FIGURING WITH ELIZABETH GILBERT (FEBRUARY 8, 2019)
I have composed a book, Figuring — a book that, and as I noted in my initial announcement last autumn, only took twelve years of Brain Pickings and the most beautiful, difficult, disorienting experience of my personal life. It enters the world on February 4, but I will not be doing any interviews, readings, speaking, or other public appearances related to it, except for a single celebration at the wondrous nonprofit cultural institute Pioneer Works — a conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert, one of the most splendid writers and splendid humans I know, about the themes woven throughout Figuring: the complexities, varieties, and contradictions of love, and the human search for truth, meaning, and transcendence. (More about the aboutness of the book here.)
Tickets are priced at $29 — the number of chapters in the book — with all proceeds benefiting Pioneer Works’ endeavor to build New York City’s first-ever public observatory.
Signed copies of both of our books will be available, as will a special limited edition of 50 signed, numbered copies of Figuring made exclusively for Pioneer Works, also benefitting the observatory.
February 8, 2019
159 Pioneer Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Doors at 6PM, talk at 7PM. General admission. Seating is first come, first served.
UPDATE: Due to the laws of physics, bodily demand has exceeded spatial supply and the event is now sold out. But a limited number of pay-what-you-can tickets will be available at the door.
RECORDINGS OF PAST EVENTS
CELEBRATING “A VELOCITY OF BEING” (December 15, 2018)
After eight years of labor, I was thrilled to birth A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader, published in collaboration with my good friend Claudia Bedrick of Enchanted Lion Books — a collection of original illustrated letters to children about why we read and how books shape our character by 121 of the most interesting people in our world, including contributions by Jane Goodall, Yo-Yo Ma, Ursula K. Le Guin, Mary Oliver, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Jacqueline Woodson, Rebecca Solnit, Elizabeth Gilbert, Anne Lamott, Shonda Rhimes, a 98-year-old Holocaust survivor, Italy’s first woman in space, and other remarkable humans living inspired and inspiring lives. (More about the book here, including a peek at the art by some of the most beloved children’s books illustrators of our time.)
On December 15, 2018, several of the contributors joined me to read their letters (and play some music) alongside art from the book in a special evening at The New York Public Library — our only live event for the book, at the most fitting venue for this many-peopled endeavor of goodwill, for we are donating 100% of proceeds from the book to our local public library system in New York.
Readings by Adam Gopnik, Janna Levin, Jad Abumrad, Amanda Stern, Alexander Chee, Sarah Kay, Paola Antonelli, Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie, Mohammed Fairouz, William Powers, Naomi Wolf, Paul Holdengräber, Sophie Blackall (reading Neil Gaiman’s letter), and Helen Fagin, and music by Dawn Landes and Morley, who also read their letters from the book.
THE UNIVERSE IN VERSE (APRIL 24, 2017)
“When power corrupts, poetry cleanses,” John F. Kennedy famously wrote. Half a century later, with art, science, and the humanities under assault from the government, this intersection of science and poetry, truth and beauty, is an uncommon kind of protest and a singularly fertile frontier of resistance.
On April 24, 2017, I joined forces with the Academy of American Poets and astrophysicist Janna Levin to host The Universe in Verse at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn — an evening of poetry celebrating great scientists and scientific discoveries, with all proceeds benefiting the Academy of American Poets and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Readings by: Amanda Palmer, Rosanne Cash, Janna Levin, Elizabeth Alexander, Diane Ackerman, Billy Hayes, Sarah Jones, Tracy K. Smith, Jad Abumrad of Radiolab, Sam Beam of Iron & Wine, and Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York.
Poems about: Marie Curie, Isaac Newton, Caroline Herschel, Oliver Sacks, Jane Goodall, Euclid, black holes, the Hubble Space Telescope, the number pi, and more.
Poems by: Adrienne Rich, Wisława Szymborska, Elizabeth Alexander, Tracy K. Smith, Campbell McGrath, Diane Ackerman, Edna St. Vincent Millay, and John Updike.