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.

The BreakBeat Poets: LatiNext

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In this video, the Root Slam, an open mic and poetry slam in Oakland, hosts an all-Black Latinx virtual reading featuring Elizabeth Acevedo, Jennifer Falú, John Murillo, Julian Randall, and Nicole Sealey to celebrate the publication of The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNext (Haymarket Books, 2020).

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Ayad Akhtar on Homeland Elegies

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“We’ve become enamored with unreality, and I wanted a work to embody that confusion and also to cut through the noise,” says Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright and novelist Ayad Akhtar in this Little, Brown video introducing his forthcoming novel, Homeland Elegies. A Q&A with Akhtar by Amy Gall appears in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Six Feet Apart With Ross Gay

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“When things shut down, I was immediately feeling like what I want to do is make stuff with other people,” says Ross Gay about life during the quarantine in this conversation with artist Arista Alanis for Vermont Studio Center’s Six Feet Apart video series. A Q&A with Aimee Nezhukumatathil by Gay appears in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Yona Harvey on Revisions

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“I write, I free write, I type it in a computer, and then I start over from the beginning and then I add to it.” In this City of Asylum video, Yona Harvey speaks about her revision process, self-censorship, and the difference processes for writing poems, essays, and comic books. Harvey’s second poetry collection, You Don’t Have to Go to Mars for Love (Four Way Books, 2020), is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Underworld Lit

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“The instructor is fairly intelligent and enthusiastic about the material but is unreceptive, even intolerant, of anything that is not a poem or a poem in prose form.” At the 2016 Creative Capital Retreat, Srikanth Reddy reads from his book-length poem Underworld Lit (Wave Books, 2020), which is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Raven Leilani With Samantha Irby

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“I was also writing a story that I wanted to see and that I felt in my own life.” In this Greenlight Bookstore video, Raven Leilani celebrates the launch of her debut novel, Luster (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020), and speaks about the journey to write the book in this conversation with Samantha Irby. Luster is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Alan Chazaro Reads From Piñata Theory

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In this video for the Black Lawrence Press Virtual Reading Series, Alan Chazaro discusses moving to Mexico to write, and reads from his chapbook, This Is Not a Frank Ocean Cover Album (Black Lawrence Press, 2019), and his debut poetry collection, Piñata Theory (Black Lawrence Press, 2020), which is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Barbara Jane Reyes: Letters to a Young Brown Girl

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“I want to say I was waiting but I don’t know what I was waiting for.” In this video, Barbara Jane Reyes reads from her poetry collection Letters to a Young Brown Girl (BOA Editions, 2020) for the Well-RED reading series, presented in partnership with Poetry Center San José at Works/San José community art and performance center. The collection is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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