Santa Barbara hosts some major global figures this spring, among them the Honorable Tony Blair, who served as prime minister of the U.K. from 1997 to 2007, and His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet. Blair will speak about global interdependence at the Arlington Theatre on Monday, April 20, while the Dalai Lama will appear at UCSB’s Events Center on Friday, April 24, in two already sold-out talks (artsandlectures.ucsb.edu). UCSB’s Arts & Lectures program also brings a full slate of speakers to venues across town, among them beloved humorist writer Bill Bryson at the Granada Theatre on Tuesday, April 14, and pop-neurologist Oliver Sacks at UCSB’s Campbell Hall on Wednesday, April 22.
If you’re wondering where to go for intellectual inspiration from a feminine perspective, make sure to check out the Women’s Literary Festival (womensliteraryfestival.com), which takes place on Saturday, March 28, at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. There you’ll find New York Times reporter Jennifer 8. Lee and Moroccan novelist Laila Lalami. Also at the DoubleTree, there’ll be a bevy of well-known writers at the CALM Celebrity Authors’ Luncheon (calm4kids.org)-including Jacqueline Winspear of Maisie Dobbs mystery series fame and the South Coast’s very own Selden Edwards, author of The Little Book-this Saturday, March 21.
Great minds have been converging in Santa Barbara for years as part of SBCC Adult Education’s popular Mind & Supermind Series. This season’s speakers include professor of philosophy and cultural studies Richard Tarnas, who will discuss the experience of synchronicity, and martial arts master Dan Millman, who will address spirituality in the modern world, both at the Lobero Theatre. UCSB also offers a series of fascinating lectures through its SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind (sagecenter.ucsb.edu), including appearances by playwright and blues composer Dan Wheetman on Monday, April 6, and Monday, April 20, and Paola Antonelli, curator of design at MOMA, New York, on Thursday, April 2, both at the Mosher Alumni House on campus.
April is poetry month, and there will be readings all over town (sbpoetry.net), including a Langston Hughes tribute by Sojourner Kincaide Rolle in the Lobero Theatre courtyard on Friday, April 3, and a Poetry Marathon hosted by past poet laureate Barry Spacks at the Contemporary Arts Forum on Saturday, April 25. Other highlights in the life of the mind this spring include Edina Lekovic‘s talk on Muslim America on Sunday, May 3, and Reverend Dr. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite‘s lecture on theological anthropology on Sunday, May 24, both at Victoria Hall Theater, courtesy of UCSB’s Walter H. Capps Center (cappscenter.ucsb.edu).