LIT With Safiya Sinclair

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“The tepid / American I sank with my old shoes over the jaws of the Atlantic / could never understand the hard clamor of my laugh…” Safiya Sinclair reads from her debut collection, Cannibal (University of Nebraska Press, 2016), and speaks about poetry as the “language of an impolite body” in this episode of LIT hosted by Yahdon Israel.

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The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist

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“I worked on the book until I was about halfway done with it before I told anyone about it.” Adrian Tomine talks about his graphic memoir, The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Cartoonist (Drawn and Quarterly, 2020), and how he was able to revert to his childhood version of making comics for his own amusement in this virtual Politics & Prose Bookstore event with critic Jason Zinoman. For more Tomine, read his answers to our Ten Questions.

Elif Shafak on Diverse Reading Lists

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“If we only read the same type of authors all our lives it’s like you’re only hearing one thread, one voice.” In this video from the 2019 Louisiana Literature festival, Elif Shafak talks about reading the same books over and over again as a child, and why it’s more inspiring to read “from East and West, fiction and nonfiction.”

In the Land of Good Living

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“The deal with Florida is the charlatans and lunatics and Snapchat-famous plastic surgeons. It is the Ponzi schemes, the byzantine corruption, the evangelical fervor and the consenting-adult depravity....” In this Books & Books virtual event, Kent Russell reads from his memoir, In the Land of Good Living (Knopf, 2020), and discusses Florida and his writing experience with author and sibling Karen Russell. In the Land of Good Living is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Normal People Cast Q&A

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“It always feels to me…all the way through writing a project, that the characters are actually real people and my job is to do justice to them,” says Sally Rooney about writing and adapting the characters of her novel Normal People (Faber & Faber, 2018) to the screen for the BBC/Hulu television series in this Waterstones interview with director Lenny Abrahamson and actors Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal.

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My Meteorite

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“The most astonishing thing to happen in the almost 14 billion years since the birth of the cosmos is that ordinary, apparentle inert matter, has—by its self-organizing capacity (or, autopoesis)—become conscious.” Harry Dodge reads from his debut book, My Meteorite: Or, Without the Random There Can Be No New Thing (Penguin Books, 2020), and discusses its themes in a conversation with Maggie Nelson in their Los Angeles home.

Octavia E. Butler

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In this video from Open Road Media, authors Samuel R. Delany and N. K. Jemisin and literary agent Merrilee Heifetz speak about the late Octavia E. Butler, who in 1995 became the first science fiction writer to win a “Genius” grant from the MacArthur Foundation. “Her stories really weren’t about aliens.... they were about people,” says Jemisin.

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New Waves

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“It’s a novel about how grief makes people hilariously selfish, especially when the internet is involved,” says Kevin Nguyen about his debut novel, New Waves (One World, 2020), in this first episode of Literary Hub’s Sheltering video series hosted by Maris Kreizman. Nguyen also talks about how he’s been spending his time cooking and watching television during the coronavirus pandemic.

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An Interview With Wanda Coleman

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“It was almost effortless. It was an amazing experience because it was as though the poems were writing me.” In this Poetry.LA interview from 2013, the late Wanda Coleman speaks about the moment she felt like a poet, her career as a soap opera writer, and how she finds enjoyment in writing. Wicked Enchantment: Selected Poems (Black Sparrow Press, 2020), a new collection of Coleman’s poetry edited by Joshua Bodwell and Terrance Hayes, is featured in Page One in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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