The Lannan Foundation’s 2011-2012 Readings & Conversations Series | - September 12, 2011

"This year's upcoming series brings a host of wonderful writers to Santa Fe..."

The Lannan Foundation has long been presenting excellent public programs focused on literature, art, cultural freedom and indigenous issues. Its long-running, popular Readings & Conversations series, held at the Lensic Performing Arts Center, gives Santa Feans a
chance to hear acclaimed writers discuss their craft, writing process and more with other writers and literary scholars. All events begin at 7 p.m.

This year's upcoming series brings a host of wonderful writers to Santa Fe, starting with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the Nigerian author of the astonishing novels Purple Hibiscus and Half of a Yellow Sun. Her most recent book, That Thing Around Your Neck, is a short story collection that explores the ties between African and the U.S. She will be interviewed by Binyavanga Wainaina, a Kenyan author and journalist, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 28.

The series continues on November 16 with Ethiopian-born writer Dinaw Mengestu, who has written for Harper's, The Wall Street Journal and Jane. His novels include The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears and How to Read the Air. In 2010, he was selected as one of The New Yorker's "20 Under 40 Writers." Following a reading, he will be interviewed by Penn Szittya, former chair at Georgetown University's English Department, where Mengestu was his student.

January 18 brings award-winning filmmaker John Sayles to Santa Fe for a reading and conversation with author Francisco Goldman, who teaches English at Trinity College. Sayles is a screenwriter and short story and novel author. His most recent novel, A Moment in the Sun, explores 19th-century America. He's been nominated for a National Book Award and received an O. Henry Award for his first published story.

Michael Ondaatje, author of The English Patient, appears on February 15. The founder and co-editor of Brick, A Literary Journal, Ondaatje is also a poet and has received numerous literary prizes, including England's Booker Prize, The Irish Times International Fiction Prize and France's Prix Medicis. He is also the poetry editor of Toronto's Coach House Books. He will be interviewed by poet Carolyn Forché, winner of a Lannan LiteraryAward for Poetry.

Celebrated short story author and novelist Ann Beattie comes to town March 28 for an interview with literary radio show Bookworm host Michael Silverblatt. Beattie is the Edgar Allan Poe Chair of the Department of English and Creative Writing at the University of Virginia and her newest novel, Mrs. Nixon, will be published in November.

U.S Poet Laureate, translator and environmental activist W.S. Merwin appears on April 18, along with Silverblatt. Merwin has won two Pulitzer Prizes, a Lannan Lifetime Achievement Award and The Bollinger Award. He lives in Hawaii, where a forest he has grown with more than 800 palm varieties is now a nature conservancy.

The Readings & Conversations series concludes on May 16 with author and translator Lydia Davis, who will be interviewed by fiction author Ben Marcus, chair of Creative Writing at Columbia University. Davis has written seven short story collections and earned a National Book Award, a MacArthur Fellowship and a Lannan Literary Award for Fiction. She also was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and translation work.

Lannan also hosts a Pursuit of Cultural Freedom series, which kicks off on September 13 with Richard Wolff and Anthony Arove, followed by Tariq Ali and Avi Lewis on October 26; Norman Finkelstein and Chris Hedges on December 6; David Shirk and Peter Smith on January 24; Brian Jones in Howard Zinn's play "Marx in Soho" on February 22; Chris Williams with David Barsamian on March 20; and Phyllis Bennis with Barsamian on April 10.

To purchase tickets, which go on sale on the first Saturday of the month prior to the event, visit or call 988-1234.