The Power of Words


Power of WordsThe Power of Words: Changing Our World, One Author at a Time is a biennial partnership between The Friends of the Library and Monroe County Public Library to create a visible community of readers by hosting an author writing on important topics of our time—and more specifically, topics that speak to the average citizen's ability to positively change the world in which we live. Join in the community of Monroe County readers sharing and discussing award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson's works. Engage in two months of related programming dedicated to celebrating Black voices, and to bringing awareness to the range of experiences of people of color in the United States and an understanding of common human values that we all share.


Featured Event

Jacqueline WoodsonThe Power of Words: An Evening with Jacqueline Woodson

Hear from internationally acclaimed and award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson, who gives voice to African American life through more than 30 books, ranging from children’s picture books to young adult literature to adult novels. Woodson’s compelling stories focus on race, gender, and sexuality with characters who face challenges in powerful tales that are laced with hope.

Free (tickets are not required)
Saturday, February 5: 7–8:15 PM (doors open at 6:30 PM)
All ages
Buskirk-Chumley Theater
114 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington
Please note that the Buskirk-Chumley Theater requires proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test to attend.

The Power of Words: Gala Author Reception

Enjoy premium reserved seating to the free Power of Words talk, then attend the signing and the opening reception of Our Voice: Celebrating the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards. Champagne and hors d'oeuvres by Chef Lee Rosser will be served and the event will feature jazz music by Eli Sparks and the Sparks Quartet. Tickets are $55. Books will be available to purchase. All proceeds benefit the Power of Words. Purchase your ticket or become a ticket sponsor now.

All ages
Saturday, February 5
8:30–10 PM
Downtown Library Atrium & Gallery (1B/C)


Host or Join a Book Discussion

Celebrate Black Voices and join in the Power of Words by discussing one of Jacqueline Woodson's books with your friends, family, or coworkers. Receive a discussion guide, updates on Power of Words and Our Voice programs and opportunities, and share your book club experience to help us improve our programs and secure future grant funding for more community reading events. Register here.


All Power of Words Programming (View the full program guide flip booklet.)




These programs are made possible through a grant from Indiana Humanities in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities.

These programs are supported by the Paula B. Anderson Endowment for The Power of Words.