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Lannan Center Podcast

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Lannan Center for Poetics and Social Practice at Georgetown University is a literary, critical, and pedagogical undertaking devoted to the situation of poetry and poetics in the contemporary world. Based in the President’s Office, the Center brings attention to a traditional domain of academic research, but sees poetry as a current practice rather than as a field of historical research. The Center recognizes that “art’s social presence,” in the phrase of Adrienne Rich, is vital to contemporary culture; that poetry, or writing more generally, traverses the fields of aesthetic, social, political, and religious thought: it reconfigures these fields according to the designs of imagination. The Lannan Center hosts Readings and Talks throughout the academic year. Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
47 Episodes
On Tuesday, October 17, 2023, the Lannan Center presented a reading by writer and Lannan Visiting Chair, Rabih Alameddine. Introduction by Deborah Tannen, Distinguished University Professor.Rabih Alameddine is the author of six critically acclaimed novels, most recently The Wrong End of the Telescope (Grove Press, 2021), winner of the Pen/Faulkner Prize in 2022. He is also the author of The Angel of History (Grove Press, 2016), winner of the Lambda Literary Award 2017; An Unnecessary Woman (Grove Press, 2014), a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Hakawati (Knopf, 2008); I, The Divine (W.W. Norton, 2001); Koolaids (Picador, 1999); and a collection of short stories, The Perv (Picador, 1999). His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002, the Harold Washington Literary Award in 2018, the John Dos Passos Prize for Literature in 2019, the 2021 Lannan Literary Award for Fiction, and recently, a finalist for the 2023 Joyce Carol Oates Prize. He was previously the Lannan Medical Humanities Scholar-In-Residence at Georgetown University and the Kapnick Foundation Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at University of Virginia. Alameddine is currently the Lannan Foundation Visiting Chair at Georgetown University.Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
On Tuesday, October 3, 2023 the Lannan Center presented a reading and conversation featuring writer Leila Aboulela and moderated by Tope Folarin, Lannan Creative Writing Visiting Lecturer. Introduction by Rabih Alameddine, Lannan Visiting Chair.Leila Aboulela is a Sudanese writer whose work has received critical recognition and a high profile for its depiction of the interior lives of Muslim women and its distinctive exploration of identity, migration and Islamic spirituality. She is the author of six novels: River Spirit, Bird Summons, Minaret, The Translator, a New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year, The Kindness of Enemies and Lyrics Alley, Fiction Winner of the Scottish Book Awards. Leila was the first winner of the Caine Prize for African Writing and her latest story collection, Elsewhere, Home won the Saltire Fiction Book of the Year Award. Her work has been translated into fifteen languages and she was long-listed three times for the Orange Prize, (now the Women’s Prize for Fiction). Leila grew up in Khartoum and moved in her mid-twenties to Aberdeen.Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
On Tuesday, September 19, 2023, the Lannan Center presented a reading by poet Arthur Sze. Introduction by Duncan Wu, Raymond Wagner Professor in Literary Studies.Arthur Sze has published eleven books of poetry, including Sight Lines (2019), which won the National Book Award, and The Glass Constellation: New and Collected Poems (2021). His other books include Compass Rose (2014), a Pulitzer Prize finalist and The Ginkgo Light (2009), selected for the PEN Southwest Book Award and the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association Book Award. He has also published one book of Chinese poetry translations, The Silk Dragon (2001), selected for the Western States Book Award, and edited Chinese Writers on Writing (2010). Sze is the recipient of many honors, including the 2022 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation, the 2021 Shelley Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, the Jackson Poetry Prize from Poets & Writers, a Lannan Literary Award, a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, and five grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry. A Chancellor Emeritus at the Academy of American Poets and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is a professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts and was the first poet laureate of Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives.Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
