Charis and the Georgia Center for the Book welcome Tracy K. Smith in conversation with Jericho Brown for a celebration of To Free the Captives: A Plea for the American Soul n person in the Sanctuary at the First Baptist Church of Decatur.
About the book: From the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet: a stunning meditation on memory, family, and history that explores how we in America might—together—come to a new view of our shared past. In 2020, heartsick from constant assaults on Black life, Tracy K. Smith found herself soul-searching, and digging into the historical archive for help navigating the “din of human division and strife.” With lyricism and urgency, Smith draws on several avenues of thinking—personal, documentary, and spiritual—to understand who we are as a nation and what we might hope to mean to one another.
To Free the Captives begins this journey by assembling a new terminology of American life. Parsing the difference between the Free and the Freed, and the distance between Time Ago and Soon, Smith etches a portrait of where we find ourselves four hundred years into the American experiment and offers a compelling argument for the vocabulary of the soul as a tool for fulfilling our duties to each other and to the future.
About the authors:
TRACY K. SMITH is a librettist, translator, and the author of five acclaimed poetry collections, including Life on Mars, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Her memoir, Ordinary Light, was a finalist for the National Book Award. From 2017 to 2019, she served as the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States. She lives in Massachusetts.
JERICHO BROWN is author of The Tradition (Copper Canyon 2019), for which he won the Pulitzer Prize. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he is the winner of the Whiting Award. Brown’s first book, Please (New Issues 2008), won the American Book Award. His second book, The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014), won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. His third collection, The Tradition won the Paterson Poetry Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award. His poems have appeared in The Bennington Review, Buzzfeed, Fence, jubilat, The New Republic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, TIME magazine, and several volumes of The Best American Poetry. He is the director of the Creative Writing Program and a professor at Emory University.
About the Event + Accessibility:
If you choose the signed book with ticket option, you will bring your ticket (digitally or on paper) with you to pick up your copy of the book at the church on the night of the event. All books not picked up at the event on 11/8 will be available for pickup at Charis Books and More (184 S. Candler St, Decatur) for an additional 2 weeks.
Doors open at 6 pm. Event begins promptly at 7 pm. All books will be pre-signed but attendees may decide to stay after the reading for an optional personalized signing line.
Masks: Face masks are encouraged but not required.
Social Distancing: Attendance will be capped below capacity to insure social distancing.
The First Baptist Church is fully wheelchair accessible, with accessible parking. Please contact us at email@example.com or 404-524-0304 if you have other seating or accessibility needs or would like to request ASL interpretation. The majority of the seating is pew/bench style hard-backed seating.
Event Code of Conduct: By attending our event you agree to our Code of Conduct: Our event seeks to provide a harassment-free experience for everyone, regardless of gender, gender identity and expression, age, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, ethnicity, religion (or lack thereof), class, or technology choices. We do not tolerate harassment in any form. Anyone violating these rules will be expelled from this event and all future events at the discretion of the organizers. Please report all harassment to firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
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