Our Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak

As a precaution to help limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and care for our community, Just Buffalo Literary Center has postponed a number of events, and we will follow the guidance of Buffalo Public Schools in terms of Just Buffalo Writing Center programming.

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BABEL 2022-2023 Season Subscriptions - Just Buffalo Literary Center

BABEL 2022-2023 Season Subscriptions

Season Subscriptions include a ticket for all four BABEL events at Kleinhans Music Hall, as well as virtual links for all four events, offering flexibility for attendees to attend in-person or from home.

BABEL 2022–2023 Authors

  • Elizabeth Kolbert (Friday, October 14, 2022) and her book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Get the Reading Guide)
  • Omar El Akkad (Thursday, November 10, 2022) and his book What Strange Paradise (Reading Guide to Come)
  • Anthony Doerr (Thursday, March 30, 2023) and his book All the Light We Cannot See (Get the Reading Guide)
  • Isabel Wilkerson (Wednesday, April 26, 2023) and her book The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (Get the Reading Guide)

All tickets will be issued electronically for the 2022–2023 season.

  • General Admission: $120 each
  • VIP Patron: $300 each (includes catered pre-event receptions attended by the featured authors and preferred seating)
  • Student: $36 each (must present a valid Student ID at events)

NOTE: Currently, proof of COVID-19 vaccination is not required for entry to BABEL events. We will continue to monitor health & safety recommendations and communicate any changes or updates to ticketholders as necessary. Please note that we are unable to provide refunds for tickets.

E-Ticket Check-in Process

Be sure to have your e-ticket ready when you arrive at Kleinhans.

  • If ALL attendees on your ticket are arriving and entering together, scroll down to the “Scan To Check In All Attendees” QR code for faster entry
  • If ANY of the attendees on your ticket will be entering separately, use the individual QR codes (and be sure that each attendee has this e-ticket email)

Watching from Home?

  • If you choose to watch from home instead of attending in-person, the virtual link will be sent to you from babel@justbuffalo.org
  • If you miss the live stream, don’t worry—you will also be granted access to a password-protected event recording, which will be emailed to you within 48 hours of the event and remain accessible to watch through Friday, October 21, 2022 at 11:59 p.m.
Sold out!


Wednesday, April 26, 2023


Doors & VIP Patron Receptions at 7:00 p.m. | Events at 8:00 p.m.
8:00 pm


Kleinhans Music Hall
Kleinhans Music Hall
3 Symphony Circle, Buffalo, NY 14201 (Free Parking)


Buffalo and Erie County Public Library
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

Other Organizers

Just Buffalo Literary Center
Just Buffalo Literary Center
(716) 832-5400

Featured Artists

  • Elizabeth Kolbert
    Elizabeth Kolbert
    Pulitzer Prize-winning Science Writer & Journalist

    Elizabeth Kolbert traveled from Alaska to Greenland, and visited top scientists, to get to the heart of the debate over global warming. Her book, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, a book about mass extinctions that weaves intellectual and natural history with reporting in the field began as an article in The New Yorker. It was a New York Times 2014 Top Ten Best Book of the Year and is number one on the Guardian‘s list of the 100 Best Nonfiction Books of all time. The Sixth Extinction also won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in the General Nonfiction category, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle awards for the best books of 2014. In 2019 it was the chosen book for the Chicago Public Library’s One Book, One Chicago program, and was named as one of Slate’s 50 Best Nonfiction Books of the Past 25 Years. Her next book, Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future, was a national bestseller and was named one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post, Time, Esquire, Smithsonian Magazine, Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal. It was also recommended by Barack Obama and Bill Gates.

    Growing out of a groundbreaking three-part series in The New Yorker (which won the 2005 National Magazine Award in the category Public Interest), Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change brings the environment into the consciousness of the American people and asks what, if anything, can be done, and how we can save our planet. She explains the science and the studies, draws frightening parallels to lost ancient civilizations, unpacks the politics, and presents the personal tales of those who are being affected most—the people who make their homes near the poles and, in an eerie foreshadowing, are watching their worlds disappear. Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change was chosen as one of the 100 Notable Books of the Year (2006) by The New York Times Book Review.

