Ocean Vuong on War, Sexuality, and Asian American Identity

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“I would sneak out of recess, stay in the library to listen to tapes of famous speeches, and one of them was Martin Luther King,” recounts Ocean Vuong about his childhood in this interview with Michel Martin for Amanpour and Company. “You could hear the static when he was giving the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and I thought...who is this man talking about dreams in a snowstorm?” Vuong was awarded the 2020 Brooklyn Public Library Fiction & Poetry Prize for his novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press, 2019).

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Julie Andrews and Stephen Colbert Exchange Limericks

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In this clip from The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Julie Andrews speaks about her latest book, Home Work: A Memoir of My Hollywood Years (Hachette Books, 2019), which is cowritten by her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton, and exchanges personalized limericks with the host.

Winter Stars by Arthur Sze

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In this Asian American Writers’ Workshop video, Arthur Sze reads and discusses the origin of his poem “Winter Stars,” featured in The Best American Poetry 2020 anthology guest edited by Paisley Rekdal. Sze won the 2019 National Book Award in poetry for his collection Sight Lines (Copper Canyon Press, 2019).

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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.

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