House of SpeakEasy, in collaboration with storytelling nonprofit Narrative 4, has launched “Poetry to the People,” a cross-country tour intended to spotlight community conversations around the literary arts.
From June 13-23, the House of SpeakEasy Book Truck will visit 10 cities in as many days—on an 1,800-mile journey beginning in New York and ending in New Orleans—stopping to give away free books, highlight and celebrate local writers, and promote literacy and literary organizations. The tour will begin at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn on June 13 and includes stops in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Ohio, Floyd County, Ky., Nashville, Jackson, Miss., Arnaudville, La., Lafayette, La., and New Orleans.
Partners for the tour include the Shipman Agency, the Free Library of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures at the Carnegie Mellon Free Library, indie publisher Two Dollar Radio, Floyd County High School, writing center the Porch, Jayne Avenue Community Center, arts and culture group the NUNU Collective, the Ernest J. Gaines Center at the University of Louisiana, and the New Orleans Museum of Art.
Each stop, House of SpeakEasy said, will include events hosted by community partners and educators, featuring readings, workshops, and conversations with acclaimed and emerging writers. Writers involved with stops on the tour include Hanif Abdurraqib, Eloisa Amezcua, Darrell Bourque, Rayna Guy, Jenny Johnson, Rickey Laurentiis, Kiese Laymon, Daniel José Older, Hannah Pittard, and Raquel Salas Rivera, among others.