Event Archive

Below is a list of our past events. By clicking on the event you can see a list of the authors who participated and links to live recordings from the event.

Gozo Yoshimasu

Gozo Yoshimasu (born 1939, Tokyo) is a prolific and highly acclaimed Japanese poet, photographer, artist and filmmaker active since the 1960s. He has received a number of literary and cultural awards, including the Takami Jun Prize (1971), the Rekitei Prize, the Purple Ribbon Medal in 2003 (given by the Government of Japan), the 50th Mainichi Art Award for Poetry (2009), and the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays in 2013.  Major influences include Shinobu Orikuchi, Paul Klee, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, William Blake, John Cage, Patrick Chamoiseau. Many of his poems are multilingual, blending elements of French, English, Chinese, Korean, Gaelic, and more, and feature cross-linguistic and typographic wordplay. His poems rely on intimate experiences with geography and history, layering encounters in the present with a keen awareness of the past. His performances, which often include film, the display of fetish objects, chanting, ritual procedures, and the collaboration of musicians and other artists, are legendary.

In a 2014 interview by Aki Onda on the MoMA blog "Post," Yoshimasu described the relationship of his poetry to performance by remarking, "My quest is to reclaim the poetry that lies at the root of performing arts."


Martín Espada

The heart of Martín Espada’s latest collection is a series of poems about the death of his father, Frank Espada, a community organizer, civil rights activist, and documentary photographer.  Espada’s poems also address the struggles and injustices faced by people of color, confront communal grief, and advocate for collective action.  He is Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Martin Espada

The heart of Martín Espada’s latest collection is a series of poems about the death of his father, Frank Espada, a community organizer, civil rights activist, and documentary photographer.  Espada’s poems also address the struggles and injustices faced by people of color, confront communal grief, and advocate for collective action.  He is Professor of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.


Orlando White


Orlando White is the author of two books of poetry: Bone Light (Red Hen Press, 2009) and LETTERRS (Nightboat Books, 2015). He holds a BFA from the Institute of American Indian Arts and an MFA from Brown University. His poems have appeared in The Kenyon ReviewOmnidawn Poetry Feature BlogSentence: A Journal of Prose PoeticsAmerican Indian Culture And Research JournalEvening Will Come: A Monthly Journal of Poetics, and elsewhere. He is the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Residency and a Bread Loaf John Ciardi Fellowship. He teaches at Diné College and in the low-residency MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts.

McKenzie Wark: What if this is not capitalism, but something worse?

One thing that the left and right now seem to agree on is that the society in which we live is capitalism. And strangely enough, both now seem to agree that it is eternal. Even the left seem to think there is an eternal essence to capitalism, and only its appearances change. The parade of changing appearances yields a series of modifiers: this could be late capitalism or communicative capitalism or cognitive capitalism or neoliberal capitalism. But short of an increasingly allegorical or messianic leap into something other—it is as  if this self-same thing just went on forever. The task of this talk is thus a provocation: to think the possibility that capitalism has already been rendered history, but that the period that replaces it is worse. That it could be worse gets us away from the happy narratives in which capitalism gave way to a postindustrial society or some other happy land free from contradiction and class struggle. Rather, in this thought experiment, I propose to think the present as a new kind of class conflict, including new kinds of class arising out of recent mutations in the forces and relations of production. By putting this pressure on our received ideas and legacy language, perhaps we can begin to see the outlines of the present afresh, estranged from our habits of thought.

McKenzie Wark is the author, among other things, of A Hacker Manifesto (Harvard 2004) and Molecular Red (Verso 2015). Wark teaches at The New School for Social Research and Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts in New York City.

Mary Ruefle

Mary Ruefle’s latest book is Trances of the Blast (Wave Books, 2013).  Her collection of essays on poetry, Madness, Rack, and Honey, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; her Selected Poems won the 2011 William Carlos Williams Award.  In addition to poetry, she has published a book of prose, Most of It, and two books of erasure, Incarnations of the Now and A Little White Shadow.  Other erasure books have been exhibited in museums and galleries.  She lives in Vermont.

