Dawn Lundy Martin on Voice

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“In every single book of poems there are, to me, what feel like really explicit autobiographical moments and gestures.” Dawn Lundy Martin speaks about trying to find a language to express trauma, and the use of voice and narrative in her poetry in this interview with City of Asylum. Martin won the 2019 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for her collection Good Stock Strange Blood (Coffee House Press, 2017).

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Kwame Dawes on Writing

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“I do come back to poets from the Caribbean especially, who gave me permission to be a writer.” In this interview with City of Asylum, Kwame Dawes talks about the writers whose work he revisits, his writing routine, and why he doesn’t use the word “inspiration.” Dawes is the editor in chief of Prairie Schooner and is featured in “Telling a Different Story: How to Cultivate Inclusivity at Literary Magazines” in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Evie Shockley

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“Poetry travels, you don’t need a lot of money to write it, you don’t need a lot of money to print it and distribute it.” Evie Shockley, a finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her third collection, semiautomatic (Wesleyan University Press, 2017), talks with City of Asylum about the accessibility of writing poetry and its long and powerful tradition.

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Yaghoub Yadali

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In this video, Iranian writer Yaghoub Yadali takes a quick tour of a Sriricha hot sauce factory in Irwindale, California, between stops on his reading tour for Rituals of Restlessness (Phoneme Media, 2016), translated by Sara Khalili from the Farsi. It is the debut book in Phoneme Media's City of Asylum series, in partnership with the Pittsburgh nonprofit City of Asylum, which provides sanctuary for exiled writers.

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Manuel Gonzales

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"I didn't know what I was doing, I wasn't very good at it, but I just couldn't stop doing it. I still can't." Manuel Gonzales talks about the writing life in this episode of City of Asylum Pittsburgh's the Writer's Block. Gonzales's debut novel, The Regional Office Is Under Attack! (Riverhead Books, 2016), will be released in April.

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Tim Seibles

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"In this country, poetry is largely ignored." Tim Seibles speaks with City of Asylum Pittsburgh about poetry in the United States, his fascination with how sexuality is expressed, and how he gets into the minds of characters. Seibles's latest collection, Fast Animal (Etruscan Press, 2012), was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award in poetry.

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