Solmaz Sharif

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“Let it matter what we call a thing. / Let it be the exquisite face for at least 16 seconds. / Let me LOOK at you. / Let me look at you in a light that takes years to get here.” Listen to Solmaz Sharif read the titular poem from her debut poetry collection, Look (Graywolf Press, 2016), which is longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award in Poetry. Sharif is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Imbolo Mbue in New York City

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In this Louisiana Channel interview, Imbolo Mbue speaks about her love of New York City and the challenges of being black and working-class in America, which she explores in her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers (Random House, 2016). Mbue is one of the debut authors featured in “First Fiction 2016” in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Words on Terror

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I feel like I must muzzle myself, / I told my psychiatrist. / ‘So you feel dangerous?’ she said. / Yes. / ‘So you feel like a threat?’ / Yes. / Why was I so surprised to hear it?” At the Asian American Writers' Workshop, Solmaz Sharif reads from her debut poetry collection, Look (Graywolf Press, 2016), which is longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award in poetry. Sharif is joined by poets Rickey Laurentiis, Mariam Ghani, and Cathy Park Hong, who they read her work and their own, and join in a discussion.

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Yaa Gyasi

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“I wanted it to be very clear, all of the ways that slavery has come to leave a lasting legacy on American history, on Ghanaian history, and on many other countries’ histories.” Yaa Gyasi joins host Shad on CBC Radio to speak about exploring slavery and history through the individual characters in her debut novel, Homegoing (Knopf, 2016). Gyasi is featured in "First Fiction 2016" in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine and can be heard in the eighth episode of Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast.

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Jesse Ball

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"The beekeeper paused by his hives. A cloud of bees is missing, he said, to no one in particular. I hope the little creatures aren't up to any mischief." In this video, Jesse Ball reads the poem "Lester, Burma" from his first collection, March Book (Grove Press, 2004). Ball's latest novel, How to Set a Fire and Why (Pantheon, 2016), is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Cynthia Ozick

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“High school changed my life. Suddenly, there was Latin and German, and Silas Marner and The Odyssey.” Cynthia Ozick talks about her childhood, family influences, and the inspiration behind her book, The Shawl (Knopf, 1989). Ozick’s new nonfiction book, Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016), is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Betsy Lerner on How to Get an Agent

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"The best way to find an agent is a referral." For an event at Harvard University, Betsy Lerner, a partner with the literary agency Dunow, Carlson & Lerner, offers essential advice to writers on how to find an agent and get published. "Rock, Paper, Scissors" by Lerner, an essay on being an agent, writer, and editor, is in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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