On April 11, 2023, The Lannan Center hosted a reading and talk featuring poets Camille T. Dungy and Major Jackson.Camille T. Dungy is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently Trophic Cascade (Wesleyan UP, 2017), winner of the Colorado Book Award. She is also the author of the essay collections Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden (Simon & Schuster, 2023) and Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood and History (W.W. Norton, 2017), a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Dungy has also edited anthologies including Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry and From the Fishouse: An Anthology of Poems that Sing, Rhyme, Resound, Syncopate, Alliterate, and Just Plain Sound Great. A 2019 Guggenheim Fellow, her honors include NEA Fellowships in poetry (2003) and prose (2018), an American Book Award, two NAACP Image Award nominations, and two Hurston/Wright Legacy Award nominations. Dungy’s poems have been published in Best American Poetry, The 100 Best African American Poems, the Pushcart Anthology, Best American Travel Writing, and over thirty other anthologies. She is University Distinguished Professor at Colorado State University.Major Jackson is the author of six collections of poetry: Razzle Dazzle: New & Selected Poems; The Absurd Man; Roll Deep; Holding Company; Hoops; and Leaving Saturn, which was awarded the Cave Canem Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. His poems and essays have appeared in AGNI, American Poetry Review, Callaloo, The New Yorker, Ploughshares, Poetry, Tin House, and in Best American Poetry. He served as guest editor of Best American Poetry in 2019. Jackson is a recipient of a Pushcart Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award, and has been honored by the Pew Fellowship in the Arts and the Witter Bynner Foundation in conjunction with the Library of Congress. Jackson lives in South Burlington, Vermont, where he is the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at the University of Vermont.Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
On February 28, 2023, The Lannan Center hosted a reading and talk featuring poets Kazim Ali and Fanny Howe.Kazim Ali was born in the United Kingdom and has lived transnationally in the United States, Canada, India, France, and the Middle East. His books encompass multiple genres, including the volumes of poetry Inquisition, Sky Ward, winner of the Ohioana Book Award in Poetry; The Far Mosque, winner of Alice James Books’ New England/New York Award; The Fortieth Day; All One’s Blue; and the cross-genre texts Bright Felon and Wind Instrument. His novels include the recently published The Secret Room: A String Quartet and among his books of essays are the hybrid memoir Silver Road: Essays, Maps & Calligraphies and Fasting for Ramadan: Notes from a Spiritual Practice. He is also an accomplished translator (of Marguerite Duras, Sohrab Sepehri, Ananda Devi, Mahmoud Chokrollahi and others) and an editor of several anthologies and books of criticism. He is currently a Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. His newest books are a volume of three long poems entitled The Voice of Sheila Chandra and a memoir of his Canadian childhood, Northern Light.Fanny Howe is the author of over twenty books of poetry and prose including Love and I (2019), The Needle’s Eye (2016), Second Childhood (2014), Come and See (2011), On the Ground (2004), Gone (2003), Selected Poems (2000), Forged (1999), Q (1998), One Crossed Out (1997), O’Clock (1995), and The End (1992). The recipient of the 2002 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for Selected Poems (2000), she has also won awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Poetry Foundation, the California Council for the Arts and the Village Voice, as well as fellowships from the Bunting Institute and the MacArthur Colony. Howe was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2001. A creative writing teacher of note, Howe has lectured at Tufts University, Emerson College, Columbia University, Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is Professor Emerita of Writing and Literature at the University of California, San Diego.Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
A Conversation with Mecca Jamilah Sullivan (Author of Big Girl) and Artist Baseera Khan, moderated by Prof. Nadia Brown.If a body could speak, what would it say? The way our bodies are viewed and categorized is not always within our power. A writer and a visual artist reflect upon representing, in words and images, the experiences which come with existing in bodies: black, brown, queer, female, Muslim, big – defined by systems of power beyond our control.Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
 A Discussion with NPR’s Diane Rehm and Dr. Ewan GoligherFollowed by a Panel Discussion with Dr. Lydia Dugdale (Columbia University), Dr. Ewan Goligher (University of Toronto), Diane Rehm (NPR), and Dr. Katalin Roth (George Washington University), moderated by journalist John Donvan. Should we be able to choose how and when we die? And what are the real-life consequences of laws that allow for medical assistance in dying? An international panel of physicians, writers, and ethicists set the stage for a discussion of philosophical, practical, theological, and personal implications of medical assistance in dying. Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
