Public Program

“On Freedom”: A Reading and Conversation with Maggie Nelson

The Menil Collection and Inprint copresent an online reading and conversation with author Maggie Nelson. Nelson will give a brief reading from her new book, On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint (Graywolf Press, 2021), followed by a conversation with the Menil’s Senior Curator, Michelle White. Their discussion will consider Nelson’s most recent book, her work more broadly, and how it intersects with themes explored in the Menil’s current exhibition, Niki de Saint Phalle in the 1960s.

About the author:

Maggie Nelson is the author of several acclaimed books of poetry and prose, most recently On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint (2021). In 2016 she was awarded a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship. She teaches at the University of Southern California and lives in Los Angeles.

About the book:

On Freedom: Four Songs of Care and Constraint is a bold, boundary-pushing, provocative work that explores the notion of freedom through four lenses: art, sex, drugs, and the climate. Drawing on a vast range of critical thinking and writing on the subject, Nelson sidesteps conventional debates over political freedom and instead explores how we might consider, experience, or talk about the concept of “freedom” apart from toxic or tired iterations of the term. Thinking is the ethic that drives the book—what Nelson seeks, ultimately, is for readers to come to their own conclusions about issues that are vital to the very way we move through the world.