Lauren Groff

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“A thick drizzle from the sky, like a curtain’s sudden sweeping,” begins Lauren Groff’s third novel, Fates and Furies (Riverhead Books, 2015), which was a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award. In this video, Groff talks about the making of her novel at Politics and Prose Bookstore in Washington D.C.

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Lucie Brock-Broido

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In this 2013 video, Lucie Brock-Broido reads her poem “You Have Harnessed Yourself Ridiculously to This World” from her collection Stay, Illusion (Knopf, 2013), which was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award in poetry. Brock-Broido died on March 6, 2018 at the age of sixty-one.

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Wanda Coleman

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“Do you know what it feels like to wait for your son to come home alive every night?" Award-winning poet Wanda Coleman, often called the “unofficial Poet Laureate of L.A.,” died Friday at the age of sixty-seven. Coleman’s book of poetry Mercurochrome was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001. In this clip from May 2013, she reads at California State University.

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Danez Smith on Surrealism

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“We are surreal beings.... We dream, which is the most surreal thing in the world.” Danez Smith speaks with Lauren K. Alleyne about imagination and language in this video for The Fight & The Fiddle, a publication of the Furious Flower Poetry Center at James Madison University. Smith is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), which was a finalist for the 2017 National Book Award in poetry.

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Paul Monette

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"The struggle for true openness and intimacy is a lifelong struggle for all of us, gay and straight alike," wrote Paul Monette in Last Watch of the Night: Essays Too Personal and Otherwise. In 1992, three years before his death, Monette won the National Book Award in nonfiction for Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story, an autobiography detailing his early life and his struggles with his sexuality. Authors David Groff and Carol Muske-Dukes speak about Monette's literary and cultural legacy in this clip from Open Road Media.

Daniel Borzutzky

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Daniel Borzutzky, who won the 2016 National Book Award in poetry for The Performance of Becoming Human (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016), reads poems from the collection at a reading for the finalists hosted by the New School. Borzutzky’s forthcoming poetry collection, Lake Michigan (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2018), is a series of nineteen lyric poems.

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Ursula K. Le Guin

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“We will need writers who can remember freedom.” In this video, Ursula K. Le Guin accepts the National Book Foundation’s 2014 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Le Guin’s essay collection, No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017), is featured in Page One in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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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