The Lannan Center focuses its efforts on five types of programming: Events, Residencies, Learning, Outreach, and Knowledge.


Organizing readings, seminars, presentations, and performances, the Lannan Center endeavors to make writing as a practice available in various forums to audiences from the Georgetown and Washington, D.C. communities. Annual events sponsored by the Center include the year-long Reading and Talks Series and the Lannan Center Symposium. The Center also collaborates with Georgetown University departments and outside organizations to host events throughout the academic year.


The Center offers a platform not only for staging events, but for carrying out writing, research, and translation projects. It sponsors residencies and visiting positions for writers at Georgetown to pursue their work, hold seminars & readings, teach classes, and otherwise interact with local communities. Most recently, this includes the Lannan Foundation Chair of Poetics and the Caine Lannan Fellowship.

  • Lannan Foundation Chair of Poetics: This is a visiting position at Georgetown, with a tenure of one to three years, to be held by a distinguished writer and public intellectual from the United States or overseas. Providing intellectual steerage during his or her tenure, the Chair of Poetics lends visibility, focusing energy, and imaginative scope to the programs on offer. In any given year, the holder convenes significant public events in accordance with his or her interests; and teaches in the undergraduate or graduate curriculum. The Chair of Poetics is unique among residencies at the Lannan Center in that it is designed to allow the holder to exercise leadership in the Center’s programs, through consultation with other faculty members.
  • Caine Prize Fellowship: The AKO Caine Prize for African Writing is a registered charity whose aim is to bring African writing to a wider audience using its annual literary award. Since 2007, the Lannan Center, the Georgetown University English Department, and the Caine Prize committee have partnered to bring the annual Caine Prize winner to Georgetown for a yearly event hosted by the Lannan Center. During their time here, the Fellow visits classes gives a reading at Georgetown and participates in readings and talks with consortium universities in the Washington, D.C. area. 


Through courses taught by the Lannan Director and Lannan Poetry Chair, fellowships such as the Lannan Fellows Program, the Center fosters critical inquiry among students and faculty into the aesthetic, social, political, and cultural implications of the language arts. It gives pedagogical emphasis to innovative learning and writing, and embraces connections between poetry and other art forms.

  • Lannan Fellows Program: Every year, Lannan Center joins with the Folger Shakespeare Library to offer 15 to 20 Georgetown students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of poetry through the Center and the Folger’s respective reading series; informal seminars and catered dinners with published authors; and receptions at which students can meet and mingle with artists and other figures from the D.C. literary community. Learn more about how to become a Lannan Fellow.


As an endeavor based in Washington, D.C., the Center cultivates relationships between the university and the wider domains of the city, seeking partnerships with community youth organizations on joint projects in arts education and programming. Most recently, the Center has joined up with 826DC to help lead workshops and sponsor internships.


The Lannan Center makes a considerable effort to document, preserve and distribute all materials from our past events to the public in a timely and easily accessible fashion. Recordings of past events and seminars are available on our website, and many of the books published by past guest artists may be found in the Lannan Center (New North 408).