To Enter the World: Stephanie Burt and Taylor Johnson (2020)

The O.B. Hardison Poetry Series presented To Enter the World: Stephanie Burt and Taylor Johnson on November 18, 2020 at 7:30pm as a live virtual reading.

“For all its insights into trans experience, Advice from the Lights is the brightest and most inviting of Burt’s collections for readers of any, all, and no genders.” — Boston Review

Items were shared from the Folger Collection and other materials from over the centuries related to gender in an exhibition that started at 5:30pm. The Folger Shakespeare Library’s Assistant Curator of Collections Elizabeth DeBold joined Stephanie Burt and Taylor Johnson to discuss these rare items. Poet Oliver Baez Bendorf moderated a short conversation with Johnson and Burt at the end of the reading with questions taken from viewers using the question-and-answer feature in Zoom.

Stephanie Burt

Stephanie Burt.

Stephanie Burt is a poet, literary critic, and professor with eight published books, including two critical books on poetry and three poetry collections. Her essay collection, Close Calls with Nonsense, was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She is a 2016 Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, and her most recent poetry collection is Advice from the Lights: Poems published by Graywolf.

Burt has read for the O.B. Hardison Poetry series previously, on October 20, 2014.

Taylor Johnson

Taylor Johnson.

Taylor Johnson received the Larry Neal Writers' Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in 2017. Their first book, Inheritance, was published November 2020 by Alice James Books.

Reviews and excerpts

From "Virginia Slim"

…How else am I

supposed to enter the

world if I’d already left

once: as myth: not set

apart: but as a small

shelled thing: low:

toiling in the dirt:


every bit of black to


Excerpt from "Virginia Slim" from Inheritance by Taylor Johnson, Alice James Books, 2020.