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Seattle Arts & Lectures Livestream: Maggie Nelson with Danzy Senna — On Freedom

This virtual event is hosted by Seattle Arts and Lectures. Tickets are required.

Purchase tickets here!


Join Seattle Arts and Lectures and Third Place Books for an evening with poet, scholar, and nonfiction writer Maggie Nelson, whose body of work is often described as hybrid and genre-bending; some say it defies classification. The Paris Review pinpoints the nexus of her writing as, “fluidity: gender, pleasure, desire, and the body are questioned with equal rigor as modality, criticality, and theory.” Maggie Nelson will be joined in conversation by Danzy Senna, the author of Caucasia and, most recently, New People.

The author of the cult-classic Bluets and, more recently, The Argonauts, a finalist for the National Books Critics Circle Award, Nelson is back with a new volume that interweaves critical theory, pop culture, and the intimate exchanges of daily living. Her new book, On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint, explores how we think, experience, and talk about freedom in ways responsive to the conditions of our experience.

All Women You Need to Know (WYNK) Series, Create Your Own Series, and Super SAL subscribers (except Student/25 & Under and complimentary subscriptions) receive Nelson’s forthcoming book, On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint, mailed to the subscriber’s address.


Click here to register for this virtual event.


About On Freedom. . .

An expansive, exhilarating work of criticism by one of the most significant writers of our day

So often deployed as a jingoistic, even menacing rallying cry, or limited by a focus on passing moments of liberation, the rhetoric of freedom both rouses and repels. Does it remain key to autonomy, justice, and well-being, or is freedom’s long star turn coming to a close? Does a continued obsession with the term enliven and emancipate, or reflect a deepening nihilism (or both)? On Freedom examines such questions by tracing the concept’s complexities in four distinct realms: art, sex, drugs, and climate.

Drawing on a vast range of material, from critical theory to pop culture to the intimacies and plain exchanges of daily life, Maggie Nelson explores how we might think, experience, or talk about freedom in ways responsive to the conditions of our day. Her abiding interest lies in ongoing “practices of freedom” by which we negotiate our interrelation with—indeed, our inseparability from—others, with all the care and constraint that entails, while accepting difference and conflict as integral to our communion.

For Nelson, thinking publicly through the knots in our culture—from recent art-world debates to the turbulent legacies of sexual liberation, from the painful paradoxes of addiction to the lure of despair in the face of the climate crisis—is itself a practice of freedom, a means of forging fortitude, courage, and company. On Freedom is an invigorating, essential book for challenging times.

Maggie Nelson is the author of several books of poetry and prose, most recently the New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award winner The Argonauts. She teaches at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.

Danzy Senna is the author of five critically acclaimed books of fiction and nonfiction, including her award-winning first novel Caucasia, and her most recent novel, New People, selected as a New York Times Notable Book and one of Time Magazine’s Best Novels of the Year. Senna is a recipient of the Whiting Writers Award and the Dos Passos Prize for Literature. She lives in Los Angeles and is a Professor at the University of Southern California.

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