Solmaz Sharif

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“Let it matter what we call a thing. / Let it be the exquisite face for at least 16 seconds. / Let me LOOK at you. / Let me look at you in a light that takes years to get here.” Listen to Solmaz Sharif read the titular poem from her debut poetry collection, Look (Graywolf Press, 2016), which is longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award in Poetry. Sharif is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Ocean Vuong

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"Outside, a soldier spits out / his cigarette as footsteps fill the square like stones / fallen from the sky. May all your Christmases be white / as the traffic guard unstraps his holster." Ocean Vuong shares poems from his debut collection, Night Sky With Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press, 2016), and speaks about the oral tradition of his family and his personal ties to the Vietnam War for a series on PBS NewsHour.

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Patrick Rosal

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“Poems engage our imagination such that the confusion is not the end point.” Patrick Rosal, who won the Academy of American Poets’ 2017 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize for his fourth collection, Brooklyn Antediluvian (Persea Books, 2016), talks about the importance of art and reads several of his poems at the Loft Literary Center.

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The Descent of Alette

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“‘In a dark cave, I saw’ ‘an apparition:’ ‘almost real, almost there—’...” In this video, Alice Notley reads from her feminist epic The Descent of Alette (Penguin Books, 1996) at the Lab in San Francisco. The two-night program included a reading of the entire book-length poem and was cosponsored by the Poetry Center at San Francisco State University.

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Angela Peñaredondo

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“Eternity opens with the dark back / of a jazz pianist hunched inside himself...” For the Poetry.LA series, Angela Peñaredondo reads and discusses poems from her debut collection, All Things Lose Thousands of Times, which was the inaugural regional winner of Inlandia Institute’s Hillary Gravendyk Prize.

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Mathias Svalina

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“We were in love with the world / and then we weren’t...” Mathias Svalina reads an excerpt of his poem “From Thank You Terror” at the Silo City Reading Series with music by the band Cages and visual art by Mary Helena Clark. Svalina is the author of The Wine-Dark Sea (Sidebrow Books, 2016) and travels to cities in America by bicycle delivering personalized poems to subscribers of his Dream Delivery Service.

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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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Paul Beatty’s Booker Prize Speech

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“I don’t want to get all dramatic—‘writing saved my life’ or anything like that—but writing’s given me a life.” In this video, Paul Beatty talks about freedom and censorship within writing in his acceptance speech for the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Beatty, who was honored for his novel The Sellout (Oneworld, 2016), is the first American author to win the award.

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