Past Talks & More | Artist Talks

Saeed Jones

Lambert Family Lecture

Q&A moderated by poet Maggie Smith


Join award-winning author Saeed Jones for conversation and insights about his new collection of poetry, Alive at the End of the World.

Based in Columbus and known for such publications as his memoir How We Fight for Our Lives (2019) and the poetry collection Prelude to Bruise (2014), as well as appearances in the New Yorker and on NPR’s Fresh Air, Jones brings a singular sense of humor, candor, and ferocity to his writing and social commentary. Alive at the End of the World—available from Coffee House Press and in the Wexner Center Store on September 13—explores our collective grief and everyday apocalypses.

A Q&A moderated by Ohio State alumna and Columbus-born poet and essayist Maggie Smith—known for her national bestsellers including Goldenrod (2021)—follows the talk. Can’t make it in person? The event also streams on this page, and online viewers can still participate through the Wex hotline at (614) 813-3416. Get your free ticket today, and we’ll send you more details!

More about the series

Established in 2004 through the generosity of Bill and Sheila Lambert, the Lambert Family Lecture Series invites experts to explore global issues in art and contemporary culture with the community’s diverse audiences, often to illuminate the works on view in our galleries. To date the series has featured an impressive roster of cultural luminaries, including art historians, critics, and curators T. J. Clark, Douglas Crimp, Arthur Danto, Greil Marcus, Diana Widmaier Picasso, Robert Storr, and Lynne Tillman; filmmakers Julia Reichert and John Waters; and visual artists Teju Cole, Carroll Dunham, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Christian Marclay, Josiah McElheny, Taryn Simon, and Luc Tuymans.

Close-up photo of Saeed Jones in front of a backdrop of blue sky, a tree line, and a field . He has short dark hair styled upwards, a goatee, and medium brown skin.

Saeed Jones, image courtesy of the author.

Maggie Smith—who has pale skin, blue eyes, and short brown hair with bangs—smiling in front of a blurred background of greenery.

Maggie Smith, photo: Devon Albeit Photography.

Book cover featuring a person, who is wearing a white helmet and orange jumpsuit, pushing a reflective car in a green field. The title “ALIVE AT THE END OF THE WORLD” is at the top, the word “POEMS” is in the middle, and the author's name “SAEED JONES” is at the bottom, all in pink font.

Alive at the End of the World, image courtesy of Coffee House Press. 

Related Material

More about the speakers

Saeed Jones chevron-down chevron-up

Saeed Jones is the author of the memoir How We Fight for Our Lives, winner of the 2019 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction, and the poetry collection Prelude to Bruise, winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, New York Times, and GQ, among other publications. His second poetry collection, Alive at the End of the World, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press. 

Maggie Smith chevron-down chevron-up

Maggie Smith is the author of several books, including Good Bones and the national bestsellers Goldenrod and Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change. Her memoir, You Could Make This Place Beautiful, will be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in April 2023. Smith’s poems and essays have appeared in the New York Times, New Yorker, Guardian, Paris Review, Tin House, Washington Post, Nation, and Best American Poetry. Smith is on the MFA faculty of the Naslund-Mann Graduate School of Writing at Spalding University and serves as an editor at large for the Kenyon Review. You can find her on social media @MaggieSmithPoet.

The Lambert Family Lecture is made possible by generous support from the Lambert Family Lecture Series Endowment Fund, which promotes dialogue about global issues in art and contemporary culture.

American Electric Power Foundation
Big Lots Foundation

The Ohio State University Office of Outreach & Engagement
Ohio Arts Council
Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation
Martha Holden Jennings Foundation
State Farm

Greater Columbus Arts Council
The Wexner Family
National Endowment for the Arts
Ohio Arts Council
L Brands Foundation
The Columbus Foundation
Nationwide Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Vorys, Sater, Seymour, and Pease

Mike and Paige Crane
Axium Packaging
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
President Kristina M. Johnson and Mrs. Veronica Meinhard
Nancy Kramer
Larry and Donna James
Lisa Barton
Johanna DeStefano
Jones Day
Alex and Renée Shumate


Past Talks & More

Saeed Jones