On Tuesday, October 13, The Nation Live!, a new live magazine experience, launched a short anniversary series in front of 800 people crowding Portland, Oregon’s venerable Newmark Theater.

The idea was to put together some of The Nation’s (and the nation’s) strongest, most creative voices in a mixed-media program of short talks, readings, reflections, conversations, and music.

We heard Walter Mosely read one of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic Nation essays; Naomi Klein bring Wendell Berry’s 1976 musings about energy and development to life with an urgent contemporary postscript; Dave Zirin explain how Muhammad Ali’s 1976 letter to The Nation illustrates how the magazine has always fostered a fruitful tension between liberal reform and more radical critique; Richard Kim breathe life into Tony Kushner’s classic 1994 Nation essay “Socialism of the Skin,” bringing it into a modern space with nuance and appreciation.

There was a wide-ranging conversation between Ursula LeGuin and Zoë Carpenter. John Nichols told a remarkable and largely unknown story about The Nation’s profound influence on American music, and we heard some of the historical evidence of that influence through the vocal stylings of soloist Eric Clausell.

Live magazine shows in Seattle, Washington, and Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse quickly followed this debut. Stay tuned.