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Our Exciting Lineup for February: Celebrating Valentine’s Day and Honoring Black History Month

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The Literary Initiatives office at the Library of Congress has been studying publishers’ catalogs for a few months now, burrowing into our office and reading through reams of documents that list the new books American publishers are going to release this year. That’s all in preparation for the 2024 National Book Festival on August 24—and we’ll have a lot more to tell you about that in the upcoming months—but we’re busy pulling off great events like the three we’re proud to offer to you all in February. Please join us at any of them!

We are welcoming the season of love with a pre-Valentine’s “Live! at the Library” on February 8th with bestseller and award-winner Rebecca Ross, author of the romantic (and action-packed) books “Divine Rivals” and “Ruthless Vows.” The celebration is early for a reason: you will have the chance to make a Valentine’s Day card for your valentine, old school: with construction paper, classroom scissors, stick-on gems and more! Connect with your teen self and join us for a night of drinks, snacks, crafts—and bring a date!

Headshot of author Rebecca Ross and information about event on 2/8 titled "A Valentine's Date with Rebecca Ross". 6:00 - 8:30 PM is crafts, food and drinks; 6:45 PM is the conversation. A diagonal logo shows that it is part of Live! At the Library series. Link is A free ticket is required.
A Valentine’s Date with Rebecca Ross. Photo credit: Rachel G. White

A Valentine’s Date with Rebecca Ross
Thursday, February 8, 6 pm-8 pm EST
Thomas Jefferson Building-Great Hall

Get into the Valentine’s Day spirit with bestselling author Rebecca Ross, author of “Divine Rivals” and the sequel “Ruthless Vows.” for a book talk and signing during Live! at the Library in February. Enjoy sweet treats, cocktails a make-your-own Valentine’s Day cards station and explore cool historical love letters from the Library’s collections. Trust us, Ross’ books will give you all the butterflies: the romantic kind and the thrilling kind, as her characters get more and more entangled in a war between gods in this enemies-to-lovers story. 

A free ticket is required. Register for tickets here.

In the latter half of the month, the Library will host two “Live! at the Library” literary programs to honor Black History Month. First, on February 15th we feature Major Jackson, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Chair in the Humanities at Vanderbilt University and author of six poetry collections—most recently “Razzle Dazzle: New and Selected Poems.” (Jackson is also the current host of the podcast “The Slowdown,” launched by former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith.) This event is extra special for us since it’s the return of Washington Post book critic Ron Charles as our poetry program moderator—he was the host of our popular “Life of a Poet” series.

Headshot of poet and author Major Jackson
Major Jackson. Photo credit: Erin Patrice O’Brien.

Major Jackson with Ron Charles
Thursday, February 15, 7 pm-8 pm EST
Thomas Jefferson Building-LJ 119

In celebration of Black History Month, Major Jackson, the prizewinning author of “Razzle Dazzle: New & Selected Poems” and host of “The Slowdown” podcast, will talk with Washington Post Book Critic Ron Charles about his work.

A free ticket is required. Register for tickets here.

A week after we highlight poetry, we turn to history with Kerri Greenidge. Greenidge is the co-director of the African American Trail Project and the Slavery, Colonialism, and Their Legacies Project at Tufts University, where she is Mellon Associate Professor in the Department of Studies in Race, Colonialism, and Diaspora. Dr. Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress, will talk with Greenidge about her award-winning book “The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family”—which the New York Times calls “a nuanced, revisionist account of an American family best known for a pair of white abolitionist sisters.”

Headshot of author Kerri Greenidge
Kerri Greenidge. Photo credit: Matthew Guillory

An Evening with Kerri Greenidge
Thursday, February 22, 7 pm-8 pm EST
Thomas Jefferson Building-LJ 119

Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden will be in conversation with award-winning historian Kerri Greenidge about her new book “The Grimkes: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family” to discuss the long struggle for racial and gender equality.

A free ticket is required. Register for tickets here.

We hope to see you at the Library this month! What other evening book events would you like to see the Library produce?

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