Fall Philly literary events: A great big banquet

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Host of The Daily Show Trevor Noah, seen here in October 2015, talks about his new memoir, Born a Crime, at the Free Library on Nov. 18.

As usual, there are far too many readings, panels, discussions, slams, and verbal-art throwdowns this fall in our area to cover even a fraction here. Regard the below as just a taste of a great, big, sweet-as-can-be literary smorgasbord. Get out and see some.

Colson Whitehead and Ron Rash (Sept. 27, Parkway Central Library, Free Library of Philadelphia). Whitehead's The Underground Railroad is suddenly on everyone's reading list - next to Rash's The Risen. (1901 Vine St., free, 215-567-4341, libwww.freelibrary.org)

Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad.

Ann Beattie (Sept. 29, Gladfelter Hall, CHAT Lounge, 10th Floor, Temple University main campus). One of our most accomplished fiction writers. (Polett Walk, free, 215-204-7561, www.cla.temple.edu/english/creativewriting/events/poets-writers-series).

Angela Duckworth and Scott Barry Kaufman (Sept. 29, Penn Book Center). Her acclaimed book Grit praised an essential element in personal success. His book Wired to Create delved into the creative mind. (130 S. 34th St., free, 215-222-7600, www.pennbookcenter.com).

Angela Duckworth, author of Grit. Photo: Zach Teris. 

Ann Patchett and Jacqueline Woodson (Oct. 6, Parkway Central Library, Free Library of Philadelphia). Patchett, beloved PEN/Faulkner Prize winner, and Woodson, National Book Award winner. (1901 Vine St., $15 ($7 students), 215-567-4341, libwww.freelibrary.org)

Edwidge Danticat (Oct. 26, McPherson Auditorium, Goodheart Hall, Bryn Mawr College). The Haitian American fiction writer, beloved for books such as Breath, Eyes, Memory, is a MacArthur grant winner and a National Book Critics Circle Award winner. (101 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr, free, 610-526-5210, www.brynmawr.edu/arts/cwprs.html)


Edwidge Danticat comes to Bryn Mawr on Oct. 26. Photo: Nancy Compton.

Who Do You Love?: Anne Sexton (Nov. 1, PhillyCAM/Moonstone Arts). At this great series, televised on PhillyCAM, folks gather and discuss the poets they love to death - and many love Sexton. Elijah Pringle is the MC; panelists include local poets Joanne Leva and Lynn Levin. (699 Ranstead St., free, www.moonstoneartscenter.org)

Ross Gay (Nov. 7, Kelly Writers House, University of Pennsylvania). This Lafayette and Temple grad, a social activist and artist in many media, has become one of our most wondrous poets. (3805 Locust Walk, University of Pennsylvania, free, 215-746-POEM, writing.upenn.edu/wh).

Ross Gay brings his great poems to Kelly Writer's House on Nov. 7.

Joshua Isard and Rachel Pastan (Nov. 17, Media Arts Gallery). The State Street Reading Series, cosponsored by Widener University and the Media Arts Council, features local writers. Pastan (who teaches at Swarthmore) and Isard (Arcadia University) are two much-published fiction writers. (609 W. State St., Media, free, 484-550-5959, www.widener.edu).

Trevor Noah (Nov. 18, Parkway Central Library, Free Library of Philadelphia). The host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central talks of his life and his new memoir, Born a Crime. (1901 Vine St., free, 215-567-4341, $32, libwww.freelibrary.org)

Robert Strauss: America's Worst Presidents (Nov. 28, National Constitution Center). The author of Worst. President. Ever. talks with Constitution Center scholar Michael Gerhardt about Pennsylvania's own James Buchanan (often called the worst) and other bad prezzes. (525 Arch St., free, constitutioncenter.org, 215-409-6600)

Michael Chabon (Dec. 8, Parkway Central Library, Free Library of Philadelphia). The famed novelist calls his Moonglow "an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a memoir." (1901 Vine St., free, 215-567-4341, libwww.freelibrary.org)

 Michael Chabon, author of Moonglow.