Contemporary Conversations Banner

Contemporary Conversations

Contemporary Conversations is a series of talks about cultural and current issues with journalists, authors and other relevant speakers. Sponsored by MCPL and Friends of the Library, Montgomery County.

Contemporary Conversations: speaker Tim Wise

Tim Wise

July 11, 2024
Rockville Memorial Library

In this presentation, renowned antiracism educator, Tim Wise, will examine the connections between systemic racism, white racial privilege, and America’s class system.

Register Now

Contemporary Conversations: speaker Mahogany L. Browne

Mahogany L. Browne

June 3, 2024
Marilyn J. Praisner Library

Join the Lincoln Center’s first-ever poet-in-residence, renowned writer Mahogany L. Browne to talk about her work.

Contemporary Conversations: speaker Bao Phi

Bao Phi

May 20, 2024
Gaithersburg Library

MCPL celebrates Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with a visit from Vietnamese-American children's author Bao Phi.

Contemporary Conversations: speaker Dr. Tony Medina

Dr. Tony Medina

October 11, 2023
Rockville Memorial Library
& Virtual Event

Join us to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with author Dr. Tony Medina (Howard University) who will discuss Latino identity/culture and his professional career journey.

Contemporary Conversations: speakers Dr. DJ Kuttin Kandi & BBoy Danny Nguyen

Dr. DJ Kuttin Kandi & BBoy Danny Nguyen

August 12, 2023
Brigadier General Charles E. McGee Library
& Virtual Event

Join us for a conversation with Dr. DJ Kuttin Kandi (Anomalies, 5th Platoon) and artist Danny “The Atomic Goofball” Nguyen (Lionz of Zion Breaking Crew) about Hip Hop and the art of the DJ.

Contemporary Conversations: speakers Emanuel Xavier & Regie Cabico

Emanuel Xavier and Regie Cabico

June 9, 2023
Wheaton Library
& Virtual Event

Join us for a conversation about the importance of poetry, storytelling and the spoken word with writers Emanuel Xavier and Regie Cabico.

Contemporary Conversations: speakers Karen Washington and Jabari S. Walker

Karen Washington and Jabari S. Walker

May 19, 2023
Connie Morella Library
& Virtual Event

A conversation with Karen Washington, urban community gardener and food justice advocate and Jabari S. Walker, Sustainability and Energy Coordinator at Bowie State University around the topics of urban farming, sustainability and the environment.

Contemporary Conversations: speaker Tyehimba Jess

Tyehimba Jess

April 27, 2023
Gaithersburg Library
& Virtual Event

Join award-winning author Tyehimba Jess to celebrate National Poetry Month. Jess will be discussing his work as a poet and fiction writer.

Contemporary Conversations: speaker Sheree Renée Thomas

Sheree Renée Thomas

February 23, 2023
Rockville Memorial Library
& Virtual Event

New York Times bestselling, two-time World Fantasy Award-winning author and editor Sheree Renée Thomas will talk about Afrofuturism & Diversity in Sci-Fi, in celebration of Black History Month.

Contemporary Conversations: speaker Michael Twitty

Michael Twitty

December 10, 2022
Virtual Event

Award-winning culinary historian, food writer, teacher, and author Michael W. Twitty will discuss the connection between the foods and traditions of the African Atlantic and the global Jewish diaspora.

Contemporary Conversations: speaker Elizabeth Kolbert

Elizabeth Kolbert

March 5, 2022
Virtual Event

Staff writer for The New Yorker and author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert, will participate in a moderated conversation about the topic of climate change and how we can make impacts through our habits and decisions.

Contemporary Conversations: speakers Haben Girma, Kim Jones

Haben Girma

June 5, 2021
Virtual Event

Haben Girma will be talking about her memoir, Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law, how she become an advocate and her journey from isolation to extraordinary accomplishment. Girma will be in conversation with Kim Jones.

Contemporary Conversations: speaker Jarret Krosoczka

Jarrett Krosoczka

June 26, 2021
Virtual Event

New York Times bestselling author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka will talk about his young adult graphic memoir Hey, Kiddo. With candor and humor, Krosoczka describes his journey growing up in a family coping with addiction and how his art helped him endure and survive.

