See Who Enters the Chat Next

An in depth speaker series highlighting notable voices from the Sacramento community and beyond

Join us for this free speaker series for thoughtful conversations on topics that matter to our community. No advance registration is required for these live, in-person events.  

After Afro-Punk: Enters the Chat – July 25 from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria
Join us for a celebration of the music, poetry, and zine communities when graphic novelist James Spooner and poet Hanif Abdurraqib sit down for an insightful conversation followed by a performance by Sweeping Promises.

James Spooner is an award-winning graphic novelist, filmmaker, and tattoo artist. His debut graphic novel, The High Desert was named “Best of 2022” by Publishers Weekly, The Washington Post, and The New York Public Library. Spooner co-edited an anthology of Black punk writers and comic creators entitled Black Punk Now. The book was named in the top 10 Music Books of 2023 by Pitchfork, the top 5 Music Books from the Guardian, and received a Kirkus star. Pantheon has recently acquired his forthcoming second memoir, set for publication in 2025. He was recently commissioned to adapt a story by the Scottish Book Trust and is a regular contributor to RazorCake Magazine

Spooner directed the seminal documentary Afro-Punk which premiered at national and international film festivals, including Toronto International and The American Black Film Festival. James also co-founded the AfroPunk Festival, which currently boasts audiences in the hundreds of thousands around the world.

​Spooner was a recipient of the ReNew Media Rockefeller Grant. He is a guest curator for the Broad Museum in Los Angeles and the Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas and previously programmed for the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Hanif Abdurraqib is a poet, essayist, and cultural critic from Columbus, Ohio. His poetry has been published in Muzzle, Vinyl, PEN American, and various other journals. His essays and music criticism have been published in The FADER, Pitchfork, The New Yorker, and The New York Times. His first full-length poetry collection, The Crown Ain't Worth Much, was released in June 2016 from Button Poetry. It was named a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Prize and was nominated for a Hurston-Wright Legacy Award. With Big Lucks, he released a limited-edition chapbook, Vintage Sadness, in the summer of 2017 (you cannot get it anymore and he is very sorry).

His first collection of essays, They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, was released in the winter of 2017 by Two Dollar Radio and was named a book of the year by Buzzfeed, Esquire, NPR, Oprah Magazine, Paste, CBC, The Los Angeles Review, Pitchfork, and The Chicago Tribune, among others. He released Go Ahead in The Rain: Notes To A Tribe Called Quest with the University of Texas Press in February 2019. The book became a New York Times Bestseller, was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, and was longlisted for the National Book Award.

His second collection of poems, A Fortune for Your Disaster, was released in 2019 by Tin House and won the 2020 Lenore Marshall Prize. In 2021, he released the book A Little Devil in America with Random House, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. The book won the 2022 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction and the Gordon Burn Prize. Hanif is a graduate of Beechcroft High School.

Sweeping Promises are Lira Mondal and Caufield Schnug. A chance meeting in Arkansas led to a decade of playing in an eclectic assortment of projects together. Their relentless practice made perfect. Bass playing Lira is an emotive bolt of thunderous energy with the iconic blast of a girl group rolled into one robust throat. Caufield is an intentional guitar player and drummer. No note or hit is extraneous. Together they are meticulous sound engineers, using space as a key ingredient to their distinct sound. Controlling every aspect of their craft, from the first note they write together, all the way through to the final mastering process, each record is an unspoiled fingerprint unique to their dynamic chemistry.

Previously of Enters the Chat

Barbara Rae-Venter: Entered the Chat
Author Barbara Rae-Venter comes to Sacramento and Enters the Chat to talk all about her book, I Know Who You Are: How an Amateur DNA Sleuth Unmasked the Golden State Killer and Changed Crime Fighting Forever.

Illyanna Maisonet: Entered the Chat
Illyanna Maisonet discussed her book, Diasporican: A Puerto Rican Cookbook. Described as a “delicious journey through purpose, place, and the power of food” Diasporican is a visual record of Puerto Rican food, ingredients, and techniques.

Christian Cooper: Entered the Chat
Christian Cooper joined us for a conversation all about his debut memoir, the NY Times best-selling book, Better Living Through Birding: Notes from a Black Man in the Natural World

Gabby Rivera: Entered the Chat
Gabby Rivera dropped by Sacramento Public Library to talk all about her impressive work like her debut novel Juliet Takes a Breath and the solo Marvel comics series AMERICA about America Chavez, a portal-punching queer Latina powerhouse.

TJ Klune: Entered the Chat
Bestselling author TJ Klune was in conversation with the Big Gay Fiction Podcast to chat about publishing, writing, queer identity, book-banning, being neurodiverse, and the upcoming sequel to The House in the Cerulean Sea.

It's not too late to join the conversation... watch previous Enters the Chat guests like Ear Hustle, Paul Holes, Ann Bannon and more on YouTube.