Theater video tags: PBS NewsHour

Megan Fernandes on Humor and Humiliation

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“Humor is humanizing and it helps us remain in a space of authenticity and lightness.” In this video for PBS NewsHour’s “Brief But Spectacular” series, Megan Fernandes offers her take on humor and humiliation in poetry and reads a poem from her collection I Do Everything I’m Told (Tin House, 2023). For more from Fernandes, read her installment of our Craft Capsule series.

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Viet Thanh Nguyen on Writing His Memoir

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“I had to pretend I was someone else writing about me to gain some distance from myself because part of the subject of this book is how difficult it is for us to know ourselves.” Viet Thanh Nguyen talks about his family’s struggles and traumas, and the challenges of writing his new book, A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, a History, a Memorial (Grove Atlantic, 2023), in this PBS NewsHour interview with Jeffrey Brown. Nguyen’s memoir is featured in Page One in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

John Updike on The Early Stories

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“I saw a writer who was quite new to the craft, but excited by it, and sort of experimental, and there’s a freshness to these stories that surprised me.” In this 2003 PBS NewsHour interview, renowned author and critic John Updike speaks about looking back on his early career and the stories included in his collection The Early Stories: 1953-1975 (Knopf, 2003) with correspondent Jeffrey Brown.

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Ramya Ramana on Forgiveness

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Author, lyricist, and former New York City youth poet laureate Ramya Ramana discusses and reads a piece about forgiveness in this video for PBS Newshour’s “Brief But Spectacular” series. “Forgiveness is a doorway. A garden of curses spill from her lips and the city inside me crumbles. I tell myself, all poison has once been poisoned too,” reads Ramana.

James McBride on the Magic of Fiction

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“I don’t mind failing. Writers, most of what we do fails. And that’s the lesson that writing teaches you.” In this PBS NewsHour interview, author and musician James McBride discusses his musical, various projects, and his new novel, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store (Riverhead Books, 2023), an imagined story of his grandmother set in the 1930s.

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Ricardo Alberto Maldonado on Linguistic Diversity

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“What I’m hoping is, ten years from now, a young Puerto Rican poet on the island or somewhere else knows that this is a possibility, that living a life with and through poetry is an honorable way of engaging with the world.” Ricardo Alberto Maldonado, the first Latino executive director and president of the Academy of American Poets, reflects on why he began writing and the importance of expanding the linguistic diversity of poetry in this PBS NewsHour interview with Jeffrey Brown.

Carl Phillips on What Poetry Offers

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“Speak to me; speak into me, / the wind said, when I woke this morning, Let’s see what happens.” In this PBS NewsHour video, Carl Phillips reads a selection of poems from his Pulitzer Prize–winning collection, Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007-2020 (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2022), and speaks to Jeffrey Brown about the intimacy and power of poetry. Phillips is the recipient of the 2021 Jackson Poetry Prize.

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Nikky Finney on Community and Legacy

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In this PBS NewsHour video, National Book Award-winning poet and professor Nikky Finney discusses the work of social justice activism and preservation in her community of Columbia, South Carolina, which includes opening a cultural arts center honoring her father’s legacy as the first Black chief justice of the South Carolina Supreme Court since the Reconstruction era.

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Kimiko Hahn on Poetry and Dust

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“Nowadays, I lie down in the sunlight / To see my mama moting around / As sympathetic ash. / Yes, one morning whether misty or yellow / I’ll be soot with her.” In this installment of PBS NewsHour’s “Brief But Spectacular” series, Kimiko Hahn reads her poem “A Dusting,” which appears in her collection Foreign Bodies (Norton, 2022), and speaks about the power of poetry to connect us with our loved ones.

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