Protected: Kaveh Akbar: In-Person & Online

Paige Lewis

Kaveh Akbar: In-Person & Online

Past Event: Friday, October 15, 2021

At Hugo House—Lapis Theater

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In Person & Online

Stream Reading Here—Skip to 39:42 to Event Start!

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Although this event has passed, you can still purchase tickets now through Friday, October 22, at 7:30 p.m. (PT). The event will be viewable until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 22.

How does one recover from addiction without destroying the self-as-addict? Pilgrim Bell, Kaveh Akbar’s newest collection of poems, meditates on this question, taking readers on a spiritual journey through disavowal, divinity, and belonging.

With formal virtuosity and ruthless precision, Akbar’s brilliant poems unfold in the empty space where song lives, teasing the sacred out of silence and stillness.

Q&A with Lena Khalaf Tuffaha.

With formal virtuosity and ruthless precision, Kaveh Akbar’s second collection of poems, Pilgrim Bell, takes its readers on a spiritual journey of disavowal that asks, How does one recover from addiction without destroying the self-as-addict? If living justly in a nation that would see addiction erased is itself a kind of self-destruction, what does one do with the body’s question, “what now shall I repair?” Here, Akbar responds with prayer as an act of devotion to dissonance—the infinite void of a loved one’s absence, the indulgence of austerity, making a life as a Muslim in an Islamophobic nation—teasing the sacred out of silence and stillness.

Richly crafted and generous, the linguistic rigor of Pilgrim Bell is tuned to the register of this moment. As the swinging soul crashes into its limits, against the atrocities of the American empire and through a profoundly human capacity for cruelty and grace, these brilliant poems dare to exist in the empty space where song lives—resonant, revelatory, and holy.

Akbar is also the founder of Divedapper, a home for dialogues with the most vital voices in American poetry. With Sarah Kay and Claire Schwartz, he writes a weekly column for Paris Review called “Poetry RX.” Previously, he ran The Quirk, a for-charity print literary journal. He served as Poetry Editor for BOOTH and Book Reviews Editor for Southeast Review. Along with Gabrielle Calvocoressi, francine j. harris, and Jonathan Farmer, he starred on All Up in Your Ears, a monthly poetry podcast. His poems appear in The New Yorker, Poetry, PBS NewsHour, The New Republic, Best American Poetry, the New York Times, and elsewhere.

Akbar is the author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books, 2017; Penguin UK, 2018). He is also the author of a chapbook, Portrait of the Alcoholic (Sibling Rivalry, 2017) and the recipient of the Levis Reading Prize, Pushcart Prize, Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship, and the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America. Born in Tehran, Iran, he teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA programs at Randolph College and Warren Wilson.

Lena Khalaf Tuffaha, our moderator for the evening, is a poet, essayist, and translator. Her first book, Water & Salt (Red Hen Press), won the 2018 Washington State Book Award for Poetry. Her first chapbook, Arab in Newsland, won the 2016 Two Sylvias Press Prize. Her chapbook, Letters from the Interior (Diode 2019), is a finalist for the 2020 Jean Pedrick Chapbook Prize. She served as Inaugural Poet-in-Residence at Seattle’s Open Books: A Poem Emporium from 2017-2018. You can learn more about her work at www.lenakhalaftuffaha.com.

Alex Guy, our Bushwick Book Club musician for the evening, is a Seattle-based violinist, violist, singer and composer, and is the leader and principal songwriter of Led To Sea, a magnetic trio that fuses classical, pop and experimental music. Alex has also composed extensively for dance, film and theater, and has performed and collaborated with many notable bandleaders, composers, improvisers and musicians in the Pacific NW and beyond, including Angel Olsen, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Wayne Horvitz, Mirah, Sera Cahoone, Jherek Bischoff, Ahamefule Oluo and Laura Veirs. Learn more at https://ledtosea.bandcamp.com/.

Event Details

Hugo House—Lapis Theater

1634 11th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122

Know Before You Go

COVID-19 Policies

Seattle Arts & Lectures requires attendees to provide proof of vaccination for our in-person events this season. See our FAQ for details. Masks are required for all attendees, regardless of vaccination status. Likewise, our staff and volunteers will be vaccinated and masked.

These policies are subject to revision as health and safety guidelines change. You will receive a pre-event email two days prior to each event to confirm our most up-to-date policies.

Can't find your tickets? Need access to the digital event?

All tickets have been emailed for Akbar’s 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/kaveh-akbar 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 Kaveh Akbar something? Send your question to SAL at sal@lectures.org—it might be asked onstage!

Books

Poetry Series, Create Your Own Series, and Super SAL subscribers (except Student/25 & Under and complimentary subscriptions) receive a copy of Akbar’s forthcoming book, Pilgrim Bell, shipped to the subscriber’s address.

Open Books will have copies of Akbar’s work available for purchase at their table in the lobby and on their website.

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

Patron & Grand Patron seating includes a pre-event happy hour, as is possible due to COVID-19 restrictions. Check your pre-event email for details.

Transportation & Parking

Public transportation: The new Hugo House is a short walk from the Capitol Hill light rail station and the First Hill streetcar (Broadway & Pike-Pine stop), and within a half-mile of many buses.

Parking: A pay parking lot is available nearby at the Greek Orthodox Church at 13th and Howell, or at Seattle Central College’s Harvard Garage at 1609 Harvard Avenue. Street parking is also available but not guaranteed. The garage beneath Hugo House is for tenants only.

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. Open Captioning is available upon request for all events at Hugo House. To make a request for Open Captioning services, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Open Captioning” during your ticket checkout process, and we will be in touch with you to confirm details. For events at Hugo House, we appreciated a two-week minimum notice to arrange open captioning.

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. Captioning is available for all online events; click the “CC” button to view captions during the event.

Assistive Listening Devices, including Hearing Loop Assisted Listening Systems at Benaroya Hall, Town Hall, and Hugo House, are available at all of our venues. If you would like more information, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10.

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 boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Sign Language Interpretation” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process. 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. If you would like more information or to make specific arrangements, please contact us at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10, or select “Wheelchair Accessible or Alternative Seating Options” from the Accessibility section during your ticket checkout process.

Guide and service dogs are welcome.

Gender neutral restrooms are available.

For any further questions or requests, or to offer Seattle Arts & Lectures feedback on how we can be more accessible and inclusive, please reach out to our Patron Services Manager at boxoffice@lectures.org or 206.621.2230×10.

Sponsors

Poetry Series Sponsor

Charles B. & Barbara Wright

Essay Sponsor