Colson Whitehead

Madeline Whitehead

Colson Whitehead

Past Event: Thursday, February 15, 2018

At Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

Literary Arts Icon

Literary Arts

We will sell tickets at the door the night of the event starting at 6pm at the Benaroya box office.

We last heard from Colson Whitehead in our 2008/09 Season, four books into his career. Five books later, he’s collected a National Book Award and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for his latest, The Underground Railroad.

The Q&A for this event will be moderated by local author and editor, Stephanie Stokes Oliver.

One of America’s most daring and inventive writers, Colson Whitehead is the author of the novels Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist (a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award), John Henry Days, which won the Young Lions Fiction Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and Apex Hides the Hurt, winner of the PEN Oakland Award. He has also written a book of essays about his hometown, The Colossus of New York, and a non-fiction account of the 2011 World Series of Poker called The Noble Hustle. Whitehead is also the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Fellowship, among other accolades.

His latest novel, The Underground Railroad, is the winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The selection board hailed the book as “a smart melding of realism and allegory that combines the violence of slavery and the drama of escape in a myth that speaks to contemporary America.” In addition, it was the winner of the National Book Award for Fiction in 2016. The Underground Railroad tells the story of Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia, who hears about the Underground Railroad and decides to make her terrifying escape, fleeing state by state, seeking her freedom.

Selected Works:

Fiction
The Intuitionist (1999)
John Henry Days (2001)
Apex Hides the Hurt (2006)
Sag Harbor (2009)
Zone One (2011)
The Underground Railroad (2016)

Non-Fiction
The Colossus of New York (2003)
The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death (2014)


Stephanie Stokes Oliver 
is the editor of the just-published, Black Ink: Literary Legends on the Peril, Power, and Pleasure of Reading and Writing; the author of Daily Cornbread: 365 Secrets for a Healthy Mind, Body, and SpiritSeven Soulful Secrets for Finding Your Purpose & Minding Your Mission; and Song for My Father: Memoir of an All-American Family. Formerly the editor of Essence, and founding editor-in-chief of Heart & Soul, she started her magazine career at Glamour. 

Event Details

Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

200 University Street
Seattle, WA 98101

View directions.

Transportation & Parking

This event will be held in the S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, the largest event space at Benaroya Hall. 

Benaroya Hall is located at 200 University Street, directly across Second Avenue from the Seattle Art Museum. The public entrance to Benaroya Hall is along Third Avenue.

  • From Southbound I-5
    Take the Union Street exit (#165B). Continue onto Union Street and proceed approximately five blocks to Second Avenue. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound I-5
    Exit left onto Seneca Street (exit #165). Proceed two blocks and turn right onto Fourth Avenue. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Union Street. Continue two blocks. Turn left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Northbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Seneca Street exit and move into the left lane. Turn left onto First Avenue and proceed one block. Take the next right (at the Hammering Man sculpture) onto University Street. Continue up the hill two blocks to Third Avenue. Turn left onto Third Avenue. Continue to the next block and turn left onto Union Street. Make the next left onto Second Avenue. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your immediate left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.
  • From Southbound Highway 99 (Aurora Avenue)
    Take the Denny Way/Downtown exit. Keep right and cross over Denny Way onto Wall Street. Proceed approximately five blocks and turn left onto Second Avenue. Continue south on Second Avenue approximately eight blocks. The Benaroya Hall parking garage will be on your left. The garage entrance is on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street.

By Bus
Benaroya Hall is served by numerous bus routes. Digital reader boards along Third Avenue display real-time bus arrival information. For details and trip planning tools, call Metro Rider Information at 206.553.3000 (voice) or 206.684.1739 (TDD), or visit Metro online. The Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, served by bus and light rail, has a stop just below the Hall (University Street Station).

Parking
The 430-car underground garage at Benaroya Hall provides direct access from the enclosed parking area into the Hall via elevators leading to The Boeing Company Gallery. Enter the garage on Second Avenue, just south of Union Street. Maximum vehicle height is 6’8″. Blink charging stations are available for electric vehicles. The event rate is $16.

Parking is also available at:

  • The Cobb Building (enter on University Street between Third and Fourth avenues).
  • The Russell Investments Center (enter on Union Street between First and Second avenues).
  • There are many other garages within a one-block radius of Benaroya Hall, along with numerous on-street parking options.

Accessibility

Open Captioning is an option for people who have hearing loss, where a captioning screen displaying the words that are spoken or sung is placed on stage. This option is present at every event at Benaroya Hall in our 2019/20 Season.

Assisted Listening Devices (ALDs) are devices that people with hearing loss use in conjunction with their hearing device (hearing aids or cochlear implants). Benaroya Hall has an infrared hearing system, which transmits sound by light beams. Headsets are available in The Boeing Company Gallery coat check and the Head Usher stations in both lobbies.

Sign Language Interpretation is available upon request for Deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing individuals. To make a request for ASL interpretation, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10. 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 our venues, and our venues are fully accessible to ticket holders with physical mobility concerns. Guide and service dogs are also welcome. Among other features, Benaroya Hall has designated parking spaces adjacent to elevators in their parking garage. Elevators with Braille signage go to all levels within the Hall. A unisex restroom is also available. For more details on their accessibility features, click here.

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-Thursday from 10:00am – 5:00pm, and Fridays from 10:00am – 1:00pm, at 206.621.2230×10.