2019 NEA Big Read

    Lighthouse Writers Workshop is partnering with Denver Public Library and Denver Arts & Venues to bring the NEA Big Read to town this fall! 

    Denver is one of 78 communities nationwide participating in the NEA Big Read, where we're reading In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. From our kickoff celebration September 27 to Julia Alvarez's on-stage reading and interview with Kali Fajardo-Anstine November 6 at the Newman Center, our community will celebrate In the Time of the Butterflies with a full calendar of events including community conversations, performances, workshops, and more.

    An initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest, the NEA Big Read broadens our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book.

    For a full calendar of events, head here.




    Inside the Writer's Studio

    Join us Wednesday, November 6 for the signature event: Inside the Writer’s Studio with Julia Alvarez and Kali Fajardo-Anstine, co-presented by the Newman Center and NEA Big Read. Alvarez will read from her award-winning work, sit down in conversation with Fajardo-Anstine, and answer audience questions. 

    Julia Alvarez

    Julia Alvarez has written novels (How the García Girls Lost Their Accents, In the Time of the Butterflies, ¡Yo!, In the Name of Salomé, Saving the World), collections of poems (Homecoming, The Other Side/ El Otro Lado, The Woman I Kept to Myself), nonfiction (Something to Declare, Once Upon A Quinceañera, A Wedding in Haiti), and numerous books for young readers (including the Tía Lola Stories series, Before We Were Free, finding miracles, Return to Sender and Where Do They Go?). A recipient of a 2013 National Medal of Arts, Alvarez is one of the founders of Border of Lights, a movement to promote peace and collaboration between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  She lives in Vermont, where she is at work on a new novel.

    "In the Time of the Butterflies"

    The acclaimed novel In the Time of the Butterflies is based on the real story of the four Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic, three of whom became symbols of resistance after being murdered at the order of the dictator Rafael Trujillo. “Rich in historical detail and immensely, hauntingly lyrical … [this novel is] as lovely as a butterfly at rest, and as moving as one in flight” (Burlington Free Press). Alvarez is “one of our national literary treasures” (The Oregonian).

    Julia Alvarez's Craft Talk

    Join Julia Alvarez on Thursday, November 7 for a lecture titled "When Less Is More: A Love Affair with the Short, Lyrical Novel," to be followed by a Q&A and book signing. 

    Reading as a Writer Class

    In preparation for the 25th anniversary of the publication of In the Time of the Butterflies, we’ll spend four weeks diving into this celebrated novel to see what makes it tick and what we can learn from it to apply to our own writing. Through brief video lectures and online discussions of the novel, we’ll look at structure, character development, writing style, and theme, and use writing exercises to try Alvarez’s tools ourselves. 

    Big Read Events

    From September 27 through November 6 our community will celebrate In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez with a full calendar of events including community conversations, performances, workshops, and more. Full calendar of events coming soon!

    Book Pick-Up Locations

    Pick up your free copy of In the Time of the Butterflies and #readwithus this fall!

    2019 Big Read Partners

    Below you'll find our 2019 Big Read Partners. Do you or your organization want to get involved?