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Hettie Jones, "How I Became Hettie Jones"

Tuesday, December 10, 2019, 7 - 8:30pm

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Hettie and her two daughters, Kellie and Lisa. Photography by Carmen Daneshmandi
Hettie and her two daughters, Kellie and Lisa. Photography by Carmen Daneshmandi

Hettie Jones delivers a free, public lecture as part of the Intra-Disciplinary Seminar series. Best known for How I Became Hettie Jones, her memoir of the Beat Scene, Hettie Jones has published 26 books for children and adults, the first in 1971 and the most recent in 2016. Drive, her first poetry collection, won the Poetry Society of America’s Norma Farber Award and was followed by All Told and Doing 70. Jones has also written memoirs for others, including Rita Marley (No Woman No Cry). She has taught poetry, fiction, and memoir in colleges and community settings, and from 1988 until 2002 ran a weekly writing workshop at New York State’s Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. Jones is the former Chair of PEN’s Prison Writing Committee, and currently teaches Activist Literature in the Graduate Writing Program at The New School, a memoir workshop at the 92nd Street Y, and a women’s writing group at the Lower Eastside Girls Club. She is currently finishing Full Tilt, new and selected poems, and Fiction at the Intersection, a story collection. Jones has lived in the East Village since before it was given that name, and has never wanted to move.

The Fall 2019 IDS Lecture Series at The Cooper Union is organized by Leslie Hewitt and Omar Berrada. The IDS Public Lecture Series is part of the Robert Lehman Visiting Artist Program at The Cooper Union. We are grateful for major funding and support from the Robert Lehman Foundation for the series. The IDS Public Lecture Series is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. 

Located in the Frederick P. Rose Auditorium, at 41 Cooper Square (on Third Avenue between 6th and 7th Streets)

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.