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November 5, 2016 (Portland, OR)

Jonathan Lethem, Lindy West, Emma Straub & music from Blitzen Trapper
Venue: Aladdin Theater
Doors: 07:00pm
Show: 08:00pm


In collaboration with Literary Arts, we're thrilled to present Live Wire: Wordstock Book Festival Edition

Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem is a man with ambition. To wit: he’s the bestselling author of ten novels including his upcoming A Gambler’s Anatomy and the award-winning Motherless Brooklyn, which was named Novel of the Year by Esquire and won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Salon Book Award, as well as the Macallan Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger. That’s right-- his book won a Gold Dagger. He’s also one of the pioneers of accessible speculative fiction writing, has won a MacArthur “Genius” Grant, and has appeared on the cartoon Bojack Horseman, as himself. Now, he traverses his next frontier-- our show.

Lindy West

We want to do a sound check for Lindy West. Check check, one two. We want to make sure you can hear us shouting about her new book, Shrill: Notes From a Loud Woman. We want to be certain you hear all about how she just won The Stranger’s Genius Award for books in 2016. Can you hear us yelling about her work as a columnist at The Guardian,, The Daily Telegraph, and Jezebel? Are we coming in loud and clear? Have you heard about her reproductive rights destigmatization campaign #ShoutYourAbortion, or her spots on This American Life? Should we go louder? Loud enough? Lindy West? Never.

Emma Straub

Some people call Emma Straub a “New York” author, and they’re not wrong. Looking at her new (much-lauded) novel Modern Lovers, set in Brooklyn, it’s clear that Straub knows a thing or two about the city. But if you take a closer look at Modern Lovers, or her other books The Vacationers, Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures, and the short story collection Other People We Married, there’s a few things you could call Straub, like a family author, or an infidelity author, or a regret author, or a love author. Not to mention a bestselling author whose work has been published in fifteen countries. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, Elle, and Conde Nast Traveler, and she is a contributing writer for Rookie.

Blitzen Trapper

Blitzen Trapper’s frontman Eric Earley describes their album Wild Mountain Nation, critical darling, as sounding “like it had been authored by a drunken scarecrow who had been dragged behind a truck.” That album was listed on Pitchfork’s ‘Best Music of 2007’, as well as making it onto Rolling Stone’s best-of list for that year. Blitzen Trapper has released eight albums to acclaim, have played virtually every cool music festival you’ve been dying to go to, and have just released a live album recorded at Third Man Records, to boot. Earley describes their sound as the kind of songs that “make you want to get loaded and get in a fight, or find a girl and fall in love forever, simultaneously.” You in? We’re in. How could we not be?

November 6, 2016 (Portland, OR)

Sherman Alexie & Garrard Conley
Venue: Mississippi Studios
Doors: 10:00am
Show: 11:00AM


In collaboration with Literary Arts, we're thrilled to present this Live Wire: Wordstock Book Festival Brunch Show! 

Sherman Alexie

We have to take a deep breath for this one. OKAY. Sherman Alexie. For starters, he’s written 25 published books. You probably know his classic book of short stories The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, or his young adult novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, but did you know he also writes poetry, screenplays, and has a new children’s book out called Thunder Boy Jr? Did you know he’s also a performer? Did you know he’s won the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the National Book Award for Young People's Literature? Just listing his accomplishments is more writing than we’ve done...maybe ever. On top of all that, he’s one of the most important modern authors illustrating Native American life on the reservation, all with his signature humor, despair, irony, and toughness. And we’re still leaving a lot out, trust us. 

Garrard Conley

Our guest Garrard Conley (pronounced without the second ‘r’), is a study in starting over. When Conley was a teen in Arkansas in 2004, he was outed as gay to his family. He was subsequently given the option of living his life without them, or going to an “ex-gay” conversion program called Love In Action. He chose to attend Love In Action, and twelve years later, has published his memoir, Boy Erased, detailing his time there, his decision to flee, and life before and afterward. Now Conley’s not only living his own life freely, his work can be found in TIME, VICE, CNN, Buzzfeed Books, Virginia Quarterly Review, and many other publications. 

November 17, 2016 (Portland, OR)

Live Wire Fancy Pants Benefit Show with Naomi Pomeroy!
Venue: Alberta Rose Theatre
Doors: 06:30pm
Show: 07:30pm

Naomi Pomeroy

Naomi Pomeroy is a beast. The 2014 recipient of the James Beard Award for Best Chef: Pacific Northwest, she is a Portland favorite and Oregon native. Don’t let her undergrad degree in History fool you-- Pomeroy’s culinary teeth are thoroughly cut and her creative fangs sink deep. She started Gotham Coffee Shop, Clarklewis, and Gotham Tavern here in our fair city, as well as The Oregonian’s Restaurant of the Year and Williamette Weekly’s Best Brunch, the aptly named Beast, which she still owns and runs. She’s been featured in Gourmet and Elle, and has been on just about everyone’s list of chefs to watch, including Food & Wine, and yes, Oprah. She’s ambitious, she’s talented-- she’s a true beast.

December 2, 2016 (Chicago, IL)

Featuring Reggie Watts
Venue: Lincoln Hall
Doors: 07:30pm
Show: 08:30pm




It’s hard to describe Reggie Watts if you haven’t seen him perform, but we’ll try. First off, he does stand-up. Or, does he? Watts is known for improvising entire shows, and as such, his performances end up being mixes of stand-up comedy, spoken word poetry, beatboxing, music, and freeform thought explosions. So, he does stand-up kind of. Watts calls himself a disinformationist, which means that he… well, what does it mean? It might mean something along the lines of using his wide range of verbal techniques and versatile skills to disorient and entertain his audience, in venues like Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Comedy Bang! Bang!, The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien, Ted Talks, and leading the band for The Late Late Show with James Corden. He’s also got four solo albums, and is the winner of the 2006 Andy Kaufman Comedy Award. And that’s not the half of it. Come get down and disinformed with us. 

December 9, 2016 (Seattle, WA)

Maria Semple & Misha Collins
Venue: The Neptune
Doors: 7pm
Show: 8pm

Maria Semple

Maria Semple is a titan. This is to say that she’s an all-too rare author of literary fiction that is funny. Her most recent novel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, tracks everything from the corporate culture of Microsoft to the preferred drinks of Antarctic researchers. She’s also the author of “compassionate and wickedly funny satire," This One is Mine. Not impressed with those chops? She’s also busted her chops as an Emmy nominated TV writer for shows such as Ellen, Mad About You and was a consulting producer on Arrested Development. He latest book is titled Today Will Be Different, and will debut in October. She doesn’t waste her time-- she goes for the gut; source of feelings, source of belly-laughs.

Misha Collins

Misha Collins isn’t an angel, but he plays one on TV. With a starring role on the CW’s Supernatural as the angel Castiel, you may wonder if all that goodness and divinity leave their mark on him personally-- after all, word has it that his character’s season 12 plot arc is largely focused around literally hunting down Lucifer. One response to that query is that Collins is the co-founder and board president of the  “Random Acts of Kindness,” an organization “dedicated to funding and inspiring acts of kindness around the world.” He’s also responsible for g.i.s.h.w.h.e.s, which stands for the Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen-- a 7-time Guinness World Record breaking, insane scavenger hunt hosted by Collins that tens of thousand of people compete in every year from around the world. So, the short answer is maybe. For the long answer, you’ll have to come see the show!