Mitchell S. Jackson: Lecture Series


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Editor's Note

The Never-ending Pursuit of Eloquence with Mitchell S. Jackson

October 7, 14, 21 and 28
10 AM – 11:30 AM PST/ 1 – 2:30 PM EST

“Man, sometimes it takes you a long time to sound
like yourself.”—Miles Davis

In this craft series, we will work to define eloquence—sounding the most like yourself—and its importance in prose. The series will include a lecture on tools foundational to crafting an eloquent voice, a lecture on how to read as a prose craftsperson, and discussions of the eloquence in exemplary fiction and nonfiction.

Session Flow: The first 30-45 minutes of the session will be a craft talk with the remaining 30 – 45 minutes reserved for questions.

October 7:
A lecture on the definition of and philosophies related to voice /eloquence, as well as on tools foundational to crafting eloquence.

October 14:
A craft lecture on repetition and difference in
eloquence and reading as a craftsperson.

October 21:
A close reading and discussion of voice / eloquence in exemplary fiction.

October 28:
A close reading and discussion of voice / eloquence in exemplary nonfiction.


Mitchell S. Jackson is the winner of the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing and the 2021 National Magazine Award in Feature Writing. His debut novel The Residue Years received wide critical praise and won a Whiting Award and The Ernest J. Gaines Prize for Literary Excellence. The Residue Years was also a finalist for The Center for Fiction Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize, the PEN / Hemingway Award for Debut Fiction, and the Hurston / Wright Legacy Award. Jackson’s honors include fellowships and awards from John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center, the Lannan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, PEN America, TED, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Center for Fiction. His writing has been featured on This American Life, on the cover of the New York Times Book Review, Time Magazine, Esquire Magazine, and Marie Claire Magazine, as well as in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar Magazine, The Paris Review, The Washington Post Magazine, The Guardian, and elsewhere. His nonfiction book Survival Math: Notes on an All-American Family was published in 2019 and named a best book of the year by fifteen publications, including NPR, Time Magazine, The Paris Review, The Root, Kirkus Reviews, and Buzzfeed. Jackson is a columnist for Esquire Magazine. His next novel John of Watts is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Jackson is also a well-regarded speaker who has delivered lectures and key note addresses all over the world, including the annual TED Conference, the Ubud (Bali) Writers and Readers Festival, and the Sydney Writers’ Festival, as well as at esteemed institutions, among them Yale University, Brown University, Cornell University, and Columbia University. A formerly incarcerated person, Jackson is also a social justice advocate who, as part of his outreach, visits prisons and youth facilities in the United States and abroad.


Sessions will be held on Zoom. You do not need a Zoom account in order to participate. Each session will be recorded and distributed within 48 hours. The recordings will be available for up to a month after the last session.



The scholarship for this lecture series has already been awarded.



As you will have access to all recordings, we will not be offering refunds for this lecture series.