On Forgetting: Writers and Scientists on Memory's Other Side

Memory sits at the core of both literature and lives. Yet forgetting is also a part of our brains' daily working, bringing its own human truths and a necessary path for moving forward. Lewis Hyde's new A Primer for Forgetting: Getting Past the Past, provides inspiration for a deep-dive discussion of memory's other side, with this august panel of writers and neuroscientists. Featuring poets Jane Hirshfield and Margaret Gibson, author Lewis Hyde, and UCSF neuroscientists Aimee Kao, Bruce Miller, and Virginia Sturm. 

FREE, advance registration recommended.

Co-hosted by Litquake, San Francisco's Literary Festival.

Authors and Participants

  • Margaret Gibson, current Connecticut Poet Laureate, is the author of 12 books of poetry, including Not Hearing the Wood Thrush (2018) and Broken Cup (2014), centered on memory loss from Alzheimer's and the gifts of sustaining presence through lament, acceptance, and love. She is Professor Emerita at the University of Connecticut.
  • Jane Hirshfield's ninth poetry collection, Ledger (Knopf), appears in 2020. Chancellor emerita of the Academy of American Poets and recently elected into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, she works frequently at the intersection of poetry and science. Her work appears in The New Yorker, Atlantic, Poetry, et al.
  • Lewis Hyde’s recent book, A Primer for Forgetting (FSG, 2019), explores the many situations in which forgetfulness is more useful than memory—in myth, personal psychology, politics, art & spiritual life. A MacArthur Fellow, Hyde taught for many years at Kenyon College.
  • Aimee Kao, MD, PhD, is a UCSF Associate Professor of Neurology. She directs the UCSF Tau Consortium Human Fibroblast and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Bank and leads the UCSF Alzheimer Disease Research Center Neurodegenerative Disease Biomarker Core. She has received the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Distinguished Investigator Award in Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Glenn Award for Research in the Biological Mechanisms of Aging.
  • Bruce L. Miller, MD, holds the A.W. and Mary Margaret Clausen Distinguished Professor in Neurology and directs the Memory and Aging Center at UCSF. Dr. Miller also co-directs the Global Brain Health Institute, working to reduce the social and personal impact of dementia around the world by training a new generation of leaders.
  • Virginia Sturm, PhD, is an Associate Professor at UCSF in the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry, and she directs the Clinical Affective Neuroscience (CAN) Laboratory. Her research focuses on identifying the neural systems that support emotion and social behavior in neurodegenerative disease and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Byers Auditorium
600 16th Street, San Francisco, California 94158

Event Type

Arts & Entertainment


School of Medicine


Students, Postdocs, Faculty, Staff, Local Community, Alumni, Patients


Mission Bay





Memory and Aging Center


Contact Info



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