When poet and professor Honorée Fanonne Jeffers decided to undertake novel-writing, she wasn’t about to go halfway. Released in 2021, “The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois” is a particularly American epic. The tale follows the Garfield family from 19th-century slaves-and-enslaver through generations, to contemporary challenges and choices faced by sisters Ailey and Lydia. Quotes and philosophical concepts from Du Bois serve as a guiding spirit to this saga—and its National Book Critics Circle Award, Oprah’s Book Club selection, and multiple best-of-year citations speak to why its reputation can be expected to grow and last. Jeffers will be presented with this year’s Spalding Prize for the Promotion of Peace and Justice in Literature at a reading/signing Wednesday evening, as part of the autumn edition of Spalding University’s semi-annual Festival of Contemporary Writing.
Wednesday, Nov. 15Spalding University
6 p.m. | Free with registration