Will Alexander on Intuition

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“[The Congo] is the heartbeat of the world, and it’s never recognized as a central heartbeat,” says Will Alexander about the focus of his most recent collection, Refractive Africa (New Directions, 2021), a finalist for the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in poetry, in this Poetry.LA interview with Douglas Manuel about the intuition he follows for his writing. “I’m not colonized by cognitive expertise,” says Alexander.

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Rita Dove on Playlist for the Apocalypse

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“I still believe that we listen more closely to a whisper than to a shout.” In this PBS NewsHour interview with Jeffrey Brown, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Rita Dove speaks about history, rage, the power of poetry, and her latest collection, Playlist for the Apocalypse (Norton, 2021).

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Graywolf Press Celebrates Natalie Diaz

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“I don’t call it sleep anymore. / I’ll risk losing something new instead,” reads Natalie Diaz from her poem “From the Desire Field” in this Graywolf Press virtual event celebrating her collection Postcolonial Love Poem, for which she won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in poetry.

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Viet Thanh Nguyen on History and Memory

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“We were the unwanted, the unneeded, and the unseen, invisible to all but ourselves,” reads Washington Post’s Robin Givhan from Viet Thanh Nguyen’s latest novel, The Committed (Grove Press, 2021), in this conversation with the Pulitzer Prize–winning author on how history and memory have shaped his life and writing. 

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Toni Morrison on Beloved

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“I am convinced that the more I am well-known, the better known I am, the easier it is for other writers to come along,” says Toni Morrison in this 1987 interview with PBS NewsHour’s Charlayne Hunter-Gault on her success as an author and what inspired her novel Beloved, which won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize in fiction.

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Written By Himself

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“I was born passing / off the problem of the twentieth century: I was born.” In this 2016 video, Gregory Pardlo reads “Written By Himself” from his Pulitzer Prize–winning poetry collection, Digest (Four Way Books, 2014), accompanied by the Finnish jazz combo Hot Heros at the Annikki Poetry Festival in Finland. For a writing prompt inspired by this poem, visit The Time Is Now.

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Poets in Space: Jericho Brown

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“We thought / Fingers in dirt meant it was our dirt, learning / Names in heat, in elements classical / Philosophers said could change us.” In this Paris Review video, Jericho Brown reads two poems from his most recent collection, The Tradition (Copper Canyon Press, 2019), for which he received the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. Filmed in 2019 in the woods of Decatur, Georgia, “Poets in Space” was directed and produced by Daniel Grossman and Sean Webley in collaboration with the poet Malachi Black.

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Richard Powers on The Overstory

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“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.

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Richard Powers and Barbara Kingsolver

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“You don’t need a lot of sensitivity or soul to feel moved by a redwood forest,” says Richard Powers about the origins of his Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, The Overstory (Norton, 2018). In this 92nd Street Y video, Powers joins Barbara Kingsolver, author of the novel Unsheltered (HarperCollins, 2018), for a reading and conversation with Kevin Larimer, editor in chief of Poets & Writers Magazine. The authors were featured in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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