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


Organizing readings, seminars, presentations, and performances, the Lannan Center endeavors to make writing as practice available in various forums to audiences from the Georgetown and Washington, DC communities. Annual events sponsored by the Center include the year-long Reading and Talks Series and the Lannan Spring Symposium. The Center also partners with Georgetown and outside organizations to host events throughout the academic year, ranging from small experimental poetics laboratories and translation colloquia to panels on social justice and international politics.


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 in Poetics and the Caine Prize Residency.

  • Lannan Foundation Chair in 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 in Poetics lends visibility, focusing energy, and imaginative scope to the programs on offer. In any given year, the holder convenes significant public events in accord with his or her interests; and teaches in the undergraduate or graduate curriculum. The Chair in 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 Residency: The Caine Prize for African Writing is named in memory of the late Sir Michael Caine, former Chairman of Booker plc and was first awarded in 2000. Since 2007, the Lannan Center and the GU English Department have partnered to sponsor a residency at Georgetown for the winner. During their time here, the Caine Prize winner visits classes and gives readings to the public. You can learn more about the Caine Prize.


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 DC literary community. Learn more about how to become a Lannan Fellow.
  • Lannan Graduate Associate: Every year, the Lannan Center selects a first year graduate student to assist with the execution of Lannan events and development of Lannan programs. Learn more about the associate position. If they perform well, graduate associates are often kept on for a second year.


As an endeavor based in Washington, DC, 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 make a considerable effort to document, preserve and distribute and and 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).