300 episodes

The Free Library Podcast is an easy way to participate in the author events and lectures that take place at the Parkway Central Library. Visit Author Events to find upcoming events.

Free Library Podcast Free Library of Philadelphia

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 97 Ratings

The Free Library Podcast is an easy way to participate in the author events and lectures that take place at the Parkway Central Library. Visit Author Events to find upcoming events.

    Hugh Ryan | The Women's House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison

    Hugh Ryan | The Women's House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison

    In conversation with Sayeeda Rashid, Director of the Center for Gender Resources and Sexual Education at Haverford College

    Hugh Ryan is the author of When Brooklyn Was Queer, a ''boisterous, motley ... entertaining and insightful'' (The New York Times Book Review) analysis of the famous borough's LGBTQ+ history from the 1850s to present. Winner of a New York City Book Award and a New York Times Editors' Choice, it was a finalist for the Randy Shilts and Lambda Literary Awards. Ryan earned the 2020 Allan Berube Prize from the American Historical Association and residencies or fellowships from Yaddo, The Watermill Center, the New York Public Library, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. In The Women's House of Detention, he examines the history of the United States's current crisis of incarcerating queer and transgender people through the story of the notorious mid-20th century Manhattan prison that held tens of thousands of women, transgender men, and gender-nonconforming people. (recorded 6/23/2022)

    • 54 min
    Lisa Taddeo | The Ghost Lover: Stories

    Lisa Taddeo | The Ghost Lover: Stories

    In conversation with Hayden Dunbar, assistant editor, The Sewanee Review
    Lisa Taddeo is the author of the No. 1 New York Times bestseller Three Women, the ''staggeringly intimate'' (Entertainment Weekly) and extensively researched true story of the sex lives of three unconnected women in the U.S. Winner of the best narrative nonfiction book of the year at the British Book Awards, it was chosen as the best book of the year by numerous media outlets and was adapted into a television series by Showtime. Taddeo is also the author of the acclaimed novel Animal, worked as an associate editor at Golf Magazine, and has contributed work to The New York Times, Esquire, Elle, and Glamour, among several other publications. A collection of nine stories-two of which were awarded Pushcart Prizes-Ghost Lover is about the obsessions, manias, and fevered desires inherent to love and sex in the digital age. (recorded 6/21/2022)

    • 45 min
    Gene Andrew Jarrett | Paul Laurence Dunbar: The Life and Times of a Caged Bird

    Gene Andrew Jarrett | Paul Laurence Dunbar: The Life and Times of a Caged Bird

    In conversation with Herman Beavers

    Gene Andrew Jarrett is the author of Representing the Race: A New Political History of African American Literature and Deans and Truants: Race and Realism in African American Literature. He is the editor of an additional eight books of African American literary studies, including two about 19th century U.S. poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. Dean of the faculty and William S. Tod Professor of English at Princeton University, last year he was appointed to the Association of American Universities' Advisory Board for Racial Equity in Higher Education. On the 150th anniversary of Dunbar's birth, Jarrett's latest book is a nuanced biography of Dunbar as the Gilded Age celebrity, acclaimed as the ''poet laureate of his race,'' whose improbable success hid profound private struggles.

    A professor of English and Africana studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Herman Beavers teaches 20th Century and Contemporary African American literature and poetry writing. He is the author of the scholarly monograph Geography and the Political Imaginary in the Novels of Toni Morrison, the poetry chapbook Obsidian Blues, and his poems have appeared in Cleaver Magazine, Versadelphia, and The American Arts Quarterly, among other publications.  (recorded 6/16/2022)

    • 55 min
    Kali Fajardo-Anstine | Woman of Light

    Kali Fajardo-Anstine | Woman of Light

    In conversation with Melinna Bobadilla

    A story collection featuring Latinas of Indigenous heritage experiencing the challenges of friendship and family in the American West, Kali Fajardo-Anstine's Sabrina & Corina won an American Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the PEN/Bingham Prize, and The Story Prize, among other honors. Fajardo-Anstine has contributed writing to an eclectic array of periodicals and journals, including The New York Times, Harper's Bazaar, O the Oprah Magazine, and Boston Review. The 2022/2023 endowed chair of Creative Writing at Texas State University, she has earned fellowships from MacDowell, Yaddo, and Tin House. Her debut novel Woman of Light is a Western saga that spans five generations of Chicana women.

