Why We Write: Los Angeles

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Poets & Writers Magazine editor in chief Kevin Larimer leads a conversation with poet Harryette Mullen, fiction writers Ron Carlson and Charles Yu, and Los Angeles Times columnist and author Meghan Daum about the personal, political, and professional rewards, ramifications, and reasons for doing what we do.

Poets & Writers Live: Los Angeles Highlights

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The inaugural Poets & Writers Live event, held at Beyond Baroque in Los Angeles on January 11, 2014, featured advice and inspiration from authors Harryette Mullen, Ron Carlson, Dani Shapiro, Terry Wolverton, Lauren Humphrey, Meghan Daum, Charles Yu, and others. 

Ana Blandiana

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Ana Blandiana reads the poems “Prayer,” “Above the River,” “A Transparent Being,” and “Country of Unease” from her collection My Native Land A4 (Bloodaxe Books, 2014) in Romanian with Viorica Patea, who translated the collection with Paul Scott Derrick, reading the English translation. Blandiana is the recipient of the Griffin Trust for Excellence in Poetry’s twelfth Lifetime Recognition Award.

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An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell

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“I decided that she was a cross between Tina Turner and maybe Walter Benjamin or Baudelaire, perhaps a little bit of Angela Carter’s wonderful aerialist in Nights at the Circus...” Deborah Levy, whose novel Hot Milk (Bloomsbury, 2016) is shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker Prize, reads from and talks about her inspiration and the characters in her dramatic verse book, An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell (And Other Stories, 2014).

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Dear White America

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“I’ve left Earth in search of darker planets, a solar system that revolves too near a black hole. I have left a patch of dirt in my place and many of you won’t know the difference...” Danez Smith reads his poem “Dear White America” at the 2014 Rustbelt Regional Poetry Festival. Smith’s second collection, Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), is longlisted for the 2017 National Book Award in poetry.

Celeste Ng

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Celeste Ng talks with Amazon senior editor Chris Schluep about becoming a mother while writing her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You (Penguin Press, 2014), elements of story inspiration, and the setting of her second novel, Little Fires Everywhere (Penguin Press, 2017). Ng’s second novel is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Juan Felipe Herrera on the Art of Revision

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“You’re gonna pierce the page and you’re gonna pierce infinity.” U.S. poet laureate Juan Felipe Herrera discusses the art of revision at Poets Forum 2014 with Naomi Shihab Nye and C. D. Wright, as part of the Academy of American Poets’ Chancellors Conversations.

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