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 2024-2025 Season Subscriptions - Featured Image - Just Buffalo Literary Center

BABEL 2024-2025 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.

In-Person Tickets Virtual Tickets

BABEL 2024–2025 Authors

  • Sandra Cisneros (Thursday, October 10, 2024) and her book The House on Mango Street
  • Tommy Orange (Wednesday, November 13, 2024) and his book Wandering Stars
  • Cheryl Strayed (Thursday, March 20, 2025) and her book Wild
  • James McBride (Wednesday, April 30, 2025) and his book The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

All season subscriptions and tickets will be issued via Kleinhans online ticketing for the 2024–2025 season.

  • General Admission (includes reserved seating): $120 each
  • VIP Patron: $325 each (includes reserved seating and catered pre-event author reception)

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

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. (You must be subscribed to the Just Buffalo newsletter.)
  • 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 for one week.
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Thursday, October 10, 2024


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

More Info



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


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

Featured Artists

  • Sandra Cisneros
    Sandra Cisneros
    Author, Poet, Performer, & Artist

    SANDRA CISNEROS is a poet, short-story writer, novelist, essayist, performer, and artist whose work explores the lives of the working-class. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, the Texas Medal of the Arts, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates and national and international book awards, including Chicago’s Fifth Star Award, the PEN Center USA Literary Award, the Fairfax Prize, the National Medal of Arts. Most recently, she received the Ford Foundation’s Art of Change Fellowship, was recognized among The Frederick Douglass 200, won the PEN/Nabokov Award for international literature, a Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and the Ambassador Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award from the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Foundation.

    Her classic, coming-of-age novel, The House on Mango Street, has sold over seven million copies, has been translated into over twenty-five languages, and is required reading in elementary, high school, and universities across the nation.

    In addition to her writing, Cisneros has fostered the careers of many aspiring and emerging writers through two non-profits she founded: the Macondo Foundation, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2020, and the Alfredo Cisneros del Moral Foundation, which ran for fifteen years. She is also the organizer of Los MacArturos, Latino MacArthur fellows who are community activists. Her literary papers are preserved in Texas at the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University.

    Sandra Cisneros is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico and earns her living by her pen. As a single woman, she chose to have books instead of children. She currently lives in San Miguel de Allende, México. A new collection of poetry, Woman Without Shame, her first in 28 years, was published in 2022 by Knopf and by Vintage Español in a Spanish language translation, Mujer sin vergüenza, by Liliana Valenzuela. In 2024, The House on Mango Street was published in the Everyman’s Library Contemporary Classics Series.

  • Tommy Orange
    Tommy Orange

    TOMMY ORANGE is the author of The New York Times bestselling novel There There, a multi-generational, relentlessly paced story about a side of America few of us have ever seen: the lives of urban Native Americans. There There was one of The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of the Year, and won the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize and the Pen/Hemingway Award. There There was also longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His new novel, Wandering Stars, was published in February 2024.

    Orange graduated from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, and was a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California.

  • Cheryl Strayed
    Cheryl Strayed

    CHERYL STRAYED is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, which was made into an Oscar-nominated film. Her bestselling collection of “Dear Sugar” columns, Tiny Beautiful Things, was adapted for a Hulu television show and as a play that continues to be staged in theaters nationwide. Strayed’s other books are the critically acclaimed novel Torch and the bestselling collection Brave Enough, which brings together more than one hundred of her inspiring quotes.

    Her books have sold more than 5 million copies around the world and have been translated into forty languages. Her award-winning essays and short stories have been published in The Best American Essays, The New York Times, The Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, and elsewhere. Strayed has also made two hit podcasts—Dear Sugars, which she co-hosted with Steve Almond, and Sugar Calling. She lives in Portland, Oregon.

  • James McBride
    James McBride
    Writer, Composer, & Musician

    JAMES McBRIDE is a New York Times bestselling author, musician, and screenwriter. His landmark memoir, The Color of Water, rested on the NYT bestseller list for two years and explored McBride’s search for identity as the son of a white Jewish woman and a black man. It is considered an American classic and is read in schools and universities across the United States. His debut novel, Miracle at St. Anna, was translated into a major motion picture, directed by American film icon Spike Lee. It was released by Disney/Touchstone in September 2008. James wrote the script for Miracle at St. Anna and co-wrote Spike Lee’s 2012 Red Hook Summer. His novel, Song Yet Sung, was released in paperback in January 2009. His novel The Good Lord Bird about American revolutionary John Brown is the winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction, and has been adapted by Ethan Hawke and Jason Blum into a Showtime series bearing the same name. His 2020 novel Deacon King Kong tells the story of a 1969 shooting in Brooklyn and the strange intersections of the lives of the characters involved in the shooting. Deacon King Kong was a NYT bestseller, winner of the National Book Award, and named a favorite book of the year by both Oprah Winfrey and President Barack Obama.

    McBride’s latest novel, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, tells the story of small-town secrets and the people who keep them. McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community—heaven and earth—that sustain us. The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store was a runaway NYT bestseller and was named Best Book of the Year by NPR, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, TIME Magazine, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

    James is also a former staff writer for The Boston Globe, People Magazine, and The Washington Post. His work has appeared in Essence, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times. His April 2007 National Geographic story entitled “Hip Hop Planet” is considered a respected treatise on African American music and culture.

    James toured as a saxophonist sideman with jazz legend Jimmy Scott, among others. He has also written songs (music and lyrics) for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr., Purafe, Gary Burton, and even for the PBS television character “Barney.” (He did not write the “I Love You” song for “Barney,” but wishes he did.) He received the Stephen Sondheim Award and the Richard Rodgers Foundation Horizon Award for his musical Bo-Bos, co-written with playwright Ed Shockley. His 2003 “Riffin’ and Pontificatin’” Musical Tour was captured in a nationally televised Comcast documentary. He has been featured on national radio and television in America, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He often does his readings accompanied by a band.

    James is a native New Yorker and a graduate of New York City public schools. He studied composition at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music in Ohio, and received his Masters in Journalism from Columbia University in New York at age 22. He holds several honorary doctorates and is currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.

    In the fall of 2016, President Barack Obama awarded McBride the 2015 National Humanities Medal “… for humanizing the complexities of discussing race in America. Through writings about his own uniquely American story, and his works of fiction informed by our shared history, his moving stories of love display the character of the American family.”

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