stitch,” Dykema writes, “it’s unlike teaching any other story… There is a truth in the tales that I recognize viscerally but have never been taught.”

Despite it being Machado’s first publication, Her Body and Other Parties was both a finalist and winner for a plethora of prestigious literary awards, including: finalist for the National Book Award, Kirkus Prize, LA Times Book Prize Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction; winner of the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Prize, Bard Fiction Prize, Shirley Jackson Award, Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Fiction; a Best Book of the Year for the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Paris Review, among many others.

Besides being a short story writer, Machado is an essayist and critic; she holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and is the recipient of a variety of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, Michener-Copernicus Foundation, the Elizabeth George Foundation, the CINTAS Foundation, Speculative Literature Foundation Diverse Writers Grant, and The Wallace Foundation. She’s also attended and been awarded residencies from Yaddo and Hedgebrook, to name a few. Her writing has appeared in print and online publications such as The New Yorker, Best American Science Fiction & Fantasy, Best American Nonrequired Reading, Strange Horizons, Fairy Tale Review, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, Tin House, Guernica, and elsewhere.

Machado lives in Philadelphia with her wife; she is currently the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Pennsylvania. An FX television show based on Her Body is currently in development, which has been likened to a feminist Black Mirror.

Kristen Millares Young, who will be moderating the Q&A portion of Machado’s event, is the author of Subduction, a novel forthcoming from Red Hen Press on April 14, 2020. An essayist, journalist and book critic, Kristen is Prose Writer-in-Residence at Hugo House, a nonprofit home for writers. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, the Guardian, the New York Times, Poetry Northwest, Crosscut, and more. Her personal essays are anthologized in Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze, a 2017 New York Times New & Notable Book, Latina Outsiders: Remaking Latina Identity, and Advanced Creative Nonfiction: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology.

Event Details

Town Hall Seattle—The Great Hall

1119 8th Ave
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Know Before You Go

Don't have your tickets?

Most tickets have been emailed, so be sure to check your inbox for an email from [email protected]. Call us at 206-621-2230 x10 if you can’t find them.

Have a question for the speaker?

Want to ask Carmen Maria Machado something? Send your question to SAL’s Associate Director at [email protected]—it might be asked onstage!


Third Place Books will have copies of Machado’s work available for purchase at their table in the hall.

Please note: there will be no book-signing following this event.

Patrons & Grand Patrons, you're invited to Happy Hour!

Patrons & Grand Patrons, join us for light bites and wine in the Reading Room at Town Hall from 6:30 to 7:15.

Transportation & Parking

Town Hall Seattle is centrally located at 1119 8th Ave, on the corner of 8th and Seneca. Their venue is served by frequent bus routes, is near access to light rail stations, and close to a number of parking options nearby. Please see their website for more details.


Open Captioning is an option for people who have hearing losses, where a captioning screen displaying the words that are spoken or sung is placed on stage. To make a request for open captioning, please contact us at [email protected] or 206.621.2230×10. Please note: for in-person events at Town Hall Seattle, we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure captioning services. 

Closed Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where captioning displays the words that are spoken or sung at the bottom of the video for online events. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are devices that people with hearing loss use in conjunction with their hearing device (hearing aids or cochlear implants). Town Hall Seattle has a hearing loop system, so you can switch your T-coil hearing aid to telecoil to have the stage’s microphones transmitted directly to your hearing aids. To pick up a headset, check in with any Town Hall usher when you arrive.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals. To make a request for interpretation, please contact us at [email protected] or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Sign Language Interpretation” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process and we will contact you to confirm details. Please note: we appreciate a two-week advance notice to allow us time to secure interpretation.

Wheelchair Accessible Seating and Accessible Restrooms are available in all sections at Town Hall Seattle, which is fully accessible to ticket holders with physical mobility concerns. Town Hall Seattle recommends that visitors use the 8th Avenue Entrance for events in the Great Hall, and elevators with Braille signage go to all levels within the Hall. The venue has all-gender, ADA-accessible restrooms on the lobby and Forum level. To reserve seating for a specific mobility concern, please contact us at [email protected] or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Wheelchair Accessible or Alternative Seating Options” during ticket checkout, and we will contact you to confirm details. For more details on accessibility features at Town Hall, click here.

Guide and service dogs are welcome.

All-gender restrooms are available.

We are pleased to offer these accessibility services at our venues, and they are provided at no additional cost to ticket holders. Please contact us with any questions and feedback about how we can be more accessible and inclusive. Our Patron Services Manager is available at [email protected], or Monday-Friday from 10:00am – 5:00pm at 206.621.2230×10.

For more accessibility information, please head to If you would like to make accessibility arrangements you do not see listed here, please contact our box office or select “Other Accommodations” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process, and we will contact you to confirm details.


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