LIVE from the NYPL!



The Spring Season for LIVE from the NYPL is upon us, engaging notable writers, artists, and leaders in conversation with host, Paul Holdengräber.  Take a look at who is heading to the Library Stage + more at NYPL.

Library After Hours. Image courtesy of NYPL

Related programming for LIVE from the NYPL include hundreds of other programs on a wide range of subjects from the Thinking Out Loud Series, Author Talks, (one of my favorites) Art Talks, and the popular Library After Hours.

Pre-sale for LIVE from the NYPL for Friends of the NYPL start on Friday, February 2nd. General public tickets will go on sale Monday, February 5th.

In addition, check out the NYPL’s collaboration with Carnegie Hall’s citywide festival The 60s, as part of You Say You Want A Revolution: Remembering the 60s, at Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, and the exhibit, Power in Print, showcasing the art of the Black Power Movement, on view to April 29, 2018 at The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (NYPL), 515 Malcolm X Boulevard in Harlem, and while you’re there, check out the exhibit, Black Power! on view through March, 2018 #BlackHistoryMonth. Right around the corner, on 136th Street you will find the exhibit, Derrick Adams: Patrick Kelly, The Journey on view to February 23 at Countee Cullen Library (NYPL), 104 West 136th Street as part of The Studio Museum in Harlem’s inHarlem program.

Let’s start with ~  LIVE from the NYPL ~ below:

Patton Oswalt. Image via NYPL

February 27 | Patton Oswalt with Paul Holdengräber: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark ~ The comedian and actor shares the posthumous true-crime masterpiece written by his wife Michelle McNamara, who died suddenly at the age of 46 in 2016. McNamara, creator of, spent years tracking a California serial killer she dubbed the Golden State Killer, who between 1976 and 1986 committed 50 sexual assaults and 10 murders up and down California. Oswalt wrote, “I can’t help feeling that somewhere, in her final pages, she left enough clues for someone to finish the job she couldn’t — to put California’s worst serial killer behind bars.”

Cass Sunstein. Photo credit: Phil Farnsworth via NYPL

March 5 | Cass Sunstein with Samantha Power: Can It Happen Here? ~ In 1935, Sinclair Lewis’s novel It Can’t Happen Here imagined a dystopian future in which American democracy is bent to the will of a demagogic strongman whose tyranny propels the country into undreamed-of chaos. In 2018, Harvard Professor Cass R. Sunstein polls some of the great thinkers of our generation to ask how democracy in the United States could actually crumble and whether authoritarianism can actually happen here. He will discuss the resulting volume, Can It Happen Here, which he edited, with Samantha Power, former US Ambassador to the United Nations, who is also his wife.

Thomas McGuane. Photo credit: Bruce Weber via NYPL

March 6 | Tom McGuane: The Long and Short of It ~ “I can’t imagine wanting to do more or better than a short story,” said Tom McGuane. “A story has as much of an emotional payoff as a novel. It has to do with the pristine lyric language, the concision of the narrative…The best stories, I think of them as apertures. They’re how the dissonances come to light.” The National Book Award–nominated author looks back on a life of stories, in celebration of Cloudbursts, his latest book, which collects short stories from throughout his career.

John Carlos. Image via NYPL

March 13 | John Carlos with Dave Zirin: Political Games ~ When you Google “1968 Olympics” the first suggestion returned is “1968 Olympics Black Power salute.” That iconic image, of John Carlos at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City—shoes off, head down, black-gloved fist raised in salute—has come to define the spirit of protest that infused the late 1960s. This spring, as the Library remembers the 1960s in its exhibit, You Say You Want a Revolution, Dr. Carlos will speak with sports writer Dave Zirin about the principles behind the protests of athletes, and what power they have to impact culture and influence politics.

Billy Collins. Photo credit: Bill Hayes via NYPL

March 16 | Billy Collins with Paul Holdengräber: Ramblin Man ~ Poetry, to Billy Collins, is a journey, “the result of many contrivances ranging from rhetorical modulations to leaps of fanciful conjuring and sudden shifts in time and space…Poetry invites us to travel into new realms…Insofar as it is the only history we have of the human heart, poetry can carry us into the history of feeling and connect us to that largest of communities.” The former Poet Laureate and NYPL Library Lion will take you on a journey up and down the meter and verse of his own poetic life.

Isabella Rossellini. Photo credit Patrice Casanova via NYPL

April 3 | Isabella Rossellini with Menno Schilthuizen: Chickens & Eggs ~ Actor Isabella Rossellini raises chickens; evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen studies them. In My Chickens Rossellini unexpectedly breeds 38 yellow chicks of diverse heritage breeds and capitalizes on the opportunity to study their traits, behavior, and history. In Darwin Comes to Town, Schilthuizen posits that the strange and rapid adaptations made by animals in urban environments suggest that evolution is perhaps not the slow grinding process biologists have long believed in. From husbandry to research, Rossellini and Schilthuizen will celebrate and explore the mysteries and wonders of our animal kingdoms.

