Robert Hoge: Own Your Face

This event has already passed Location: Horchow Auditorium

Promotional Partner: TEDxSMU

“We all have scars only we can own.” —Robert Hoge

Join us to hear a powerful personal story that examines life, love, beauty, and owning our own physical imperfections. When Australian author Robert Hoge was born, he had a tumor the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and short, twisted legs. Surgeons removed the tumor and made him a new nose from one of his toes. Amazingly, he survived—with a face that would never be the same.  

Strangers stared at him, kids called him names, and adults could be cruel too. Everybody seemed to agree that he was “ugly.” But Hoge refused to let his face define him. He played pranks, got into trouble, had adventures with his big family, and finally found a sport that was perfect for him to play. Then Hoge came face to face with the biggest decision of his life: undergo another dangerous surgical procedure that might make his looks less striking but could cost him his sight, or live with his “ugly” face forever.

In a starred review, Publishers Weekly raved, “Writing with humor, honesty, compassion and grace, Hoge recounts his life story. . . . [Ugly] testifies to the power of a loving family and a courageous soul.” Geared to middle grade readers and older, the book shows how an extraordinary boy grew up to have an ordinary lifeperhaps his greatest achievement of all. Ugly offers a powerful message about being yourself, shaking off bullying, and embracing your appearance. “Don’t tell kids they’re all beautiful,” says Hoge. “Tell them it’s O.K. to look different.” For more information, visit

2:00 p.m.: Join us for a pre-event tour of art that explores self-image and ideas of beauty, including Frida Kahlo’s Self-Portrait Very Ugly. Tour sign-up will begin 30 minutes prior to the start time. Tour space is limited and is first-come, first-served. 

Robert Hoge will sign books shortly after his talk.

Buy Tickets
Public $20, DMA Member $15, Student $10