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Spotlight for the week of November 18


“Spotlight on Lifelong Learning” is a weekly look at some of the exciting public conversations upcoming around Memphis. Host Jonathan Judaken is the Spence L. Wilson Chair in the Humanities at Rhodes College.

I want to direct you to a beautiful and multilayered event this Thursday night, November 21st at Rhodes College. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and the 200th anniversary of America’s greatest poet, Walt Whitman, there will be an event celebrating the publication of Live Oak, With Moss. The book gathers together a cycle of 12 poems written by Whitman as an ode to homosexual love. Arguably, the first work in American letters touting gay love, Whitman dispersed some of these poems among his great work, Leaves of Grass. Whitman scholar Karen Karbiener will talk about Whitman’s fascinating life and explain how these poems were rediscovered. Renowned Caldicott-winning illustrator Brian Selznick will discuss the gorgeous visuals he created, inspired by the poems, accompanied by jazz guitarist John Bass. Joel Parsons, Director of the Clough Hanson gallery, will then open a Q&A, which will be followed by a book signing. Live Oak, With Moss is a beautiful treasure you will want on your bookshelf. So head to Rhodes Thursday night for the reception at 5:30 and the public conversation about Walt Whitman at 6.

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For more ideas about public programs upcoming in Memphis, visit where you will find a list of lectures and book talks happening around town. Spotlight on Lifelong Learning is a partnership between Rhodes College and WKNO-FM