Please register for all virtual events through the College’s Events Calendar page. 
You will receive a link and password before the event. If you have any questions, please email the faculty contact listed for each event. Thank you!

Wednesday, February 17th at 4:10pm: Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts (Non-fiction)

Sharifa Rhodes-Pitts is the author of Harlem Is Nowhere: A Journey to the Mecca of Black America. The first volume of a planned trilogy on African-Americans and utopia (Harlem, Haiti and the Black Belt of the American south), it was a New York Times Notable Book of 2011, a National Book Critics Circle Finalist and cited by BOOKFORUM as the “Best New York Book” written in the twenty years since the magazine’s founding. In 2019, Slate included Harlem Is Nowhere among its list of the “50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Past 25 Years.”

Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Nation, Chimurenga, Bidoun, A Public Space, Creative Time Reports, Harper’s, Essence and Vogue, among many others. She has received grants and awards from Creative Capital, the Whiting Foundation, the Rona Jaffe Foundation and the Lannan Foundation. Her 2015 book for young readers, Jake Makes a World: Jacob Lawrence a Young Artist in Harlem (commissioned by MoMA and illustrated by Christopher Myers), was named by Booklist among the year’s top books about art for children.

 Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Writer-in-Residence fund.

Faculty Contact: Megan Fernandes (fernanmk@lafayette.edu)

Register for Sharifa’s event here: https://lafayette.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMucOmsqT8oGtRbUcFydQ_31b6ymkv6WUiH

 Thursday, February 25th at 4:10pm: Keisha Bush (Fiction)

 

Keisha Bush was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She received her MFA in creative writing from The New School, where she was a Riggio Honors Teaching Fellow and recipient of an NSPE Dean’s Scholarship. After a career in corporate finance and international development that brought her to live in Dakar, Senegal, she decided to focus full-time on her writing. She lives in East Harlem. Her debut novel, No Heaven for Good Boys, was published in January 2021 by Random House

 Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Writer-in-Residence fund.

Faculty Contact: Mikael Awake (awakem@lafayette.edu)

 Tuesday, March 2nd at 4:10pm: Claire Messud (Fiction and Non-fiction)

Claire Messud is a recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She is the author of six works of fiction including her latest novel, The Burning Girl. Her newest book is Kant’s Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write: An Autobiography Through Essays. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her family.

 Sponsored by the Writer-in-Residence fund.

Faculty Contact: Jennifer Gilmore (gilmorjw@lafayette.edu)

 Wednesday, March 3rd at 4:10pm: Jean Corrie Poetry Reading with Edgar Kunz and Student Poets (Poetry)

Edgar Kunz is the author of the poetry collection Tap Out (Mariner / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019), a New York Times New & Noteworthy book. Originally from New England, Edgar lives in Baltimore where he teaches at Goucher College and in the low-residency Newport MFA. He has received fellowships and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), MacDowell, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and Stanford University, where he was a Wallace Stegner Fellow. He is working on a book of poems about love and late capitalism.

Sponsored by the Department of English.

Faculty Contact: Megan Fernandes (fernanmk@lafayette.edu)

Register for the Jean Corrie Poetry event here: https://lafayette.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAkcOyhpzIjHNPbzQEffIOZZk5-96CHPYAf

Wednesday, March 10th at 7pm: Cardidad Svich (Playwriting)

As a playwright, songwriter, editor and translator living between many cultures, including inherited ones, the idea of departure has always been not only an actual or metaphorical basis for writing the work, but also an idea made manifest through the enactment of writing, its performance, and my living of it. Born in the US of Cuban-Argentine-Spanish-Croatian parents, I have felt in a strange kind of exile even while growing up as an “American.” This sense of dislocation extends to the fact that as a child and adolescent, I lived in several states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Florida, North Carolina, Utah, New York, and California, not to mention many cross-country road trips in between. The nomadic strain was thus instilled in me and has become an inevitable part of my writing vision. Explorations of wanderlust, dispossession, biculturalism, bilingualism, construction of identity, and the many different emotional terrains that can be inhabited onstage form the basis of my plays and other writing projects. Visions of migration (both physical and spiritual) dominate the plays, which have become, in turn, documents of internal diasporas.As a playwright, songwriter, editor and translator living between many cultures, including inherited ones, the idea of departure has always been not only an actual or metaphorical basis for writing the work.

~Caridad Svich in “Visions of Migration” Performance Research

Sponsored by the Cyril S. Lang ’49 Center for the Humanities Endowment Fund, with the support of the Lafayette College Theater Department, English Department, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and Africana Studies Program.

