W. S. Merwin

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“Look at the old house in the dawn rain / all the flowers are forms of water…” In this excerpt from the documentary Even Though the Whole World Is Burning, the late W. S. Merwin reads his poem “Rain Light.” Merwin’s final collection, Garden Time (Copper Canyon Press, 2016), was featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Khaled Khalifa

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Khaled Khalifa talks with Renée Ragin at Duke University about questions of Arab and Syrian identity, the relationship between his writing and war, and themes of death and difficult journeys in his fifth novel, Death Is Hard Work (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019). The novel, translated from the Arabic by Leri Price, is featured in Page One in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Jeanette Winterson’s Holiday Recommendations

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“This is a great one to give—it’s the sort of thing you can keep in the loo at Christmas when you’ve eaten too much food.” Jeanette Winterson reveals some of her favorite books for the holiday season, including The Trouble With Women (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2016) by cartoonist Jacky Fleming, Tara Westover’s Educated: A Memoir (Random House, 2018), and her own collection of winter tales and festive recipes, Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days (Grove Press, 2016).

How to Keep Writing

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“Be very patient, even patient with chaos,” Lydia Davis advises writers in this compilation of interviews by Louisiana Channel. Seasoned writers from around the world, including Alaa Al Aswany, Umberto Eco, Richard Ford, Patti Smith, and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, also offer their thoughts on how to keep writing.

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude

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“I know I can be long-winded sometimes. / I want so badly to rub the sponge of gratitude / over every last thing...” Ross Gay reads his poem “Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude” from his collection of the same name, published in 2015 by University of Pittsburgh Press, at the 2016 Split This Rock Poetry Festival in Washington, D.C.

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Laura van den Berg on Writing Workshops

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“It was the first time that literature felt personal, relevant, urgent....” Laura van den Berg talks about the transformative experience of reading contemporary fiction and short stories during her first writing workshop in college. Van den Berg’s second novel, The Third Hotel (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2018), is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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