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Aspen Words Presents the 2020-2021 Winter Words Author Speaker Series


Click here if you would prefer to purchase a Season Supporter Pass (includes all six virtual talks, a book bundle and a donation to Aspen Words). 

Select and purchase individual event tickets by clicking the REGISTER tab.
*Please note there is a 5 min delay from the time of purchase to the arrival of the confirmation email

We understand the event registration form may be glitchy. If you experience any issues at all, please reach out to ellie.scott@aspeninstitute.org.


Isabel Wilkerson, author of "Caste," in conversation with Elizabeth Alexander
November 17, 2020 6:00pm - 7:00pm MDT


Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Humanities Medal, has become a leading figure in narrative nonfiction, an interpreter of the human condition, and an impassioned voice for demonstrating how history can help us understand ourselves, our country, and our current era of upheaval. Waterstone, the venerable U.K. bookseller, calls her new book,"Caste" an expansive, lyrical and stirring account of the unspoken system of divisions that govern our world.

Elizabeth Alexander is a poet, educator, memoirist, scholar, cultural advocate and president of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the nation’s largest funder in arts, culture and humanities in higher education. With more than two decades of experience leading innovative programs in education, philanthropy, and beyond, Dr. Alexander builds partnerships at Mellon to support the arts and humanities while strengthening educational institutions and cultural organizations across the world.

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Curtis Sittenfeld, author of "Rodham," in conversation with Charlotte Clymer
December 15, 2020 6:00pm - 7:00pm MDT


Curtis Sittenfeld is the bestselling author of seven novels: “Prep,” “The Man of My Dreams,” “American Wife,” “Sisterland,” “Eligible,” and “Rodham.” Her first story collection, “You Think It, I’ll Say It,” was published in 2018 and picked for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club. Her books have been selected by The New York Times, Time, Entertainment Weekly, and People for their “Ten Best Books of the Year” lists, optioned for television and film, and translated into 30 languages. Her short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Esquire, and in the Best American Short Stories anthology, of which she is the 2020 guest editor. Her non-fiction has appeared in The New York Times, Time, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Slate, and on “This American Life.”

Charlotte Clymer is an activist, writer and the former press secretary for rapid response at the Human Rights Campaign, an American LGBTQ civil rights organization.

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Ayad Akhtar, author of "Homeland Elegies," in conversation with Ron Charles
January 13, 2021 6:00pm - 7:00pm MDT

Ayad Akhtar is a novelist and playwright. His work has been published and performed in over two dozen languages. He is the winner of numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Akhtar is the author of "American Dervish," published in over 20 languages and named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2012. As a playwright, he has written “Junk," "Disgraced,” “The Who & The What,” and “The Invisible Hand.” As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for “The War Within.” His new novel is called "Homeland Elegies."

Ron Charles is a book critic at The Washington Post.

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Billy Collins, author of "Whale Day," in conversation with Pádraig Ó Tuama
April 13, 2021 12:00pm - 1:00pm MDT

Billy Collins is the author of many collections of poetry, most recently "Whale Day." A former Distinguished Professor at Lehman College of the City University of New York, Collins served as Poet Laureate of the United States from 2001 to 2003 and as New York State Poet from 2004 to 2006. In 2016 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Florida with his wife Suzannah.

Pádraig Ó Tuama is a poet and theologean whose work centres around themes of language, power, conflict and religion. Working fluently on the page and in public, Pádraig is a compelling poet and skilled speaker, teacher and group worker. Pádraig presents Poetry Unbound with On Being Studios and in late 2019 was named Theologian in Residence for On Being, innovating in bringing art and theology into public and civic life.

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Click here if you would prefer to purchase a Season Supporter Pass (includes all six virtual talks, a book bundle and a donation to Aspen Words). 


11/17/2020 06:00 PM - 04/17/2021 07:00 PM
All events will be virtual