Inaugural Poet Amanda Gorman

Caption: 

“Poetry is an art form, but, to me, it’s also a weapon, it’s also an instrument. It’s the ability to make ideas that have been known, felt and said.” In this PBS NewsHour interview, Amanda Gorman speaks with Jeffrey Brown about her love of poetry and the writing process for her poem for this year’s presidential inauguration. Gorman is the nation’s first youth poet laureate and won a Barnes & Noble Writers for Writers Award from Poets & Writers in 2020.

Genre: 

W. S. Merwin on Writing Poems and Planting Trees

Caption: 

“It would be silly to waste time daydreaming about, if only I were twenty years old again. It’s more interesting to figure out, how do I see the world now.” In this 2015 PBS NewsHour video, the late W. S. Merwin reflects on growing old and writing poems on the three acres of land he purchased in the late 1970s, now known as the Merwin Conservancy, an arts and ecology organization located on the island of Maui.

Genre: 

Natasha Trethewey on Memorial Drive

Caption: 

“I think that the body does not let you forget.” In this PBS NewsHour video, Natasha Trethewey reflects on the trauma of her mother’s murder, the subject of her book Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir (Ecco, 2020), and how the events led her to become a poet and writer. Trethewey is interviewed by Joshunda Sanders in “A Poetics of Resilience” in the July/August 2020 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Genre: 

Richard Powers on The Overstory

Caption: 

“We like to think about people and nature as two separate things,” says Richard Powers speaking about his Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Overstory (Norton, 2018), in this PBS NewsHour interview. “This book is precisely a book that challenges that notion of human separatism.” For more Powers, read “A Talk in the Woods: Barbara Kingsolver and Richard Powers” from the November/December 2018 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Genre: 

Notes to A Tribe Called Quest

Caption: 

“It’s a book about a rap group, but, more particularly, a book that is examining how fandom seeps into our lives.” In this PBS NewHour video, Hanif Abdurraqib speaks with Amna Nawaz about his memoir, Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest (University of Texas Press, 2019), and the ways in which music intertwines with identity and the poignant moments in our lives.

Poet Laureate Joy Harjo

Caption: 

“I’m carrying this for America, but for Indigenous peoples in particular,” says Joy Harjo about what it means to be the first Native American to serve as the poet laureate of the United States in this PBS NewsHour interview with Jeffrey Brown, which takes place in her hometown of Tulsa.

Genre: 

Maxine Hong Kingston and Celeste Ng

Caption: 

“Being born a writer, I had to tell, I had to blab these stories out.” Maxine Hong Kingston speaks about her award-winning book, The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts, (Knopf, 1976) and the power of imagination with Jeffrey Brown and Celeste Ng, who chose the book for PBS NewsHour’s Now Read This book club.

The Nickel Boys

Caption: 

“You pick the right tool for the job, and sometimes fantasy is a way to open up a story and convey a universal truth, and sometimes realism.” Colson Whitehead speaks with PBS NewsHour’s Jeffrey Brown about his writing process and the true story that inspired his latest novel, The Nickel Boys, which was published this week by Doubleday.

Genre: 

Esmé Weijun Wang on Taking Compliments

Caption: 

“We can be unrelentingly hard to ourselves, and under such circumstances, it’s a shame to not let the world’s light stick to us when we have the chance.” Esmé Weijun Wang, author of The Collected Schizophrenias (Graywolf Press, 2019), speaks about the importance of prioritizing compliments over criticism in this PBS NewsHour video.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - PBS NewsHour