Chris Abani: When Strangers Meet

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“The only time I meet a stranger is when I confront myself. Any time I meet new people, they’re not strangers.” Poet, novelist, and essayist Chris Abani tells a story about meeting strangers in the airport, learning from their kindness, and how these experiences have influenced his writing for this 2016 House of SpeakEasy event at Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater in New York.

Álvaro Enrigue’s Advice to the Young

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“Pursue it as if it were possible,” says Álvaro Enrigue about advice for young writers in this 2017 interview filmed at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk, Denmark. “I’m a kid from Colonia Nápoles in Mexico City…there was no way of making an equation that would start with my childhood and finish with me talking to you in Louisiana about my work, in Denmark, as a writer.” Enrigue is the author of several novels, including Sudden Death (Riverhead Books, 2016), his first to be translated into English.

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ENCLAVE Series With Peter Gizzi

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In this installment of ENCLAVE, a virtual reading series curated by Rae Armantrout and Jeanne Heuving, poet Peter Gizzi reads from his collections Archeophonics (Wesleyan University Press, 2016) and Now It’s Dark (Wesleyan University Press, 2020), which is featured in Page One in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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A Political Poetry With Solmaz Sharif

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“It matters what you call a thing,” reads Solmaz Sharif from her poem “Look” in this 2017 reading and conversation with Evie Shockley for the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. For more Sharif, read “Shadows of Words: Our Twelfth Annual Look at Debut Poets” from the January/February 2017 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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A Short Story of Falling

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“What I love about water is that it spends its whole time falling,” begins Alice Oswald as she introduces her poem “A Short Story of Falling” from her 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize–winning collection, Falling Awake (Jonathan Cape, 2016). “It’s always, apparently, trying to find the lowest place possible and when it finds the lowest place possible, it lies there wide awake.”

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LIT With Safiya Sinclair

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“The tepid / American I sank with my old shoes over the jaws of the Atlantic / could never understand the hard clamor of my laugh…” Safiya Sinclair reads from her debut collection, Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press, 2016), and speaks about poetry as the “language of an impolite body” in this episode of LIT hosted by Yahdon Israel.

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Boys by Rowan Ricardo Phillips

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“We’d cut school like knives through butter, the three / Of us — Peter, Stephen and I — to play / Just about all the music we knew…” In this video, award–winning poet Rowan Ricardo Phillips reads “Boys” from his second collection of poems, Heaven (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015), which was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2016. 

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Greenidge Sisters

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In this Open Studio With Jared Bowen interview, playwright Kirsten Greenidge; Kerri Greenidge, historian and author of Black Radical: The Life and Times of William Monroe Trotter (Liveright, 2019); and Kaitlyn Greenidge, author of We Love You, Charlie Freeman (Algonquin Books, 2016) talk about growing up together as sisters and how their work often overlaps.

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