The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Celebrating Ashley Bryan's 100th Birthday with Poetry

Join us for public poetry readings, a reception, and a tour of the exhibition Beautiful Blackbird in its final days.

This event has already occurred

July 19, 2023, 3:00pm - 6:00pm
Class of 78 Orrery Pavilion and Goldstein Gallery, Kislak Center, 6th Floor Van Pelt-Dietrich Library
Open to the Public

Hosted by: Kislak Center

Ashley Bryan reading poetry to students in a classroom

Celebrate Ashley Bryan's life and legacy at the Penn Libraries on the centenary of his birth. Join some of Ashley’s friends and family, including Nikki Giovanni, Vaunda Nelson, Linda Sue Park, Sandy Campbell, and Caitlyn Dlouhy, for an afternoon celebration, with poetry and birthday cake, of the centenary of his birth. Everyone attending is invited to read a poem in Ashley’s honor during the community poetry reading, which will take place in the round.
3:00-4:00pm: Tour of Beautiful Blackbird: The Creative Spirit of Ashley Bryan, with exhibition curator Lynne Farrington.
4:00-5:00pm: Poetry reading—bring your favorite Ashley poem, whether by Ashley or by one of his favorite poets, to share with everyone. A selection of poems will be available for those who are unsure what to choose.
5:00-6:00pm: Reception, with some of Ashley’s favorites food to serve to visitors—AND BIRTHDAY CAKE!


Featured image: Ashley Bryan reading poetry from Gwendolyn Brooks's Bronzeville Boys and Girls to elementary school students. Detail of undated photograph from the Ashley Bryan papers, Kislak Center (Ms. Coll. 1439, Box 34, folder 32).