Published March 20, 2022

In partnership with the Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards and as the closing event for the 2022 Virginia Festival of the Book, we present poets Victoria Chang (Obit) and Rita Dove (Playlist for the Apocalypse) as they read from and discuss their recent collections. Chang received the 2021 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Obit, and Dove is a long-time juror for the AWBA, which was established in 1935 and is the only juried American book prize focusing on works that address racism and diversity. In conversation with Karen Long.

Watch the video from this event:

“In [Obit], mortality is not a before and after state, but rather a constantly shifting enigma…” ―The New York Times Book Review.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Chang’s sharp crystallizations of the pain and disorientation of death, and the way it reverberates through life, bring us to the raw heart of grief without the overblown language of classical elegy. These are poems that reproduce the logic and feeling of loss―a gift for anyone who has struggled to find words to express grief.” ―NPR

“Through works that blend beauty, lyricism, critique, and politics, Ms. Dove has illuminated American poetry and literature.” ―Barack Obama, National Medal of Arts commendation

“There are so many casual pleasures in Ms. Dove’s poetry that the precision and dexterity in her work―the darkness, too―can catch you unawares.… [Her] poems have earthiness, originality, power and range. Despair and loss are among her central themes, but so is the hunt for bedrock human pleasures.” ―Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Bay Ridge Private Wealth Management Group of Wells Fargo Advisors

Virginia Festival of the Book staff, volunteers, partners, and attendees appreciate all of our sponsors. It is their crucial support, along with individual donors, that allows us to present the 2022 Virginia Festival of the Book almost completely free of charge. We appreciate the generous commitment from our Premier Sponsor, The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, and these major sponsors: Michelle and David Baldacci, Dominion Energy, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Community Partner

We appreciate the support of our community partner for this event: Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards 

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With generous support from Michelle and David Baldacci

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