Margaret Renkl

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“I was writing just about the experience of grief and life amidst dying, but...then I wanted to tell stories that made my parents alive, that brought them back to life and made it clear why this was such a loss.” In this A Word on Words interview, Margaret Renkl talks about her debut essay collection, Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss (Milkweed Editions, 2019), which is featured in “5 Over 50” in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Emilie Pine

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Emilie Pine talks about fear of failure, connecting to readers, being open about grief and loss, and the power of storytelling with Ireland Unfiltered’s Dion Fanning. Pine’s debut essay collection, Notes to Self (Dial Press, 2019), is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Delighting in Independent Bookstores

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“A good bookstore is your friend.” Ross Gay reads his essay about his love for independent bookstores and how they are a “laboratory for our coming together” at one of his favorite places, the Book Corner in Bloomington, Indiana. Gay’s essay collection, The Book of Delights, is forthcoming from Algonquin Books in February.

The Illusion of Safety/The Safety of Illusion

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Roxane Gay reads part of “The Illusion of Safety/The Safety of Illusion” from her essay collection, Bad Feminist (Harper Perennial, 2014). Her debut memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (Harper, 2017), is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Love and Shame and Love

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“Upon moments like these, time never stops gnawing its little beaver teeth and the dialogue never stops even after we stop listening.” In this 2012 video, Peter Orner reads from his novel Love and Shame and Love (Little, Brown, 2011). His first essay collection, Am I Alone Here? Notes on Living to Read and Reading to Live (Catapult, 2016), is featured in Page One in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

James Wood

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"Home swells as a sentiment because it has disappeared as an achievable reality." James Wood, literary critic for the New Yorker and a professor of practice at Harvard University, reads from The Nearest Thing to Life, a collection of essays from the Mandel Lectures in Humanities, a book series published by Brandeis University Press.

Darryl Pinckney

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Darryl Pinckney, author of the new novel, Black Deutschland (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016), reads from "In Ferguson," an essay he wrote for the New York Review of Books​ on ​witnessing the demonstrations occurring in​ Ferguson, Missouri,​ ​in November 2014.​

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