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The Life of a Poet: A Conversation with Ron Charles + Carmen Giménez Smith

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Gimenez Smith, Carmen (Adam FitzgeraldKrista Kahl)

Join Ron Charles, book critic at The Washington Post, for an in-depth discussion with acclaimed poet Carmen Giménez Smith. The Life of a Poet series offers a rare opportunity to consider a writer’s entire career and explore the major events that have shaped their work.  Readings from the work are interspersed throughout the conversation. A book signing will follow.

Carmen Giménez Smith’s highly anticipated collection “Be Recorder” offers a blazing way Be Recorderforward into an as yet unmade world. Her poems investigate the precariousness of personhood in lines that excoriate and sanctify. Giménez Smith turns the increasingly pressing urge to cry out into a dream of rebellion—against compromise, against inertia, against self-delusion, and against the ways the media dream up our complacency in an America that depends on it. This reckoning with self and nation demonstrates that who and where we are is as conditional as the fact of our compliance: “Miss America from sea to shining sea / the huddled masses have a question / there is one of you and all of us.” “Be Recorder” is unrepentant and unstoppable, and affirms Giménez Smith as one of our time’s most vital and vivacious poets.

Carmen Giménez Smith is the author of six books, including “Milk and Filth,” a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in poetry, and “Bring Down the Little Birds,” winner of the American Book Award. She teaches at Virginia Tech University.

Ron Charles is a book critic at The Washington Post. For several years, he was the editor of The Post’s Book Work and edited the “Poet’s Choice” column. His reviews have won the National Book Critics Circle Award for best criticism and 1st place for Arts & Entertainment Commentary from the Society for Features Journalism. Washingtonian Magazine named him as one of the 40 people who shaped DC in 2010.

This event is free and open to the public. Reservations are required.

East City Bookshop will be selling books, and a book signing will take place after the event.

Co-sponsored by Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, the Library of Congress, The Washington Post and the Capitol Hill Community Foundation. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Library Of Congress


921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC, 20003 United States
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