Esmond Harmsworth Lecture in American Arts and Letters

Esmond Harmsworth Lecture in American Arts and Letters

Each year, the RAI hosts the Esmond Harmsworth Lecture in American Arts and Letters, the centrepiece of the university’s American literary calendar. Made possible by the generosity of Esmond V. Harmsworth, the lecture has been given by some of America's leading novelists, poets, playwrights, and literary critics.


The lecture has been given by:

2023 – Michael Chabon: Proofs of the Illusion: A 'Moonglow' Scrapbook

2022 – Joy Harjo: An Evening with Joy Harjo, 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States

2019 – Deborah Treisman: New Yorker Fiction Through the Decades

2018 – Claudia Rankine: The Counter-Narrative, the Racial Imaginary, and Visual Art

2017 – Hilton Als: The Birth of Tragedy

2016 – Lydia Davis: Learning Norwegian

2015 – Jennifer Egan: Experimental Fiction: Confessions of a Reluctant Practitioner

2014 – Claire Messud: Kant’s Little East Prussian Head, and Other Reasons why we Write

2013 – David Auburn: Theater in the Age of Twitter

2012 – Sabina Murray: Bouncing Across the Plank: Politics, History and Literary Imagination

2011 – Marilynne Robinson: Where are we? What are we doing here? Night Thoughts of a Baffled Humanist

2010 – C. K. Williams: A Life in Poems

2009 – Christopher Bigsby: Arthur Miller: Un-American

2008 – Lorrie Moore: Random Things One Can Learn from a Visiting Writer

2007 – Robert Venturi: Architecture as Paradox within the Urban Complex

2006 – Tobias Wolff: Craftsmanship

2005 – Joyce Carol Oates: The Faith of the Writer

2004 – Richard Ford: The Things That Help, The Things That Hurt: A Memoir

Poster - Esmond Harmsworth Lecture 2017 by Hilton Als