    Elizabeth Kolbert has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1999. She has written dozens of pieces for the magazine, including profiles of Senator Hillary Clinton, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. Her series on global warming, “The Climate of Man,” appeared in The New Yorker in the spring of 2005 and won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s magazine award. Also in 2006, she received the National Academy of Sciences Communication Award in the newspaper/magazine category and was awarded a Lannan Writing Fellowship. In September 2010, Kolbert received the prestigious Heinz Award which recognizes individuals who are addressing global change caused by the impact of human activities and natural processes on the environment. She has also been awarded a National Magazine Award in the Reviews and Criticism category for her work in the New Yorker, the Sierra Club’s David R. Brower Award, and the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism from the American Geophysical Union. In 2016 she was named the 12th Janet Weis Fellow in Contemporary Letters at Bucknell University. She is also the recipient of the 2016 Sam Rose ’58 and Julie Walters Prize at Dickinson College for Global Environmental Activism. In 2017 she received the Blake-Dodd Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2019 she was the recipient of the Pell Center Prize for Story in the Public Square. In March 2021 she was voted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

    Elizabeth Kolbert’s stories have also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Vogue, and Mother Jones, and have been anthologized in The Best American Science and Nature Writing and The Best American Political Writing. She edited The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2009. A collection of her work, The Prophet of Love and Other Tales of Power and Deceit, was published in 2004. Prior to joining the staff of The New Yorker, Kolbert was a political reporter for The New York Times.

  • Omar El Akkad
    Omar El Akkad
    Author & Journalist

    Omar El Akkad is an author and journalist. He was born in Egypt, grew up in Qatar, moved to Canada as a teenager and now lives in the United States. The start of his journalism career coincided with the start of the war on terror, and over the following decade he reported from Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay and many other locations around the world. His work earned a National Newspaper Award for Investigative Journalism and the Goff Penny Award for young journalists.

    His fiction and non-fiction writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Guernica, GQ, and many other newspapers and magazines.

    His debut novel, American War, is an international bestseller and has been translated into thirteen languages. It won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers’ Award, the Oregon Book Award for fiction, the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, and has been nominated for more than ten other awards. It was listed as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, Washington Post, GQ, NPR, and Esquire, and was selected by the BBC as one of 100 novels that changed our world.

    His short story “Government Slots” was selected for the Best Canadian Stories 2020 anthology. His new novel, What Strange Paradise, was released in 2021 from Knopf.

  • Anthony Doerr
    Anthony Doerr
    Pulitzer Prize Winner, Bestselling Author, & Novelist

    Since the publication of his first story collection, The Shell Collector, in 2002, Anthony Doerr has been lauded for his lyricism, his precise attention to the physical world, and his gift for metaphor. The San Francisco Chronicle characterized Doerr’s literary ancestry as a combination of “Henry David Thoreau (for his pantheistic passions) and Gabriel García Márquez (for his crystal-cut prose and dreamy magic realism).”

    Doerr’s novel, the runaway New York Times bestseller All the Light We Cannot See, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction and was a finalist for the National Book Award. In All the Light We Cannot See, Doerr brings his keen naturalist’s eye and his empathetic engagement with humanity’s largest questions to the parallel stories of Marie, a blind girl living in occupied France, and Werner, a German orphan whose extraordinary mechanical abilities earn him a place among the Nazi elite. The novel was on over a dozen year-end lists, including Barnes & Noble, Slate, NPR’s Fresh Air, Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, Kirkus, The New York Times, The Washington Post,and The Christian Science Monitor. All the Light We Cannot See spent more than three and a half years on The New York Times bestseller list and an eagerly anticipated limited series adaptation is forthcoming from Netflix.

    Nature is also an important theme in Doerr’s novel About Grace, the story of a scientist who flees the country after having a premonition that he causes the accidental death of his baby daughter. Doerr’s memoir Four Seasons in Rome is a carefully observed account of the year he spent as a fellow at the American Academy in Rome, accompanied by his wife and infant twin sons. His second story collection, Memory Wall, features characters from all over the world grappling with issues of preservation and extinction, permanence and evanescence.

    “For me, the natural world is always telling big stories about humongous scales of time,” Doerr said when discussing Memory Wall. “And I often feel simultaneously terrified and humbled by those scales and in awe, and delighted that I get to be here; that I’m lucky enough, that we are lucky enough to get to experience these things for the tiny finger snap of time that we get to be on Earth. So, in a lot of ways, my fiction is about trying to pay homage to the grandeur of the scales of time in the natural world. And I feel like memory is a part of that. Memory is this one attempt to not be erased by time.”

