The Fire THIS Time: A Reading and Discussion Series about James Baldwin’s Essays

“The Fire THIS Time” 

6 Week Live Virtual Discussion Series Exploring Perspectives on Race in America  

Led By  

Indran Amirthanayagam
Poet, Essayist, Diplomat, and Translator 

Saturdays, 2:00PM – 3:30PM EST: April 17th – May 22, 2021 

There is a one time $10 administration fee to join in the series:

After registering, an email will be sent to you with the Zoom link and syllabus with instructions for reading prior to the first class.

Class size limited. Register by Monday, April 12th to reserve your spot!

No refunds will be given after April 17th.

Purchase James Baldwin’s Collected Essays with a 20% discount from WWBA:

James Baldwin (1924 – 1987) was an American novelist, playwright, essayist, poet, and activist. His essays explore intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in the Western society of the United States during the mid twentieth-century. Baldwin’s essays, novels, short stories, and plays fictionalize fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures. Themes of masculinity, sexuality, race, and class intertwine to create intricate narratives that run parallel with some of the major political movements toward social change in mid-twentieth-century America, such as the civil rights movement and the gay liberation movement.

Indran Amirthanayagam is a Sri Lankan-American poet, diplomat, essayist and translator in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Haitian Creole.

He produced a unique record in 2020 by publishing three new poetry books written in three different languages: The Migrant States (, New York), Sur l’île nostalgique (L’Harmattan, Paris) and Lírica a tiempo (Mesa Redonda, Lima). Amirthanayagam writes in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and Haitian Creole. He has published nineteen poetry collections and recorded a spoken word/music album Rankont Dout. He edits The Beltway Poetry Quarterly ( He helps to curate He writes blogs: He won the Paterson Poetry Prize; received fellowships from The Foundation for the Contemporary Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, The US/Mexico Fund For Culture and the MacDowell Colony. He writes weekly poetry columns for El Acento (in Spanish) and Haiti en Marche (French or Creole). His email: Twitter: @indranmx. Instagram: @Indran1960. Facebook: Indran Amirthanayagam. Amirthanayagam hosts the Poetry Channel on Youtube (


Week 1 Notes Of A Native Son
              Watch: “I Am Not Your Negro” Directed by Raoul Peck (Free on YouTube):
Week 2 Nobody Knows My Name
Week 3 The Fire Next Time
Week 4 No Name In The Street
Week 5 The Devil Finds Work
Week 6 Other Essays
               Watch: “The White Man’s Guilt” created by Library of America:


“The Fire THIS Time” is sponsored by Humanities New York CARES Grant with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the federal CARES act.