Literary Calendar: March 16-22, 2009

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Noon. Associated Press reporter Jesse Holland discusses Black Men Built the Capitol: Discovering African-American History In and Around Washington, D.C. at a brown-bag lunch event at the American Institute of Architects, AIA board room, 1735 New York Ave. NW. A book signing follows; call 800-242-3837, #4 for details.

6:30 P.M. Professor and research fellow Nathaniel Frank discusses and signs Unfriendly Fire: How the Gay Ban Undermines the Military and Weakens America at Lambda Rising Bookstore, 1625 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-462-6969.

7 P.M. Journalist James Mann discusses and signs The Rebellion of Ronald Reagan: A History of the End of the Cold War at Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, 202-364-1919.

7 P.M. Adam Bradley discusses and signs Book of Rhymes: The Poetics of Hip Hop at the Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St., Arlington, Va., 703-228-5990. He will also speak on Wednesday, March 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Busboys and Poets (D.C.), 202-387-7638.

7 P.M. Poet and scholar E. Ethelbert Miller, director of Howard University's African American Resource Center and author of the verse collection How We Sleep on the Nights We Don't Make Love and Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer, discusses and signs his new memoir, The 5th Inning, at Busboys and Poets (D.C.), 2021 14th St. NW, 202-387-7638.

7:30 P.M. Claudia Emerson and Natasha Trethewey, both Pulitzer Prize-winning poets from the South and authors, most recently, of Figure Studies and Native Guard (respectively), read from their work as part of the Folger Poetry Series at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. A reception and book signing follow. Tickets are $12 each; call 202-544-7077 or visit RSVP.


Noon. Nobel Prize-winning scientist Eric Chivian, director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School and the author of Critical Condition: Human Health and the Environment, discusses and signs his most recent book, Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity (edited with Aaron Bernstein), at the World Bank, 1818 H St. NW. Call 202-458-9350 for details and to RSVP.

Noon. Bibi Gaston discusses and signs The Loveliest Woman in America: A Tragic Actress, Her Lost Diaries, and Her Granddaughter's Search for Home, her memoir of her grandmother Rosamond Pinchot, the debutante-turned actress, as part of the "Books & Beyond" series at the Library of Congress, James Madison Bldg., Pickford Theater, 101 Independence Ave. SE, 202-707-5221.

6:30 P.M. Ian Bremmer, president of Eurasia Group and the author of The J Curve: A New Way to Understand Why Nations Rise and Fall, discusses his new book, The Fat Tail: The Power of Political Knowledge for Strategic Investing (written with Preston Keat), in an event sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Washington, D.C. and being held at the Charles Sumner School and Museum (Great Hall), 1201 17th St. NW. A book signing follows. Admission is $10 for the general public, free for council members. Call 202-293-1051 or e-mail event@worldaffairsdc.orgto RSVP.

7 P.M. Neil Bascomb discusses and signs Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi at Politics and Prose Bookstore, 202-364-1919.

7:30 P.M. Elizabeth Brown Pryor presents a lecture on American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, drawn from her biography Clara Barton: Professional Angel, as part of the "Great Lives Lecture Series" at the University of Mary Washington, George Washington Hall, Dodd Auditorium, 1301 College Ave., Fredericksburg, Va., 540-654-1055.


Noon. Cliff Sloan, a former Supreme Court clerk and past publisher of Slate, joins David McKean, a Senate aide and political strategist, for a discussion and signing of their new book, The Great Decision: Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court, at the National Archives, Jefferson Room, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, 202-357-5000. They will also speak on Saturday, March 21, at 6 p.m. at Politics and Prose Bookstore, 202-364-1919.

6 P.M. Comedian and actor Steve Harvey discusses and signs Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man: What Men Really Think About Love, Relationships, Intimacy, and Commitment at Barnes & Noble-Metro Center, 555 12th St. NW, 202-347-4170.

7 P.M. Maurice Jackson discusses and signs Let This Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet, Father of Atlantic Abolitionism at the Shirlington Branch Public Library, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va., 703-228-6545. A book signing will follow at 8:30 p.m. across the street at Busboys and Poets (Shirlington), 4251 S. Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va., 703-379-9756.

7 P.M. The POESIS monthly poetry series presents readings by Jeneva Stone and Mary Sherman Willis, with music compliments of Shep Williams and Curly Robinson, at Borders Books-Pentagon Centre, 1201 S. Hayes St., Arlington, Va., 703-418-0166.

7:30 P.M. Book World columnist Michael Dirda discusses and signs his most recent book, Classics for Pleasure, at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington, 6125 Montrose Rd., Rockville, Md. Admission is $10 for the general public, $8 for JCC members; call 301-348-3769 for details.


