Voices from Our Archives

photo of Tracy K. Smith

Tracy K. Smith with Joy Harjo

Wednesday 6 February 2019

Tracy K. Smith served as the 22nd Poet Laureate of the United States from 2017 to 2019. During her first term, Smith gave readings and led discussions as a part of a pilot project in rural communities in New...

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photo of Colson Whitehead

Colson Whitehead with Kevin Young

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Colson Whitehead is the author of seven novels including The Nickel Boys, which won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize, the Kirkus Prize for Fiction, and was a New York Times bestseller, a finalist for the National Book Critics...

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photo of Angela Y. Davis

Angela Y. Davis with Barbara Ransby

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Angela Y. Davis is a distinguished professor emerita in the History of Consciousness and Feminist Studies Departments at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Davis grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, and has been an...

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photo of Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson with Liliana Segura

Wednesday 15 January 2014

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a human rights organization in Montgomery, Alabama. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive...

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photo of Michelle Alexander

Michelle Alexander with Liliana Segura

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Michelle Alexander is a highly acclaimed civil rights lawyer, advocate, and legal scholar. She is the author of the bestselling book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, which won the 42nd...

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photo of Anthony Ray Hinton

Anthony Ray Hinton with Ben Harmon

Sunday 10 January 2016

At the age of 29, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested in Birmingham, Alabama and charged with two capital murders based on flimsy and faulty firearms evidence. Despite having no criminal background, a confirmed alibi, and...

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photo of Claudia Rankine

Claudia Rankine with Saskia Hamilton

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Claudia Rankine is a poet, essayist, and playwright. She is the author of five collections of poetry including the acclaimed Citizen: An American Lyric, Don't Let Me Be Lonely, and Just Us; three plays including...

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photo of Rev. William Barber II

Rev. William Barber II with Khury Petersen-Smith

Thursday 11 October 2018

The Reverend William Barber, pastor at Greenleaf Christian Church and president of the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP, led the Moral Mondays movement of weekly protests and civil disobedience against the...

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photo of Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor with Donna Murch

Wednesday 20 January 2016

Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor is a scholar, author, and activist. She is the author of From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation, which won the Lannan Cultural Freedom Award for an Especially Notable Book in 2016. She is...

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photo of Marlon James

Marlon James with Russell Banks

Wednesday 10 May 2017

Marlon James’s A Brief History of Seven Killings was the winner of the 2015 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, making him the first Jamaican writer to receive the UK’s most prestigious literary award. It was also a finalist...

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photo of Nikky Finney

The Fire This Time: A Tribute to James Baldwin with Nikky Finney, Randall Kenan, Kevin Young, et al.

Wednesday 11 February 2015

Nikky Finney is the author of five books of poetry and a collection of short stories, including On Wings Made of Gauze, Rice, Heartwood, and her latest collection Lovechild’s Hot Bed of Occasional Poetry: Poems and...

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photo of Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay with Tressie McMillan Cottom

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Roxane Gay is an author and cultural critic. Her works include the story collection Difficult Women and Ayiti, a blend of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry interwoven into a tale of the Haitian diaspora. In her essay...

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photo of Ta-Nehisi Coates

Ta-Nehisi Coates with Michele Norris

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a distinguished writer-in-residence at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. He is the author of the bestselling books The Beautiful Struggle; We Were Eight Years in Power, winner of the...

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photo of Eve L. Ewing

Eve L. Ewing with Wayne Au

Wednesday 13 November 2019

Eve Louise Ewing is a sociologist of education whose research is focused on racism, social inequality, and urban policy, and the impact of these forces on American public schools and the lives of young people. She is an...

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photo of Boots Riley

Boots Riley with Robin D. G. Kelley

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Boots Riley is a provocative and prolific poet, rapper, songwriter, producer, screenwriter, director, community organizer, and public speaker. He is the lead vocalist of The Coup and Street Sweeper Social Club. His...

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photo of Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat with Aja Monet

Wednesday 27 March 2019

Edwidge Danticat is the author of several books, including Krik? Krak!, a collection of short stories that encompass both the cruelties and the high ideals of Haitian life. Danticat's 2004 novel The Dew Breaker spins a...

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photo of Ruth Wilson Gilmore

Ruth Wilson Gilmore with Rachel Kushner

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Ruth Wilson Gilmore is Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences and Director of the Center for Place, Culture, and Politics at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Co-founder of many grassroots...

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photo of Natasha Trethewey

Nothing Personal: The Dark Room Collective Reunion Tour

Thursday 12 December 2013

Natasha Trethewey served two terms as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014). She is the author of five collections of poetry: Monument (2018); Thrall (2012); Native Guard (2006), winner of...

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photo of Teju Cole

Teju Cole with Amitava Kumar

Wednesday 3 February 2016

Teju Cole—writer, art historian, photographer, and photography critic for the New York Times Magazine—is the author of the novella Every Day Is for the Thief, named a book of the year by the New York Times....

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photo of Isabel Wilkerson

Isabel Wilkerson with John Stauffer

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Isabel Wilkerson is the author of The Warmth of Other Suns, an epic story of the Great Migration, chronicling the journey of over six million black Americans from the South who migrated north and west between World War...

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photo of Dinaw Mengestu

Dinaw Mengestu with Penn Szittya

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Dinaw Mengestu was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and immigrated with his family to the United States at the age of two. He is the author of three novels, all of which were named New York Times Notable Books: All Our...