 A Panel Discussion with Rabih Alameddine (The Angel of History), Meghan O’Rourke (The Invisible Kingdom), and Dr. Daniel Marchalik, moderated by Tope Folarin. More than just a sickness, pandemics are the place where illness meets politics. Today we live in the aftermath of two great pandemics, the AIDS pandemic of the 1980’s and the COVID-19 pandemic. How has our society and how have we been changed by those events? What is the role of the writer as activist or custodian of memory in the story of the aftermath?Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
A Conversation with Meghan O’Rourke, Author of The Invisible Kingdom: Reimagining Chronic Illness.Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
On Tuesday, January 24th, 2023, The Lannan Center hosted a reading and conversation with poet Patricia Smith,Patricia Smith is the award-winning author of eight critically-acclaimed books of poetry, including Incendiary Art (Triquarterly Books, 2017), winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the 2018 NAACP Image Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah (Coffee House Press, 2012), winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler (Coffee House Press, 2008), a National Book Award finalist; and Gotta Go, Gotta Flow (CityFiles Press, 2015), a collaboration with award-winning Chicago photographer Michael Abramson. Her other books include the poetry volumes Teahouse of the Almighty (Coffee House Press, 2006), Close to Death (Zoland Books, 1998), Big Towns Big Talk (Zoland Books, 2002), Life According to Motown (Tia Chucha, 1991);  the children’s book Janna and the Kings (Lee & Low, 2013), and the history Africans in America (Mariner, 1999), a companion book to the award-winning PBS series. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Baffler, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Tin House and in Best American Poetry, Best American Essays and Best American Mystery Stories. She co-edited The Golden Shovel Anthology—New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks (University of Arkansas Press, 2017), and edited the crime fiction anthology Staten Island Noir (Akashic Books, 2012). She is a Guggenheim fellow, a Civitellian, a National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient, a finalist for the Neustadt Prize, a two-time winner of the Pushcart Prize, a former fellow at both Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony, and a four-time individual champion of the National Poetry Slam, the most successful poet in the competition’s history. Smith is a Distinguished Professor for the City University of New York, a visiting professor at Princeton University and an instructor in the Vermont College of Fine Arts Post-Graduate Residency Program.Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
On Tuesday, November 15, 2022, the Lannan Center hosted a reading and conversation with writer Laila Lalami and moderated by Aminatta Forna. Laila Lalami was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States. She is the author of five books, most recently, Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America, which was shortlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction. Her other books include, The Moor’s Account, which won the American Book Award, the Arab-American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was on the longlist for the Booker Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. Her most recent novel, The Other Americans, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Kirkus Prize and the National Book Award in Fiction. Her essays and criticism have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, Harper’s, the Guardian, and the New York Times. She has been awarded fellowships from the British Council, the Fulbright Program, and the Guggenheim Foundation and is currently a distinguished professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside. She lives in Los Angeles.Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
On November 1, 2022 the Lannan Center hosted a reading and talk featuring writer Chen Chen and moderated by Carolyn Forché. Chen Chen is the author of two books of poetry, Your Emergency Contact Has Experienced an Emergency (BOA Editions, 2022) and When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), which was longlisted for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award, among other honors. His work appears in many publications, including Poetry and three editions of The Best American Poetry. He has received two Pushcart Prizes and fellowships from Kundiman, the National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists. He was the 2018-2022 Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence at Brandeis University and currently teaches for the low-residency MFA programs at New England College and Stonecoast. He lives with his partner, Jeff Gilbert, and their pug, Mr. Rupert Giles. Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
