Just Buffalo's BABEL Readings are held at Kleinhans (3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY 14201) beginning at 8 pm (Patron VIP Reception begins at 7 pm). After each lecture, audience members enjoy an interview-style Q&A moderated by Just Buffalo's Artistic Director Barbara Cole, and may have their books signed by the author.

Friday, October 23, 2015
8:00 PM


Claudia Rankine is the author of five collections of poetry, including Citizen, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the first book ever to be nominated in two categories; and Don't Let Me Be Lonely as well as the plays, Provenance of Beauty: A South Bronx Travelogue, commissioned by the Foundry Theatre; and Existing Conditions, co-authored with Casey Llewellyn. Rankine is co-editor of the American Women Poets in the Twenty-First Century series with Wesleyan University Press and The Racial Imaginary with Fence Books. A recipient of awards and fellowships from the Academy of American Poetry, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Lannan Foundation, she is currently the Henry G. Lee Professor of English at Pomona College.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015
8:00 PM


Dinaw Mengestu is the award-winning author of How to Read the Air and All Our Names. His debut novel, The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, garnered critical acclaim for its haunting depiction of the immigrant experience in America, earning him comparisons to Fitzgerald and BABEL alum V.S. Naipaul. The recipient of the National Book Foundation’s “5 Under 35” Award, The New Yorker “20 under 40” award, The Guardian First Book Award and a MacArthur “genius” grant, Mengestu was born in Ethiopia and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 2. A graduate of Georgetown University and Columbia University’s MFA program in Fiction, Mengestu is also a talented journalist whose articles have appeared in Harper’s, Rolling Stone, and The New Yorker.

Thursday, March 10, 2016
8:00 PM


Louise Erdrich grew up in North Dakota and is of German-American and Ojibwe descent. She is the author of fourteen novels as well as numerous volumes of poetry, children’s books, and a memoir of early motherhood. Love Medicine won the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Plague of Doves earned a Pulitzer Prize nomination; and her latest novel, the New York Times bestseller The Round House, won the 2012 National Book Award. BABEL readers will be focusing on The Round House which chronicles a young boy’s coming-of-age on a Native American reservation following the violent rape of his mother. Erdrich lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore.

Thursday, April 21, 2016
8:00 PM


Karl Ove Knausgård has been lauded as an international literary sensation for his 6-volume epic work entitled, My Struggle. Most frequently compared to Proust, My Struggle is a memoir of hyper-realism that tackles family drama with an unflinching frankness and hypnotic attention to detail. Already translated into more than fifteen languages, the first volume translated in English was a New York Times bestseller and a New Yorker Book of the Year; Book Two was listed among the Wall Street Journal’s 2013 Books of the Year. One volume is released per year with Book Four appearing in April 2015. BABEL readers will begin with Book One. Knausgård was born in Norway in 1968 and currently lives in Sweden with his wife and four children.