Roxane Gay Reads From Hunger

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“I’ve always found that the things I find the most intimidating end up being the most intellectually satisfying.” At the Louisiana Literature Festival in 2019, Roxane Gay speaks about what moved her to write Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (Harper, 2017), and begins her reading with a piece about loving Mister Rogers.

Mahogany L. Browne Reads Ntozake Shange

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“Whatever shall i do with my dead / my tombs & mausoleums / these potted plants tended by strangers...” Mahogany L. Browne reads “for my dead & loved ones” and “Blood Rhythms - Blood Currents - Black N’ Blue Stylin’” by Ntozake Shange, and her own poem “Black Girl Magic” at a tribute for Shange at New York City’s 92nd Street Y.

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Tsunami Rising

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“Black women are crafting a collective response / to centuries of being under everybody’s water / We are a rising tsunami of fury come back / to take back what was carried away/without consent....” Staceyann Chin reads “Tsunami Rising” from her debut poetry collection, Crossfire: A Litany for Survival (Haymarket Books, 2019), for the Unbound series in Brooklyn, copresented by BAM and Greenlight Bookstore.

The Year of Blue Water Reading

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In this Asian American Writers’ Workshop video, Yanyi celebrates the launch of his debut collection, The Year of Blue Water (Yale University Press, 2019), with readings by poets Wo Chan, Erica Hunt, and Monica Youn. Yanyi is featured in “Poetic Lenses: Our Fifteenth Annual Look at Debut Poetry” in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Ben Okri

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“In the silence of the house with the rain falling all around me—and the sound of African rain is very unique unto itself—I did two things: I picked up a piece of paper and I drew with great detail and care what was on the mantelpiece. And I finished that, and I took another piece of paper, and I wrote a poem about the rain.” Booker Prize–winning author Ben Okri talks about the life-changing moment when he began writing poetry in this interview from the 2019 Louisiana Literature Festival in Denmark.

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