Event | Lectures and Symposia Race in America: Joy Harjo and Tracy K. Smith

Date and Location

Part of National Book Festival Presents

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Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden talks with her U.S. Poets Laureate appointees, Tracy K. Smith (2017-2019) and Joy Harjo (2019-current), about poetry in times of crisis as well as its enduring power to promote social justice.

This event is part of the National Book Festival Presents series “Hear You, Hear Me.” The series is named for a phrase from the Langston Hughes poem “Theme for English B”:

But I guess I’m what
I feel and see and hear, Harlem, I hear you.
hear you, hear me—we two—you, me, talk on this page.

This new online series, a continuation of the themes raised in our June 5 program, “Carla Hayden and Lonnie Bunch: Cultural Institutions at Times of Social Unrest,” features Hayden in conversation with some of the nation’s great literary figures. These conversations will highlight what poetry and literature can offer the nation as it contends with foundational issues of social justice.