Luis Alberto Urrea

Luis Alberto Urrea

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 7:30 pm

05/20/2020 7:30 pm 05/20/2020 America/Los_Angeles Luis Alberto Urrea https://lectures.org/event/luis-alberto-urrea/ Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

At Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

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Hailed by NPR as a “master storyteller with a rock and roll heart,” Luis Alberto Urrea is a prolific and acclaimed best-selling poet, novelist, and essayist who uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss, and triumph.

Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother and raised primarily in the United States, Urrea often felt like there was a border wall running through his family’s San Diego apartment, the kitchen being the United States; the living room Mexico, one side struggling with all her might to make him an American boy, and the other side, with all of his might, trying to keep him Mexican. Often confused as a child by his own dual culture, a “super-American look” combined with a “super-Mexican outlook and accent,” as an adult, Urrea realized that he could draw on his heritage in his work.

Most recognized as a so-called “border writer,” he claims to be more interested in bridges than borders. The tragic murder of his father on a trip to his home village to retrieve money to spend on Urrea’s college graduation inadvertently launched his writing career when he wrote an essay about the incident published in 1980 as way of processing his grief.

A 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction and member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, Urrea since became the critically acclaimed and best-selling author of 17 books, winning numerous awards like the Lannan Literary Award, an Edgar Award, and a 2017 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among many other honors.

His latest book, The House of Broken Angels, released in 2018, is “the story of an American family—one that happens to speak Spanish, and admire the Virgin of Guadalupe.” Inspired by the death of his brother, Urrea’s novel mines his own family history to tell a once-in-a-lifetime tale about a dying patriarch that assembles his relatives for a final, epic birthday party, well knowing it will be his last. Over the course of one weekend, the family members reminisce under the San Diego sun and stars, sharing stories about growing up in and then leaving Mexico to make a home in the U.S.

Urrea attended the University of California at San Diego, earning an undergraduate degree in writing, and did his graduate studies at the University of Colorado-Boulder. He currently lives with his family in Naperville, IL, outside of Chicago, and is a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Kristen Millares Young, who will be moderating the Q&A portion of Urrea’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

Benaroya Hall — S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium

200 University Street
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 boxoffice@lectures.org. Call us at 206-621-2230 x10 if you can’t find them.

Have a question for the speaker?

Want to ask Luis Alberto Urrea something? Send your question to SAL’s Associate Director at rahoogs@lectures.org—it might be asked onstage!

Books

Elliott Bay Book Company will have copies of Urrea’s work available for purchase at their table in the lobby.

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

Patrons & Grand Patrons, join us for light bites and wine on the Promenade at Benaroya Hall from 6:30 to 7:15.

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.

By Car

  • 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 Public Transit (Bus & Light Rail)
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 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.