    Melinna Bobadilla is an actor & activist  best known for roles like ‘Santos' on Orange is The New Black and fierce immigration attorney ‘Melinna Barragan' on the Peabody nominated series Gentefied, both on Netflix . Melinna is a multi-hyphenate culture maker and critic, as her work aside from acting includes being an educator, public speaker, VO artist and host/co-producer with Futuro Media's Latino Rebels Live. Melinna is an alumni of UC Berkeley & NYU and is a proud 1st gen daughter of parents born in Mexico. You can find her work on Netflix, Apple TV Plus (Little America), HBO Max (For Rosa), and coming up on Showtime & Amazon Freevee. IG @MelinnaBobadilla (recorded 6/15/2022)

    • 58 min
    Bo Seo | Good Arguments: How Debate Teaches Us to Listen and Be Heard

    Bo Seo | Good Arguments: How Debate Teaches Us to Listen and Be Heard

    In conversation with Tracey Matisak, award winning broadcaster and journalist

    A two-time world champion debater and a former coach of the Harvard College Debating Union and the Australian national debating team, Bo Seo has won the World Schools Debating Championship and the World Universities Debating Championship. He formerly served as a national reporter for the Australian Financial Review and has contributed writing to The New York Times, The Atlantic, and CNN, among other media outlets. Currently a law school student at Harvard, he has a master's degree in public policy from Tsinghua University. In Good Arguments, Seo describes how debate empowered him to find his voice amidst his family's emigration from Korea to Australia when he was only 8, the ways in which many other people have utilized spoken rhetoric on their paths to success, and the specific debate strategies anyone can use to improve their lives. 

    Books will be mailed after the event.
    Please allow up to three weeks for delivery.
    U.S. orders only.
    Books provided by Uncle Bobbie's Coffee and Books
    (recorded 6/14/2022)

    • 56 min
    Rebecca Rukeyser | The Seaplane on Final Approach

    Rebecca Rukeyser | The Seaplane on Final Approach

    In conversation with Annie Liontas, author of Let Me Explain You and co-editor of the anthology A Manner of Being: Writers on their Mentors

    Praised by Carmen Maria Machado as ''a sharp, flawless ... sexy and dark and strange and absolutely perfect'' debut novel, Rebecca Rukeyser's The Seaplane on Final Approach is about the increasingly elaborate erotic desires of a young woman working on a remote and chaotic Alaskan tourist island. A professor of fiction writing at Bard College Berlin and the recipient of the inaugural Berlin Senate Endowment for non-German literature, Rukeyser has published stories in a variety of publications, including ZYZZYVA, The Massachusetts Review, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading.

    Annie Liontas' debut novel, Let Me Explain You (Scribner), was featured in The New York Times Book Review as Editor's Choice and was selected by the ABA as an Indies Introduce Debut and Indies Next title.  She is the co-editor of the anthology A Manner of Being: Writers on their Mentors.  Annie's work has appeared in The New York Times Book Review, NPR, Gay Magazine, BOMB, Guernica, McSweeney's, and elsewhere.  The Gloss, her interview series with women and genderqueer writers, is running at BOMB, The Believer, and Electric Literature.  Her informed memoir, Sex with a Brain Injury will be published in January 2024.  Annie is a member of The Claw, a Philadelphia salon for women and genderqueer writers. (recorded 6/9/2022)

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5
97 Ratings

97 Ratings

MMorris_inPhilly ,

So grateful for this amazing resource

Thank you Free Library of Philadelphia for hosting so many amazing authors and for sharing the events on this podcast for those of us who can't be there in person. This is a wonderful series. The authors you feature are diverse as are their writings - politics, biography, novels, poetry... It's a great way to discover new authors and a wonderful way to hear again from those who are more well known.

Ginagina Smith ,

Dan Pfeiffer

Great segment: Dan & Alyssa are a great team. I look forward to reading his book.

Many years a supporter ,

Great talks both current and past

Free Library of Philadelphia author events began in the early 1990s. A few years ago, the older talks were added to the list of podcasts. All the talks are listed under the author/speaker in the library’s online catalog. These include talks by Susan Sontag, Chinua Achebe and Tony Morrison to name a few. This library is a major educational and cultural resource. Materials and on-line content are available free to anyone living, working or attending school in Pennsylvania and, for a small fee, people living outside the state as well.

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