As part of The Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry, Seattle poet and translator Don Mee Choi “will discuss Walter Benjamin’s bread, Korean cornbread, warships, Ingmar Bergman’s The Silence, and Kim Hyesoon’s mirrors in her exploration of translation.” Translation is one of the most difficult-to-explain aspects of literature, and the experience of having a mind like Choi’s describe it for us is a blessing. Sorrento Hotel, 900 Madison St., 622-6400, http://hotelsorrento.com. Free. 21 and over. 7 p.m.
Thalia Field’s new novel, Experimental Animals: A Reality Fiction, is based on the true story of Claude Bernard, a French vivisectionist who was married to an animal rights activist. Bernard also was the man who invented and popularized the scientific method. Field has committed two decades to the research in this project, translating work from French into English and piecing together the complicated history of a complicated man. Hugo House, 1021 Columbia St., 322-7030, http://hugohouse.org. Free. All ages. 4 p.m.
You’ve likely seen Theo Gray’s gorgeous book The Elements, an illustrated guide to every one of the elements on the periodic table. His newest book, Reactions: An Illustrated Exploration of Elements, Molecules, and Change in the Universe, shows what happens when those elements combine:.basically, those reactions are responsible for everything in the universe. Rainier Arts Center, 3515 S. Alaska St., 652-4255. http://townhallseattle.org. $5. All ages. 6 p.m.
This special edition of memoirist Paul Mullin’s reading series is curated by Seattle Times reporter Brendan Kiley. Readers include David Schmader, Sydney Brownstone, and Anna Minard. They’ll all be talking on the theme of “political nausea,” which is a commodity that is in no short supply these days.
Saint Andrew’s Bar and Grill, 7406 Aurora Ave N., 523-1193. http://www.standrewsbarandgrill.com/Free. 21+. 8 p.m.