Patricia Spears Jones

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“Don’t be afraid. Someone has walked this way before, all the world’s music in her hands.” Patricia Spears Jones reads “Discovering America Again” by Lorenzo Thomas, her own poem “The Birth of Rhythm and Blues,” and talks about what it means to be a literary citizen. This video, part of the P.O.P. series, was shot and edited by Rachel Eliza Griffiths in partnership with the Academy of American Poets. Spears Jones is the eleventh winner of the Jackson Poetry Prize.

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Will Alexander

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"[Los Angeles is] part of an international community. The city has allowed tremendous growth for me, in terms of its cultural outlets, from libraries, great cinema, dance, orchestra, interesting mixes of people.... I see myself as a global citizen and a global writer." Will Alexander, winner of the 2016 Jackson Poetry Prize awarded annually by Poets & Writers, talks about the influence the city of Los Angeles has had on his relationship with language and writing.

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Claudia Rankine

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The recipient of this year's Jackson Poetry Prize, Claudia Rankine, was honored last night at a reception hosted by Poets & Writers, Inc. In this video from the Split This Rock Poetry Festival, Rankine reads from her book Citizen: An American Lyric, forthcoming from Graywolf Press in October. "And you are not the guy but still you fit the description because there is only one guy who is always the guy fitting the description."

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Claudia Rankine

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In “Situation 5,” a short film by Jackson Prize–winning poet Claudia Rankine and photographer John Lucas, a history of racial oppression forms the backdrop to a lyrical meditation on racism, imprisonment, and identity. “My brothers are notorious. Though they have not been to prison, they have been imprisoned. But the prison is not a place you enter. It is no place.”

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