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Reading by Marlon James & Patricia Smith

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November 14, 2023 • 7:30 pm


Man Booker Prize-winning author Marlon James, author of A Brief History of Seven Killings and the bestselling Dark Star Trilogy, and Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize winner and Professor of Creative Writing Patricia Smith read from their work as part of the 2023-24 Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series, hosted by the Program in Creative Writing.

Tickets & Details

The reading is free and open to the public; tickets required. Get tickets through University Ticketing


Get directions to the Drapkin Studio, located on the second floor of the Wallace Dance Building at the Lewis Arts complex.


symbol for wheelchair accessibilityThe Drapkin Studio is wheelchair accessible. Visit our Venues and Studios section for accessibility information at our various locations. Guests in need of access accommodations are invited to contact the Lewis Center at 609-258-5262 or email at least one week in advance of the event date.



About Marlon James

Author Marlon James

Photo by Mark Seliger

Marlon James won the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for A Brief History of Seven Killings, making him the first Jamaican author to take home the U.K.’s most prestigious literary award. A Brief History of Seven Killings also won the American Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Prize, the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. James is the author of the novels John Crow’s Devil, which was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers Prize, and The Book of Night Women, winner of the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and Minnesota Book Award. His bestselling Dark Star Trilogy, a fantasy series set in African legend, includes Black Leopard, Red Wolf; Moon Witch, Spider King; and the forthcoming title White Wing, Dark Star.

James’ short fiction and nonfiction have been anthologized in Bronx Noir, The Book of Men: Eighty Writers on How to Be a Man and have appeared in Esquire, Granta, Harper’s, The Caribbean Review of Books and elsewhere. His widely read essay, “From Jamaica to Minnesota to Myself,” appeared in the New York Times Magazine. In early 2016 his viral video “Are you racist? ‘No’ isn’t a good enough answer” received millions of hits. James hosts a popular podcast about literature with Jake Morrissey called Marlon and Jake Read Dead People. For HBO and UK Channel 4, he is currently writing and executive producing Get Millie Black, a 6-part crime drama set in Jamaica. In 2018 James received an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature, and Time Magazine named him among 100 Most Influential People of 2019. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and teaches English and creative writing at Macalester College.


About Patricia Smith

closeup portrait of Patricia Smith, with golden skin and hair with bangs framing her eyes.

Photo Credit: Rachel Eliza Griffiths

Patricia Smith is the winner of the 2021 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, an award for lifetime achievement from the Poetry Foundation. She is the author of eight books of poetry, including Incendiary Art, winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Award for Poetry, the 2017 LA Times Book Prize, the 2018 NAACP Image Award and finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize; Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, winner of the Lenore Marshall Prize from the Academy of American Poets; Blood Dazzler, a National Book Award finalist; and three collaborations with award-winning visual artists — Gotta Go, Gotta Flow, with Chicago photographer Michael Abramson, and the books Crowns and Death in the Desert with Sandro Miller. Her other books include the poetry volumes Teahouse of the Almighty, Close to Death, Big Towns Big Talk, and Life According to Motown; the children’s book Janna and the Kings and the history Africans in America, a companion book to the award-winning PBS series. Her work has appeared in Poetry, The Paris Review, The Baffler, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Tin House and in the anthologies Best American Poetry and Best American Essays. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Pushcart Prizes, four individual championships of the National Poetry Slam, and she was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2023.


November 14, 2023
7:30 pm
Event Categories:
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Donald G. Drapkin Studio, Lewis Arts complex
122 Alexander Street
Princeton, NJ 08540 United States
View Venue Website

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