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A curated selection of videos, including book trailers, brief interviews, and other literary curiosities updated daily.
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The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin recently acquired the archives of Spalding Gray, the author, actor, and monologuist who died in 2004. Among the materials in the collection are notebooks and diaries Gray used while writing his performance pieces, including “Swimming to Cambodia,” the first few minutes of which is seen here.
Brian Dettmer, whose art has appeared in past issues of Poets & Writers Magazine, explains his process of altering used books, including dictionaries, encyclopedias, textbooks, and medical guides, to create intricate three-dimensional works that reveal new interpretations of the original books.
Rainn Wilson, who plays Dwight Shrute on The Office, promotes his new book, Soulpancake (Hyperion). Written with Devon Gundry, Golriz Lucina, and Shabnam Mogharabi, the book aims to inspire readers to examine life's big questions and includes art and commentary by authors and artists.
Poet Jim Daniels wrote the screenplay for Mr. Pleasant, a film about one weekend in the life of Red, a student in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, in the early 1980s. The film will be shown on Friday, November 19, at the Three Rivers Film Festival in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Watch the trailer.
Poet and musician Jim Carroll was putting the finishing touches on a novel when he passed away on September 11, 2009. Next week Viking will publish that novel, The Petting Zoo. This is the music video of The Jim Carroll Band's "People Who Died," which appeared on the soundtrack of the 1995 fim version of his autobiography, The Basketball Diaries, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
In the September/October 2009 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, we published the essay "Taking It to the Streets: My Year in Guerrilla Publishing" in which Mike Heppner writes about his trajectory from commercially published author to small press author to self-published, D-I-Y author. In this video, Heppner describes the final stage of his Man Talking Project: hand-delivering his manuscript to one of his readers.
One of this year's MacArthur fellows, each of whom received $500,000, is Matthew Carter, a master type designer, who during his career has designed over 250 fonts. Most recently Carter has focused on developing easily readable fonts for computer screens, including those for handheld devices.