Tagged Literature

Spotlight on Special Collections: When Dickens Met Poe

This blog post is in honor of  Charles Dickens' birthday. The prolific Victorian author of "epic stories" like  Oliver Twist and David Copperfield , was born on Portsea Island off England's south-central…

Mark Gatiss Visits The Rosenbach to Film New Dracula Documentary

The Rosenbach was delighted to have writer, actor, and director Mark Gatiss visit in June to shoot scenes for his In Search of Dracula documentary, which was just released on the BBC. Along with Stephen Moffat , Gatiss created a new…

Hands-On History Wraps Up 2019 With Charles Dickens... and Introduces a New Line-Up For 2020

What do Charles Dickens, cuneiform tablets, and James Bond have in common? The answer is Hands-on History at the Free Library, which wraps up its inaugural year with a holiday program on Saturday, December 14 at 2:00 p.m.,…

Happy Birthday to Kurt Vonnegut (and Kilgore Trout?)

Yes, I am one of those: I keep a list of books saved in my phone—books that I will eventually read once I reach that magical point of life when I stop desiring new books and therefore stop adding to the dang list—and…

Song-Poems Concert Series Returns to Literature Deparment This Fall

The 'Song-Poems' concert series , which debuted in the Spring of 2019, is finishing up this calendar year with three special events. The concert series invites Philadelphia-based musicians to come into the library and utilize…

Happy Birthday, F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald would be 123 years old today, if human beings commonly lived to this age and had he not been a self-destructive parvenu , much like his most famous character. In fact, F. Scott Fitzgerald only lived 44…

Remembering Toni Morrison, 1931–2019

When I first read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison , at 15 years old, I knew it would haunt me. The story fed my soul—I was shocked at its lovely, yet stinging taste, but realized I had always been craving it. Never had my struggle…

George Orwell in Context

Talking animals, pigs rising to power, a full-fledged government on a farm, and a revolution against an alcoholic farmer serve as the backdrop of George Orwell’s 1945 novel Animal Farm .   Confused? Trust me, there’s…

ReJoyce! Bloomsday Returns to The Rosenbach

The Rosenbach 's annual Bloomsday festivities will be held on Sunday, June 16, falling on Father’s Day this year! What is Bloomsday? Bloomsday is an annual event where the world celebrates Leopold Bloom’s…

We Celebrate Him: Walt Whitman at 200

I celebrate myself — When lilacs last — I contain multitudes — O Captain! my Captain! What other U.S. poet’s work can be recognized by so few words—and by so many people—as that of the self-proclaimed…

The Mystery of Missing Persons

Many things go missing – overdue books, keys, socks in the dryer – but none of those can compare with the gravity of when a person simply disappears. Approximately 90,000 people are missing at this very moment in the United…

Book Donation to Recognize and Celebrate Polish Literature

The Free Library was fortunate to recently receive a donation of books by Polish authors that were translated into English, along with books in Polish for both adults and children. The books were donated by the Polish Book Institute , a…

Immersive Multimedia Experience Breathes New Life into the Frankenstein Mythos

Even if you’ve never read Mary Shelley ’s groundbreaking novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus , you’ve certainly heard of the stiched-together monster the teenage mother invented during a drizzly 1816 summer…

Break Out Your Garlic Necklaces and Wooden Stakes for Bram Stoker's Bday!

by Michelle Sheffer Today marks Irish writer Bram Stoker ’s 171st birthday. Author of Dracula —the inspiration for many a nightmare and pop-culture meme over the past two centuries—Stoker compiled and wrote his iconic…

Shakespeare In the World Lecture Series

The Fool in King Lear advised "Speak less than thou knowest" – but it's good the speakers at this year’s Shakespeare in the World  lecture series aren’t following his advice. If you’re …

Join The Rosenbach for a Marathon Reading of Moby-Dick!

