Assortment of Library Events for New Haven Big Read 2018

by Eleanor Montgomery, New Haven Free Public Library

An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

The 2018 Big Read centers on Claudia Rankine’s book Citizen: An American Lyric, with related free events offered throughout greater New Haven. Citizen is a genre bending, award-winning, work of art combining lyric prose with internal monologues, visual art, slogans, photographs, quotes, a screen grab from YouTube, and film scripts. It is a touchstone for talking candidly about racism. Events are as follows.

Urban Experience Book Discussion Series Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
June 2, 12-1 p.m. Wilson Library, 303 Washington Avenue
New Haven NHFPL Librarian Marian Huggins will lead this discussion on Citizen by Claudia Rankine.

Film and Discussion: Whose Streets?
June 4, 5:30 p.m. Ives Main Library, 133 Elm Street, New Haven
An account of the Ferguson uprising as told by the people who lived it. The filmmakers look at how the killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown inspired a community to fight back and sparked a global movement. Discussion with Festival Fellows to follow.

Citywide Youth Coalition and Arts & Ideas Dinner & Dialogue: Internalized Racial Oppression and Exploring Citizenship Town Hall
June 7, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Ives Main Library, 133 Elm Street, New Haven
Last June, our high Festival Fellows hosted a standing-room-only Town Hall meeting on gun violence. Join them this year as they explore the themes of Citizen, opening up a public discussion about the continuing epidemic of racial inequity in America.

Art Responding to Citizen Series
June 9
Hoodies: Katro Storm and Nasty Women CT Art Installation June 10, Artivism: A Workshop with Juancarlos Soto New Haven Green Art workshops and exhibition on the New Haven Green.

The Word Citizen Poetry Jam at Arts & Ideas
June 13, 7:30-9 p.m. First & Summerfield United Methodist Church, 425 College Street, New Haven
Select students and teachers from The Word’s New Haven Public Schools Citizen residencies will perform their poems and raps.

Racial Imaginary Ideas Program
June 16, 1:30 p.m. Yale University Art Gallery, 1111 Chapel Street, New Haven
Inspired by Claudia Rankine’s building of an extraordinary “Interdisciplinary Cultural Library” to provide a platform for artists and scholars to explore the idea of race. Essayist, poet, and curator of the Racial Imaginary Leronn P. Brooks will be joined by poet and lawyer Monica Youn for a discussion of this new model of art curation, collaboration, and its role in lifting voices that are otherwise unheard through galleries and museums.

Citywide Youth Coalition Dinner & Dialogue: Healing from the Trauma of Racism
June 21, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Ives Main Library, 133 Elm Street, New Haven
Learning and experiencing healing practices.

For more information about these library programs, please contact Eleanor Montgomery at or (203) 946-8130, Ext. 312.

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