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What does it mean to labor in modern-day America? Alex Gallo-Brown takes the stage with visions from his book Variations of Labor, offering poetry, essays, and fiction about all walks of work. In conversation with Nicole Vallestero Keenan-Lai of Puget Sound Sage, Gallo-Brown explores the lives of semiprofessional poker players, line cooks in high-tech company cafeterias, and an activist trying to drum up support for a union. Gallo-Brown paints a bleak picture of dead-end jobs and truncated hopes, while simultaneously depicting the roil underneath the surface of all those who have been disrespected and written off. Sit in with Gallo-Brown and Keenan-Lai for the complex, sobering, and human stories of labor in our country.
Alex Gallo-Brown is a poet, journalist, and labor activist from Seattle. He is the author of The Language of Grief, a collection of poems. He has received emerging artist awards from WonderRoot and the City of Atlanta and twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize in poetry.
Nicole Vallestero Keenan-Lai is the Executive Director of Puget Sound Sage. Previously, she was the Executive Director of the Fair Work Center, a hub for workers to understand and exercise their legal rights, improve working conditions, and connect with community resources.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle as part of the 2019 Homecoming Festival.