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Thursday, April 13, 2023
7:00 PM
Hammer Theatre

General Admission: Free


Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. His first full length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was released in June 2016 from Button Poetry. It was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Prize, and was nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. With Big Lucks, he released a limited edition chapbook, Vintage Sadness, in summer 2017 (you cannot get it anymore and he is very sorry.) His first collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was released in winter 2017 by Two Dollar Radio and was named a book of the year by Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, Paste, CBC, The Los Angeles Review, Pitchfork, and The Chicago Tribune, among others. He released Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest with University of Texas press in February 2019. The book became a New York Times Bestseller, was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, and was longlisted for the National Book Award. His second collection of poems, A Fortune For Your Disaster, was released in 2019 by Tin House, and won the 2020 Lenore Marshall Prize. In 2021, he released the book A Little Devil In America with Random House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the The PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. The book won the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the Gordon Burn Prize. Hanif is a graduate of Beechcroft High School.


Keenan Norris is a novelist, essayist and scholar. His latest novel is The Confession of Copeland Cane, the winner of the 2022 Northern California Book Award. His essays have garnered the 2021-22 National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award in Music, Theater and Performing Arts and the 2021 Folio: Eddie Award. His debut novel Brother and the Dancer received the James D. Houston Award in 2012.

In 2023, Keenan has published Chi Boy: Native Sons and Chicago Reckonings, a non-fiction blend of essay, history and memoir. His novella Lustre will arrive in March.

In January, Keenan served as Lannan Visiting Writer at the Institute of American Indian Arts and in fall 2021, he was Rea Visiting Writer at the University of Virginia. He serves as coordinator of the Steinbeck Fellows Program at San Jose State University and guest editor and is a contributing scholar for the Oxford African-American Studies Center.


In 2013, Keenan edited the seminal Street Lit: Representing the Urban Landscape. His feature pieces and articles have appeared in numerous forums, including the Los Angeles Review of Books, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, TED-ED and Alta, while his short fiction has been published in several anthologies of California literature. He is an Associate Professor at San Jose State University.

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