The Banished Immortal: Ha Jin

Wed. Jan 16, 2019 at 6:30pm EST
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All Ages
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Event Description

The National Book Award–winning writer highlights the many lives and legends of one of China’s greatest poets, Li Bai. 

Today, the verses of eighth-century poet Li Bai, also known as Li Po, are an inextricable part of the Chinese language, taught to China’s schoolchildren, recited at parties, and called upon in toasts. In his lifetime during the Tang dynasty, his lines rang out from the lips of everyone from court entertainers to tavern singers, soldiers to writers. And yet, despite the ubiquity of his name and legacy, the life of the poet himself is shrouded in legend.  

Relying on the scarce records of his existence, internationally bestselling author Ha Jin peels back the centuries to journey through Li’s lifetime in The Banished Immortal. From the poet’s days as a student with a penchant for Daoist texts to his life-long interests in swordsmanship and celestial bodies, to his excessive drinking, rumors of manslaughter, and the numerous myths about is death—Ha Jin sheds new light on the poet whose work transcends time. 

For free events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Priority will be given to those who have registered in advance, but registration does not guarantee admission. All registered seats are released shortly before start time, and seats may become available at that time. A standby line will form one hour before the program.

Please send all press inquiries (photo, video, interviews, audio-recording, etc.) at least 24-hours before the day of the program to Sara Beth Joren at For all other inquiries, please contact

ASL interpretation and real-time (CART) captioning available upon request. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance by emailing

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Venue Details
Berger Forum (2nd Floor) The New York Public Library, Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, 42nd Street & 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018
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