A Celebration of Karen Tei Yamashita

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“In the last year of her life, my mother Asako spoke more openly of the trauma of the war years and her incarceration at Topaz,” reads Karen Tei Yamashita for this event celebrating her work, hosted by the University of California, Santa Cruz and the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. Yamashita was awarded the 2021 Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation.

Life of a Poet: Ada Limón

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“[The poem] allows for a place for the reader to breathe,” says Ada Limón in this 2019 reading and conversation about her books of poetry with Washington Post book critic Ron Charles, hosted by the Library of Congress. “In that empty space we actually bring ourselves to the page, so that the writer is not the only person experiencing the poem, but the reader is part of that journey.”

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The Poet Is In

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“I had a dream of having poetry at the intersections of New York, where all kinds of people pass through daily,” says Marie Howe, former New York State poet laureate, in this 2015 video about the inspiration for the Poetry in Motion: The Poet Is In festival. The annual National Poetry Month event is hosted by the Poetry Society of America and MTA Arts & Design, and features poems written on request by award-winning poets.

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Jamaica Kincaid on Early Reading

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“My mother thought that if she taught me to read, I would become interested to read my books and leave her alone,” says Jamaica Kincaid about her experience reading as a child and how it influenced her as a writer in this interview from the 2021 Louisiana Literature Festival at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark.

Ours Poetica: Theresa Lola

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“Alzheimer’s patients sing every lyric to their favorite songs, / and this casual act becomes a dance with defiance.” In this video, Theresa Lola reads “Sing With Me and Do Not Die of Thirst” from her debut poetry collection, In Search of Equilibrium (Nine Arches Press, 2019), for Ours Poetica, a series produced by the Poetry Foundation in collaboration with Complexly.

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Vocarium Reading Series: Fanny Howe and John Keene

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In this 2017 event, poet and novelist Fanny Howe reads from her rewritten novel, The Wages (Pressed Wafer Press, 2018), and poet and fiction writer John Keene reads from his story collection, Counternarratives (New Directions, 2015), for the Woodberry Poetry Room’s Vocarium reading series at Harvard University.

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