Contemporary Conversations: Meet Michelle Singletary

Michelle Singletary

April 24, 2021
Virtual Event

Michelle Singletary, prize-winning journalist and nationally syndicated personal finance columnist for The Washington Post, will provide an entertaining and informative presentation about how to understand personal finances from budgeting to becoming an informed investor, inspiring participants to learn more about money management and take better control of their financial affairs.

Contemporary Conversations: writers Edwidge Danticat and Katia D. Ulysse

Edwidge Danticat & Katia D. Ulysse

September 12, 2020
Virtual Event

Haitian-American literary writers discuss diasporic literature, the writing craft, the importance of people of color being represented in literature and the topic of immigration & deportation.

Contemporary Conversations: Ida Jones and Rebecca Roberts

Right To Vote

August 22, 2020
Virtual Event

A presentation by Ida Turner and Rebecca Roberts in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote in the USA.

Contemporary Conversations: Evan Glass

Evan Glass

June 24, 2020
Virtual Event

Montgomery County Councilmember Evan Glass will facilitate a conversation about LGBTQ issues. Panel members include Claire Rudy Foster, Deacon Maccubin, Tyrese L. Coleman, and Beth Chandler.

Contemporary Conversations: Tope Folarin

Tope Folarin

February 22, 2020
Silver Spring Library

Nigerian-American author Tope Folarin will be talking about his experience as a writer. Mr. Folarin is the first writer based outside Africa to win the prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing in 2013.

Contemporary Conversations: Joshua Johnson

Joshua Johnson

November 2, 2019
Silver Spring Library

Journalist Joshua Johnson will provide discus hosting 1A, one of the most important daily conversations in America. Inspired by the First Amendment, 1A explores significant confronting Americans.

Contemporary Conversations: Bob Levey

Bob Levey

May 11, 2019
Chevy Chase Library

Prize-winning journalist, former Washington Post columnist and TV-radio commentator Bob Levey will talk about his experience as a 37-year career reporter covering all aspects of life in the nation’s capital.

Joseph Esposito

Joseph Esposito

October 21, 2018
Rockville Memorial Library

Writer, historian and educator Joseph A. Esposito will talk about his 2018 book Dinner in Camelot, which is centered on a White House banquet hosting numerous Nobel prize winners.

Contemporary Conversations: Dinaw Mengestu

Dinaw Mengestu

June 9, 2018
Silver Spring Library

Award-winning author and MacArthur Foundation Fellow, Dinaw Mengestu will speak about his inspiration for his work The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears and his experiences as an Ethiopian immigrant.

Contemporary Conversations: Nancy Pearl

Nancy Pearl

March 25, 2018
Rockville Memorial Library

A recipient in 2011 of the Librarian of the Year and the Lifetime Achievement Awards, Ms. Pearl will share the origins of her love of reading and libraries. Of course, she’ll suggest some great books to read.

Contemporary Conversations: Craig Dudnick

Craig Dudnick

October 14, 2017
Silver Spring Library

Ordinary People, Extraordinary Inspiration: Screening of Alice’s Ordinary People, a documentary by Craig Dudnick.

Contemporary Conversations: Hena Khan

Hena Khan

June 4, 2017
Silver Spring Library

Picture book and middle grade author Hena Khan will speak as part of the Contemporary Conversations series at MCPL.

Contemporary Conversations: Charles Lane

Charles Lane

May 7, 2017
Silver Spring Library

Washington Post editorial writer, Charles Lane, is weekly columnist for the Post and a contributor to the PostPartisan blog. Mr. Lane specializes in economic and fiscal policy.

Contemporary Conversations: David Ignatius

David Ignatius

April 1, 2017
Gaithersburg Library

David Ignatius, best-selling author and prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post, has been covering the Middle East and the CIA for more than twenty-five years.

Contemporary Conversations: Kojo Nnamdi

Kojo Nnamdi

March 4, 2017
Gaithersburg Library

Kojo Nnamdi, one of the most well-known interviewers and talk show hosts in the Washington, D.C. area will be the first speaker in the new Contemporary Conversations series @ MCPL.