Hiromi Itō

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“I’m always watching the moon and the moonlight. But I didn’t write about it.” Japanese poet Hiromi Itō talks about how the moon is linked to the menstrual cycle and her decision to write about menstruation, and reads from her poem “Vinegar, Oil” from Killing Kanoko (Action Books, 2009), translated from the Japanese by Jeffrey Angles, at the 2018 Louisiana Literature festival in Denmark.

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Erica Dawson

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“The other night, somebody asked, is Black poetry back? Like, we penned one verse, and it got lost at sea or slipped inside a big old crack in the big old earth, and then re-returned when everything was chaos.” In this PBS NewsHour video, Erica Dawson reads a poem about her experience while on tour for her poetry collection When Rap Spoke Straight to God (Tin House Books, 2018).

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Ingrid Rojas Contreras

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“I was very lucky to have family members who are all very outgoing and love to hear people talk about them.” On Late Night With Seth Meyers, Ingrid Rojas Contreras talks about how her family and childhood in Colombia inspired her first novel, Fruit of the Drunken Tree (Doubleday, 2018).

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Marci Vogel

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“I would read out loud and tried to check in my own breath, in my own body how the sentence was feeling and what kind of experience it was giving me as the first reader.” Marci Vogel reads from her books At the Border of Wilshire & Nobody (Howling Bird Press, 2015) and Death and Other Holidays (Melville House, 2018) and discusses her writing process both with poetry and prose in this Poetry.LA interview with Mariano Zaro.

Akwaeke Emezi

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“She wasn’t sure if we were real, but nothing about us felt false.” Akwaeke Emezi, a 2018 National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 honoree nominated by Carmen Maria Machado, reads from their debut novel, Freshwater (Grove Press, 2018). The novel has been longlisted for the 2019 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.

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Les Misérables

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Tom Shankland has directed a new television series adaptation of Les Misérables, Victor Hugo’s classic 1862 historical fiction novel, for Masterpiece on PBS. The cast of characters includes a young working woman Fantine, her daughter Cosette, and police inspector Javert, who chases after fugitive Jean Valjean. Ellie Bamber, Lilly Collins, David Oyelowo, and Dominic West star in the lead roles.

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Angel by Kathleen Flenniken

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“I am hovering over a 1950s America: chrome fins, picnic tables, hydroelectric power.” In this installment of Joseph Fasano’s Unamuno Poem Project, which presents pairings of poem recitations in English and Spanish, Kathleen Flenniken’s poem “Angel” is read by Clarissa Watson in English and Javier O’Donnell reads his translation in Spanish.

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The Burden of Proof

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“In the days since her arrest, Mary Ripley has not slept—ironic, since sleeping is precisely what she was doing on the night her landlady was murdered.” In this short animation, Christina Dalcher narrates her seven-sentence story, “The Burden of Proof.” Dalcher is the author of the debut novel, Vox (Berkley, 2018), which takes place in a dystopian United States where women are only allowed to speak one hundred words per day.

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Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah on Short Stories

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“I like to have a story be just the essential.” Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Friday Black (Mariner Books, 2018), talks about why he enjoys the short story form, writing Black characters, and his connection with his students in this Late Night With Seth Meyers interview. 

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Reyna Grande

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“This story is not just about an immigrant girl making her way through the world, but it’s a story of a girl who is fighting hard for her American dream.” In this video, Reyna Grande discusses her memoir A Dream Called Home (Atria Books, 2018), a sequel to her best-selling memoir The Distance Between Us, and the inspiration she hopes her books will bring to young readers.

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