Week One :: June 23–30

The Life of the Written Word

Language is a living and dynamic thing, passed along through writing. Words and the act of writing can erase or reclaim history, identity. We write to communicate our truths, and we read to understand, to gain new perspectives, new knowledge and new empathy. For these reasons, the literary arts find themselves at the forefront of cultural, political, and artistic conversations in the U.S. and around the world. As the line between writer and reader is blurred, we recognize that human beings are storytellers as well as story readers. In this weeklong festival, Chautauqua builds upon its traditions as a literary community, and we hold up the power of language and pledge to be responsible stewards of that power.

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10:45 a.m. Lectures

Morning Lectures

10:45 a.m., Monday-Friday, Amphitheater

Ideas and opinions are exchanged in an open, challenging atmosphere, and Chautauqua's knowledgeable audiences have the opportunity to participate in question-and-answer sessions at the conclusion of the lectures.


  • Monday, June 25, 2018 | 10:45am

    John Irving in conversation with Pamela Paul

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    John Irving, Author, The Cider House Rules | Pamela Paul, Editor, The New York Times Book Review

    Novelist and screenwriter John Irving is one of the most popular and respected writers in the world, whose novels have become American classics.

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Tuesday, June 26, 2018 | 10:45am

    Tyehimba Jess, CLSC Author, Olio

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    Author, Olio  This lecture will also serve as a CLSC Roundtable presentation.

    Tyehimba Jess is the author of Olio, which won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, The Midland Society Author’s Award in Poetry, and received an Outstanding Contribution to Publishing Citation from the Black Caucus of...

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Wednesday, June 27, 2018 | 10:45am

    Lisa Lucas

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    Executive Director, National Book Foundation

    Lisa Lucas is the executive director of the National Book Foundation, the organization responsible for the annual National Book Awards. The third director in the history of the Foundation, Lucas is also the first woman and first African-American at its helm.

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Thursday, June 28, 2018 | 10:45am

    Kory Stamper

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    Lexicographer; Author, Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries

    Kory Stamper is a longtime lexicographer who has worked at Merriam-Webster, and is the author of Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries, which brings to life the hallowed halls (and highly idiosyncratic cubicles) of Merriam-Webster, a startlingly rich world...

    Location: Amphitheater


  • Friday, June 29, 2018 | 10:45am

    Michael Kahn, Lucas Hnath and Kate Hamill

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    Michael Kahn, Artistic director, Shakespeare Theatre Company; Lucas Hnath, playwright, A Doll's House, Part 2
    Lucas Hnath
    Playwright, A Doll’s House, Part 2
    Kate Hamill
    , Actor, playwright, Sense and Sensibility

    Location: Amphitheater