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Hugo Literary Series: Jeff VanderMeer, Lacy M. Johnson, and Juan Carlos Reyes

May 7, 2021 at 6:00 PM PDT

After a year of isolation and infection, of “fake news” and challenges to democracy, of wildfires and superstorms, of violence and racial injustice, one question keeps coming to mind: If these aren’t apocalyptic times, then what are?

For this season’s Hugo Literary Series, we’re going all in on Apocalypse. Over four nights this spring, twelve writers and four musicians will explore all things calamitous, presenting new work themed on, what else, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Conquest, War, Famine, and Death. So embrace your inner mayhem and snag a ticket to the hottest—and most disastrous—show in town.

“Whole nations are transported, exterminated, their name to be forgotten, except in the annual festival of their conquerors.” ―Zora Neale Hurston

The White Horse of the Apocalypse can represent righteousness, the spread of faith, or conquest. After the year we’ve had, we’re going with conquest. And hasn’t history shown how humans treat the world and its inhabitants as theirs for the taking? Join us this evening as four daring artistsJeff VanderMeer, Lacy M. Johnson, Juan Carlos Reyes, and Eva Walkerexplore the various conquerings of religion, of nature, of culture, or of something wholly unexpected.

All Hugo Literary Series events this season will take place online. Tickets cost $15 general admission, $12 for members. We also have a $5 option for students or anyone who is financially disadvantaged. If you are viewing in a larger group, or if you would like to contribute more, you can purchase tickets at the Patron level. Tickets can be purchased at the bottom of the page.

This event will take place via CrowdCast, Pacific Time.

For tickets to all four Hugo Literary Series events, purchase a series pass here.

About the Performers

Photo by Ditte Valente

Jeff VanderMeer is an award-winning novelist and editor. His fiction has been translated into twenty languages and has appeared in the Library of America’s American Fantastic Tales and multiple year’s best anthologies. He writes nonfiction for the Washington Post, the New York Times Book Review, the Los Angeles Times, and the Guardian, among others. He grew up in the Fiji Islands and now lives in Tallahassee, Florida, with his wife. Jeff is the author of Borne and The Southern Reach Trilogy.

Photo by John Carrithers

Lacy M. Johnson is a Houston-based professor, curator, activist, and is author of The Reckonings (Scribner, 2018), which was named a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist in Criticism and one of the best books of 2018 by Boston Globe, Electric Literature, Autostraddle, Book Riot, and Refinery 29. She is also author of The Other Side (Tin House, 2014), named one of the best books of 2014 by Kirkus, Library Journal, and the Houston Chronicle. Her memoir, Trespasses (University of Iowa Press, 2012), has been anthologized in The Racial Imaginary (Fence Books, 2015) and Literature: The Human Experience (Bedford / St. Martin’s, 2013-2018). As a writer and artist, she has been awarded grants and fellowships from the Houston Endowment, Rice University’s Humanities Research Center, Houston Arts Alliance, the Sustainable Arts Foundation, Kansas Arts Commission (may it rest in peace), the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, Inprint, and Millay Colony for the Arts.

Juan Carlos Reyes has published the novella A Summer’s Lynching (Quarterly West) and the fiction chapbook Elements of a Bystander (Arcadia Press). His fictions and essays have appeared in Waccamaw Journal, Florida Review, and Moss Literary Journal, among others. He has been the recipient of a Gar LaSalle Artist Trust Storyteller Grant and a PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellowship. He teaches creative writing at Seattle University and serves as executive editor of Big Fiction Magazine.

Eva Walker is a Seattle-based musician and radio/TV host. She is the co-founder of the rock ‘n’ roll band, The Black Tones with her twin brother Cedric, host of KEXP 90.3’s long running show, Audioasis, and co-host and producer of the Northwest music video television show, Video Bebop. Her band The Black Tones have opened for artists such as Mavis Staples, Weezer, Death Cab For Cutie, and have collaborated with Mike McCready of Pearl Jam. Walker is a sought after artist and culture curator in Seattle’s thriving music community.


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