An American Renga

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Commissioned by America: Now and Here, an organization founded by Eric Fischl to promote conversation about contemporary America through the arts, the forty-five-minute film "Crossing State Lines: An American Renga" is based on the book of the same name, curated by Bob Holman and Carol Muske-Dukes and published by FSG last April, that features fifty-four poets from across the country in conversation.

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"Lidija Dimkovska Has Made a Bomb of My Eyes"

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Amy King, the author of six poetry books, including I Want to Make You Safe (Litmus Press, 2011), reads her poem "Lidija Dimkovska Has Made a Bomb of My Eyes" in this clip. Ugly Duckling Presse published a translation of Do Not Awaken Them With Hammers by Dimkovska, a poet from Skopje, Macedonia, in 2006.

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Moby-Dick in Pictures

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Inspired by Herman Melville's masterpiece, Ohio artist Matt Kish crafted an original piece of art for each page of Moby-Dick. The resulting collection was published in October by Tin House Books. Take a closer look at Kish's work in this issue's installment of The Written Image as well as the related slideshow, which features eleven images from Moby-Dick in Pictures.

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Blake Butler's Nothing

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In Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia, published last month by Harper Perennial, Blake Butler uses scientific data, historical anecdote, Internet obsession, and figures as diverse as Andy Warhol, John Cage, Jorge Luis Borges, and Stephen King to explore the tension between sleeping and conscious life. This bizarre trailer, directed by Drew Mobley, evokes Butler's own 129-hour bout of insomnia described in the book.

Julie Otsuka on Her National Book Award Nomination

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The author of The Buddha in the Attic, who was profiled by Renée H. Shea in the September/October 2011 issue, talks about her novel's nomination for this year's National Book Award in fiction. "I feel lucky to even have an audience," she says. "A prize is something I never really thought about. Usually my concerns are very local, like 'Can I make it through this sentence or through this paragraph?'"

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