War and human rights. Laughter and frivolity. Puzzles and puzzlement. These are the conversations that pertain to the world today. So set your TiVo and dare to try on new ideas from the selection of lectures and book events scheduled for spring.
A Spiritual Progressive Encounters the War Machine in America
Rev. George Regas examines the questions we agonize over as the Iraq War continues. Thu., Mar. 22, 8pm. Victoria Hall Theater, 33 W. Victoria St. Visit cappscenter.ucsb.edu.
Speaking of Baseball
Take me out to the : Lobero for stories about our favorite stadium sport. Tales by John Updike and others will be read by favorite actors including Irwin Appel and Tom Hinshaw. Mon., Mar. 26, 7:30pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. Call 966-3875 or visit speakingofstories.org.
Poetry Month Kickoff
The Santa Barbara Poetry Series features celebrated writers David Starkey and Cecilia Woloch to inaugurate poetry month. Sat., Mar. 31, 7pm. Contemporary Arts Forum, 653 Paseo Nuevo. Call 966-1423.
Mary Hershey and Robin LaFevers
Renowned children’s book authors Hershey and LaFevers share the podium in this delightful afternoon reading from The One Where the Kid Nearly Jumps to His Death and Theodosia Throckmorton and The Serpents of Chaos. Sun., Apr. 1, 3pm. Chaucer’s Books, 3321 State St. Call 682-6787 or visit chaucers.booksense.com.
From Shore to Sea
The Maritime Museum and Channel Islands National Park host this free lecture focused on the natural history of our unique coastal environment. Tue., Apr. 10, 7pm. Munger Theater, S.B. Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Wy. Call 962-8404 or visit sbmm.org.
The Big One-Oh
Throughout our lives, birthdays are moments of both exhilaration and anticipation. Does the actual day live up to the hype? Screenwriter and director Dean Pitchford weaves the humorous tale of The Big One-Oh. Sat., Apr. 14, 2pm. Tecolote Books, 1470 East Valley Rd. Call 969-4977.
Poetry evokes magic as Ridland reads from his new work, A Brahms Card Ballad. Sun., Apr. 15, 3pm. Chaucer’s Books, 3321 State St. Call 682-6787 or visit chaucers.booksense.com.
Amy Tan in Conversation with Pico Iyer
Since millions worldwide read The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan has been a favorite. She and Iyer promise to share confessions and confidences in their afternoon conversation. Sun., Apr. 15, 4pm. UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Call 893-3535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
The Unconscious Actor: Out of Control, In Full Command
A lifetime in acting has taught Daryl Hickman the art of performance excellence in any field; he shares these secrets here. Tue., Apr. 17, 5-7pm. Tecolote Books, 1470 East Valley Rd. Call 969-4977.
An Evening of Poetry with Mary Oliver
Pulitzer Prize-winner Mary Oliver is by far one of the best working poets today, with her play of imagery from the natural world and the precious gift that is everyday life. Wed., Apr. 18, 8pm. UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Call 893-3535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
Field Notes from a Catastrophe- Man, Nature, and Climate Change
Field Notes is the book chosen by UCSB to inaugurate its campus- and city-wide reading group. Discussed throughout the spring, now Elizabeth Kolbert will come to speak about her book. In Field Notes, Kolbert described her worldwide journey to uncover the facts in the debate about global warming. The answers provide some chilling implications. Thu., Apr. 19, 8pm. UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Call 893-3535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
Guant¡namo Bay: A Struggle for Justice and Human Rights
James Yee was the Muslim chaplain at the U.S. Guant¡namo Bay prison camp. Yee spoke up about prisoner abuse and was investigated and imprisoned himself. Charges were dropped, but he resigned. Mon., Apr. 23, 8pm. UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Call 893-3535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
David Sedaris and Sarah Vowell
Nothing more needs to be said; just read the names again. This evening is an event not to be missed for fans of these authors’ wry and uproarious humor. Sat., Apr. 28, 8pm. Arlington Theatre. Call 893-3535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
Tales from the New Yorker Magazine
Lauded as one of the best places to find provocative fiction, Speaking of Stories selects stories by authors including Christopher Buckley and David Sedaris for nighttime reading. Mon., Apr. 30, 7:30pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. Call 966-3875 or visit speakingofstories.org.
Special Topics in Calamity Physics
This delightfully funny novel is pleasantly deceptive. Across the globe readers have praised Marisha Pessl’s complex, entertaining debut, named one of the 10 Best Books of 2006 by the New York Times. Mon., Apr. 30, 8pm. Victoria Hall Theater, 33 W. Victoria St. Call 893-3535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
The Higher Power of Lucky
Susan Patron and Matt Phelan’s Newberry Award-winning book follows Lucky through adventures and misadventures. Join Patron this afternoon. Sun., May 6, 3pm. Chaucer’s Books, 3321 State St. Call 682-6787 or visit chaucers.booksense.com.
A Puzzling Afternoon
Will Shortz is the New York Times crossword puzzle editor. Bring your No. 2 pencils for an afternoon of puzzles, word games, and audience participation. Sun., May 6, 4pm. UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Call 893-3535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
Blessed Unrest is visionary environmentalist Hawken’s latest work, examining what is right in the world. Mon., May 14, 8pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. Call 8933535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
Religion in American Politics: Too Much or Too Little?
Rabbi Michael Lerner debates Roman Catholic social theorist and former U.S. ambassador to the UN Human Rights Commission Michael Novak. Thu., May 17, 8pm. UCSB’s Campbell Hall. Call 893-3535 or visit www.artsandlectures.ucsb.edu.
Speaking of Dad
A fitting Father’s Day tribute of stories detailing triumphs and tribulations. Bring your dad! Mon., May 21, 7:30pm. Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St. Call 9663875 or visit speakingofstories.org.