“I like to deal with fragments. Because no matter what the thought would be if it were fully worked out, it wouldn’t be as good as the suggestion of a thought that the space gives you. Nothing fully worked out could be so arresting, spooky.” Anne Carson

My friend Jennifer invited me to an [ALOUD] event titled Sentence After Sentence After Sentence at the Los Angeles downtown library. I hate traffic so I rarely venture downtown, especially on a weekday, but I sucked it up because like Jennifer and the event sounding interesting. A great dinner, conversation and the event made it well worth sitting on the 10.

[ALOUD] events are free and open to the public at the Central Library along with a special selection of ticketed off-site events. By presenting a range of authors, scientists, thinkers, and artists, the series engages Angelenos in critical civic discourse and inspires life-long learning. Events feature local as well as national and international experts in their field paired with a moderator to facilitate a dynamic discussion. Most programs are followed by a Q&A and book signing with the audience. 

Curated by Louise Steinman, author and director of Cultural Programs for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles, [ALOUD] showcases a new line-up each season informed by current events and culturally relevant and intellectually engaging topics.”

Jim Krusoe

Jim Krusoe

The conversation was moderated by Jim Krusoe (one of my co-workers at SMC) and featured readings from three authors.

Anne Germanacos

Anne Germanacos

Anne Germanacos In the Time of the Girls
“Born in San Francisco, Anne Germanacos has lived between Greece and San Francisco for thirty years. Her stories are just as strange and tragic as the Greek myths they riff on. Using a spare, image-laden prose style, Germanacos focuses on discrete, telling moments to create fast-paced stories that pack a powerful punch. This is not your standard short story collection—it is an innovative work of literary prose as brilliant, concise, and potent as a bolt of lightning from the hand of Zeus.”

Dinah Lenney

Dinah Lenney

Dinah Lenney The Object Parade

“This new collection of interconnected essays marches to a provocative premise: what if one way to understand your life was to examine the objects within it? Which objects would you choose? What memories do they hold? And lined up in a row, what stories do they have to tell?

In recalling her experience, Dinah’s essays each begin with one thing — real or imaginary, lost or found, rare or ordinary, animal, vegetable, mineral, edible. Each object comes with a memory or a story, and so sparks an opportunity for rue or reflection or confession or revelation, having to do with her coming of age as a daughter, mother, actor, and writer: the piano that holds secrets to family history and inheritance; the gifted watches that tell so much more than time; the little black dress that carries all of youth’s love and longing; the purple scarf that stands in for her journey from New York to Los Angeles, across stage and screen, to pursue her acting dream.”

Matias Viegener

Matias Viegener

Matias Viegener 2500 Random Things About Me Too

“Bracketed by three deaths his mother’s, his friend’s and his dog’s Matias Viegener’s 2500 RANDOM THINGS ABOUT ME TOO is an extraordinary capture of a life and a consciousness in middle age, when mortality and the grid of associations laid by one’s personal history cannot be denied. Chained to the task of compiling these ‘random’ lists, Viegener creates a self-portrait of the whole world! that encompasses everything from Descartes to the grooming habits of parrots, with plenty of sex, beauty and boredom.”

Each of the author’s books had completely different writing styles. While I liked them all, I particularly enjoyed Dinah Lenney’s essay about a flattened spoon.

There is only one more sold-out event on the schedule for the spring and the summer schedule has yet to be released. But I can certainly see returning to the library to see many of the wide-range of events that [ALOUD] offers.

2 thoughts on “ALOUD

  1. Jennifer Kennedy

    Yay!! I really loved that event. Learned so much. I wouldn’t call myself a writer, although I do blog weekly (so, I guess I am!). It was definitely insightful learning about the inner minds of professional writers.

    Hope to go to another program in the summer!!

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