If you’ve ever joined our friends at The Rosenbach for Bloomsday , you know how fun (and slightly surreal) it can be to hear a book read aloud over an extended period of time. Well, the next Bloomsday may be several months off…

An American Author in Paris

"For two centuries," writes The New Yorker essayist Adam Gopnik in the preface of his 2004 collection Americans in Paris: A Literary Anthology , "Paris has been attached for Americans to an idea of happiness, of good…

Voyages by Road and Sea

Voyages by Road and Sea explores the legacies of Walt Whitman and Herman Melville through contemporary voices and art in Parkway Central Library's West Gallery. Marking the bicentennial years for both Whitman and Melville, Voyages…

Hands-on History Presents: Organized Labor in Philadelphia

The history of organized labor reflects the cultural, often radical, values of the working class at a particular place and time. Participants will interact with a selection of books and magazines focused on trade unionism. Among the…

Susan Choi | Trust Exercise with Jacqueline Woodson | Red at the Bone

Winner of the 2019 National Book Award for fiction, Trust Exercise follows a star-crossed suburban teen romance in a 1980s performing arts high school. Susan Choi ’s novels are known for excavating the hidden corners of the human…

Monday Poets | Eleanor Wilner & Ellen Bass

Eleanor Wilner’s books of poetry include maya (1979), Shekhinah (1984), Sarah’s Choice (1989), Otherwise (1993), Reversing the Spell: New and Selected Poems (1998), The Girl with Bees in Her Hair (2004), and Tourist in Hell…

Flash Prose Writing Group

Do you like your prose short and sweet? Pithy and punchy? Come share your fiction and non-fiction works in progress (750 words or less) with us.  Hone your craft in a safe and supportive environment.  All writing levels are…

Explore the Whitman Sampler With Artist Kelly McQuain

Join Voyages by Road and Sea featured artist Kelly McQuain in the West Gallery for an up-close look at his Whitman Sampler . McQuain will share the origin of this unique sculpture and explain the significance of its hidden parts.

Ottessa Moshfegh | Death in Her Hands with Taffy Brodesser-Akner | Fleishman Is in Trouble

Eileen , Ottessa Moshfegh ’s “always dark and surprising, sometimes ugly and occasionally hilarious” ( Washington Post ) novel about a young woman trapped between equally bleak work and home lives, won the…

Natalie Diaz | Postcolonial Love Poem with Denice Frohman

Natalie Diaz is the author of When My Brother Was an Aztec , an “ambitious . . . beautiful” ( New York Times ) American Book Award–winning poetry collection that ruminates on her sibling’s drug addiction. A…

Flash Prose Writing Group

Do you like your prose short and sweet? Pithy and punchy? Come share your fiction and non-fiction works in progress (750 words or less) with us.  Hone your craft in a safe and supportive environment.  All writing levels are…

Blueprints for Healing: Toni Morrison and the Balm of Black Women Writing led by Yolanda Wisher and Trapeta B. Mayson

As a novelist, essayist, and author of children’s books, Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison (1931-2019) unapologetically wrote the Black experience into a tradition of American letters that often rendered it invisible or caricatured. As…

Dalia Sofer | Man of My Time

Dalia Sofer is the author of the National Jewish Book Award finalist The Septembers of Shiraz , a “lyrical and sometimes haunting” ( Miami Herald ) bestselling debut novel about a gem dealer wrongly accused of espionage in…

Hands-on History Presents: Uncovering the Real James Bond at The Free Library of Philadelphia

In researching his new book about Philadelphian James Bond, whose identity was stolen by Ian Fleming, author Jim Wright found a goldmine the Free Library's Rare Book Department. In the James and Mary Bond archives there, Wright…

Gallery Walk With Voyages by Road and Sea Co-curator Alex Ames

Join co-curator Alex Ames for a 45-minute guided tour of the ​Voyages by Road and Sea exhibition.

Flash Prose Writing Group

Do you like your prose short and sweet? Pithy and punchy? Come share your fiction and non-fiction works in progress (750 words or less) with us.  Hone your craft in a safe and supportive environment.  All writing levels are…

Monday Poets | Nausheen Eusuf & Elizabeth Scanlon

Nausheen Eusuf holds a PhD in English from Boston University and an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins. Her poetry has won a Pushcart Prize, and has appeared in The American Scholar, PN Review, Southwest Review, Salmagundi,…

James Shapiro | Shakespeare in a Divided America: What His Plays Tell Us About Our Past and Future

