Summer Morning

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“I know all the dark places / Where the sun hasn’t reached yet...” Charles Simic reads his poem “Summer Morning,” which he says needs no introduction, in this video for an installment of Poetry Breaks, a series created by Leita Luchetti in the 1980s and 1990s presented in partnership with the Academy of American Poets. The Pulitzer Prize–winning poet died at the age of eighty-four on January 9, 2023.

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Henri Cole Reads at the Hammer Museum

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“Staggering out of a black-red peony, / where you have been hiding all morning / from the frigid air, you regard me smearing / jam on dark toast.” Henri Cole reads his poem “Face of the Bee” and other selections from his latest poetry collection, Blizzard (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2020), in this recent reading at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.

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Orpheus by Safia Elhillo

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“For a time I believed / myself in love with Orpheus, which only meant I loved // what I could make if I were free from what happened to my body.” In this reading from the 2022 Poetry International Festival in Rotterdam, Safia Elhillo reads “Orpheus” from her poetry collection Girls That Never Die (One World, 2022). For more from Elhillo, read her installment of our Ten Questions series.

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2022 National Book Award Finalists Reading

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In this video, finalists for the 2022 National Book Award in poetry, fiction, nonfiction, translated literature, and young people’s literature read excerpts from their honored works. The event, hosted by writer Saraciea J. Fennell, is presented in partnership with the National Book Foundation and the NYU Creative Writing Program.

Carmen Maria Machado at the Kelly Writers House

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“You were not always just a You. I was whole—a symbiotic relationship between my best and worst parts—and then, in one sense of the definition, I was cleaved.” In this reading at the Kelly Writers House in 2020, Carmen Maria Machado reads from her debut memoir, In the Dream House (Graywolf Press, 2019).

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