Books for Living

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“For me, books are the things that tell you what you need to do in life and they’re also the things that help you make sense of your life.” Will Schwalbe, author of Books for Living (Knopf, 2016), speaks with PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown about the importance of reading and the books that have taught him life lessons such as Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train (Riverhead Books, 2015), James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room (Dial Press, 1956), and Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon (Knopf, 1977).

Juan Felipe Herrera

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"Dinky planet on a skateboard of dynamite / Oh, what to do..." Juan Felipe Herrera, who has been appointed a second term as poet laureate of the United States, speaks about meeting young poets and reads from his most recent collection, Notes on the Assemblage (City Lights Publishers, 2015), at the 2016 AWP conference and book fair in Los Angeles. 

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Imbolo Mbue in New York City

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In this Louisiana Channel interview, Imbolo Mbue speaks about her love of New York City and the challenges of being black and working-class in America, which she explores in her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers (Random House, 2016). Mbue is one of the debut authors featured in “First Fiction 2016” in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Shara McCallum

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“City of my birth— / if I forget thee, who will I be, singing the Lord’s song in this strange land?” Shara McCallum reads her poem “Psalm for Kingston” at the 2014 Dodge Poetry Festival. McCallum's latest collection, Madwoman (Alice James Books, 2017), is featured in Page One in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Phillip B. Williams

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“The slit would talk back sweet nothing in a red gown.” Phillip B. Williams reads at the Missouri Review’s Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize Reading. Williams, author of Thief in the Interior (Alice James Books, 2016), is featured in “Shadows of Words: Our Twelfth Annual Look at Debut Poets” by Dana Isokawa in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Ari Banias at the Poetry Project

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“How we write is we feel around on the ground with our hands to find what has fallen before us isn’t and must be ours to speak of.” Ari Banias, author of the debut poetry collection, Anybody (Norton, 2016), reads a selection of his poems for the Poetry Project. Banias is featured in “Shadows of Words: Our Twelfth Annual Look at Debut Poets” in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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