Faculty Contacts: Mary Jo Lodge (lodgem@lafayette.edu) and Debbie Byrd (byrdd@lafayette.edu)

Monday, March 15th at 7pm: Lauren Yee (Playwriting) 

Lauren Yee is a playwright, screenwriter, and TV writer born and raised in San Francisco. She currently lives in New York City. Her CAMBODIAN ROCK BAND, with music by Dengue Fever and others, premiered at South Coast Rep, with subsequent productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Victory Gardens, City Theatre, Merrimack Rep, Signature Theatre, Portland Center Stage, and Jungle Theatre. Her play THE GREAT LEAP has been produced at Denver Center, Seattle Rep, Atlantic Theatre, Guthrie Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, Arts Club, InterAt Theatre, Steppenwolf, with future productions at Long Wharf, Cygnet Theatre, and Asolo Rep/Miami New Drama. Lauren Yee’s play KING OF THE YEES premiered at The Goodman Theatre and Center Theatre Group, followed by productions at ACT Theatre, Canada’s National Arts Centre, and Baltimore Center Stage. Other plays include CHING CHONG CHINAMAN (Pan Asian Rep, Mu Performing Arts), THE HATMAKER’S WIFE (Playwrights Realm, Moxie, PlayPenn), HOOKMAN (Encore, Company One), IN A WORD (Young Vic, SF Playhouse, Cleveland Public, Strawdog), SAMSARA (Victory Gardens), THE SONG OF SUMMER (Trinity Rep, Mixed Blood), and THE TIGER AMONG US (Mu).

She is the winner of the Doris Duke Artist Award, the Steinberg Playwright Award, the Horton Foote Prize, the Kesselring Prize, the ATCA/Steinberg Award, American Academy of Arts and Letters literature award, and the Francesca Primus Prize. She has been a finalist for the Edward M. Kennedy Prize and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. Her plays were the #1 and #2 plays on the 2017 Kilroys List.

Lauren is a Residency 5 playwright at Signature Theatre, New Dramatists member (class of 2025), Ma-Yi Writers’ Lab member, former Princeton University Hodder fellow, and Playwrights Realm alumni playwright. TV: PACHINKO (Apple), SOUNDTRACK (Netflix). Current commissions include Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Portland Center Stage, Second Stage, South Coast Rep. BA: Yale. MFA: UCSD.

Sponsored by the Cyril S. Lang ’49 Center for the Humanities Endowment Fund, with the support of the Lafayette College Theater Department, English Department, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program and Africana Studies Program.

Faculty Contacts: Mary Jo Lodge (lodgem@lafayette.edu) and Debbie Byrd (byrdd@lafayette.edu)

 Wednesday, March 10th: Q&A with Screen and Fiction Writer, Jon Raymond (Screenwriting)

Jon Raymond is the author of the novels The Half-Life, a Publisher’s Weekly Best Book of 2004; Rain Dragon (2012); Freebird, an Indie Next selection of 2018; and The Empty Chair (forthcoming). He also wrote the story collection Livability, a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection, and winner of the 2009 Oregon Book Award. 

 Raymond has collaborated with director Kelly Reichardt on five films—Old Joy, Wendy and Lucy, Meek’s Cutoff, Night Moves, and First Cow—and was nominated for an Emmy for his writing on the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce. He’s also published a collection of writings about visual art in Portland called The Community. His writing has appeared in Tin House, Zoetrope, Playboy, Artforum, and Bookforum, among many other publications.

 Sponsored by the Department of English and FAMS.

Faculty Contact: Jennifer Gilmore (gilmorjw@lafayette.edu)

Wednesday, April 14, 2021 – 4:10pm, Alex Martinez Kondracke : Activism in Hollywood

Alexandra Martinez Kondracke (L Word, Hung) is a movie and television writer/producer. She attended Dartmouth College and NYU Graduate Film School. She has worked on projects for Disney, Paramount, HBO, Showtime, ABC, BBC, National Geographic and Annapurna Pictures.Alex wrote and directed videos that went viral, about the Electoral College and what it would take to stop a Trump Presidency. She is also a founding member of Time’s Up, The Latinx House and She Se Puede.

sponsored by: English Department/ FAMS
Register here: https://lafayette.zoom.us/j/92972878379

Thursday, April 22nd at 4:10pm: H. MacKnight Black Poetry Reading with Alex Dimitrov and Student Poets (Poetry)

Alex Dimitrov is the author of Love and Other Poems, which will be published in 2020, Together and by Ourselves, and Begging for It. His most recent book is Astro Poets, co-written with Dorothea Lasky. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, The Paris Review, and Poetry. He lives in New York.

 Dimitrov has taught creative writing and literature at Bennington College, Columbia University and Rutgers University-New Brunswick. He is the Senior Content Editor at the Academy of American Poets where he edits the popular online series Poem-a-Day and American Poets magazine. In 2009 Dimitrov founded Wilde Boys, a queer poetry salon which he ran until 2013 in New York City, where he lives.

Sponsored by the Department of English.

Faculty Contact: Megan Fernandes (fernanmk@lafayette.edu)

Register for the H. MacKnight Black Poetry Event here: https://lafayette.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0uc-CuqToqE9JvVuyLTq3xR8QEr7BhOBgy