iO Tillett Wright

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“I never intended to be an activist, and it just kind of very naturally happened because I saw something that was wrong that I cared enough to do something about it.” In this video for School of Doodle, artist, writer, and activist iO Tillett Wright speaks about his project “Self Evident Truths.” Wright’s debut memoir, Darling Days (Ecco, 2016), is featured in “Nine More New Memoirs” in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

A. A. Gill

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“I just like writing...the subject isn’t the point—it’s how you write, and it’s what you find to say about it, what you can glean from it, what you can dissect from it. That’s the pleasure in writing.” A. A. Gill, whose new memoir Pour Me a Life (Blue Rider Press, 2016), is featured in “Nine More New Memoirs” in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, talks about starting out as an artist, and his work as a journalist, columnist, and novelist.

Terry McDonell

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“I moved around a lot, and every place where I worked had its own narrative.” Author, editor, and screenwriter Terry McDonell talks about working in the publishing industry and the future of magazine publishing during his acceptance speech for the Magazine Editor’s Hall of Fame in 2012. McDonell’s new book, The Accidental Life: An Editor’s Notes on Writing and Writers (Knopf, 2016), is featured in “Nine More New Memoirs” in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez

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“It took me a very long time to learn how to write about Colombia.” At the 2015 National Book Festival, Juan Gabriel Vásquez speaks with PBS NewHour’s Jeffrey Brown about his literary influences and journey to write stories about Colombia, where he was born. Vásquez’s fourth novel, Reputations (Riverhead Books, 2016), is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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William Giraldi

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“What’s usually called inspiration…where that comes from, for me, is literature. The immersion in literature.” In this video, William Giraldi, author of the new memoir, The Hero's Body (Liveright, 2016), speaks about his relationship to the classics he's read and how this informs his writing. Giraldi talks about the craft of memoir with Sven Birkerts, author of The Art of Time in Memoir: Then, Again (Graywolf, 2007), in "Pay Attention" in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Yoko Tawada

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“Like two personalities, they didn’t want to be one. They didn't want to tell one story. I couldn’t put them together.” Following the launch of her twenty-third book, The Naked Eye (New Directions, 2009), Yoko Tawada talks about thinking and writing in both German and Japanese. Tawada’s forthcoming novel, Memoirs of a Polar Bear, is translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky and will be released in November by New Directions.

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White Blight

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“It’s a poem about the experiences of revolutions and war and migration and whiteness and racism, and how these experiences condition the lives of different family members.” Iranian-born Swedish poet Athena Farrokhzad talks about her book, White Blight (Argos Books, 2015), which consists of one long lyric poem with six voices, and reads excerpts in Swedish and English. Translated from the Swedish by Jennifer Hayashida, the book is longlisted for the 2016 National Translation Award.

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Rilke Shake

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“when i have a sleepless night / and nothing lights up / i order a rilke shake / and eat a toasted blake...” Brazilian author and editor Angélica Freitas reads the title poem from her debut collection, Rilke Shake (Phoneme Media, 2015), translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan. The book won the 2016 Best Translated Book Award and is longlisted for the 2016 National Translation Award.

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