“Brilliantly readable and revealing” ( Guardian ), James Shapiro’s immersive dives into the world of the Bard of Avon include The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 , A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599 ,…

Creatives meet the U.S. Copyright Office

  Musician? Author? Visual artist? Computer programmer? Casual social media user? Join us for a presentation and dynamic Q&A session about copyright and registration. Learn more about proactively protecting and lawfully using…

Flash Prose Writing Group

Do you like your prose short and sweet? Pithy and punchy? Come share your fiction and non-fiction works in progress (750 words or less) with us.  Hone your craft in a safe and supportive environment.  All writing levels are…

Bernardine Evaristo | Girl, Woman, Other

Bernardine Evaristo won the 2019 Booker Prize for  Girl, Woman, Other , “a breathtaking symphony of black women’s voices” that explores the confluences of identity and Britain’s African and Caribbean…

Poetry in Translation

Take pleasure in reading poets from other languages and cultures.

Poetry - Novels in Verse

Poetry with special appeal for tweens and teens.

Poetry - Great Contemporary Poetry

Selections from the Literature Department.

Research in Context *

Discover reliable and trusted information on a variety of topics to support middle school student research for government, U.S and world history, geography, literature, sciences, and social issues. Research In Context offers…

NewsBank Hot Topics

Trending news and hot topics for your next assignment! Hot topics covers Current Events, Business & Economics, Civics, Government, & Politics, Social Issues, Science, Technology & Health, Sports, Arts & Literature, and People in the News.

LitFinder *

Discover literature content from more than 150,000 full-text poems, 840,000 poem citations and excerpts, 7,100 full-text short stories and novels, 3,800 full-text essays published in the 16th-20th centuries, 2,400 full-text speeches, and…

Literature Criticism Online

This extensive compilation of literary commentary represents a range of modern and historical views on authors and their works across regions, eras, and genres. Covers Children’s, Classical, Contemporary, Drama, Poetry, Shakespearean,…

Kids InfoBits *

Elementary students in kindergarten through grade five will find age-appropriate content covering a broad range of educational topics such as animals, arts, geography, health, literature, people, social studies, technology, etc. Kids…

InfoTrac Student Edition *

High school students will have access to age-appropriate content from magazines, journals, newspapers, reference books, and engaging multi-media covering a wide range of subjects, from science, history, and literature to political…

Gale Literary Sources (formerly Artemis)

Cross-search all of Gale’s literature databases from a single digital space to find biographies, primary sources, contextual reference, and criticism. Includes Dictionary of Literary Biography, Something About the Author, LitFinder,…

Books & Authors *

Discover fiction and non-fiction books that match your interests! Books and Authors (powered by Gale's popular What Do I Read Next? series) is for readers from every level of reading proficiency and enables users to explore the endless…

America's Historical Imprints

Explore the nation’s past in unprecedented ways. Includes books, pamphlets, broadsides and other scarce printed material, centuries of American history, literature, culture, and daily life, and extensive indexing and full bibliographic…

Academic OneFile *

More than 18,000 peer-reviewed journals and more than 9,200 in full text Full text of The Economist ranging from 1988 to the present, with no embargo Full text of The New York Times from 1985 to present, updated daily Full text of The…

Jenny Offill | Weather

Jenny Offill’s Dept. of Speculation , “an effortless-seeming downhill ride that picks up astonishing narrative speed as it goes” ( New York Review of Books ), tells the story of a once heady marriage at its breaking point. It was named…

Garth Greenwell | Cleanness

In conversation with Carmen Maria Machado, most recently author of In the Dream House “A subtle observer of human interactions” with “an inborn ability to cast a spell” ( New York Times ), Garth Greenwell is the author of What Belongs…

Liz Moore | Long Bright River

In conversation with Mike Newall, metro columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer “Incisive, insightful, and compassionate” ( Boston Globe ), Liz Moore is the author of the acclaimed novels Heft and The Unseen World . She is the recipient…

Salman Rushdie | Quichotte

In conversation with novelist and musician Wesley Stace “One of the major literary voices of our time” ( San Francisco Chronicle ), Salman Rushdie is the author of more than a dozen novels, including The Satanic Verses , The Golden…