László Krasznahorkai

László Krasznahorkai was born in Gyula, Hungary, in 1954. He worked for some years as an editor until 1984, when he became a freelance writer. He lives in Berlin (Germany) and in the hills of Pilisszentlászló (Hungary), though at present, he is living and working in New York as a guest of the New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers Program. He has written five novels and won numerous prizes, including the 2015 Man Booker International Prize, and the 2013 Best Translated Book Award for Satantango.  He also received the Best Translated Book Award for his novel Seiobo There Below in 2014.  In 1993, he won the Best Book of the Year Award in Germany for The Melancholy of Resistance. For more about Krasznahorkai, visit his extensive website (http://www.krasznahorkai.hu/).

Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith was born in north-west London in 1975 to an English father and a Jamaican mother. Her first novel, White Teeth, was the winner of The Whitbread First Novel Award, The Guardian First Book Award, The James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction, and The Commonwealth Writers' First Book Award. Her second novel, The Autograph Man, won The Jewish Quarterly Wingate Literary Prize. Zadie Smith's third novel, On Beauty, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and won The Commonwealth Writers’ Best Book Award (Eurasia Section) and the Orange Prize for Fiction. Her most recent novel, NW, was named as one of The New York Times’ ’10 Best Books of 2012’. She is the editor of an anthology of short stories entitled The Book Of Other People. Her collection of essays, Changing My Mind, was published in November 2009, and she is currently the New Books columnist for Harper's Magazine. Zadie Smith is a graduate of Cambridge University and has taught at Harvard and Columbia universities.  She is currently a tenured professor of Creative Writing at New York University.

*Note:  This event is free and open to the public, but a ticket is required.  Tickets may be obtained through Eventbrite starting on March 17 via the following link:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/reading-by-zadie-smith-tickets-22177123373

Bewketu Seyoum with Translator, Cheryl Moskowitz

Bewketu Seyoum is an Ethiopian poet, novelist, and essayist who is Brown University’s International Writers Project Fellow for the 2015-16 academic year.  Born in Mankusa, Ethiopia, and most recently a resident of Addis Ababa, he is the author of four volumes of poetry, two novels, two collections of short fiction, and numerous essays written in his native language, Amharic.  Honored as Ethiopian Best Novelist of the Year in 2008 and Best Young Author in 2009, he frequently uses humor in his work to broach politically and socially taboo subjects rarely aired in the Ethiopian public sphere.  Bewketu faced increasing harassment in Ethiopia because of his work for several now-banned news organizations.  In 2012, he was attacked and severely beaten by a posse of religious fanatics because of an essay he wrote about the Ethiopian saint Abune Takla Haymanot.  Translations of Bewketu’s writing available in English include a volume of poetry, In Search of Fat, and selections in Modern Poetry in Translation – The Big Green Issue.  His work has also appeared in English in the literary magazines Prairie SchoonerCallaloo, and World Literature. 

Cheryl Moskowitz was born in Chicago and moved to the UK in 1970. She studied Developmental Psychology and trained in Dramatherapy and Psychodynamic Counseling. She has worked variously as an actor, poet, therapist, novelist and translator and runs writing programs in schools, health and social care settings, and with second language communities. In 1996 she co-founded LAPIDUS, the Writing for Wellbeing organization. From 1996-2010 she taught Creative Writing and Personal Development at Sussex University. Poetry prizes include the International Bridport Prize (2010) and Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine (2011 & 2014). Publications include novel Wyoming Trail (Granta 1998) and poetry collection The Girl is Smiling (Circle Time Press 2012). In 2007 Cheryl spent time in Addis Ababa where she first encountered the work of Bewketu Seyoum. Her translations of Bewketu’s work have appeared in the US literary magazines, Prairie Schooner and World Literature Today, and were performed at Poetry Parnassus, the largest poetry festival ever staged in the UK.

M. NourbeSe Philip

M. NourbeSe Philip is a poet and lawyer who was born in Tobago and now lives in Toronto, Canada.  Her works include the poetry books Zong!, Discourse on the Logic of LanguageThorns,Salmon Courage, and She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks.  She is also the author of two novels, Harriet’s Daughter and Looking for Livingstone:  An Odyssey of Silence,  of the plays Coups and Calypsos, and Harriet’s Daughter, and of several volumes of essays.  She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Casa de las Americas Prize, a Lawrence Foundation Award for short fiction, and a Woman of Distinction Award in the Arts, among many others.