Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Registration for the Folger's December virtual book club is now open!




Words, Words, Words: A Virtual Book Club


Join the book club as we read Black Cake


Words, Words, Words, the Folger Shakespeare Library Book Club, is pleased to announce the next book discussion – Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson on Thursday, December 1, at 6:30pm (ET)

Participation is free. Click below to reserve your spot. 

All discussions will be held in Zoom, and we will also share the discussion questions, supplemental materials, and suggestions for sips and snacks in advance.

Hope to see you there!





The O.B. Hardison Poetry season continues this week with a virtual reading featuring Chris Abani and Joel Dias-Porter. Find out everything the Folger's up to in November and beyond on





Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson
Thursday, Dec 1, at 6:30pm (ET)


Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch.





Our discussion of Black Cake is presented in collaboration with Making Black Cake in Combustible Spaces with M. NourbeSe Philip, this year's Emily Dickinson Birthday tribute, and the Folger Institute.





Why did we choose this book?

The Folger Shakespeare Library's collection explores not only Shakespeare's life and works, but also the plays' historical context, source material, critical and performance histories, the ways in which they inspire and are adapted by contemporary novelists. The Folger is equally committed to historical inquiry and naturing the continuation of the literary and poetic expression.

The Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute is an annual collaboration between the O. B. Hardison Poetry Series and The Emily Dickinson Museum in Amherst, MA. Each December we explore a different aspect of Dickinson's work and influence, pairing this tribute with a black cake recipe based on one of Dickinson's own. This year we are taking that tradition as a spark of inspiration to look more closely at food pathways, cultural traditions, and the richness of discovery that exists when taking a multi-faceted approach to a topic.

Presented in collaboration with The O.B. Hardison Emily Dickinson Birthday Tribute and the Folger Institute.

Learn more about and explore the Folger's collection of handwritten recipe books through our project, ‘Before Farm to Table:’ Early Modern Foodways and Culture.



Catch up with Ramón and Julieta


Not able to join us for this month's discussion of Ramón and Julieta by Alana Quintana Albertson on November 3? The Folger Spotlight has introductory and supplemental material—including discussion questions—to help you explore the book or even host your own conversation.



Looking ahead to February


by Karen Joy Fowler
Thursday, Feb 2, at 6:30pm (ET)


From the Man Booker finalist and bestselling author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves comes an epic and intimate novel about the family behind one of our most infamous figures.

John Wilkes Booth changed the course of American history, but few people realize he belonged to an acting dynasty who were the theatrical celebrities of their day. In its portrayals of Junius, Edwin, and John Wilkes, Booth explores the how Shakespearean performance was central to the identity of an assassin—and deeply present in American society during one of its most turbulent periods.



We would like to thank the following organizations for their generous support of Words, Words, Words





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