Ocean Vuong on Grief and Language

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“When a loved one dies, you experience your life in just two days, today, when they are no longer here, and yesterday, the immense, vast yesterday, when they were here,” says Ocean Vuong, author most recently of Time Is a Mother (Penguin Press, 2022), in this installment of PBS NewsHour’s “Brief but Spectacular” arts and culture video series.

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Brief but Spectacular: Tongo Eisen-Martin

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“To walk down the streets in the Bay Area is really to walk through a dystopia,” says San Francisco poet laureate Tongo Eisen-Martin about the rapid gentrification of his native city as he discusses how poetry serves as a tool for revolution in this installment of PBS NewsHour’s “Brief but Spectacular” series.

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Franny Choi

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In this video for PBS NewsHour’s “Brief but Spectacular” series, Franny Choi reads her poem “Introduction to Quantum Theory” and discusses the importance of asking unanswerable questions and imagining alternate realities. Choi is the author of Floating, Brilliant, Gone (Write Bloody Publishing, 2014) and Soft Science, which is forthcoming from Alice James Books in April.

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Nicole Dennis-Benn

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“I wanted their lives, especially our working-class women, to be out there. People need to be seen. I wanted to show that.” Nicole Dennis-Benn talks about the working-class town she grew up in Jamaica and how her experiences inspired her debut novel, Here Comes the Sun (Liveright, 2016), in this video for PBS NewsHour’s “Brief but Spectacular” series.

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Brief but Spectacular With Lisa Lucas

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“They make us more empathetic. They connect us to one another. They make people who are not like us more human.” Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation, shares her love of books and why reading them is so important for PBS NewsHour’s “Brief but Spectacular” series.

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