What we have here is an explosion of good writers talking about good writing. You have world-famous writers such as Colm Tóibín and Jhumpa Lahiri; you have big media personalities like Maureen Dowd. And you have celebrities. Linda Ronstadt? Alec Baldwin? Caitlyn Jenner? — Hey, all are welcome. Here is a calendar of just a few of the riches abounding around town.
Monday, 7:30 p.m.: Jason Rekulak. The publisher of Philadelphia's Quirk Books, those addled geniuses who brought you Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. In conversation with Doogie Horner. Free Library, 1901 Vine St. Free. Information: 215-567-4341, freelibrary.org.
Thursday, 7:30 p.m.: Daniel Dennett in conversation with Adam Gopnik. Two bigs. Dennett is the author of From Bacteria to Bach and Back, an attempt to connect the most primordial and advanced forms of life. Gopnik is a longtime writer and editor at the New Yorker and an accomplished essayist. Free Library, 1901 Vine St. Admission: general $15, students $7. Information: 215-567-4341, freelibrary.org.
Feb. 20, 6 p.m.: Maureen Dowd, Ashley Parker, Paul Hendrickson. Three distinguished journalists. Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania, 3805 Locust Walk. Free. R.S.V.P. required. Information: 215-573-9749 or (for R.S.V.P.) email@example.com.
Feb. 21, 6 p.m.: Anna Holmes on Feminist Journalism Now. She's one of the biggest presences in contemporary journalism, with her editorship at both Jezebel and Fusion. Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania, 3805 Locust Walk. Free. R.S.V.P. required. Information: 215-573-9749 or (for R.S.V.P.) firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 1, 7:30 p.m.: Judy Collins — "Cravings: How I Conquered Food." The revered singer speaks to Laura Kovacs about diets, cravings, food addiction, and much more. Free Library, 1901 Vine St. Admission: general $15, students $7. Information: 215-567-4341, freelibrary.org.
March 7, 7:30 p.m.: James Rahn with Diane McKinney-Whetstone and Tom Teti. The founder of the long-running Rittenhouse Writers workshops talks with two writers who were members and about his book on that hallowed institution. Free Library, 1901 Vine St. Free. Information: 215-567-4341, freelibrary.org.
March 10, 8 p.m.: Linda Ronstadt. She sure could sing — and write a little, as her memoir, Simple Dreams, made clear. Part presentation, part interview. Admission: $20 balcony, $25 orchestra. Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall, Philips Memorial Building, West Chester University, 700 S. High St., West Chester. Information: 610-436-1000, wcupa.edu.
March 23, 7 p.m.: Susan Perabo. Already a leading fiction writer, she broke out with her novel The Fall of Lisa Bellow, from which she'll read. Free. Barnes & Noble, Rittenhouse Square, 1805 Walnut St. Information: 215-665-0716, stores.barnesandnoble.com/store/2850.
March 29, 7:30 p.m.: Joy Harjo. Beloved American Indian poet reads from her wonderful career's work. Music Room, Goodheart Hall, Bryn Mawr College, 101 N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr. Free. Information: 610-526-5210, brynmawr.edu/arts/cwprs.html.
March 30, 7 p.m.: Reginald Dwayne Betts. Poet and author of the memoir A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison. Speaker's Corner, Falvey Library, Villanova University, 800 E. Lancaster Ave., Villanova. Information: 610-519-4500, villanova.edu.
March 31, noon: Geoffrey Stone. Author of Sex and the Constitution talks about politics and sex (but will he avoid religion?) with Constitutional Center scholar-in-residence Michael Gerhardt. National Constitution Center, 525 Arch St. Tickets: public $15; teachers and students $12; members free. Information: 215-409-6700 or constitutioncenter.org.
April 3, 6:30 p.m.: Lamont Dixon, Nina Schafer & Autumn McClintock. Our area has a wealth of wondrous poets, and these great ones close out the Monday Poets reading season until the fall. Free. Room 108, Free Library, Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St. Free. Information: 215-567-4341, freelibrary.org.
April 6, 7:30 p.m.: Wendy Lesser. Famed essayist, fiction writer, and editor discusses her new book, You Say to Brick, a biography of famous Philadelphia architect Louis Kahn. Admission: general $15, students $7. Free Library, Parkway Central Library, 1901 Vine St. Information: 215-567-4341, freelibrary.org.
April 10, 4 p.m.: Jhumpa Lahiri. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist (Interpreter of Maladies) and memoirist (In Other Words), now at Princeton, is one of our most prominent writers. Free. Temple University Center for the Humanities Lounge, 10th Floor, Gladfelter Hall (025-45), 1115 Polett Walk. Information: 215-204- 6386, cla.temple.edu/chat/activities.
April 7, 7:30 p.m.: Alec Baldwin. Really? Really? Yes, really. He has a memoir out titled Nevertheless, and wherever he goes, there he is, larger than life and ready to talk about it. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 3260 South St. Admission: $37. (Sold out.) Information: 215-567-4341, freelibrary.org.
April 22, 7 p.m.: Jennifer Haigh. She has a compelling voice and viewpoint. The author of the novels Heat & Light and Faith, and other influential and popular fiction will read from her works. Open Book Bookstore, 7900 High School Rd., Elkins Park. Free. Information: 267-627-4888, openbookphilly.com.
April 24, 6:30 p.m.: Lydia Davis. Renowned fiction writer and translator reads from her works. Kelly Writers House at the University of Pennsylvania, 3805 Locust Walk. Free. R.S.V.P. required. Information: 215-573-9749 or (for R.S.V.P.) email@example.com.
April 28, 7:30 p.m.: Caitlyn Jenner, "The Secrets of My Life." The Olympic gold-medalist and reality-TV star, and the world's most famous transgender person, comes to talk about a memoir unlike anyone else's. Admission: $37. University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Information: 215-567-4341, freelibrary.org.