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Pulitzer Prize-winner Jorie Graham opens 2023/24 season of Folger Poetry

Press release: September 12, 2023 — Washington, DC

On Tuesday, October 3 at 7:30 pm, the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series at the Folger Shakespeare Library will host Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jorie Graham for a virtual reading of her work. A conversation, moderated by Congressman Jamie Raskin, will follow the reading.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the Folger Box Office at 202.544.7077 or by visiting

Jorie Graham is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including [To] The Last [Be] Human, which collects four extraordinary poetry collections—Sea ChangePlaceFast, and RunawayFrom the New World: Poems 1976-2014Place (winner of the Forward Prize in 2012); and The Dream of the Unified Field: Selected Poems 1974-1994 (winner of the 1996 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry). Her other poetry collections include OverlordNeverSwarmThe ErrancyMaterialismRegion of UnlikenessThe End of BeautyErosion, and Hybrids of Plants and Ghosts. She served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets from 1997 to 2003 and has also edited two anthologies, Earth Took of Earth: 100 Great Poems of the English Language and Best American Poetry 1990. She is the Boylston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard University, the first woman to be awarded the position. A recent review by The Guardian of Graham’s latest collection [To] The Last [Be] Human stated that “what makes her work required reading is her readiness to go where angels fear to write, to do the terrifying work of visualizing the future.”


This is the 55th season of the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series. Folger Poetry Manager Teri Cross Davis continues the long-standing tradition of welcoming the most incandescent names in poetry to the Folger. This season features six readings, with the first two hosted online, and the last four at Folger Theatre, which will begin hosting performances and events again this November as renovations to the Folger Shakespeare Library move toward completion.

“The works of established and emerging poets in our 2023/24 season engages audiences with innovative language that answers the question of ‘what’s your story?’ “This season of poetry delves into the questions of who we are, what drives us, and the connections that make us human part of a community,” says Cross Davis.

2023/24 SCHEDULE

The O.B. Harison Poetry Reading with Jorie Graham
Virtual reading on Tuesday, October 3 at 7:30pm

The Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute with Evie Shockley
Virtual reading on Tuesday, December 5 at 7:30pm

Not Just Another Day Off: A Poetic Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Monday, January 15 at 11am at Folger Theatre

Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize
with Linda Gregerson and this year’s winner, Hannah Louise Poston
Tuesday, March 12 at 7:30pm at Folger Theatre

Eudora Welty Lecture: Natasha Trethewey
Thursday, March 21 at 7:30pm at the National Press Club

2024 Folger Poetry Series Reader: Edward Hirsch
Thursday, April 25 at 7:30pm at Folger Theatre

About The O.B. Hardison Poetry Series

The O.B. Hardison Poetry Series, one of the nation’s most established poetry reading programs, is noted for featuring an extensive range of outstanding poets. The series was founded in 1970 when the late O.B. Hardison, Jr., a renowned teacher, scholar, and poet, became director of the Folger Shakespeare Library and established many outreach programs to make the resources of the extraordinary research library available to the Washington community. Teri Cross Davis is the Folger Poetry Manager. For more on the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series, please visit

About Folger Shakespeare Library

Folger Shakespeare Library is the world’s largest Shakespeare collection, the ultimate resource for exploring Shakespeare and his world. The Folger welcomes millions of visitors online and in person. It provides unparalleled access to a huge array of resources, from original sources to modern interpretations. With the Folger, you can experience the power of performance, the wonder of exhibitions, and the excitement of path-breaking research. The  Folger offers the opportunity to see and even work with early modern sources, driving discovery and transforming education for students of all ages.

Press contacts

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Peter Eramo, Jr., 202.675.0344 /