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The first year of Poets & Writers Live included events in Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, and featured dozens of authors and publishing professionals, including Kay Ryan, Dani Shapiro, Jeff Shotts, Charles D'Ambrosio, Tayari Jones, Danielle Svetcov, Eric Simonoff, Edward Hirsch, Harryette Mullen, Frank Bidart, and many others.
The second year of Poets & Writers Live debuted with an event at the Brava Theater in San Francisco on January 10, 2015, featuring a "poetry keynote" by Pulitzer Prize–winner and former U.S. poet laureate Kay Ryan; conversations about inspiration and the writing life with dozens of authors, including Michelle Tea, David Shields, Wendy Lesser, and D. A. Powell; advice from agent Danielle Svetcov and other publishing professionals; a multigenre, multimedia “inspiration experiment” featuring dancer Sarah Fiske and musician Ben Arthur; and much more.
Former U.S. poet laureate Kay Ryan, author most recently of The Best of It: New and Selected Poems, which received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2010, reads a selection of her work at Poets & Writers Live: Inspiration in San Francisco on January 10, 2015.
Jamie Asaye FitzGerald, director of Poets & Writers’ Readings & Workshops (West), leads a discussion about resources available to writers in San Francisco, the importance of community, and how various literary communities can support one another. Panelists include Stacey Lewis of City Lights Books, Laura Moriarty of Small Press Distribution, Joyce Jenkins of Poetry Flash, Janis Cooke Newman of the Grotto, and Jason Bayani of Kearny Street Workshop.
Publishing veteran Debra Englander gives an overview of the self-publishing process, followed by a conversation with literary agent Ted Weinstein—who represents Keith Devlin, NPR's Math Guy and author of numerous traditionally published books as well as the self-published title Leonardo and Steve: The Young Genius Who Beat Apple to Market by 800 Years—and publicist Amy Packard about the opportunities available to independent authors as well as the challenges they face.
Three writers from the Poets & Writers Live audience read their query letters and receive feedback from editors Jordan Bass of McSweeney's Publishing and Ethan Nosowsky of Graywolf Press, literary agent Danielle Svetcov, and publicist Megan Fishmann of Counterpoint Press.