My Meteorite

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“The most astonishing thing to happen in the almost 14 billion years since the birth of the cosmos is that ordinary, apparentle inert matter, has—by its self-organizing capacity (or, autopoesis)—become conscious.” Harry Dodge reads from his debut book, My Meteorite: Or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing (Penguin Books, 2020), and discusses its themes in a conversation with Maggie Nelson in their Los Angeles home.

Authors Do the Breakfast Club Dance for Volumes Bookcafe

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As part of a fundraising effort to help Chicago independent bookstore Volumes Bookcafe during the coronavirus pandemic shutdown, Rebecca Makkai enlisted over two dozen writers—including Kristen Arnett, Alexander Chee, Garth Greenwell, Andrew Sean Greer, Lauren Groff, Mira Jacob, Mitchell S. Jackson, R. O. Kwon, Victor LaValle, and Susan Orlean—to participate in a collective performance of the dance scene from John Hughes’s classic 1985 high school film, The Breakfast Club.  

Ancient Mariner Big Read

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“It is an ancient Mariner, / And he stoppeth one of three. / ‘By thy long grey beard and glittering eye, / Now wherefore stopp’st thou me?’” Jeremy Irons reads the opening lines of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s 1798 poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” accompanied by Glenn Brown’s oil painting The Shallow End, for the “Ancient Mariner” Big Read, an online audio and visual art project curated and produced by the University of Plymouth with forty readers—including Simon Armitage, Alan Cumming, Willem Dafoe, Olivia Laing, Hilary Mantel, Iggy Pop, Ali Smith, Tilda Swinton, Neil Tennant, and Jeanette Winterson.

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C Pam Zhang

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“I think for art you do kind of have to wait for the inspiration to strike. You have to let all these feelings sort of simmer and build up inside you.” C Pam Zhang, author of How Much of These Hills Is Gold (Riverhead Books, 2020), talks about her writing process and how the characters of her novel pushed her to write their stories in this interview for Late Night With Seth Meyers.

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AAWW at Home: Rowan Hisayo Buchanan

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In this installment of the AAWW at Home series, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of the novel Starling Days (Overlook Press, 2020), talks about how she’s been occupied during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown and reads from Alexander Chee’s essay collection, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel (Mariner Books, 2018). 

PEN to Paper: Jennifer Egan

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In this PEN to Paper series video, PEN America president Jennifer Egan guides viewers through a short writing exercise involving a “word throw,” designed to help writers to free up their minds to the unconscious imagination. The series is part of PEN America’s 2020 World Voices Festival: These Truths, held digitally this year.

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 House Presents: Ed Roberson

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“Looking down from the window / into the bare augur sycamore tree / in the park across the street / the surprise is how full / of red-winged blackbirds it is…” In this Poets House Presents video, Ed Roberson shares new and unpublished poems still in drafts written during the coronavirus pandemic from his home in Chicago. Roberson is the recipient of the 2020 Jackson Poetry Prize, awarded annually by Poets & Writers to an American poet of exceptional talent.

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Rekindled: Oscar Villalon and Lisa Brown

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For the Literary Hub’s Rekindled series, ZYZZYVA magazine editor Oscar Villalon interviews illustrator and cartoonist Lisa Brown about her book Long Story Short: 100 Classic Books in Three Panels (Algonquin Books, 2020), which distills well-known works of literature—including Atonement, BelovedMadame BovaryTwilight, and The Unbearable Lightness of Being—to three-panel comic strips.

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