The Blaney Lecture: Terrance Hayes

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“Would you agree it’s possible to be both enlightened and in the dark?” For the 2019 Blaney Lecture, an annual lecture on contemporary poetry and poetics created by the Academy of American Poets, Terrance Hayes presents “Survey of an American Century” and reflects on the last century of poetry at the Lillian Vernon Creative Writers House in New York.

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Joshua Bennett on the Spoken Word Tradition

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“Say it. / That every day is a toast / to living. An ode to the way we / made resilience an art...” In this lecture for the Chautauqua Institution, Joshua Bennett reads a selection of his poems and meditates on his father’s life and the history of the spoken word tradition. Bennett speaks about his latest poetry collection, Owed (Penguin Poets, 2020), in an installment of Ten Questions.

Elif Shafak on Diverse Reading Lists

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“If we only read the same type of authors all our lives it’s like you’re only hearing one thread, one voice.” In this video from the 2019 Louisiana Literature festival, Elif Shafak talks about reading the same books over and over again as a child, and why it’s more inspiring to read “from East and West, fiction and nonfiction.”

You Lose Something Every Day

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“It was Dre who once said, / You lose something every day / Your mind on the way to the store / The floor on the way to your mind…” In this Ours Poetica video, Jacqueline Woodson reads “You Lose Something Every Day,” a poem from Willie Perdomo’s collection The Crazy Bunch (Penguin Books, 2019). 

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The Kristen Arnett Show: Hanif Abdurraqib

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On The Kristen Arnett Show based at the Black Mountain Institute and presented by Literary Hub on Instagram Live, Arnett talks about launching the paperback edition of her first novel, Mostly Dead Things (Tin House Books, 2019), and discusses life during the pandemic with special guest Hanif Abdurraqib.

Poets in Space: Jericho Brown

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“We thought / Fingers in dirt meant it was our dirt, learning / Names in heat, in elements classical / Philosophers said could change us.” In this Paris Review video, Jericho Brown reads two poems from his most recent collection, The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press, 2019), for which he received the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Filmed in 2019 in the woods of Decatur, Georgia, “Poets in Space” was directed and produced by Daniel Grossman and Sean Webley in collaboration with the poet Malachi Black.

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Small Days and Nights

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“We are cheating death, all the time, passing one overcrowded town, then another, and another.” This short animated film offers a preview of Tishani Doshi’s novel Small Days and Nights (Bloomsbury Circus, 2019), which is shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize 2020.

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