Upper School Library Hosts Author Laura Taylor Namey

Recently, the Upper School Library hosted its first on-campus author visit since before the start of the pandemic to much fanfare. Librarians Sarah Peters and Alejandra Alfaro invited celebrated young adult author Laura Taylor Namey, writer of A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow and When We Were Them, to speak about her experiences as a writer and her inspirations for her work. The event was complete with catering by beloved Los Angeles-Cuban institution Porto’s, and copies of Laura’s books provided by the library for signing.

The event was co-hosted by students Melody H. ’24 and Emily W. ’25 who prepared questions for Laura, including how to overcome writer’s block and how she got her start in the publishing industry. Laura was extremely generous with the students, even staying after the event, connecting Melody and Emily with fellow writers through Instagram.

“I connected to Laura's books on a really personal level, so meeting her and being able to have a deeper conversation beyond the emotions and connections in the books was really interesting and meaningful to me personally,” said Emily. “It was also such a wonderful experience to learn more about the author world, and I couldn't have asked for better advice!”

In the future, the Upper School Library hopes to invite more authors to campus for student-moderated Q&As and discussions on craft. Taylor Jenkins Reid was scheduled for a campus visit in early 2020, and the library hopes to bring her, and other popular writers to campus.

“I am so excited for the future of author visits,” said Melody. “I can't wait to look into more book festivals and events! I hope that as we are able to bring in more authors, it will inspire others to read more and immerse themselves in the wonderful world of books. I also hope that these events will help Poly to form close connections to authors all around the area.”