2018 Langston Hughes Festival Thurs., November 15 Aaron Davis Hall


Please join us as we celebrate the legacy of Langston Hughes and Hilton Als’ original and essential work.

Als became a staff writer at The New Yorker in 1994 and a theatre critic in 2002. He began contributing to the magazine in 1989, writing pieces for The Talk of the Town.

In 1997, the New York Association of Black Journalists awarded Als first prize in both Magazine Critique/Review and Magazine Arts and Entertainment. He was awarded a Guggenheim for creative writing in 2000 and the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism for 2002-03. In 2016, he received Lambda Literary’s Trustee Award for Excellence in Literature.

In 2009, Als worked with the performer Justin Bond on “Cold Water,” an exhibition of paintings, drawings, and videos by performers, at La MaMa Gallery. In 2010, he co-curated “Self-Consciousness,” at the VeneKlasen/Werner gallery, in Berlin, and published “Justin Bond/Jackie Curtis.” In 2015, he collaborated with the artist Celia Paul to create “Desdemona for Celia by Hilton,” an exhibition for the Metropolitan Opera’s Gallery Met. “Alice Neel, Uptown,” which Als curated in 2017, was selected by three of Artforum’s critics as one of the ten best shows of the year. His accompanying book on the artist was also widely praised.

Als is an associate professor of writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts and has taught at Yale University, Wesleyan, and Smith College. He lives in New York City.



  • 12:30 pm – A Symposium on the work of Hilton Als
    Thelma Golden, Margo Jefferson, Brandon Jacob-Jenkins and City College Professors Boukary Sawadogo and Salar Abdoh discuss the significance of Hilton Als’ work. Moderator: Professor Vanessa K. Valdés of The City College of New York. GET FREE TICKETS!
  • 6:30 pm – Award Ceremony
    Please join us as we present Hilton Als with the Langston Hughes Medal in the culminating event of the Langston Hughes Festival. The evening will include a reading by Hilton Als, a conversation between the honoree and writer Sharifa Rhodes-Pitt, award presentation and a performance by special musical guest Helga Davis. GET FREE TICKETS!