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Registration for Programs

Saturnalia Books Poetry Reading

Thursday, April 17, 2014, 6:00 PM

Saturnalia Books returns for its Annual Poetry Reading at the Athenaeum.  This year’s program includes Yusef Komunyakaa, author of over a dozen poetry collections, including the most recent, Chameleon Couch (FSG: 2012). He has received numerous accolades including the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the Wallace Stevens Award, the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the William Faulkner Prize, the Thomas Forcade Award, the Hanes Poetry Prize, and most notably the Pulitzer Prize for Neon Vernacular (Wesleyan 1993). He is currently Distinguished Senior Poet in New York University's graduate creative writing program.  Also reading will be Kendra DeColo,  winner of the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize, judged by Yusef Komunyakaa. She has taught creative writing in prisons, homeless shelters, hospitals, and middle schools. She is the recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Tennessee Arts Commission, a work-study scholarship from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, and residency awards from the Millay Colony and the Virgina Center for Creative Arts. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee where she is founding poetry editor of Nashville Review and Book Review Editor at Muzzle Magazine.  The other two poets reading this evening are Peter Jay Shipp, author of A Spell of Songs (Saturnalia Books 2013) and Sebastian Agudelo, author of Each Chartered Street (Saturnalia Books 2013).  Mr. Shipp’s Thieves Latin won the 2002 Iowa Poetry Prize, and Mr. Agudelo’s To the Bone won the 2008 Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize.

Free.  RSVP by calling 215-925-2688 or email

Literary Award for Art and Architecture

Thursday, May 8, 2014, 5:30 PM

George H. Marcus and William Whitaker, The Houses of Louis Kahn. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013.

Although no one needs to introduce Louis Kahn, architect for the Kimbell Art Museum, the Salk Institute, and the National Assembly Complex in Bangladesh, to the Philadelphia community, few recognize the importance of his residential design. Marcus and Whitaker focus on nine major private houses, illuminating the architect’s process through client relations, attention to detail and a commitment to finding the best design for each client and residence.

George H. Marcus is adjunct assistant professor of the history of art at the University of Pennsylvania. William Whitaker is curator of the Architectural Archives of the University of Pennsylvania, which houses the Louis I. Kahn Collection.

Book Signing and reception to follow.

Free. RSVP by calling 215-925-2688 or email

Nathaniel Popkin, Lion and Leopard

Thursday, May 15, 2014, 5:30 PM

Nathaniel Popkin’s latest book and debut novel, Lion and Leopard, dares to portray an event previously unexplored in fiction: the mysterious death of John Lewis Krimmel, one of the first artists to capture scenes of urban street life in America. Showing the rise and tragic fall of Krimmel through the eyes of multiple characters, Popkin imagines the chaotic time at the end of Krimmel’s life when he clashed with Charles Willson Peale & Sons, the gatekeepers of Philadelphia’s budding art scene. Into this world come three young men from a small village, hungry for a taste of city life. Along the way, they encounter the enigmatic Krimmel, the maddening Edward Hicks, and the eminent Peales. Their interactions and conversations inspire them to begin a “book of American masters.” But which of these artists — all of them self-taught — will make the cut? Throughout clashes between fathers and sons, peers and rivals, lovers and mentors, Popkin illuminates a pivotal period when American art and culture were in their infancy.

Free for Athenaeum Members. RSVP by calling 215-925-2688 or email

Qty Description Price
Popkin Lecture Non-Member

Literary Award

Monday, May 19, 2014, 5:30 PM

Adrian Raine, The Anatomy of Violence: The Biological Roots of Crime. New York: Pantheon, 2013.

The New York Times Book Review praises Raine’s book as “Provocative. . . . [Raine] makes a good case that certain genetic, neurological, and physiological factors do predict violent behavior. . . . He argues, convincingly, that . . benign and relatively cheap interventions could have huge social benefits.” Provocative, controversial but readable are all terms applied to Raine’s well-researched and timely book.

Dr. Adrian Raine is Richard Perry University Professor and Chair, Department of Criminology, for the University of Pennsylvania. He has published widely on the neurobiology of antisocial behavior in children and adults.

Book Signing and reception to follow.

Free.  RSVP by calling 215-925-2688 or email

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