SUN 12/9

Ahamefule J. Oluo & Lesley Hazleton

Ahamefule J. Oluo is Town Hall's Artist in Residence, and Lesley Hazleton is Town Hall's Scholar in Residence. This is their opportunity to show off, at the end of their respective terms, what they've learned. Oluo will perform Now I'm Fine, which is a monologue/stand-up/orchestral piece. Hazleton, a Stranger Genius of literature, will present a "multi-logue" performance that combines Twitter, crowdsourcing, and reactions to a season's worth of Town Hall events.

Town Hall, 7:30 pm, $5

MON 12/10

Calvin Trillin

Calvin Trillin is a gifted writer, and his humorous political poems from the Nation have a devoted following. This is a reading for Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse, which includes some work written immediately after last month's election. Books don't get much more immediate than that.

Town Hall, 7:30 pm, $5


Jared Diamond

You know Jared Diamond from his Pulitzer Prize–winning Guns, Germs, and Steel. He's been writing about civilization and evolution and humans for decades, and his new book, The World Until Yesterday, compares industrial societies and "traditional" societies to see what we can learn about ourselves. Should we go native? Is the internet really all it's cracked up to be? Answers are hazy; check back on January 3.

Town Hall, 7:30 pm, $5

WED 1/16

David Wagoner

Besides being an excellent poet of the classical tradition, David Wagoner is a walking storehouse of Northwest poetry history. He studied under Theodore Roethke, the man who Wagoner claims brought poetry, single-handedly, to our little part of the country. (Wagoner claims that there wasn't "another poet within 500 miles" when Roethke moved here.) But now the scene has been invigorated with dozens of poets, many of whom learned directly from Wagoner in his capacity as a professor at the University of Washington. Here's your chance to learn from him, too.

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $15–$50

WED 1/23

Amy Wilentz

Amy Wilentz is the kind of journalist they don't make anymore. She goes to unpleasant-for-American-women locations all around the world—Haiti, the Middle East, California—and brings back stories that nobody else could have gotten. She's profiled world leaders and written a memoir and a novel, besides. If you didn't love her, you'd probably have to hate her for being so goddamned perfect all the time. Her new book is titled Farewell Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti.

Town Hall, 7:30 pm, $15–$30

THURS 1/24

Lesley Hazleton

Folks don't often show up twice in two different listings in one of these here A&P calendars, but there's a damn good reason for Hazleton's reappearance: The Stranger Genius of literature is debuting her newest, and possibly most ambitious book, The First Muslim. Yes, it's a biography of Muhammad, and despite Hazleton's impeccable credentials—she's written brilliant books about Jezebel and Mary's historical role as the mother of Jesus, and she's an expert on just about every religion there is—this book will probably gather a lot of prurient attention. After tonight's debut, Hazleton's book is sure to make a big splash.

Town Hall, 7:30 pm, $5

MON 2/4

George Saunders

Here's the opening of George Saunders's story "Tenth of December" as it appeared last October in the New Yorker: "The pale boy with unfortunate Prince Valiant bangs and cublike mannerisms hulked to the mudroom closet and requisitioned Dad's white coat." It's just such a great first sentence, full of imagery and rhythm and momentum. Which is exactly what you should expect from all of Saunders's work. He'll be reading from his new short-story collection. Expect brilliance, humor, and maybe a new perspective on something you've always taken for granted.

Town Hall, 7:30 pm, $5

FRI 2/8

Strong Female Leads

Hugo House's Literary Series is always packed full of authors to look forward to, but this is the one I've been waiting for all year long. Four fabulous women—poets Patricia Smith and Arlene Kim, local cartoonist Kelly Froh, and local rapper Katie Kate—perform new work based on the phrase "Strong Female Leads." The balance here is exquisite: There's something about comics and poetry that makes them go so well together (maybe it's the fact that some poems look kind of like a comics page if you take away all the drawings and just leave the contents of the word balloons) and Katie Kate's star is on the rise.

Hugo House, 7:30 pm, $25

WED 2/13

Nick Flynn

You probably know Flynn from his memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, about his complicated relationship with his father, a homeless alcoholic and frustrated writer. As good as Bullshit Night was, Flynn has written much more than that; he's also a playwright, a poet, and the author of another memoir, The Ticking Is the Bomb: A Memoir of Bewilderment, a travel narrative about the repercussions of Abu Ghraib. Tonight, he'll talk about whatever the fuck he wants to talk about.

Benaroya Hall, 7:30 pm, $15–$50

WED 2/20

Phil Lapsley

Phone phreaking—the act of using tools including a toy whistle found in a box of cereal to get free long-distance phone calls—was a high art in the days before the internet. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak got their start as phreakers before they founded a hack-friendly computer company called Apple, back in the day. Lapsley's book Exploding the Phone explains how modern hacker culture got its start from these burnouts and hippies who tried to confound the hell out of Ma Bell with an elaborate series of tricks.

Town Hall, 7:30 pm, $5