André Aciman | Find Me

In conversation with writer and film critic Gary Kramer André Aciman is the author of the nationwide bestseller Call Me by Your Name , a novel that chronicles the bittersweet love story of a teenage boy and the young academic staying at…

Deirdre Bair | Parisian Lives: Samuel Beckett, Simone de Beauvoir, and Me

Deirdre Bair won the National Book Award for her “blockbuster biography” of Samuel Beckett, “the best introduction to an enigmatic giant of 20th-century literature” ( Christian Science Monitor ). Her other acclaimed biographies include…

Saeed Jones | How We Fight for Our Lives with Clifford Thompson | What It Is: Race, Family, and One Thinking Black Man’s Blues

Saeed Jones is the author of the “hard and glaring and brilliant” ( NPR Book Review ) poetry collection Prelude to Bruise , winner of the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award. He is also the co-host of BuzzFeed’s…

Carmen Maria Machado | In the Dream House

In conversation with Emma Eisenberg, author of the forthcoming book The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia Carmen Maria Machado’s bestselling debut short story collection, Her Body and Other Parties , was…

Tim O’Brien | Dad’s Maybe Book

In conversation with Andy Kahan, director, author events “As good as any piece of literature can get” ( Chicago Sun Times ), Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics…

Gabby Rivera | Juliet Takes a Breath

In conversation with Laurie Halse Anderson, bestselling author of Speak, Shout, Fever 1793, and the Seeds of America trilogy Introduced by the Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, Raquel Salas Rivera The first Latina to write for Marvel…

Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Water Dancer

SPOILER ALERT. A number of critical plot points are exposed during the discussion. In conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer David Blight, author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom Ta-Nehisi Coates won the 2015…

Edwidge Danticat | Everything Inside

In conversation with Glory Edim, author and founder of Well-Read Black Girl In “fiercely beautiful” novels, memoirs, and essay collections brimming with “enchantments and surprises” ( Los Angeles Times ), Edwidge Danticat bears witness…

Téa Obreht | Inland

In conversation with Sara Nović, author of Girl at War and A merica is Immigrants The Tiger’s Wife , Téa Obreht’s bestselling debut novel, won the 2011 Orange Prize and was a National Book Award finalist. A “graceful commingling of…

Richard Russo | Chances Are . . . with Amy Hempel | Sing to It: New Stories

Winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for his novel  Empire Falls , Richard Russo is acclaimed for capturing the “foolishness of this lonely world, but also the humor, friendship and love that abide” ( San Francisco Chronicle ). His novel…

Jennifer Weiner | Mrs. Everything

“One of the biggest names in popular fiction” ( USA Today ), Jennifer Weiner is the beloved number-one  New York Times  bestselling author of more than a dozen novels—including Good in Bed , All Fall Down , and In Her Shoes , which was…

Esi Edugyan | Washington Black

Esi Edugyan’s novel Half-Blood Blues , the story of a World War II–era mixed-race jazz band’s abducted star trumpeter, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, among other honors. She is also the author of another novel, The Second…

Nicole Dennis-Benn | Patsy with Rebecca Makkai | The Great Believers

Here Comes the Sun , Nicole Dennis-Benn ’s debut novel about a young Jamaican struggling to protect her sister and village as she experiences feelings for another woman, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the…

James Ellroy | This Storm

In his bestselling L.A. Quartet mysteries and the Underworld USA trilogy, James Ellroy “has vigorously redefined the well-shadowed turf of contemporary crime fiction” ( Atlanta Journal Constitution ). He is also the author of the Lloyd…

Rick Atkinson | The British Are Coming: The War for America, Lexington to Princeton, 1775–1777

Rick Atkinson won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for  An Army at Dawn , the first volume in his Liberation trilogy, a “densely researched but supremely readable” ( New York Times Book Review ) history of the Allied victory in World War II. His…

Eve Ensler | The Apology

One of  Newsweek ’s “150 Women Who Shake the World” and the Guardian ’s “Top 100 Women,” Tony Award–winning playwright Eve Ensler is a performer, activist, and author. Her phenomenon  The Vagina Monologues  has been published in nearly…

Bestsellers

Find out about the latest bestsellers from many well known resources.