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May 29 at 7:30 PM
The 2019–2020 Hugo Literary Series season is the second in our new home. We’ve spent our first year here working to widen the scope of the region’s literary community, actively bringing in writers who are using their work to question, challenge, and rewrite the narratives our culture passes down to us.
Like many of you, we’ve been thinking a lot about the world we live in, about what separates us and what brings us together.
This season, we want to explore those separations: What is it that divides us from each other, from what we hope for, dream of, deserve, or crave? And what are we going to do about it?
Featuring Pulitzer Prize finalist Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia! and Orange World; Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tyehimba Jess; bestselling local novelist Tara Conklin, with new music from singer-songwriter performance duo Little Spirits.
Karen Russell won the 2012 and the 2018 National Magazine Award for fiction, and her first novel, Swamplandia! (2011), was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, winner of the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, and one of The New York Times’ Ten Best Books of 2011. She has received a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim award and is a former fellow of the NYPL Cullman Center and the American Academy in Berlin. She graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University and received her MFA from Columbia University’s School of the Arts.
Tyehimba Jess is the author of two books of poetry, Leadbelly and Olio. Olio won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Leadbelly was a winner of the 2004 National Poetry Series. Jess, a Cave Canem and NYU Alumni, received a 2004 Literature Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and was a 2004–2005 Winter Fellow at the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. He received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2018. Jess is a Professor of English at College of Staten Island.
Tara Conklin is a writer and former lawyer whose first novel, The House Girl, (William Morrow) was a New York Times bestseller, #1 IndieNext pick, Target book club pick and has been translated into 8 languages. Her second novel, The Last Romantics (William Morrow) was published in February 2019 to wide acclaim. An instant New York Times bestseller, The Last Romantics was a Barnes & Noble Book Club Pick, IndieNext Pick, and was selected by Jenna Bush Hager as the inaugural read for The Today Show Book Club.