Ross & Marianna Beach Author Series

Thank you for coming to see Jacqueline Woodson in 2023.

Below is an archive of the event. See you next year!

Ross & Marianna Beach Author Series presents


in conversation with Giselle Anatol

THU • Apr 20, 2023 • 7–8:30 PM
at Liberty Hall

We're thrilled to host Jacqueline Woodson, American writer, MacArthur Fellow, and New York Times bestselling author of books for adults, kids, and adolescents. Woodson will spend the afternoon with students from USD #497, then discuss her career at Liberty Hall with Giselle Anatol, director of the J. Wayne & Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction and the interim director of KU's Hall Center for the Humanities. This event is free, casual, and open to the public. Seating is general admission and no tickets are required.

PHOTO CREDIT: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Books by Jacqueline Woodson at your library

Music at your library by David Lowery

About Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson is an American writer of books for adults, children, and adolescents. She is best known for her National Book Award-Winning memoir Brown Girl Dreaming, and her Newbery Honor-winning titles After Tupac and D Foster, Feathers, and Show Way. Her picture books The Day You Begin and The Year We Learned to Fly were New York Times Bestsellers.

After serving as the Young People’s Poet Laureate from 2015 to 2017, she was named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by the Library of Congress for 2018–19. She was awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Medal in 2020. Later that same year, she was named a MacArthur Fellow.


About Giselle Anatol

Giselle Liza Anatol is a professor of English at the University of Kansas, specializing in Caribbean and African American literature and multicultural works for young readers. She has edited three collections of scholarly essays on popular fantasy literature for children and young adults: Reading Harry Potter (2003), a follow-up volume published in 2009 (Reading Harry Potter Again), and Bringing Light to Twilight: Perspectives on the Pop Culture Phenomenon (2011).

She has published a number of articles and book chapters on writing for children by Black writers, including Langston Hughes, Virginia Hamilton, and Jacqueline Woodson.

She is also the author of The Things That Fly in the Night: Female Vampires in Literature of the Circum-Caribbean and African Diaspora (2015). This book takes up the skin-shedding, bloodsucking soucouyant-figure that Anatol learned about in the Trinidadian folklore of her youth. The Things That Fly in the Night explores the different incarnations of these creatures found in children’s stories, calypso, travel writing, and contemporary adult fiction from around the African diaspora.

Anatol is currently the director of the J. Wayne & Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction, and the interim director of KU's Hall Center for the Humanities.

Browse & Borrow Past Beach Authors

Browse and borrow past Beach Authors

Browse and borrow past Beach Authors

About The Ross & Marianna Beach Author Series

There is nothing more important to education in a community
than a great public library.
—Ross Beach

The Ross & Marianna Beach Author series brings together readers, writers, townies, book clubs, hardcore fans, university faculty, and students for a once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet a contemporary virtuoso of the written word. This annual program brings some of the greatest writers in the country to Lawrence.

In 2010, the Ross & Marianna Beach Foundation gave the very first gift to launch the New Stories capital campaign for the library building project. In 2013, the foundation provided a second generous gift to create the Ross & Marianna Beach Author Series. We are forever grateful to the Beach family for their legacy of support to fulfill Lawrence Public Library's mission. It's a gift that goes on forever.

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