The 55th season of the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series continues its long-standing tradition of welcoming the most incandescent names in poetry to the Folger. The work of established and emerging poets in our upcoming season engages audiences with innovative language that answers the question, “what’s your story?” Poet Evie Shockley writes in her newest collection, Suddenly We, that “a mythology begins with a question.” This season of poetry delves into the question of who we are, what inspires us, and the connections that make us human.
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The 2023 | 24 O.B. Hardison Poetry Series
The O.B. Hardison Reading
October 3, 2023 | 7:30pm (ET)
Virtual on Zoom
We start the season with Pulitzer-prize winning poet Jorie Graham. This virtual reading will include a moderated conversation by Rep. Jamie Raskin.
The Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute
December 5, 2023 | 7:30pm
We celebrate the birthday of Amherst’s bard, Emily Dickinson, with our annual birthday tribute reading. This year, we highlight poet and literary scholar Evie Shockley who thinks, creates, and writes with her eye on a Black feminist horizon.
Co-sponsored with The Emily Dickinson Museum.
Not Just Another Day Off
Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
January 15, 2024 | 11:00am
We look forward to celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday with our annual free and family-friendly event Not Just Another Day Off on January 15. This event showcases historical speeches from King, Frederick Douglass, Fannie Lou Hamer and more with work from contemporary poets.
The Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize
Linda Gregerson and Hannah Louise Poston
March 12, 2024 | 7:30pm
We celebrate Waywiser Press’s 18th annual Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize with a reading from this year’s judge, Linda Gregerson, and this year’s winner Hannah Louise Poston.
Co-sponsored with Waywiser Press.
The Folger Poetry Board Reading
This year’s reader TBA
April 25, 2024 | 7:30pm
Since 1991 a group of Folger Poetry supporters have selected a poet to read for the season. The poet selected is then invited to read from their own work as well as the poets they cite as influences. This year’s poet will be announced soon.
Plus a virtual writing workshop!
BLOOM: A Virtual Poetry Workshop
Camille T. Dungy
February 26, 2024 | 6:30pm (ET)
Virtual on Zoom
In this virtual workshop acclaimed poet and essayist Camille T. Dungy, along with a horticulturalist, will present a generative poetry workshop with a botanical theme. This workshop is co-sponsored with the U.S. Botanic Garden as part of the ongoing BLOOM series of workshops.