NEA Big Read

Join us as we celebrate Advice from the Lights by Stephanie Burt, the Festival’s choice as “The Big Read” for 2020, an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

The poetry collection Advice from the Lights (Graywolf Press, 2017) is a candid exploration of gender and identity that asks: How do any of us achieve adulthood? In her critically acclaimed collection, Burt engages with the transition from innocence to experience, contemporary politics, and parenthood. Her poems are fraught with fantastical sequences in which objects speak and animals grapple with their identities. This essential work asks who we are, how we become ourselves, and why we make art.

Stephanie Burt is a poet, literary critic, and professor. In 2012, the New York Times called Burt “one of the most influential poetry critics of [her] generation.” Burt has published books of criticism and four collections of poems. Her book Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry (2009), was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Burt is a Professor of English at Harvard University.

Arts & Ideas partners with NEA Big Read to host a series of virtual events focused on a single book as a point of departure for conversations throughout New Haven. An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

Want to purchase your own copy of "Advice from the Lights"? We encourage you to support our local independent booksellers

As part of the 2020 Festival, Arts & Ideas will partner with the New Haven community to create free events highlighting the book's themes; past events have included book club discussions, panel discussions, lectures, exhibitions, and poetry readings. If your organization would like take part in the 2020 Big Read, please Submit an Event Here.

All programming is presented free of charge. Live-streamed content will be available on FacebookYou Tube and here on our homepage. Additionally, All Facebook Live events are also live captioned!

Workshop content will require Zoom registration; info and links will be posted below as available.


Resources

Below are some of the incredible local and national resources for transgender and gender diverse individuals. These resources were provided by the New Haven Pride Center, the leading LGBTQ+ organization in Connecticut.

  • TransLife Line (24 hotline for trans and gender diverse individuals): US 877-565-8860 / Canada 877-330-6366
  • Anchor Health Initiative: a leading provider of trans healthcare in Connecticut
  • New Haven Pride Center: LGBTQ+ case management, support services, and social programming

Sponsors/Partners


Events

Spanish Translation of Julian is a Mermaid

presented by the New Haven Free Public Library

NHFPL Staff read aloud the Spanish translation of this story-time based on Julian is a Mermaid written and illustrated by Jessica Love

This video will be released online via the New Haven Free Public Library Website.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

What Makes a Family

presented by the New Haven Free Public Library

NHFPL Staff read aloud story time based on Eustace and Clyde written and illustrated by Marina Aizen.

This video will be released online via the New Haven Free Public Library Website.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

De-Centering Gender and the Politics of Trans Allyship

Nasty Women Connecticut is sitting in conversation with phenomenal local artists and educators to unpack what it means to decenter gender in a very binary world, and what does Trans ally-ship look and feel like, asking the questions “How do we De-Center Gender?”, “Do we need to de-center gender?”, “How does intersectionality play a role?”

WATCH VIDEO

Stephanie Burt in Conversation

Part of the NEA Big Read, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest

Poet Stephanie Burt discusses her book Advice From The Lights (Graywolf Press, 2017), an essential work that asks who we are, how we become ourselves, and why we make art.

WATCH VIDEO

NHFPL Story Time Video: When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff

presented by the New Haven Free Public Library

NHFPL Staff read aloud this celebration of trans identity, and self and familial love.

This video will be released online via the New Haven Free Public Library Website.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

What Would You Wear?

presented by the New Haven Free Public Library

NHFPL Staff read aloud this story-time based on Julian is a Mermaid written and illustrated by Jessica Love

This video will be released online via the New Haven Free Public Library Website.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Jacob’s New Dress by Sarah and Ian Hoffman

presented by the New Haven Free Public Library

NHFPL Staff read aloud this heart warming story that speaks to the unique challenges faced by boys who do not identify with traditional gender roles

This video will be released online via the New Haven Free Public Library Website.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

Virtual Art Gallery - Advice from the Lights : An Artistic Response to the Poetry of Stephanie Burt

co-presented by The New Haven Pride Center & Nasty Women Connecticut

The New Haven Pride Center has partnered with Nasty Women Connecticut to produce our next exhibition titled "Advice from the Lights : An Artistic Response to the Poetry of Stephanie Burt." This exhibition will feature the works of 10-15 transgender artists from Connecticut creating visual art in response to the poems in the book.

On Monday, June 1st at 6:00pm The Pride Center will go live across all of the Center's social media platforms, and explore the works individually at their Virtual Opening Reception.

MORE INFO

YA Book Bash! featuring LGBTQ+ Books

A Book Club for Young Adult Book Lovers presented by the New Haven Free Public Library

NEA Big Read is taking place!

Check out Advice from the Lights by Stephan/Stephanie Burt in the NHFPL Overdrive collection. This book of poetry is a memoir of the author's experience with (mis)identity and longing to live her life as a woman.

This book club meeting will include discussion questions based on reading ANY LGBTQ+ book and issues of identity and acceptance. 

Zoom info will be emailed 24 hours prior.

REGISTER NOW