Poets in Person: Robert Pinsky

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“The art of poetry for me is the art of composing a sequence of vowels, consonants, and sentence sounds that will seem moving, meaningful,” says former U.S. poet laureate Robert Pinsky in this 2014 episode of Cortland Review’s Poets in Person series, in which he discusses his beginnings as a poet and his philosophy behind writing.

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Written By Himself

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“I was born passing / off the problem of the twentieth century: I was born.” In this 2016 video, Gregory Pardlo reads “Written By Himself” from his Pulitzer Prize–winning poetry collection, Digest (Four Way Books, 2014), accompanied by the Finnish jazz combo Hot Heros at the Annikki Poetry Festival in Finland. For a writing prompt inspired by this poem, visit The Time Is Now.

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My Salinger Year

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Joanna Rakoff’s memoir My Salinger Year (Knopf, 2014) has been adapted into a feature film directed by Philippe Falardeau and starring Margaret Qualley and Sigourney Weaver. Set in 1995, an aspiring writer and poet takes a job at a literary agency in New York City that represents the notoriously reclusive J. D. Salinger and handles his fan mail.

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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Just Mercy

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Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Spiegel & Grau, 2014) by Bryan Stevenson, a memoir recounting his experience as a young defense attorney fighting for a death row inmate wrongfully convicted of murder, has been adapted into a feature film. Directed by Destin Daniel Cretton, the legal drama stars Jamie Foxx, Michael B. Jordan, Brie Larson, Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, and Rafe Spall.

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