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  • Date: November 10
  • Time: 7:30pm - 9:30pm PT

Hugo Literary Series: Jericho Brown, Porochista Khakpour, Rachel Kessler

Fred Wildlife Refuge (128 Belmont Ave East) | 21+ | Doors open at 6:30 pm
General: $25 | Hugo House member: $20 | Student (with ID): $12

The 2017-2018 Hugo Literary Series coincides with our move to a new and permanent home on the same site where we first opened our doors over 20 years ago. In this same spirit of development and growth, we’ve commissioned new work on themes of real estate—from the pragmatic issues of property value to the more nebulous idea of place.

Award-winning poet Jericho Brown; critically acclaimed writer Porochista Khakpour; Seattle-based poet, performer, and one-half of the Vis-à-Vis Society, Rachel Kessler; and musician Katie Jacobson will present new and original work on the theme of “Area Protected by Neighborhood Watch.”

Books will be for sale through Elliott Bay Book Company and Open Books: A Poem Emporium.

Classes with visiting writers, which are open to writers of all levels, take place on September 16. For more information and to register, visit the class pages below:

Jumpstart Your Engines Poetry Workshop with Jericho Brown

Experimental Writing for Non-Experimental Writers with Porochista Khakpour

Jericho Brown is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was named one of the best of the year by Library Journal, Coldfront, and the Academy of American Poets. His poems have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The New Republic, Buzzfeed, and The Pushcart Prize Anthology. He is an associate professor of English and creative writing at Emory University.

Porochista Khakpour is the author of the forthcoming memoir Sick (Harper Perennial, May 2018), and the novels The Last Illusion (Bloomsbury, 2014)—a 2014 “Best Book of the Year” according to NPR, Kirkus, Buzzfeed, Popmatters, Electric Literature, and more—and Sons and Other Flammable Objects (Grove, 2007)—the 2007 California Book Award winner in First Fiction, a Chicago Tribune’s “Fall’s Best,” and a New York Times “Editor’s Choice.” She is currently writer-in-residence at Bard College, adjunct faculty at Columbia University, and visiting faculty at VCFA’s MFA program.

Rachel KesslerRachel Kessler‘s essays, poems, cartoons, videos, and visual art have appeared in books The Open Daybook, Ghosts of Seattle Past, and WA129, as well as The Stranger, Narrative Magazine, Literary Hub, Poetry Northwest, and public restrooms throughout Washington state. Kessler is cofounder of poetry performance collaborations Typing Explosion and Vis-à-Vis Society. She is currently working on a community cartography project called “Profanity Hill: A Tour of Yesler Way.” rachelkessler.org


Katie Jacobson is a composer, improviser and performer from Seattle. Katie loves to write in any and every style of music: punk songs about being old, rhymes about going to school, sexy synth love songs, and pizza dance parties feature among her lyrical topics. Katie’s thoughtful lyrics and powerful singing tie everything together, marrying seriousness with humor at every moment. Katie is currently involved in the bands Tiny Ghost and Honey Noble and the interdisciplinary projects Command (CMD: Computers, Music and Dance) and The Honey Noble Opera which will be premiering their first piece in June of 2018.

The Hugo Literary Series presents new writing and songs from a theme, or writing prompt, commissioned by Hugo House. The nights are collages of unexpected styles and different points of view, and the writers and musicians are encouraged to work without a sense of obligation, censorship, or stylistic frame. No one sees or hears the work before it is read or performed at the events for the very first time.

Guest writers for the Literary Series often teach a class before or after the events. These classes require a separate registration. For more information on our classes, visit the class page.