Read, Listen, Learn, and Dialogue Together

SPEAK is a lecture and discussion series that aims to bring in authors, thought leaders, and speakers each year. We hope to engage the youth of our community by bringing in at least one youth-oriented speaker per year.

Through the SPEAK initiative, EVPL hopes to further our vision of communities united through shared exploration and understanding by supporting and encouraging conversation. Empathy and compassion are grown through words, whether spoken or written.
SPEAK encourages our community to speak up and speak together.

The EVPL Foundation is our main sponsor for this series, but we hope you will consider giving to SPEAK.

Support Speak

2021 Speakers

Join us for a panel discussion about the intersection of food and creative expression on Tuesday, November 9 at EVPL Oaklyn and via Zoom. The discussion will feature two authors, Ross Gay and Amit Majmudar.

Ross Gay

Ross Gay is the author of four books of poetry: Against WhichBringing the Shovel Down; Be Holding; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. His new poem, Be Holding, was released from the University of Pittsburgh Press in September of 2020. His collection of essays, The Book of Delights, was released by Algonquin Books in 2019.

Ross is also the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook “Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens,” in addition to being co-author, with Rosechard Wehrenberg, of the chapbook, “River.”  He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin’in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press. Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He also works on The Tenderness Project with Shayla Lawson and Essence London. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.

Amit Majmudar

The son of immigrants, poet, and novelist Amit Majmudar grew up in the Cleveland area. He earned a BS at the University of Akron and an MD at Northeast Ohio Medical University, completing his medical residency at the University Hospitals of Cleveland.

Majmudar is the author of the poetry collections What He Did in Solitary (2020); Dothead (2016); Heaven and Earth (2011), which poet A.E. Stallings chose for a Donald Justice Poetry Prize; and 0˚, 0˚ (2009), which was a finalist for a Poetry Society of America’s Norma Faber First Book Award. Majmudar has also published the novels Sitayana (2019), Partitions (2011), and The Abundance (2013). In 2018, he published Godsong: A Verse Translation of the Bhagavad-Gita, with Commentary.

He lives in Dublin, Ohio, where he served as Ohios first poet laureate. He works as a diagnostic nuclear radiologist.

SPEAK 2021

SPEAK encourages our community to speak up and speak together.