Kayo Chingonyi

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“I think something like garage or grime or rap, hip-hop, appeals to me because they’re very metrical, rhyme-based forms.” Zambian British poet Kayo Chingonyi talks about his path to poetry, his interests and influences, and internationalism and Anglophone literature for Writers’ Centre Norwich. Chingonyi won the 2018 International Dylan Thomas Prize for his debut poetry collection, Kumukanda (Chatto & Windus, 2017).

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Jenny Zhang

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At the Waterstones bookstore in London, Jenny Zhang talks about several books that have significantly influenced her writing: Philip Roth’s Portnoy’s Complaint (Random House, 1969), George Saunders’s Pastoralia (Riverhead Books, 2000), and Roddy Doyle’s Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha (Penguin Books, 1993). Zhang’s first short story collection, Sour Heart (Lenny, 2017), won the 2018 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction.

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Flights by Olga Tokarczuk Wins

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“It sings, it bubbles…it would enrich anybody’s life to read it.” Tim Martin and the panel of judges for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize discuss and praise this year’s winner, Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017) by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft. Tokarczuk is the first Polish writer to win the Man Booker International Prize. 

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Behind Book Covers

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“It’s going to be the first thing someone lays their eyes on before they read it.” Jaya Miceli, art director at Scribner, discusses her love of books covers and how the jacket designs were created for several popular novels, such as Rachel Lyon’s Self-Portrait With Boy and Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied Sing.

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Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin

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“I’d like us not to be resigned but to be rebellious—I want to see science fiction step over the old walls and head right into the next wall and start to break it down too.” Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin is a crowdfunded documentary directed by Arwen Curry, who was able to collaborate with the late author before her death. The film features interviews with Le Guin, as well as authors including Margaret Atwood, Michael Chabon, Neil Gaiman, and Theodora Goss.

Oceanic

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“This brown girl from Chicago also loves the outdoors.” In the book trailer for her fourth poetry collection, Oceanic (Copper Canyon Press, 2018), Aimee Nezhukumatathil describes her motivation for writing and her passion for the natural world. Her illustrated collection of nature essays, World of Wonder, is forthcoming from Milkweed Editions.

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Luljeta Lleshanaku

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Luljeta Lleshanaku reads from her collection Haywire: New & Selected Poems (Bloodaxe Books, 2011) in English translation and in the original Albanian, and talks about how history, politics, and religion have informed her writing. Lleshanaku’s new collection, Negative Space (New Directions, 2018), translated from the Albanian by Ani Gjika, is featured in Page One in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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The Ayes Have It

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What are you? Where are you from? / I say, California, / but that’s not what they are looking for...” This Motionpoems film is an adaptation of Tiana Clark’s poem “The Ayes Have It,” directed by Savanah Leaf and narrated by Malina Tirrell. Clark is the author of I Can’t Talk About the Trees Without the Blood (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018).

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