Sessions

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The Impact of Angels in America on LGBTQ Literature

Tony Kushner’s groundbreaking epic play Angels in America unabashedly showed gay men as heroes. Prior Walter, sick with AIDS, wrestles with an angel. The ex-drag queen Belize works as a nurse in a hospital where he spars with the dying, cruel…
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Mac Barnett Takes the Stage!

The prolific phenomenon known as Mac Barnett returns to tell the tales of The Terrible Twos...and who knows what else! Don't miss a very special author on the Showtime Stage.
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Breaking Literary Ground: Ambitious Young Writers from Ireland

The small country of Ireland has always had an outsize influence on world literature. For the third year in a row, the festival showcases some of today's most powerful writers who come from this land of literary pioneers. Surrealist feminist…
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Resisting Hate with Free Speech

The question of limits on free speech has recently occupied our nation's consciousness—as well as the physical streets of Berkeley. The American Civil Liberties Union has worked for nearly 100 years to arbitrate this question in times of intense…
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Translating Trauma

Much great literature focuses on the darkest parts of being human, and writers need exceptional courage to write about trauma. Katherena Vermette, who comes from the Métis nation in Canada, writes about violence and power struggles between…
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The Book Review: Top Reviewers Share How It's Done

What makes for a good book review? How about a good book reviewer, for that matter? How are books chosen for review, and reviewers chosen for a particular book? How should a "bad" book be panned—or is it better to just not review it at all?…
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Are We There Yet? The Best American Road Trips

The Great American Road Trip is one of our country’s most vibrant traditions—the open road, the beauty of our diverse American landscape, and discovery of the country’s regional culture and cuisines. Avalon Travel’s panel of road trippers…
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Murder She Writes: Catherine Coulter Talks with Laurie R. King

Catherine Coulter, No.1 New York Times best-selling suspense writer and author of 82 novels (almost all of them New York Times bestsellers!), is interviewed by Mystery Writers of America NorCal president Laurie R. King, herself a bestselling…
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The Modern Writer's Practice, Presented by California College of the Arts

Writers shoulder a responsibility to serve as voices for their time. They seek ways to narrate, philosophize, and ponder what it means to be human as the world fluctuates dramatically around them. Translating the complex world—inner and outer…
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Full Hearts and Clever Minds: Meet Some Unforgettable Characters

With heart and creativity, anything is possible! Come meet characters who are role models with a lot of moxie. Esta Spalding's "Look Out for the Fitzgerald Trouts" tells of four plucky kids who live in a car on an island, fending for themselves…