Edwidge Danticat. Image via NYPL

April 6 | Edwidge Danticat with Paul Holdengräber: The Art of Immigration ~ The art of the immigrant experience in America has never lacked for political charge and complexity. Few people know this better than Edwidge Danticat. Haitian born, and raised partially in the States, Danticat has lived through a country which in the 80s and 90s regularly informed her that all Haitians had AIDS and now lives in the same country where the president has reportedly called her birthplace a “shithole.” Danticat, who celebrates the immigrant as artist by claiming that “re-creating your entire life is a form of reinvention on par with the greatest works of literature,” will discuss the manners in which she has wielded her art to raise up immigrant voices and how the turmoil of today is changing her approach to it for the future.

Rachel Kushner. Photo credit: Chloe Aftel via NYPL

May 1 | Rachel Kushner: Prison Complex ~ Bestselling author Rachel Kushner joins LIVE to discuss her most recent novel, The Mars Room, set in a women’s correctional facility deep within California’s central valley. Romy Hall is at the start of two consecutive life sentences and severed from the San Francisco of her youth and her young son, Jackson. Inside is a new reality: thousands of women hustling for the bare essentials needed to survive; the bluffing and pageantry and casual acts of violence by guards and prisoners alike; and the deadpan absurdities of institutional living, which Kushner evokes with great humor and precision.

This event is co-presented with the Onassis Cultural Center New York.

Arundhati Roy. Photo credit: Mayank Austen-Soofi via NYPL

May 3 | Arundhati Roy: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness ~ Twenty years after The God of Small Things won Arundhati Roy the Booker Prize and made her the most famous novelist on the Indian subcontinent, she returned in 2017 with her novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness. The novel was hailed for its “combinatory genius” and longlisted for the Booker Prize. Roy’s previous novel was described as the private and intimate stories of people; The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, which is published in paperback this spring, is said to recount “the vast, violent, circling, driving, ridiculous, insane, unfeasible, public turmoil of a nation.”

Mario Vargas-Llosa. Photo credit: Morgana Vargas-Llosa via NYPL

May 14 | Mario Vargas Llosa with Paul Holdengräber: A Life in Letters ~ Legend has it that Mario Vargas Llosa was notified of winning the Nobel Prize while working in the Rose Main Reading Room of the New York Public Library. Vargas Llosa has worked on at least two of his novels here—The Storyteller and The Dream of the Celt—and while teaching at Princeton he spent afternoons off here reading. This year, in celebration of his new novel, The Neighborhood, the titan of contemporary Western literature travels from the stacks to the stage to discuss his life in letters.

Jane Mayer. Photo credit: Stephen Voss via NYPL

May 21 | Jane Mayer with Paul Holdengräber: Investigative Journalism ~ Two-time Helen Bernstein Book Award winner Jane Mayer joins Paul Holdengräber for a conversation spanning her decades-long career. An author of narrative nonfiction and a staff writer for The New Yorker, Mayer’s in-depth investigative reporting has uncovered hard truths about American life that challenge our understanding of culture, politics, and foreign policy. Her books and magazine pieces have tackled sexual harassment, the war on terror, the deployment of drones, the prosecution of whistleblowers, and, in her most recent book, Dark Money, the uses and abuses of money in electoral politics. This event will follow the 2018 Bernstein Awards, honoring journalists and their important role in drawing public attention to current issues, events, or policies.

Roxane Gay. Photo credit: Jay Grabiec via NYPL

June 11 | Roxane Gay: Not That Bad ~ In her latest book, Not That Bad: Dispatches from Rape Culture, Roxane Gay brings together an incredible array of women to share first-person essays that directly tackle rape, assault, and harassment. The book asks what it means to live in a world where women have to measure the harassment, violence, and aggression they face, and where they are “routinely second-guessed, blown off, discredited, denigrated, besmirched, belittled, patronized, mocked, shamed, gaslit, insulted, bullied” for speaking out. Gay will speak out at LIVE on a topic that is growing more timely by the minute.

Upcoming Author Talks ~ A wide variety of topics and genres, from fiction to journalism, through discussions and presentations by leading writers in their fields. Visit for location information and additional details.

Upcoming Art Talks ~ Leading artists, scholars, and creative experts from around the world present the latest ideas in contemporary art, preservation, design, and more. Visit for location information and additional details.

Upcoming Library After Hours ~ The city’s most cerebral happy hour — featuring behind-the-scenes access to the Library’s collections, specially curated film screenings and other “only at NYPL” experiences — takes place on select Fridays. Visit for more information.

And last, but not least, Upcoming Thinking Out Loud programs ~ Public intellectuals and Library scholars discuss today’s most pressing issues in politics, education, the arts, and humanities. Visit for additional program details and information.