Hagan Center

This week on Northwest Arts Review, Chris Maccini welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning author and next Hagan Series speaker, Hilton Als. We’ll also meet Gatie Nicario-Geelan, artist and recent immigrant to Spokane from the Philippines. Music is from another of the families who contributed to our latest Kids’ Concert.

Hilton Als has been a contributor to The New Yorker since 1989 and a staff writer there since 1994. He has been the recipient of many awards for his theatre and arts criticism and other writings including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000 and Lambda Literary’s Trustee Award for Excellence in Literature, which he received in 2016. He won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 2017. He’s also a curator, artist, and playwright and the author of two books which bleed together memoir, criticism and cultural commentary, The Women, published in 1996, and 2013’s White Girls. Als is also an associate professor of writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and has taught at Yale University, Wesleyan, and Smith College.

Born in El Paso, Texas, Luis J. Rodriguez grew up in Watts and East Los Angeles. A gang member and drug user at the age of twelve, by the time he turned eighteen, Rodríguez had lost twenty-five of his friends to gang violence, drug overdoses, shootings, and suicide. He’s the author of two award-winning autobiographical accounts of his experiences with gang violence and addiction, It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing and Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. 

Rodriguez is also the author of several other books of poetry and prose, including most recently, From Our Land to Our Land: Essays, journeys and imaginings from a native Xicanx writer.

Tracy K. Smith's poetry collection, Life on Mars won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for poetry and from 2017 to 2019, she served as Poet Laureate of the United States. She has also published a memoir, Ordinary Light, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her newest collection of poetry is Wade in the Water, published in 2018. Public Radio listeners may also recognize her voice as the host of The Slowdown, a radio program and podcast which invited listeners to see the world in a different way, through poetry. 

Smith is a professor at Princeton University and on Wednesday, March 10th, she'll be hosting a virtual event with Spokane Community College’s Hagan Center for the Humanities speakers series “Diversity Dialogues, Conversations About Race and Equity."

Dr. Anu Taranath is a professor at the University of Washington where she teaches on global literature, identity, race, and equity. She is the author of the book, Beyond Guilt Trips: Mindful Travel in an Unequal World, as well as a consultant for schools, colleges, libraries, community organizations, and government agencies on social justice and global issues.

Taranath hosted a virtual event as part of Spokane Community College’s Hagan Center for the Humanities Speaker Series "Diversity Dialogues: Conversations About Race and Equity" for which Spokane Public Radio is a media partner. The title of her talk is "Tangled: Why Your Hair Matters to Society."

Melanie Dunea

Kevin Young is the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and poetry editor of The New Yorker. From 2016-2020 he served as the director of the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, most recently, the poetry collection Brown and the nonfiction book Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts & Fake News. He is also the editor of the anthology African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song.

Young was a featured in the Spokane Community College’s Hagan Center for the Humanities  "Diversity Dialogues: Conversations About Race and Equity."