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Reading by David Henry Hwang & Ilya Kaminsky

February 20 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Tony, Grammy, and OBIE Award-winning playwright and screenwriter David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Yellow Face) and acclaimed poet and Professor of Creative Writing Ilya Kaminsky (Deaf Republic, Dancing in Odessa) read from their work as part of the 2023-24 Althea Ward Clark W’21 Reading Series, hosted by the Program in Creative Writing.

About the Authors

David Henry Hwang is a Tony Award-winning playwright and screenwriter, best known as the author of M. Butterfly, which won the 1988 Tony, Drama Desk, John Gassner, and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and was a finalist for the 1989 Pulitzer Prize. Hwang’s stage work includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Aida, Flower Drum Song (2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. He wrote the screenplay for M. Butterfly and is currently penning the live-action feature musical remake of Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame as well as an Anna May Wong biopic to star actress Gemma Chan. For television, Hwang was a writer/consulting producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair and is now creating two television series, Billion Dollar Whale for Westward/SKG and another for Netflix. Called America’s most-produced living opera librettist, he has written thirteen libretti, including five with composer Philip Glass. Hwang also co-wrote the Gold Record Solo with the late pop music icon Prince.

Hwang is also a three-time OBIE Award winner, a Grammy Award winner who has been twice nominated, and a three-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama. A professor at Columbia University School of the Arts, Hwang is a Trustee of the American Theatre Wing and sits on the Council of the Dramatist Guild. Recent honors include his 2022 induction onto the Lucille Lortel Playwrights’ Sidewalk and his 2021 induction into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His newest musical, Soft Power, a collaboration with composer Jeanine Tesori, opened in 2020 at New York’s Public Theatre and received a Grammy nomination for Best Musical Theatre Album and was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

Ilya Kaminsky is an acclaimed poet whom the BBC selected as “one of the 12 artists that changed the world.” He is the author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa and co-editor and co-translator of many other books, including Ecco Anthology of International Poetry and Dark Elderberry Branch: Poems of Marina Tsvetaeva. Published in 2019, Deaf Republic was The New York Times’ Notable Book for that year and was also named Best Book of 2019 by dozens of other publications. Kaminsky’s work has won The Los Angeles Times Book Award, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, the Guggenheim Fellowship, the Whiting Award, the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Metcalf Award, Lannan Fellowship, Academy of American Poets’ Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and Poetry Magazine‘s Levinson Prize. His work has been shortlisted for the National Book Award, National Book Critics Circle Award, Neustadt International Literature Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize. His poems have been translated into over 20 languages, and his books have been published in many countries including Turkey, Iceland, the Netherlands, Germany, Russia, France, Mexico, Macedonia, Romania, Spain, and China, where his poetry was awarded the Yinchuan International Poetry Prize. Kaminsky is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His next poetry collection, Silent City, is forthcoming in 2024.


February 20
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm


Donald G. Drapkin Studio, Lewis Arts complex


Program in Creative Writing