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Thanks for a great season! The 2019 line-up will be announced in the fall of 2018.

Jan 9: Alice McDermott 
Jan 23: Tracy K. Smith
Feb 20: Christina Baker Kine
Mar 20William Finnegan 
Apr 3: Luis Alberto Urrea

All events take place at Paepcke Auditorium located on the campus of the Aspen Institute. Author events start at 6pm, doors at 5:30pm. A signing will follow each discussion and Explore Booksellers will have books for purchase.

Alice McDermott – January 9

National Book Award Winner // Pulitzer Prize Finalist


Alice McDermott is the author of eight novels, including “The Ninth Hour,” published in 2017.  Her seventh novel, “Someone,” was a New York Times best-seller, a finalist for the Dublin IMPAC Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Patterson Prize for Fiction and The Dayton Literary Peace Prize.  “Someone” also was longlisted for the National Book Award.  Three of her previous novels, “After This,” “At Weddings and Wakes” and “That Night,” were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. “Charming Billy” won the National Book Award for fiction in 1998 and was a finalist for the Dublin IMPAC Award.  Her stories, essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker and elsewhere.  She is a professor at Johns Hopkins University. 

Tracy K. Smith – January 23

U.S. Poet Laureate // Pulitzer Prize Winner


Tracy K. Smith was appointed the 22nd United States Poet Laureate in 2017. She is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir “Ordinary Light” and three books of poetry. Her collection “Life on Mars” won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize and was selected as a New York Times Notable Book. “Duende” won the 2006 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets and an Essence Literary Award. “The Body’s Question” was the winner of the 2002 Cave Canem Poetry Prize. Smith was the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Writers Award in 2004 and a Whiting Award in 2005. In 2014 the Academy of American Poets awarded Smith with the Academy Fellowship, given to one poet each year to recognize distinguished poetic achievement. Smith is a professor at Princeton University, where she is director of the creative writing program. Her next collection of poems, “Wade in the Water,” is forthcoming in 2018.

 Christina Baker Kline – February 20

#1 New York Times Bestselling Novelist


Christina Baker Kline is the author of The New York Times best-seller “A Piece of the World,” about the relationship between the artist Andrew Wyeth and the subject of his best-known painting, “Christina’s World.” Kline has written six other novels—”Orphan Train,” “Orphan Train Girl,” “The Way Life Should Be,” “Bird in Hand,” “Desire Lines” and “Sweet Water”—and written or edited five works of nonfiction. Her 2013 novel “Orphan Train” spent more than two years on The New York Times best-seller list, including five weeks at No. 1, and was published in 40 countries. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, LitHub and Psychology Today, among other places. She lives near New York City and on the coast of Maine.

William Finnegan – March 20

Pulitzer Prize Winner // New Yorker Staff Writer


William Finnegan has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1987. He has reported from South Africa, Mozambique, Somalia, Sudan, Mexico, Central America, South America, Spain, Britain, Australia, Madagascar, Ukraine, Moldova, the Gulf States and the Balkans, as well as from many places in the United States. He has written primarily about politics, war, poverty, race, U.S. foreign policy, organized crime, globalization and surfing. He is the author of five books. His work has won many awards, including two Overseas Press Club awards and the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Autobiography for his best-selling memoir, “Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life.” He lives in Manhattan with his wife and daughter.


Charlie MacArthur webCharlie MacArthur has been teaching skiing for 37 years for the Aspen Skiing Company. A ski area trainer and examiner for alpine and telemark, he was selected for America’s elite teaching group, the PSIA Nordic team, from 2008 to 2012, and the PSIA alpine demonstration team, from 2000 to 2004.  In the summer, MacArthur runs Aspen Kayak and Stand Up Paddle.  With a background in downriver kayak racing, adventure racing and stand up paddle racing, he has been certifying and coaching students and instructors in river running, freestyle and racing techniques since 1990.  He also works with C4 Waterman, a water sports equipment company, to test and develop river-specific stand up boards. MacArthur grew up in Los Angeles and spent summers in Hawaii. He lives in Aspen with his wife and daughter.

Luis Alberto Urrea – April 3

Pulitzer Prize Finalist // PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist


Luis Alberto Urrea was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his landmark work of nonfiction “The Devil’s Highway,” and is also the best-selling author of the novels “The Hummingbird’s Daughter,” “Into the Beautiful North” and “Queen of America,” as well as the story collection “The Water Museum,” a PEN/Faulkner Award finalist. He has won the Lannan Literary Award, an Edgar Award and a 2017 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, among many other honors. Born in Tijuana to a Mexican father and American mother, he lives outside of Chicago and teaches at the University of Illinois-Chicago.