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A curated selection of videos, including book trailers, brief interviews, and other literary curiosities updated daily.
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Touch Press's new iPad app, The Sonnets of William Shakespeare, presents all 154 sonnets along with notes, commentary, and interviews with experts, plus captivating peformances by full-throated actors such as Patrick Stewart and, seen here reading Sonnet 130, Stephen Fry.
In the latest video for Electric Literature's Recommended Reading,Luca Dipierro animates and scores a sentence from "The Devil's Treasure" by Mary Gaitskill. The sentence: "Meanwhile, women came flying at him, loving him, swarming like hornets, beautiful with love, drunk with love, near-crazy with love, sick with it, buzzing all around him, looking for the beautiful soul the sensed unerringly."
In this report from the Pulitzer Center, Eliza Griswold explores the art of writing landai poetry in Afghanistan and the importance of these poems to Afghan women. "While in traditional Afghan society women must keep their passions secret, the landai poetry serves as an outlet from their constricted lives."
Performed by Steve Connell and Sekou Andrews, The Word Begins follows two men who discover "the power of words to define love, faith, race, and humanity in America." Directed by Robert Egan, the combination of theater, spoken word, and comedy show is playing at Brooklyn's Hip Hop Theater Festival.
Back in January we posted William Joyce and Branden Oldenburg's animated short film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessermore. Now there's an interactive app that appears to capture all the magic and fascination of that beautiful story "of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor."
Hey, is that Bob Dylan? No, it's Dale Peck summoning his Subterranean Homesick Blues for the trailer for his novel The Garden of Lost and Found, the story of a young man who discovers he's inherited a building in New York City after the death of his mother, forthcoming from Mischief and Mayhem Publishing on August 15.
Wool, a science fiction series self-published last year by Hugh Howey and subsequently acquired by Random House UK for publication next January and optioned for film by director Ridley Scott and producer Steve Zaillian, is "the story of mankind clawing for survival, of mankind on the edge." The folks at Random House UK put together a pretty slick trailer; check it out.
On December 17, 1977, Charles Bernstein read poems from Senses of Responsibility and Shade on Public Access Poetry, a cable television series that aired in 1977 and 1978. While the quality isn't great in places (it was the seventies, after all), this and dozens of other clips offer a unique glimpse of poets such as Bernstein, Alice Notley, Ted Berrigan, Ron Padgett, and Bob Holman thirty-five years ago.
"I saw some shit that needed to be spoken, so I just said it." This and other priceless quotes are featured in this moving collage for an event by the Guild Literary Complex and the University of Chicago celebrating the life and work of pioneering poet Gil Scott-Heron, who passed away last May.