On Tuesday, October 4, 2022, the Lannan Center presented a reading and talk featuring writer Seán Hewit. Hosted by Professor Cóilín Parsons, Director of Global Irish Studies.Seán Hewitt was born in 1990. His debut collection, Tongues of Fire, is published by Jonathan Cape. He is a book critic for The Irish Times and teaches Modern British & Irish Literature at Trinity College Dublin. His debut collection, Tongues of Fire, won The Laurel Prize, and was shortlisted for The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the John Pollard Foundation International Poetry Prize, and a Dalkey Literary Award. In 2020, he was chosen by The Sunday Times as one of their “30 under 30”  artists in Ireland. He is also the winner of a Northern Writers’ Award, the Resurgence Prize, and an Eric Gregory Award. His book J.M. Synge: Nature, Politics, Modernism is published with Oxford University Press (2021). His memoir, All Down Darkness Wide, is published by Jonathan Cape in the UK and Penguin Press in the USA (2022).Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
On Wednesday, September 14, 2022, the Lannan Center presented a special evening featuring Nobel Laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah. Hosted by Lannan Center Director Aminatta Forna. Introduction by Lahra Smith, Director of the African Studies Program.Abdulrazak Gurnah is the 2021 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. His most recent novel, AFTERLIVES is forthcoming from Riverhead Books in August 2022. He is the author of nine previous novels, including Paradise (shortlisted for the Booker Prize), By the Sea (longlisted for the Booker Prize and a finalist for the LA Times Book Award), and Desertion. Born and raised in Zanzibar, he is Professor Emeritus of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent; he lives in Canterbury, England.Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
On Tuesday, April 12, 2022, the Lannan Center presented a reading and talk featuring poets Victoria Chang and Rachel Eliza Griffiths. Hosted by Carolyn Forché. Introductions by Lannan Fellows Max Zhang and Hiruni Herat.  About Victoria ChangVictoria Chang’s new book of poetry, The Trees Witness Everything is forthcoming (Copper Canyon Press and Corsair Books in the U.K.). Her nonfiction book, Dear Memory (Milkweed Editions), was published in 2021. OBIT (Copper Canyon Press, 2020), her most recent poetry book, was named a New York Times Notable Book, a Time Must-Read Book, and received the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award in Poetry, and the PEN/Voelcker Award. It was also longlisted for a National Book Award and named a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Griffin International Poetry Prize. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and lives in Los Angeles and is a Core Faculty member within Antioch’s low-residency MFA Program.About Rachel Eliza GriffithsRachel Eliza Griffiths is a poet, visual artist, and novelist. Her hybrid collection of poetry and photography, Seeing the Body (W.W. Norton), was published in 2020. Other poetry collections by Griffiths include Lighting the Shadow (Four Way Books, 2015), The Requited Distance (Sheep Meadow Press, 2011), Mule & Pear (New Issues Poetry & Prose, 2011), and Miracle Arrhythmia (Willow Books, 2010). Griffiths is a recipient of fellowships including Cave Canem, Kimbilio, Millay Colony, Vermont Studio Center, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and Yaddo. Her forthcoming debut novel, Promise, will be published by Random House.Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
AboutThe United States: exceptional, individual, shining city on the hill, home of democracy, land of the free, of the “American Dream” and the pursuit of happiness. A national narrative is composed of ideas made into stories. And these stories are powerful. In a time of division can Americans agree on a common story or make space for multiple narratives?Panelists: Rabih Alameddine, Aleksandar Hemon, Fathali Moghaddam, and Patricia Smith. Chaired by John FreemanMusic: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
AboutAs the calls for social and racial justice grow, could the United States follow the example of South Africa and other conflict-affected nations and engage in a national, formal reconciliation process?Panelists: Elham Atashi, Tope Folarin, Aleksandar Hemon, and Tim Phillips. Chaired by David SmithMusic: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
AboutWage inequality in the United States is approaching the extreme level that prevailed prior to the Great Depression, creating new social classes: the precariat (those on short term or zero hours contracts without benefits) and the one percent. With disparity widening––and anger building among some of the dispossessed––can the American Dream endure?Panelists: Sarah Anderson, Amy Goldstein, and John Freeman. Chaired by Tope FolarinMusic: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
AboutWe write to make sense of the world around us. From war and political violence to natural disasters and pandemics – how have writers of poetry, fiction, and non-fiction responded to crises in their nation’s history? Panelists: Rabih Alameddine, Aleksandar Hemon, and Patricia Smith; Chaired by Jacki LydenMusic: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
AboutIf the lion does not tell his story, the hunter will. The history of the United States, as it is currently taught, is being contested like never before. Is it possible to reconcile differing perspectives on America’s national narrative?Panelists: Mark Muller, Elizabeth Rule, and Clint Smith; Chaired by Adam Rothman.Music: Quantum Jazz — "Orbiting A Distant Planet" — Provided by Jamendo.
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