39 Years ago today: Revisit Ray Bradbury at the Library of Congress

39 years ago on April 26, 1982, Ray Bradbury presented Beyond 1984, what to do when the doom doesn’t arrive,a lecture and reading at the Library of Congress.

Bradbury’s energetic performance traces his transformation from a young child whose love of books, dinosaurs, space travel, and writing sets him apart from his peers to a celebrated author who translates his passions into fiction that delights and inspires others. A consummate storyteller in person as well as on the page, Bradbury guides the audience through the serendipitous process of turning the germ of an idea into a finished story and provides a rare reading of “That Son of Richard III: A Birth Announcement.” First published in 1974 and then collected in the 1977 book Where Robot Mice and Robot Men Run Round in Robot Towns, the poem was inspired by Bradbury’s experience writing the screenplay for Moby Dick and explores William Shakespeare’s influence on Herman Melville.

Bradbury’s joy in sharing what he loves with others is palpable in this hour long recording. His own answer to the question, “What to do when the doom doesn’t arrive?” is clear: follow your heart and write!

Bradbury’s presentation is among the recordings offered online by the Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature in the Library of Congress. Other programs feature Audre Lorde, Denise Levertov, Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Atwood, and Ralph Ellison. The Archive is a treasure trove of nearly two thousand recordings from over 80 years of programming on Capitol Hill or at the Library’s Recording Laboratory. As the LOC digitizes more of these priceless materials, they will make them accessible online.

Listen to Ray Bradbury


Bradbury Foundation sponsors discussion of speculative fiction Tuesday, April 20 at LA Times Festival of Books

The Bradbury Foundation, sponsor of the Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy & Speculative Fiction, will present the panel discussion Speculative Fiction: The Real and Unreal on Tuesday, April 20, at 7pm PST during the LA Times Festival of Books virtual celebration running through April 23.

Stephen Graham Jones, this year’s recipient of the Ray Bradbury Prize for his novel The Only Good Indians, will be part of the multitalented panel moderated by author Kelly Link, co-founder of Small Beer Press, recipient of Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Awards, and one of the judges for this year’s Bradbury prize. Other participants include Megan Giddings, feature editor at The Rumpus and author of he critically acclaimed Lakewood; Max Gladstone, author of numerous short stories, Ruin of Angels, and the interactive fiction game Choice of the Deathless; and Amal El-Mohtar, a Hugo and Nebula Award-winning poet and writer of speculative fiction who also serves as the science fiction and fantasy columnist for the New York Times Book Review.

Traditionally one of the year’s most widely attended literary festivals, the LA Times Festival of Books, has moved online due to the pandemic, making the offerings available to audiences worldwide. Fiction and non-fiction programming geared to authors and readers of all interests and ages can be found at the Festival’s virtual hub, including a new Children’s Stage featuring over 20 on demand videos of authors like LeVar Burton, Monica Brown, Matt de la Peña, and Dr. Omerine Aseh reading their work.


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American Writers Museum previews Ray Bradbury: Inextinguishable April 14

On Wednesday, April 14 at 4pm CDT/5pm EDT, the American Writers Museum will offer a sneak peak of their newest virtual exhibit, Ray Bradbury: Inextinguishable and release details of special programs on Bradbury and his classic novel about apathy, censorship, and the power of ideas, Fahrenheit 451. The live YouTube presentation is part of the preparation for the museum’s physical reopening on May 14. Viewers can participate in trivia contests and win prizes and Experience Museum packages.

The Ray Bradbury: Inextinguishable exhibit will include material from the museum’s own holdings and the The Center for Bradbury Studies alongside the expertly curated information that has made the museum so popular.

Located in Chicago, just miles from Waukegan, Ray Bradbury’s hometown and the inspiration for his imaginary Green Town, the American Writers Museum is the only national museum dedicated exclusively to American writers and their work. It honors the influence of the past, explores and promotes accomplished authors of the present, and acts as a resource and inspiration for aspiring writers interested in exploring their craft. The museum provides state of the art interactive programs for all ages and has remained available to patrons through its virtual hub of online exhibits and presentations.

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Writer’s Workshop with author T.J. Martinson on April 1st

There’s still time to register for the writer’s workshop with author T.J. Martinson on April 1st at 6:30pm CST. The free workshop is hosted by the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies.

Martinson’s critically acclaimed debut novel, The Reign of the Kingfisher, was published in 2019 by Flatiron Books. Set in a reimagined Chicago still suffering the loss of a local superhero, The Reign of the Kingfisher defies easy genre classifications. Martinson combines elements of the graphic novel with classic crime and mystery fiction in an exciting and elegant prose that will hook any reader who appreciates a good story and compelling characters.