Chris Abani: In-Person & Online

Courtesy of Chris Abani

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Poetry

Chris Abani: In-Person & Online

Monday, April 3, 2023 7:30 pm PST

04/03/2023 7:30 pm 04/03/2023 America/Los_Angeles Chris Abani: In-Person & Online https://lectures.org/event/chris-abani/ Rainier Arts Center

At Rainier Arts Center

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In Person & Online

Chris Abani is an acclaimed novelist, poet, essayist, screenwriter, and playwright. Born to an Igbo father and English mother, Abani grew up in Afikpo, Nigeria. His experiences in his home country inspire much of Abani’s work, equally informed by his research into African poetics, twentieth century Anglophone literature, Yoruba and Igbo philosophy and religion, and many other areas of study.

Abani’s latest work is a book of poetry entitled Smoking the Bible, in which he illustrates the connective geography between harm, regret, and release, as his poems move through landscapes of Nigeria, the Midwestern United States, adulthood, and childhood.

Smoking the Bible is an arresting collection of poems thick with feeling, shaped by Abani’s astounding command of form and metaphor. These poems reveal the personal story of two brothers—one elegizing the other—and the larger story of a man in exile: exile of geography, culture, and memory. What we experience in this emotionally generous collection is a deep spiritual reckoning that draws on ancient African traditions of belief, and an intellectual vivacity drawing on various wisdom literatures and traditions.

Chris Abani’s fiction includes The Secret History of Las Vegas (Penguin 2014), nominated for the Hurston/Wright 2015 Legacy Award, Song For Night (2007), The Virgin of Flames (2007), Becoming Abigail (2006), GraceLand (2004), and Masters of the Board (1985). His poetry collections are Smoking the Bible (2022), Sanctificum (2010), There Are No Names for Red (2010), Feed Me The Sun – Collected Long Poems (2010), Hands Washing Water (2006), Dog Woman (2004), Daphne’s Lot (2003), and Kalakuta Republic (2001). Poet Kwame Dawes has noted that “Abani’s line has a sharp precision that turns a scream into a line of memorable lyric music without losing the emotion and force.”

Through his TED Talks, public speaking, and essays, Abani is known as an international voice on humanitarianism, art, ethics, and our shared political responsibility. His critical and personal essays have been featured in books on art and photography, as well as Witness, Parkett, The New York Times, O Magazine, and Bomb.

He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN/Hemingway Award for Graceland, the PEN Beyond the Margins Award, the Hurston Wright Award, and a Lannan Literary Fellowship, among many honors. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, German, Swedish, Romanian, Hebrew, Macedonian, Ukrainian, Portuguese, Dutch, Bosnian, and Serbian.

Abani’s many research interests include African Poetics, World Literature, 20th Century Anglophone Literature, African Presences in Medieval and Renaissance Culture, The Living Architecture of Cities, West African Music, Postcolonial and Transnational Theory, Robotics and Consciousness, Yoruba and Igbo Philosophy, and Religion.

Abani is currently a Board of Trustees Professor of English at Northwestern University. He lives in Chicago.

Event Details

Rainier Arts Center

3515 S Alaska St, Seattle, WA 98118

View directions.

Know Before You Go

COVID-19 Policies

The safety of our patrons, artists, community partners, staff, and volunteers continues to be important to us. At this time, facial masks are encouraged but not required for entry, and proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test is no longer required. However, health and safety protocols are subject to change. Before attending events, please check your pre-event email for the most up-to-date information.

Can't find your tickets?

All tickets have been emailed for this event, so be sure to check your inbox for an email from boxoffice@lectures.org. Call us at 206-621-2230 x10 if you can’t find them.

For in-person attendance: Your e-tickets come attached in a PDF with your ticket order confirmation email. Present on your mobile device or bring your printed ticket to the venue the night of the event. Check your pre-event email for details on COVID safety precautions.

For online attendance: Your e-tickets, which come attached in a PDF with your ticket order confirmation email, contain your digital access instructions. The night of your event, return to lectures.org/event/chris-abani and enter the password where prompted. The program begins at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and will be available for viewing for a week after the event.

SAL will also send an email the day of the event, containing the same information. If you have opted out of receiving SAL emails, you will miss this important information—please email us at boxoffice@lectures.org and we will assist you.

Have a question for the speaker?

Want to ask the author something? Send your question to SAL at sal@lectures.org—it might be asked onstage!

Books

Our partner bookstore will have books available for purchase at their table in the lobby and on their website.

Patrons & Grand Patrons, Have a Drink on SAL!

Patron & Grand Patron seating includes a pre-event drink ticket! Check your pre-event email for details.

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held at the Rainier Arts Center.

Rainier Arts Center is Southeast Seattle’s community performing arts center, which overlooks Columbia Park at the gateway to Columbia City. The Center is located at the corner of Rainier Ave S and S Alaska St.

By Car

Click here for directions.

By Public Transit

The Center is three blocks from the Columbia City Light Rail Station and is served by King County Metro bus routes #7 and #50.

Parking

The parking lot can accommodate 15 vehicles; additional parking is available on the street.

Accessibility

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 boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10. Please note: for in-person captioning at Langston, 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 during an online event. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals at all in-person and online events. To make a request for interpretation, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org 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

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) are devices that people with hearing loss use in conjunction with their hearing device (hearing aids or cochlear implants). To pick up a headset, check in with the SAL Box Office when you arrive.

Wheelchair Accessible Seating and Accessible Restrooms are available in the theatre, which complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To reserve seating for a specific mobility concern, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Wheelchair Accessible or Alternative Seating Options” during ticket checkout, and we will contact you to confirm details.

Guide and service dogs are welcome.

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 boxoffice@lectures.org, or Monday-Friday from 10:00am – 5:00pm at 206.621.2230×10.

For more accessibility information, please head to lectures.org/accessibility. 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.