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Hugo Literary Series: Tommy Orange, Khadijah Queen, and Kristen Millares Young

June 4, 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.

“Unless one lives and loves in the trenches, it is difficult to remember that the war against dehumanization is ceaseless.” ― Audre Lorde

For the season finale, Hugo House, the Red Horse of the Apocalypse, and four terrifyingly talented artistsTommy Orange, Khadijah Queen, Kristen Millares Young, and Amanda Winterhalterpresent a night of actual and/or thematic wars: personal conflicts, differences in faith, or differences in general. Wars of ideas. Agreements and disagreements. And the flip side of war, of course: Peace.

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 Elena Seibert

Tommy Orange is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel There There, a multigenerational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans. There There was one of the New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year, and won the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Pen/Hemingway Award. There There was also longlisted for the National Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Orange graduated from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and was a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California.

Khadijah Queen is the author of five books of poetry, including I’m So Fine: A List of Famous Men & What I Had On (YesYes Books, 2017), a finalist for the National Poetry Series, which was praised in O Magazine, the New Yorker, Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere as “quietly devastating,” and “a portrait of defiance that turns the male gaze inside out.” Earlier poetry collections include Conduit (Akashic / Black Goat, 2008), Black Peculiar (Noemi Press, 2011), and Fearful Beloved (Argos Books, 2015). Her collection, Anodyne, was published by Tin House Books in August 2020. Her verse play Non-Sequitur (Litmus Press, 2015) won the Leslie Scalapino Award for Innovative Women’s Performance Writing. The prize included a full staged production of the play at Theaterlab NYC from December 10–20, 2015, by Fiona Templeton’s The Relationship theater company. Individual poems and prose appear in Poetry, Fence, Tin House, American Poetry ReviewDIAGRAM, LitHub, New Delta Review, The Force of What’s Possible, and elsewhere. Her 2019 op-ed on poetry and disability, co-edited with Jillian Weise, appeared in the New York Times. Queen received her PhD in English from the University of Denver, and her MFA in creative writing from Antioch University. She is an assistant professor of creative writing at University of Colorado, Boulder, and serves as core faculty for the Mile-High MFA in creative writing at Regis University.

Kristen Millares Young is the author of the novel Subduction, Paris Review staff pick called “whip-smart” by the Washington Post, “a brilliant debut” by the Seattle Times and “utterly unique and important” by Ms. MagazineSubduction was a finalist for two International Latino Book Awards in 2020. As editor of Seismic – Seattle, City of Literature, Kristen curated a collection of essays to reflect on Seattle’s designation as a UNESCO City of Literature. From 2018 to 2020, Kristen served as prose writer-in-residence at Hugo House.Anthologized in Alone Together, Latina Outsiders, Pie & Whiskey and Advanced Creative Nonfiction: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, her essays appear in the Washington PostLiterary Hub, the Guardian, The Rumpus, PANK Magazine and elsewhere. A prize-winning investigative journalist and book critic, she was the researcher for the New York Times team that produced “Snow Fall,” which won a Pulitzer. From 2016 to 2019, she served as board chair of InvestigateWest, a nonprofit newsroom she co-founded in 2009 to protect vulnerable peoples and places of the Pacific Northwest.

A life between grey coastlines and ragged mountains gave Amanda Winterhalter a scope for the gothic Americana music she creates with her Seattle-based band. Weaving together threads of 1960s girl group AM pop, gritty indie Americana, and blues-tinged southern rock, her diverse range informs a new Americana that connects with the heart and mind as quickly as the ears. Glide Magazine calls her latest LP release What’s This Death (October 2019) “A courageous work of the aching soul that is equally stunning and thought-provoking. Winterhalter showcases head-turning vocals that makes for a fascinating Adele meets Wanda Jackson vocal stew.”


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