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photo of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie with Binyavanga Wainaina

Wednesday 28 September 2011

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie grew up in Nigeria and burst onto the literary scene with her remarkable debut novel, Purple Hibiscus, hailed by critics as “one of the best novels to come out of Africa in years” (Baltimore...

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photo of Kwame Dawes

Kwame Dawes with Chris Abani

Wednesday 29 September 2010

Kwame Dawes is a writer of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and plays. Born in Ghana in 1962, Dawes spent most of his childhood and early adult life in Jamaica. As a poet, he is profoundly influenced by the rhythms and...

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photo of Jamaica Kincaid

Jamaica Kincaid with Robert Faggen

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Jamaica Kincaid is an Antiguan-American novelist, essayist, gardener, and gardening writer. She has published five novels including most recently See Now Then (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013) and five works of...

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photo of Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West with Amy Goodman

Wednesday 25 June 2003

Dr. Cornel West is a philosopher, author, activist, social critic, and one of America’s most vital public intellectuals. He has published more than 20 books, including the ground-breaking Race Matters; Democracy...

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photo of Elizabeth Alexander

Elizabeth Alexander with Maureen Corrigan

Wednesday 30 September 2015

Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, essayist, playwright and president of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. She is the author of the acclaimed memoir The Light of the World, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in...

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photo of Kevin Young

Kevin Young with Colson Whitehead

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Kevin Young is poetry editor for the New Yorker and the director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He is the author of thirteen books of poetry and prose, including, most recently, Brown; Blue...

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photo of Aminatta Forna

Aminatta Forna with Laila Lalami

Wednesday 11 November 2015

Aminatta Forna is the award-winning author of the novels The Hired Man, The Memory of Love and Ancestor Stones, and a memoir The Devil that Danced on the Water. She was born in Scotland, raised in Sierra Leone and...

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photo of Derek Walcott

Derek Walcott with Glyn Maxwell

Wednesday 20 November 2002

Derek Walcott (1930-2017) was a Saint Lucian poet, playwright, and essayist whose works were informed by Caribbean, English, and African traditions. He was born in St. Lucia, West Indies, and educated at the University...

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photo of Toi Derricotte

Cave Canem Evening

Wednesday 15 November 2006

Toi Derricotte is the author of I: New & Selected Poems (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2019), a 2019 National Book Award finalist; The Undertaker’s Daughter (2011), and four earlier collections of poetry,...

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photo of Caryl Phillips

Caryl Phillips with Glyn Maxwell

Wednesday 1 November 2006

Caryl Phillips was born in 1958 in St. Kitts, West Indies, and went with his family to England that same year. He was brought up in Leeds and educated at Oxford. He has written numerous scripts for film, theatre, radio...

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J. PATRICK LANNAN, JR. (1938 - 2022)

Patrick Lannan died Wednesday, July 27, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with his wife Andrea and daughter Sharron by his side. 

In lieu of the significant tribute he deserves — and to which he would’ve strongly objected — for now, in this moment of loss and our collective grief, we can only offer the words of Seamus Heaney:


And some time make the time to drive out west
Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore,
In September or October, when the wind
And the light are working off each other
So that the ocean on one side is wild
With foam and glitter, and inland among stones
The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit
By the earthed lightning of a flock of swans,
Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white,
Their fully grown headstrong-looking heads
Tucked or cresting or busy underwater.
Useless to think you’ll park and capture it
More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there,
A hurry through which known and strange things pass
As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways
And catch the heart off guard and blow it open.

News from Lannan Foundation

22 April 2022 – Lannan Foundation today announced plans to close by 2032 and spend out all assets. 

For more information, please read our announcement

2021 Lannan Literary Awards & Fellowships

Lannan honors established and emerging writers of distinctive literary merit:

Yusef Komunyakaa: Literary Award for Lifetime Achievement
Rabih Alameddine: Literary Award
Deborah Levy: Literary Award
Afia Atakora: Literary Fellowship
Cameron Awkward-Rich: Literary Fellowship
Eduardo C. Corral: Literary Fellowship
Kirstin Valdez Quade: Literary Fellowship

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Recent Event: Taking Children, Taking the Land

Nick Estes and Rebecca Nagle had an urgent discussion of the ongoing attack on Indigenous children and Indigenous land. This was a virtual event in partnership with Haymarket Books.

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Recent Event: Abolition, Cultural Freedom, Liberation

Angela Y. DavisMike Davis, and Ruth Wilson Gilmore joined author Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor for an urgent conversation on abolition, cultural freedom, and liberation. Watch it here.

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Recent Event: Consequences of Capitalism

Hear Noam Chomsky's recent talk and conversation with E. Tammy Kim on the brutal realities laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic—and the urgent need for an alternative to capitalism.

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Bookworm Interview with Atsuro Riley

Lannan is a supporter of Michael Silverblatt’s long-running interview series on KCRW, Bookworm. In this interview, Michael speaks with poet Atsuro Riley about his latest collection Heard-Hoard.

Follow this external link to listen to the full episode at KCRW.

Photo by Sven Wiederholt.

Lannan Art Collection: Recent Acquisition

From the Relicarios series by Erika Diettes

Lannan has recently acquired the entire Relicarios collection from Erika Diettes of Bogotá, Colombia. Shown here are #54 and #43, from the series of 56.

Mixed media with objects embedded in rubber tripolymer encased in a lighted Plexiglas urn

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Marfa Public Radio

West Texas Talk — Marfa Public Radio’s flagship program — features discussions about regional issues as well as conversations with writers, musicians, filmmakers, and artists, including interviews with Lannan poets and writers in residence. Visit their archive here.