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Boston Public Library

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Upcoming Events

January 2019

City of Boston Poet Laureate Danielle Legros Georges Reading at the BPL

January 23, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Boston Public Library, Copley Square – 2nd Floor, Abbey Room, 700 Boylston Street
Boston, MA 02116 United States
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Free

In one of her last appearances as the City of Boston’s Poet Laureate (2015-2019), Danielle Legros Georges will read from her work, accompanied by special guests.

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Mark Lamster in conversation with William Rawn at the BPL

January 24, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

In conversation with William Rawn, award-winning critic Mark Lamster will lift the veil on Phillip Johnson’s contradictions to tell the story of this charming yet deeply flawed man. Johnson, a man of deep paradoxes: a Nazi sympathizer who built synagogues and supported Israel, a genius without originality, an opportunist and a romantic, a populist and a snob.  When Johnson died in 2005 at the age of 98, he was still one of the most recognizable—and influential—figures on the American cultural landscape. Johnson was…

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February 2019

Joanna Schaffhausen in conversation with Hank Phillippi Ryan at the BPL

February 5, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

Police officer Ellery Hathaway and FBI profiler Reed Markham take on two difficult new cases in this stunning follow-up to The Vanishing Season.  "A gripping and powerful read. It is what we call an edge-of-your-seat, rollercoaster of a thriller. You will not be able to put it down before you finish it."—The Washington Book Review on The Vanishing Season. Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses…

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Reading with Chloe Benjamin at the BPL

February 7, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes. The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with…

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Reading with Andrew Aydin at the BPL

February 11, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

ANDREW AYDIN is creator and co-author of the graphic memoir series, MARCH, which chronicles the life of Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis. Co-authored with Rep. Lewis and illustrated by Nate Powell, MARCH is the first comics work to ever win the National Book Award. An Atlanta native, Andrew was raised by a single mother, and grew up reading comic books. After college, he took a job with Congressman Lewis. In 2008, Congressman Lewis mentioned to Andrew the 1957 comic…

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Ayesha Harruna Attah in conversation with Zoë Gadegbeku at the BPL

February 26, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

Aminah lives an idyllic life until she is brutally separated from her home and forced on a journey that turns her from a daydreamer into a resilient woman. Wurche, the willful daughter of a chief, is desperate to play an important role in her father's court. These two women's lives converge as infighting among Wurche's people threatens the region, during the height of the slave trade at the end of the 19th century. Set in pre-colonial Ghana, The Hundred Wells of…

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March 2019

Reading with Lauren Wilkinson at the BPL

March 4, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

1986: It’s the heart of the Cold War, and Marie is working as an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant and dedicated to her job, but she's also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club, and her career has stalled out; she's overlooked for every high profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic, revolutionary…

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Reading with Patrick Reddan Keefe at the BPL

March 9, 2019 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Free

In December 1972, Jean McConville, a thirty-eight-year-old mother of ten, was dragged from her Belfast home by masked intruders, her children clinging to her legs. They never saw her again. Her abduction was one of the most notorious episodes of the vicious conflict known as The Troubles. Everyone in the neighborhood knew the I.R.A. was responsible. But in a climate of fear and paranoia, no one would speak of it. Patrick Radden Keefe's mesmerizing book on the bitter conflict in…

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Reading with Michael Longley at the BPL

March 21, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

Michael Longley was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 1939. He was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and studied Classics at Trinity College. Strongly influenced by the classics, he has alluded to his love of Homer in many of his poems. Early in his career, Longley worked as a schoolteacher in Dublin, London, and Belfast. He founded the literary program in the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and in 1970 he became the assistant director of that organization. Holding…

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Reading with Frye Gaillard at the BPL

March 25, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

FRYE GAILLARD brings his keen storyteller’s eye to this pivotal time in American life. He explores the competing story arcs of tragedy and hope through the political and social movements of the times — civil rights, black power, women’s liberation, the War in Vietnam, and the protests against it. But he also examines the cultural manifestations of change — music, literature, art, religion, and science — and so we meet not only the Brothers Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm…

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April 2019

Reading with Michael Dobbs at the BPL

April 11, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

The powerfully told story of a group of German Jews desperately seeking American visas to escape Nazi Germany, and an illuminating account of America's response to the refugee crisis of the 1930's and 40's. This book complements the exhibition The Americans and the Holocaust that is now on view at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, DC In October 1940 the Gestapo expelled 6,504 Jews from southwest Germany, creating the first official "Jewish free zone" in the Third Reich. Interned…

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Reading with Austin Kleon at the BPL

April 23, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

The world is crazy. Creative work is hard. And nothing is getting any easier! In his previous books—Steal Like an Artist and Show Your Work!, New York Times bestsellers with over a million copies in print combined—Austin Kleon gave readers the key to unlock their creativity and then showed them how to share it. Now he completes his trilogy with his most inspiring work yet. Keep Going gives the reader life-changing, illustrated advice and encouragement on how to stay creative, focused, and true to yourself in the face…

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Richard Blanco in conversation with WGBH’s Jim Braude and Margery Eagan at the BPL

April 25, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

Selected by President Obama to be the fifth inaugural poet in history, Richard Blanco followed in the footsteps of Robert Frost and Maya Angelou. The youngest, first Latino, first immigrant, and first openly gay person to serve in the role, he read his inaugural poem, "One Today," on January 21, 2013. Blanco and his family arrived in Miami as exiles from Cuba through Madrid, where he was born. The negotiation of cultural identity and universal themes of place and belonging characterize his…

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May 2019

Reading with John Urschel and Louisa Thomas at the BPL

May 14, 2019 | 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Free

For John Urschel, what began as an insatiable appetite for puzzles as a child quickly evolved into mastery of the elegant systems and rules of mathematics. By the time he was thirteen, Urschel was auditing college-level calculus courses. But when he joined his high school football team, a new interest began to eclipse the thrill he once felt in the classroom. Football challenged Urschel in an entirely different way, and he became addicted to the physical contact of the sport.…

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Did You Know?

Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.