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  • Date: April 5
  • Time: 7:30pm - 9:30pm PT

Ask the Oracle at Hotel Sorrento

Will you get that job you’re gunning for?

Should you tell her you love her?

Do you dare disturb the universe?

Who better to answer these questions than Brian Castner, Sarah Galvin, and Sonora Jha, April’s featured writer-oracles?

All the audience has to do is show up, write questions on sticky notes, and hand them to our mysterious, velvet tuxedo’ed host, poet Johnny Horton, before the show. He’ll pick a number of questions to pose to our team of writer-oracles, who will be all set to solve your worldly problems with prescient passages from their books.

We want to make it easier for you to get to the event after work, so we moved it to 7:30. Feel free to come at 7, get a drink, and write your questions down, and we’ll start officially at 7:30.


Question: Should I move to a new city soon?
Answer (found by opening Richard Hugo’s Triggering Town to a random page): “The 1944 Italy I remembered brown and gray and lifeless. Every city, every small town reeked.”

Brian Castner

Brian Castner is a nonfiction writer, former Explosive Ordnance Disposal officer, and veteran of the Iraq War. He is the author of All the Ways We Kill and Die, forthcoming in spring 2016, and the war memoir The Long Walk, which was adapted into an opera and named an Amazon Best Book for 2012. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, Outside, The Daily Beast, and on National Public Radio. In 2014, he received a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting to cover the ebola outbreak in Liberia, filing stories for Foreign Policy, VICE, and The Los Angeles Review of Books.

Sarah GalvinSarah Galvin is the author of a book of poems, The Three Einsteins, and a book of essays, The Best Party of Our Lives. Her poetry and essays can be also found in io, New Ohio Review, Vice Magazine, and Pinwheel, among others. She is a regular contributor to The Stranger newspaper. She is a winner of the 2015 Lottery Grant, a 2015 James W. Ray award nominee, and was considered for what would have been the first Radio Flyer Wagon DUI in Washington State history.

Sonora JhaSonora Jha is the author of the novel Foreign and is an associate professor of journalism and media studies at Seattle University. Her op-eds have been published in The New York Times, The Seattle Times, Seattle Weekly, and The Globalist and her academic work has appeared in top tier national and international journals. Sonora was previously the Chief of Metro Bureau at The Times of India and a journalist in Singapore before moving to the U.S. to get a Ph.D. in political communication. She is an alumna and president of the board of Hedgebrook Writers’ Retreat and teaches a class in fiction at the Hugo House. She has just finished writing her second book, a memoir.

Johnny HortonJohnny Horton directs the University of Washington’s summer creative writing program in Rome. He’s published poems recently in Poetry Northwest, Notre Dame Review, Cutbank, The Los Angeles Review, Willow Springs, and City of the Broad Shoulders: An Anthology of Chicago Poetry. His poetry manuscript, Vesuvius, After Dark, has recently been a finalist for the National Poetry Series and the Anthony Hecht Prize. He’s been the recipient of a Washington Artist Trust GAP grant. He lives in Seattle where he teaches reading and writing at Seattle Central College and Hugo House.