March 18, 2021 Library Announces Literary Series Programs for Spring 2021

Events to Feature Colson Whitehead, Lupita Nyong’o, Walter Isaacson, Jim Lee and a Conversation on Talking About Race

Press Contact: Leah Knobel
Public Contact: Literary Initiatives

Upcoming literary events will feature actor Lupita Nyong'o in conversation with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, publisher and CCO of DC Jim Lee in a Behind the Book event, a National Book Festival Presents Poetry Spotlight event with Brenda Shaughnessy and Victoria Chang and more.

The Library of Congress continues its series of diverse literary events with two-time Pulitzer winner Colson Whitehead; Oscar-winning actor Lupita Nyong’o; a celebration of the world-renowned comic book artist, writer, editor and DC Comics publisher Jim Lee for Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month; and a three-part feature on “the talk” – the conversation parents have with their children about race.

All programs will be virtual and available on the Library’s website at, as well as its YouTube site (with captions).  Most programs will premiere on the Library’s Facebook page, as noted below.

Additional programs in the Library’s literary series will be announced as they are scheduled. To receive news of Library events, sign up for notifications here or subscribe to Library blogs and news feeds at

Programs for late March, April and May are as follows:

  • Monday, March 29, at 5 p.m.: Colson Whitehead’s New York. The 2020 recipient of the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, Colson Whitehead, in conversation with the director of New York’s Empire Center for the Book, Rocco Staino. The two-time Pulitzer winner talks about growing up in New York, where he continues to live, and how it has influenced his writing.
  • Thursday, April 1, 7 p.m.: Pop Life: Literature and Culture. Colson Whitehead, Kevin Young and Isaac Fitzgerald, in the Prize for American Fiction spring event. Longtime friends Whitehead and Young, a poet and the new director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, in a lively conversation on how pop culture influences art. Moderated by best-selling author and pop culture expert Isaac Fitzgerald. (Premiering on Facebook.)
  • Thursday, April 8, 10 a.m.: National Book Festival Presents: Lupita Nyong’o and Carla Hayden. A fascinating conversation for young people with the Librarian of Congress and Oscar-winning actor and author of the No. 1 best-selling children’s book “Sulwe.” (Premiering on Facebook.)
  • Thursday, April 29, 7 p.: National Book Festival Presents: Poetry Spotlight: Victoria Chang and Brenda Shaughnessy. Poets Victoria Chang (“Obit”) and Brenda Shaughnessy (“The Octopus Museum”) discuss their poetry collections, both of which address issues of loss, fear and the future of the planet. A National Poetry Month event. (Premiering on Facebook.)
  • Monday, May 3, 10 a.m.: Talking About Race, Love and Truth: For Kids and Teens, with Adam Gidwitz and Renée Watson, contributors to the book “The Talk.” Part 1 of the 11th annual Jonah S. Eskin Memorial event.
  • Monday, May 3, 11 a.m. Talking About Race, Love & Truth: For Caregivers and Teachers. Editors of “The Talk” Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson, founders of Just Us Books, on how parents discuss race with their children. Part two of the Jonah S. Eskin Memorial event. 
  • Thursday, May 6, 7 p.m.: Behind the Book: Jim Lee and Asian American Superheroes. A “Great American Publishers” event celebrating the life and work of publisher and chief creative officer of DC Jim Lee and marking Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. This program features illustrator Bernard Chang and writers Sarah Kuhn and Minh Lê, and is moderated by former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Gene Luen Yang. (Premiering on Facebook.)
  • Thursday, May 13, 5 p.: Talking About Race, Love & Truth: Live Q&A. Best-selling children’s authors Renée Watson and Adam Gidwitz, with editors and publishers Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson, will take questions from listeners. Advanced registration is required at this link. Part three of the Jonah S. Eskin Memorial event.
  • Thursday, May 20, 7 p.m.: National Book Festival Presents: Walter Isaacson on the Biomedical Future. Isaacson discusses his new book, “The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing and the Future of the Human Race,” with award-winning journalist Katherine Eban. Nobel winner Doudna and her colleagues have ignited a revolution with the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR, which offers great promise, while raising enormous moral questions. (Premiering on Facebook.)
  • Thursday, May 27, 7 p.: National Book Festival Presents: The Art of the Memoir. Poet Cathy Park Hong (“Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning”) and novelist Wayétu Moore (“The Dragons, the Giant, the Women”), both nominees for the 2020 National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography, discuss how their memoirs give voice to history and speak to the present moment. (Premiering on Facebook.)
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PR 21-016
ISSN 0731-3527