LIU Brooklyn is proud to announce that acclaimed fiction writer and 2018 MacArthur Fellow John Keene will deliver this year’s “Starting from Paumonok” lecture. This annual event takes its name from a poem by Walt Whitman. Its title invokes the Native American word for Long Island and acknowledges the University’s geographic and cultural connection to one of Brooklyn’s—and Long Island’s—foremost literary figures. Among those who’ve previously appeared in this lecture series are the novelists Sandra Cisneros, Gary Shteyngart and Edwidge Danticat; the poets Claudia Rankine and Tracy K. Smith; and the playwright Lynn Nottage.
Winner of the American Book Award and the Windham Campbell Prize in Fiction, John Keene received an A.B. from Harvard University and an M.F.A. from New York University. Currently he is a professor and chair of the Department of African American and African Studies and a professor in the Department of English at Rutgers University-Newark. He was a member of the Dark Room Collective and a graduate fellow of Cave Canem. He is the author of the novel Annotations; the poetry collection Seismosis, an art-text collaboration with artist Christopher Stackhouse; and the short-fiction collection, Counternarratives. His writing has appeared in TriQuarterly, the Kenyon Review and Ploughshares, among other journals. He translated Brazilian author Hilda Hilst’s novel, Letters from a Seducer, from Portuguese.
With ongoing support from the Mellon Foundation fund and LIU’s John P. McGrath Fund, the Paumanok lecture is presented by the Department of English, Philosophy and Languages at LIU Brooklyn. Following the talk by John Keene, Parsons Family University Professor of Creative Writing Erica Hunt will join him on stage for a short interview before taking questions from the audience. Afterwards, he will sign books in the Kumble Theater lobby, thanks to a partnership with Greenlight Books in Brooklyn.
The lecture is free and open to the public.