Afternoon Seminar – Selected Third Tuesdays

The  Joy Davis Literature Seminar is back for five sessions this year!  

ALL ARE WELCOME, whether you have done the reading or not.  Printed packets of this year’s selections will be available to be picked up at the House in late September. Four of the five sessions will include short stories that are fresh and “so this century.”  Links to the October and November stories are below.

As a change of pace, on January 16, 2024, we will “meet” our 24th United States Poet Laureate, Ada Limón, who was appointed by Carla Hayden, the Librarian of Congress.  She appointed Ms. Limón to the Library of Congress on July 12, 2022 and reappointed her for a historic two-year second term on April 24, 2023.  Limón’s second term will begin in September 2023 and conclude in April 2025.  The poetry of Ada Limón will be followed by two more stories on February 20 and March 19 of 2024.   

Keep scrolling down to see author profiles and links to our Fall 2023 stories.

Use the button below to learn more about Joy Davis and what she has meant to our Branch. You can click the other button to see previous readings.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023 @ 1:00

“The Knowers” by Helen Phillips
Published in 2013
LINK to the story:

Do you know your expiration date?  Our first story will address that very thing.  “The Knowers” by Helen C. Phillips may push you out of your comfort zone a bit or tantalize your imagination in terms of “knowing.”  There is lots of food for thought and possibly a very lively discussion.  Please contact Carol Hanson at for more information. 

About the Author
Helen Phillips is a 2020 Guggenheim Foundation Fellow.  She is the author of five books, including the novel The Need, which was long listed for the National Book Award.  Phillips has received a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writer’s Award, the Italo Calvino Prize in Fabulist Fiction, the Iowa Review Nonfiction Award, the DIAGRAM Innovative Fiction Award, and a Ucross Foundation residency.

Ms. Phillips was born in Colorado.  When she was a child, she was affected by alopecia, and by the age of 11 had lost all of her hair.

She graduated from Yale University in 2004 and received her Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Brooklyn College (CUNY) in 2007. She moved to Brooklyn with a position as associate professor at Brooklyn College with her husband, the artist Adam Douglas Thompson, and their children.

Her debut was the story collection And Yet They Were Happy.  It was named a notable collection by The Story Prize.  In 2013 she wrote a children’s adventure novel.  She followed with her first adult novel The Beautiful Bureaucrat.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023 @ 1:00

“Deep Holes” by Alice Munro
Published in 2008
LINK to the story:

About the Author
Alice Munro, original name Alice Ann Laidlaw, (born July 10, 1931, Wingham, Ontario, Canada), Canadian short-story writer who gained international recognition with her exquisitely drawn narratives.  The Swedish Academy dubbed her a “master of the contemporary short story” when it awarded her the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2013.  Munro’s work was noted for its precise imagery and narrative style, which is at once lyrical, compelling, economical, and intense, revealing the depth and complexities in the emotional lives of everyday people.

Few authors can be easily recognized as being among the greatest of their generation.  Fewer still can easily be counted as staying among the literary elite for the entirety of their careers – their writing reaching across multiple generations of readers over the course of their lives.  It is therefore fair to say that Nobel-Prize winning author Alice Munro is truly one of a kind.

Awards And Honors:
Nobel Prize (2013) O. Henry Award (2012) Man Booker International Prize (2009) O. Henry Award (2006) Governor General’s Literary Awards (1986) Governor General’s Literary Awards (1978) Governor General’s Literary Awards (1971)

Notable Works:
“Dance of the Happy Shades” “Dear Life” “Runaway” “The Bear Came over the Mountain” “The Lives of Girls and Women” “The View from Castle Rock” 

Tuesday, January 16, 2024 @ 1:00

Poems by Ada Limón

In this session of JDLS, we will be discussing poems by Ada Limón, an American poet who was named the 24th Poet Laureate of the United States by the Librarian of Congress on July 12, 2022.  This made Ms. Limón the first Latina to be Poet Laureate of the United States.  She is the author of six books of poetry, including The Carrying (2018), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Poetry.  Ms. Limón is a poet intent upon heightening our attention to the wonders of the natural world and our connections with one another. (SOURCE for PHOTO and BIO:

“The Carrying”

“Instructions on Not Giving Up”

“The Raincoat”

“Dead Stars”

“A New National Anthem”

“Give Me This”

Remembering Joy Davis

Dr. Joy Lee Davis

b. April 3, 1931
d. May 27, 2021

“Joy loved learning and helping others learn.  I often think of things that I wish I could ask her or run by her.  I will never forget the impact that she had on my life.” Carol Hanson

Who is Joy Davis?
Just our inspiration!

Read more about Joy’s amazing life here, and Carol’s personal remembrance here.

Previous Readings

February 21, 2023 – “Anything Could Disappear” by Danielle Evans
LINK to the story:

October 18, 2022 – “Jubilee” by Kirstin Valdez Quade
LINK to the story:

November 15, 2022 – “The Faery Handbag” by Kelly Link
LINK to the story:

Updated: 10/9/2023

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