11:30 A.M. The Friends of the Library, Montgomery County, sponsors a literary luncheon featuring Frank S. Joseph, a former editor at The Washington Post, who will read from and discuss his 2006 novel To Love Mercy at the Strathmore Mansion, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, Md. Admission is $20 for the general public, $18 for members; call 240-777-0020 for details.

6:30 P.M. Sportswriter Talmage Boston discusses and signs Baseball and the Baby Boomer: A History, Commentary, and Memoir at Barnes & Noble-Potomac Yard, 3651 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Alexandria, Va., 703-299-9124.

7 P.M. Poet and journalist Minal Hajratwala discusses and signs Leaving India: My Family's Journey from Five Villages to Five Continents at Politics and Prose Bookstore, 202-364-1919. [Read Book World's review in the Outlook section March 15.]


7:30 P.M. The Fredericksburg Atheneum, located at 109 Amelia St. in Fredericksburg, Va., hosts a two-day event (the launch of a new series highlighting Virginia authors) with writer and environmentalist Karen Tootelian, who will discuss The Chief and I, a memoir of her friendship with Webster Little Eagle Custalow, the late Chief of the Mattaponi Indian Tribe, as well as her affection for Virginia's rural landscapes. On Saturday, March 21, at 1 p.m. (in the same location), she will lead a discussion/workshop on the life and ecology of rural Virginia and her connection with the Mattaponi River (Chief Little Eagle had led the effort to save the river from a proposed reservoir). For complete details and to RSVP, call 540-373-1311.


5 P.M. Edward P. Jones, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Known World and, more recently, Aunt Hagar's Children, reads from his work in conjunction with two concurrent exhibitions at the Virginia campus of George Washington University: "Unforgotten: Slave Quarters and Other African-American Sites" and "Honoring and Commemorating Black Leadership." The campus is located in Ashburn, Va., near the intersection of Routes 7 and 28; the reading is in Building 2, 44983 Knoll Square. The event is free, but reservations are required; call 703-726-3650 or e-mail reservations@va.gwu.eduby March 19.


2 P.M. Presse Bookstore sponsors a discussion with journalist Kirstin Downey, a former staff writer at The Washington Post, about her new book, The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life of Frances Perkins, FDR's Secretary of Labor and His Moral Conscience, at the Holiday Inn Georgetown, 2101 Wisconsin Ave. NW. A book signing follows; call 202-338-1594 for details.

3 P.M. Novelist David Lozell Martin discusses and signs Losing Everything, his new memoir of a West Virginia childhood, at the Shirlington Branch Public Library, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va., 703-228-6545. A book signing will follow across the street at Busboys and Poets (Shirlington), 703-379-9756.


The American Pictures Distinguished Lecture Series, a joint endeavor of Washington College, the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, presents maestros of contemporary culture (authors, musicians, artists) reflecting on a single work of American art or portraiture of their choosing. The series' second season opens with a presentation by actor, filmmaker and artist John Waters, well-known for the cult film faves "Hairspray" and "Cry Baby," on Saturday, March 21, at 4:30 p.m. Waters will discuss Cy Twombly's 1967 canvas "Letters of Resignation XXXI." The series, held over four Saturdays through April, will take place in the Nan Tucker McEvoy Auditorium, Reynolds Center for American Art & Portraiture (which serves both museums), Eighth & F Sts. NW. Free tickets are available starting at 3:30 p.m.; doors open at 4 p.m. For details, call 202-633-1000 or e-mail

On Tuesday, March 17, the Irish arts organization Solas Nua (New Light) will distribute over 3,000 free books by Irish authors to pedestrians throughout Washington, D.C. (4th Annual Irish Book Day) to celebrate St. Patrick's Day and to introduce the public to contemporary Irish writers. Books slated for distribution (thanks to donations from Dalkey Archive Press, Random House, Picador USA, the Irish Times, the Irish Pages, Fishamble and the American Publishers Association) include works by Colum McCann, Brian Lynch, Chris Agee, Anne Enright and Colm Tóibín, to name a few. The generosity begins at 6 a.m., with distributions at street corners and near Metro stations throughout the city. For more details, visit

The Literacy Council of Northern Virginia, with sponsorship from the Verizon Foundation, hosts its third annual Reading: A Family Affair festival on Saturday, March 21, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the James Lee Community Center, 2855 Annandale Rd. in Falls Church, Va. Featured performances include magician Joe Romano; storytellers Diane Macklin and Candace Wolf; the Kaydee Puppeteers; the musical group Rocknoceros; and Readers Theatre from the Rainbow Company and H-B Woodlawn Fine Arts Dept. Mingling through the crowd will be PBS children's character Clifford the Big Red Dog. Due to space limitations, strollers will not be allowed; for details, call 703-237-0866 or visit

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