Wednesday, January 10, 2024




Words, Words, Words: A Virtual Book Club


Join the book club as we read Homegoing


Folger Book Club is pleased to announce our next book discussion – Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi on Thursday, February 1 at 6:30pm (ET).

This session will feature a presentation by Ivie Orobaton, a Researcher and Exhibition Specialist for the Center for the Study of Global Slavery at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture actively working on the “In Slavery’s Wake” exhibition project.

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!





Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


by Yaa Gyasi
Thursday, February 1 at 6:30pm (ET)


Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.

Generation after generation, Yaa Gyasi’s magisterial novel sets the fate of the individual against the obliterating movements of time, delivering unforgettable characters whose lives were shaped by historical forces beyond their control.




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, and the ways in which they inspire and are adapted by contemporary novelists.

The Folger collection spans centuries, as does Gyasi’s moving generational novel. By considering our collection alongside the ongoing legacies of colonialism and enslavement through time, we gain a fuller understanding of the historical context of these items.




For our February session, we are excited to partner with Loyalty Bookstores, a Black, Queer, and Asian owned independent bookstore in the Petworth neighborhood of DC and in downtown Silver Spring, MD that specializes in diverse books.

Please be aware that Loyalty Bookstores are taking safety precautions related to COVID-19. Both stores are open for both shopping and in-store pickup. Masking is optional in store and we offer masks for customers if they would like one. Staff will continue to mask and test regularly for the foreseeable future. Place your order online through their website or pick up the book in either location. Click here for further information on current policies and operations.

To learn more, visit or find them on Instagram or Twitter @loyaltybooks.

Loyalty Bookstores



Catch up with The Weird Sisters


Not able to join us for December's discussion of The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown? The Folger Spotlight has introductory and supplemental material—including discussion questions—to help you explore the book or even host your own conversation.



Read ahead for Spring 2024


We're pleased to announce our schedule through June 2024

Daughters of the Deer
by Danielle Daniel

Thursday, March 7 at 6:30 p.m. ET

Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong
Thursday, April 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET

The East Indian by Brinda Charry
Thursday, May 2 at 6:30 p.m. ET

The Latinist by Mark Prins
Thursday, June 6 at 6:30 p.m. ET

Book Covers for Daughters of the Deer, Immortal Longings, The East Indian, and the Latinist


Join us for a Poetry Event



Not Just Another Day Off

Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

FREE | January 15, 2024 | 11:00am
In-person at the Folger and virtual via live stream


BLOOM: A Virtual Poetry Workshop

Camille T. Dungy

February 26, 2024 | 6:30pm (ET)


Virtual on Zoom

Co-sponsored with the U.S. Botanic Garden.


The Anthony Hecht Poetry Prize

Linda Gregerson and
Hannah Louise Poston

March 12, 2024 | 7:30pm
In-person at the Folger


We would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of Folger Book Club


Capitol Hill Community Foundation

Junior League of Washington




Folger Shakespeare Library logo





Folger Shakespeare Library | 201 East Capitol Street, SE Washington, DC 20003  

Main (202) 544-4600 | Box Office (202) 544-7077 |