Hoppy Hour With Samantha Irby

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“Years ago, right after I moved into my last apartment in Chicago, the one I expected to die alone in to the soundtrack of an NCIS marathon, I thought I had a ghost.” In this Loft Literary Center video, one of their recent online events from their annual Wordplay festival (held entirely virtually this year through May 9) features a reading by Samantha Irby from her fourth essay collection, Wow, No Thank You (Vintage, 2020), backdropped with video footage of rabbits.

AAWW at Home: Celeste Ng

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“We would try by any means / To reach the limits of ourselves, to reach beyond ourselves, / To let go the means, to wake.” In the first installment of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s AAWW at Home series in which writers share how they have been spending their time during the coronavirus pandemic, Celeste Ng talks about her current activities and concerns, and reads Muriel Rukeyser’s “Poem” from The Speed of Darkness (Vintage Books, 1968).

2020 International Booker Prize Shortlist

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“I think it’s a brave shortlist—we’ve picked books that are daring, experimental, not at all conventional,” says Valeria Luiselli about the six books selected for the 2020 International Booker Prize shortlist in this video with fellow judges Lucie Campos, Jennifer Croft, Ted Hodgkinson, and Jeet Thayil.

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Hotbed #224

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“Mama was an elevator girl at Montgomery Ward’s in Trenton, New Jersey, summer of 1952...” In this video with poet Alondra Uribe, Nikky Finney reads “Hotbed #224” from her collection Love Child’s Hotbed of Occasional Poetry (TriQuarterly Books, 2020), which is featured in Page One in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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An Interview With Wanda Coleman

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“It was almost effortless. It was an amazing experience because it was as though the poems were writing me.” In this Poetry.LA interview from 2013, the late Wanda Coleman speaks about the moment she felt like a poet, her career as a soap opera writer, and how she finds enjoyment in writing. Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems (Black Sparrow Press, 2020), a new collection of Coleman’s poetry edited by Joshua Bodwell and Terrance Hayes, is featured in Page One in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Afia Atakora

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“For me, the library was an ultimate treat, it was a second home, and it was a place that I could lose myself if I had to, it was an escape.” In this 2019 video, Afia Atakor speaks about how the library inspired her writing career and introduces a crowd of librarians to her debut novel, Conjure Women (Random House, 2020), which is featured in Page One in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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I Have Wasted My Life

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“The shiver underneath / my ruined shirt, the worm / eating of things in the dirt / the dead and the living.” In this 2019 video taken during his residency at Further Troutbeck: The Poetry Society, Justin Phillip Reed reads “I Have Wasted My Life” from his second collection, The Malevolent Volume, out today from Coffee House Press.

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Unorthodox

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This new Netflix miniseries about a woman growing up in a strict Hasidic Judaism sect in Brooklyn who flees her arranged marriage and cuts ties with the community is loosely based on Deborah Feldman’s 2012 memoir, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. The four-episode series is directed by Maria Schrader and stars Shira Haas, Amit Rahav, and Jeff Wilbusch.

Eimear McBride and Discovery

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“It doesn’t interest me to know how a book will end, I have to discover that for myself.” In this video from the National Centre for Writing, Eimear McBride, who won the 2014 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction for her debut novel A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing, speaks about how character and story and the process of discovery are the keys to her writing process.

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