Mardi Gras 2022 Logo with purple, green and gold beads

Mardi Gras returns on Tuesday, March 1!

Join us for a FREE celebration of the New Haven Free Public Library’s role as a vital source of connection in our community.

We are thrilled to welcome bestselling author and poet Honorée Fanonne Jeffers (The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois) for a keynote conversation with poet, advocate for criminal justice reform, and 2021 MacArthur Fellow Reginald Dwayne Betts.

The event will feature:

  • A conversation between bestselling author Honorée Fanonne Jeffers and New Haven’s own Reginald Dwayne Betts
  • A presentation of the Library’s Noah Webster Award to Karen Pritzker
  • And surprise guests, appearances, and announcements!

For over twenty years, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers has been lifting her voice on issues of Black culture, racism, American history, and gender through the medium of writing. Jeffers is author of the novel The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois (2021); an Oprah’s Book Club pick, Love Songs was long-listed for the National Book Award in Fiction, short-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize in Fiction. She is also the author of the poetry collections, The Age of Phillis (2020); The Glory Gets (2015); Red Clay Suite (2007); Outlandish Blues (2003); and The Gospel of Barbecue (2000).

Reginald Dwayne Betts is a 2021 MacArthur Fellow, award winning author, poet, lawyer, and outspoken advocate for criminal justice reform.

Betts transformed himself from a sixteen-year old kid sentenced to nine-years in prison to a critically acclaimed writer and graduate of the Yale Law School. He has written three collections of poetry, the recently published and critically acclaimed Felon (2019); Bastards of the Reagan Era (2015) and Shahid Reads His Own Palm (2010).

Find these titles and more in our collection:

Mardi Gras is FREE to attend and will be streaming live on the Library’s Facebook and YouTube pages at 7pm on Tuesday, March 1. Gifts made during Mardi Gras support the collections, programs, and services of the New Haven Free Public Library year round, and we rely on your generosity now more than ever.

For more information about event sponsorships please contact Lauren Bisio, Director of Advancement, at lbisio@nhfpl.org.