Every year, one of the most anticipated parts of the One Book, One Philadelphia program is the opportunity for Philadelphians to meet an incredible author. And though we're doing things a bit differently this year with an all-virtual events season, we are so excited to welcome Jericho Brown to be a huge part of it!
Since his Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of poems, The Tradition, was announced in January as the 2021 One Book selection, hundreds if not thousands of copies have been checked out of the Free Library. And in April, we'll all have the chance to hear from the poet himself.
Don't miss these upcoming events!
A Conversation with Jericho Brown: One Book, One Philadelphia Kickoff
Wednesday, April 14, 7:30 PM, Free, Online
The 2021 One Book programming season kicks off with a reading and conversation with Jericho Brown and Philadelphia Poet Laureate Trapeta B. Mayson. The event will feature special performances of original works inspired by The Tradition, including by Vocussionist Bethlehem Roberson, as well as by students from the Curtis Institute of Music.
Register for this free online event and receive a Zoom event link »
Jumpstart Your Engines: Poetry Writing Workshop with Jericho Brown
Thursday, April 15, 6:00 PM, Free, Online
In the Jumpstart Your Engines Poetry Workshop, Jericho Brown helps us generate new work through a set of unconventional exercises that train us to focus and connect our bodies to our artistic process. This poetry workshop engenders new ideas about writing, and since there is a profound relationship between reading poetry and writing it, we will read, discuss, and even recite the work of several poets whose examples might lead us to further hone our craft.
Register for the free workshop and receive a Zoom event link »
Both of these events will be an opportunity to meet with and learn from Mr. Brown, who will Zoom in from Atlanta (where he teaches at Emory University and heads up the writing program there), and whose gorgeous work is vital not just in the world of literature, but to the very fabric of our everyday lives. He's one of the most celebrated poets writing today, and for good reason. To quote him: “You don’t get to be a poet without publicly asking questions that people say it’s rude to answer in public."
He innovates the very forms of poetry itself, weaving and bending traditional methods to dig into the intersectionality of experience and bring readers something that reflects back to us our own humanity. It's also very important to mention that he has one of the greatest laughs I have ever heard—to be in his company is to feel welcomed, warm, and curious about the world in the softest of ways.
Before these events, check out this Kenyon Review interview with Jericho on his upbringing and artistic influences, or this interview in The Bitter Southerner, made during the pandemic and reflecting on it as a contiuum of the violence experienced by our society's most vulnerable. In these interviews, we can begin to get a sense of the experience of reading poems from The Tradition, and what they confront with necessity from a place of deep love.
Jericho Brown will join us again for the One Book Finale event on Wednesday, June 9, when he'll be in conversation with Philadelphia legacy poet Ursula Rucker.
In the meantime, we have dozens of programs planned from April to June exploring themes in The Tradition, through creative workshops, panels, and open discussions. We hope you can join us for these online events, which were dreamed up collaboratively among a group of Free Library staff and community partnerships with artists, activists, and organizations.
View the full One Book 2021 Events Calendar »
Grab a copy of The Tradition through our catalog, and while you read, we hope you find these discussion guides and resources helpful.