The National Book Foundation’s Lisa Lucas will speak at the fourth Green Room series class.
At the Englert, on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m., Lisa Lucas will anchor a night that focuses on literature and its unique role in shaping homes that wonder about the mysterious and tolerate differences. As an added bonus, Kiese Laymon will provide a reading before her lecture. Mallory Hellman, director of the Iowa Youth Writing Project, will kick the evening off.
In 2016, Lucas became the executive director of the National Book Foundation, which presents the National Book Awards, honoring literature the way that the Oscars honor achievements in film. Her task is promoting the visibility of the organization and the National Book Awards as a means of fostering a literature more reflective of contemporary readers. Fusing her love of reading with her background working for the Tribeca Film Festival, Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theater and as publisher of Guernica, Lucas works to cultivate a community of readers.
Lucas’ passion for promoting reading frames how she sees her role as someone who serves as the face and voice of reading and literature in the United States. While Lucas remains mindful of her status representing a kind of audience—young, black, female—that often is overlooked, she finds that her role involves expanding opportunities for individuals to see themselves as part of a community of readers and to promote the quality of community that emerges at the nexus of readers, writers and publishers.
The Green Room is an innovative educational experience that invites the community to sit in on a series of six speakers selected by Univ. of Iowa Professor Dave Gould for his honors students. Each night’s class features a local non-profit and a nationally renowned speaker, with time for conversation geared toward improving the Iowa City community as a whole. The series will be livestreamed by Little Village Mag on Facebook Aug. 28, Sept. 11, Sept. 25, Oct. 2 and Oct. 9.