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A curated selection of videos, including book trailers, brief interviews, and other literary curiosities updated daily.
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In this clip by Seth Weiner, a robot re-enacts the typing of a love letter from Franz Kafka to Felize Bauer, who Kafka met on August 13, 1912. In the letter, which can be found in Letters to Felice (Schocken, 1987), Kafka "makes reference to typing the letter on a typewriter and expresses the impact the new writing device has on his train of thought."
Each year the University of Oregon Libraries hosts an Edible Book Festival featuring examples of edible artwork that "must be made from consumable components and reflect the concept of 'the book' through the use of text, form, or literary inspiration." The next Edible Book Festival will be held on March 31. Check out similar events at Duke, Xavier, the University of Puget Sound, and other schools across the country.
This especially cinematic (and dramatic) book trailer for T. C. Boyle's thirteenth novel, When the Killing's Done, published last week by Viking, was directed by Jamieson Fry. Check out the first lines of this and eleven more new and noteworthy books in this issue's Page One.
As if a pantoum isn't hard enough to write, this poet decided to make a short film to go along with it. The poetic form is composed of a series of quatrains in which the first and third lines of each stanza are repeated as the second and fourth lines of the next. The first and third lines of the last stanza are the second and fourth lines of the penultimate stanza; the second and final lines of the last stanza are the third and first lines of the first stanza. Got that? Now watch this.
On the fifth day of protests at the Wisconsin state capital in Madison, poet Kai Carlson-Wee, a student in the MFA program at the University of Wisconsin, participated in the public filibuster opposing legislation introduced by the state's governor, Scott Walker, that could strip public workers of their collective bargaining rights. On Friday the state Assembly passed the controversial bill; it still has to pass the state Senate.
Fiction writer and frequent Poets & Writers Magazine contributor Benjamin Percy recently spoke with interviewer Max Pearlstein about the importance of place in his novels and short stories, the MFA program at Iowa State University where he teaches, and his attempt, in everything he writes, to thrill his readers.
Lloyd Cole, the former lead singer of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, recently released the music video for his song "Writers Retreat!" from last year's solo album "Broken Record." Listen as Cole croons the following lyrics: "Who did you meet at the writers retreat? / Where did you sleep at the writers retreat? / What did you write at the writers retreat?"
A Man Within, the documentary about Naked Lunch author William S. Burroughs that premieres on the PBS series Independent Lens tonight, explores the late writer's fascination with, among many other things, guns. "Burroughs didn't feel at home unless he had a loaded gun by his side."