Darkest Matter

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“It turns out that the universe is heavier than our initial calculations—some people call this extra weight dark matter.” This animated short film by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, author of the debut novel, Harmless Like You (Norton, 2017), explores connections between the physical weight of the universe and the human struggle for emotional well-being.

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Leonard Cohen on Moonlight

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“It was very, very bright and the moon was being reflected off of the snow, and I wrote that poem by the ice-reflected moonlight...” Leonard Cohen reads his poem “Two Went to Sleep” and talks about the origins of the lyrics for “Sisters of Mercy” in this Blank on Blank animated video of a 1974 interview with Kathleen Kendel.

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Introduction to Poetry

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“I ask them to take a poem / and hold it up to the light...” This animated video by Milos features Billy Collins narrating his poem “Introduction to Poetry” fromThe Apple That Astonished Paris (University of Arkansas Press, 1996). Collins’s new poetry collection, The Rain in Portugal (Random House, 2016), is featured in Page One in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Sawako Nakayasu

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This short film created by Sawako Nakayasu features the poet and translator reading “6.3.2003” from her poetry collection Texture Notes (Letter Machine Editions, 2010). Nakayasu’s translation from the Japanese of The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa (Canarium Books, 2015) by Chika Sagawa was awarded the 2016 Lucien Stryk Asian Translation Prize.

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Aldous Huxley

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“In this book of mine, Brave New World, I postulated a substance called ‘soma’...I think it’s quite on the cards that we may have drugs which will profoundly change our mental states without doing us any harm.” In this Blank on Blank animated video of a 1958 interview with journalist Mike Wallace, Aldous Huxley speaks about his 1932 novel and his predictions for the future of political leadership, propaganda, and technology.

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