    Up next is Cloud Cuckoo Land, a soaring novel about children on the cusp of adulthood in a broken world, who find resilience, hope, and story. In a story spanning the besieged city of Constantinople in 1453, a public library in modern-day Idaho, and a spaceship bound for a distant exoplanet decades from now, the heroes of Cloud Cuckoo Land are linked by an ancient text that provides solace and the most profound human connection to characters in peril. They all learn the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to the paradise of Cloud Cuckoo Land, a better world. Dedicated to “the librarians then, now, and in the years to come,” Cloud Cuckoo Land is “a marvel” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) about the power of story and a hauntingly beautiful and redemptive novel about stewardship—of the book, of the Earth, of the human heart.

    Doerr’s fiction has been translated into over forty languages, and is anthologized in The Best American Short Stories, The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories, and The Scribner Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. He was the editor of The Best American Short Stories 2019. Doerr won the Story Prize, the most prestigious prize in the US for a collection of short stories; and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, the largest prize in the world for a single short story.

    Doerr lectures all over the country on originality, the importance of failure, and the role of wonder in contemporary life. Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he now lives in Boise, Idaho with his wife and two sons.

  • Isabel Wilkerson
    Isabel Wilkerson
    Pulitzer Prize Winner, National Humanities Medal Recipient, & Bestselling Author

    Isabel Wilkerson, winner of the Pulitzer Prize winner and the National Humanities Medal, is the author of The New York Times bestsellers The Warmth of Other Suns and Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents. A gifted storyteller, Wilkerson captivates audiences with the universal human story of migration and reinvention, as well as the unseen hierarchies that have divided us as a nation, in order to find a way to transcend them.

    She has become an impassioned voice for demonstrating how history can help us understand ourselves, our country and our current era of upheaval. In her writing, Wilkerson brings the invisible and the marginalized into the light and into our hearts. In her lectures, she explores with authority the need to reconcile America’s karmic racial inheritance—a notion she has expressed in her widely-shared Op-Ed essays in The New York Times.

    Wilkerson captivates audiences with the universal story of migration and the enduring search for the American dream, the origins of our shared commonality. She draws a direct link between the leaderless revolution known as the Great Migration and the protest movements for social justice today, both of them responses to unacknowledged and unaddressed history.

    The Warmth of Other Suns tells the true story of three people among the six million who made the decision of their lives during the Great Migration, a watershed in American history. Wilkerson spent 15 years working on Warmth, interviewing more than 1,200 people to tell what she calls one of the greatest underreported stories of the 20th Century. In addition to the National Book Critics Circle Award, the book won the Heartland Prize for Nonfiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Award for Nonfiction, the Lynton History Prize from Harvard and Columbia universities, and the Stephen Ambrose Oral History Prize and was shortlisted for both the Pen-Galbraith Literary Award and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.

    The Warmth of Other Suns became a New York Times and national bestseller. It was named to more than 30 Best of the Year lists, including The New York Times’ 10 Best Books of the Year, Amazon’s 5 Best Books of the Year, and Best of the Year lists in The New Yorker, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post, among others. It made national news when President Obama chose the book for summer reading in 2011. In 2012, The New York Times Magazine named The Warmth of Other Suns to its list of the best nonfiction books of all time and in 2019, TIME Magazine named it one of the “10 Best Non-Fiction Books” of the decade.

    Isabel Wilkerson’s latest book, Caste: The Origins of our Discontents, published in August 2020 to critical acclaim, with Dwight Garner of The New York Times calling it, “An instant American classic” and Oprah choosing it for her monthly book club pick. Picked as a Time’s 2020 must-read book, the book examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how a hierarchy of social divisions still defines our lives today. Wilkerson brings the past’s complexities to vivid life through her passionate research and her profound gift for connecting with audiences of all backgrounds. Caste is being adapted into a Netflix film directed, written, and produced by Ava DuVernay.

    Wilkerson won the Pulitzer Prize for her work as Chicago Bureau Chief of The New York Times in 1994, making her the first Black woman in the history of American journalism to win a Pulitzer Prize and the first African-American to win for individual reporting in the history of American journalism.

    She has lectured on narrative nonfiction at the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University and has taught at Princeton, Emory and Boston universities. She has lectured at more than 200 other colleges and universities across the United States, Europe and in Asia. Her work has garnered seven honorary degrees, most recently from Bates College and Southern Methodist University. She has appeared on national programs such as CBS’s 60 Minutes, NPR’s Fresh Air, NBC’s Nightly News, MSNBC, CNN, C-SPAN, and others.
    In conferring Isabel Wilkerson the 2015 National Humanities Medal, the National Endowment for the Humanities honored her “for championing the stories of an unsung history. Her masterful combination of intimate human narratives with broader societal trends allows us to measure the epic migration of a people by its vast impact on our Nation and on each individual life.”

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