SisterWriters: An Evening with Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones set for Sept. 27

Published 08-27-2018

by Emory Libraries

Tayari Jones (left, by Nina Subin) and Pearl Cleage.

There are no seats remaining as of Sept. 18, but this event will be videorecorded and the link will be posted when the video is ready.

New York Times best-selling author Tayari Jones joins Pearl Cleage, the nationally recognized playwright, poet, novelist, and social activist, to discuss mentorship and writing on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. in the Cox Hall Ballroom, 569 Asbury Circle. The event is open to the public at no charge, but registration is required for this event.

Doors will open at 6:15 p.m., and guests must be seated by 7 p.m. Books will be available for purchase, and a book signing will follow the conclusion of the event.

Jones, who becomes an Emory creative writing faculty member this fall, is a graduate of Spelman College, where a class taught by Cleage fostered a passion for writing that set the course for her career. Jones’ “An American Marriage” and Cleage’s "What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day" (also a New York Times best-seller) were both Oprah Book Club selections. Cleage, whose papers are housed at the Rose Library, has written 18 books and plays; several of the plays have been staged in theaters around the country.

“The Rose Library is thrilled to welcome these two exceptional authors to reflect together on their experience and relationship as writers, and to share their insight and inspiration with the students and writers in the audience,” says Jennifer Meehan, Rose Library interim director. “It is an honor to host Tayari Jones for her first library event as a new Emory faculty member, and to continue the library’s long association with Pearl Cleage whose papers reside in the Rose Library where they are available for use by scholars and students.”

Rose Library instruction archivist Gabrielle Dudley says Cleage and Jones are among those featured in the library’s current archival exhibit “She Gathers Me: Networks Among Black Women Writers.”

“The exhibit uses the archives to explore the writing networks among contemporary black women writers,” says Dudley, who curated the exhibit. “The relationship between Pearl Cleage and Tayari Jones underscores the interconnectedness of the writing circles and reveals how these connections could develop over time. The growth of their relationship from teacher and student to that of friends and ‘SisterWriters’ is a testament to the power of representation and mentorship.”

For media inquiries, contact: