The Conversation

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“You can be honest. This / is Godspeed-less, workaday chatter.” Sandra Beasley reads her poem, “The Conversation,” at the National Archives, which has partnered with the Academy of American Poets to present original poems inspired by the holdings of the National Archives. Read “Mermaids and Matryoshkas: The Secret Life of a Poetic Sequence” by Beasley in the November/December issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Summer Morning

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“I know all the dark places / Where the sun hasn’t reached yet...” In this vintage video for the Poetry Breaks series, Charles Simic reads his poem “Summer Morning,” which he says needs no introduction. The Academy of American Poets has partnered with Leita Luchetti, who produced and directed the series in the late 1980s and early 1990s, to bring back these videos.

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Nicole Sealey Reads for P.O.P.

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Nicole Sealey reads William Shakespeare’s Sonnet 6 and her poem “Even the Gods” from her debut collection, Ordinary Beast (Ecco, 2017), for the P.O.P series, which was was shot and edited by Rachel Eliza Griffiths in partnership with the Academy of American Poets. Sealey discusses poetry and craft with Dawn Lundy Martin in “Vagrant & Vulnerable” in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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R. A. Villanueva

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R. A. Villanueva reads “A Brief for the Defense” by Jack Gilbert and “Mine Will Be a Beautiful Service,” a poem from his collection Reliquaria (University of Nebraska Press, 2014). This video is part of the P.O.P. series, shot and edited by Rachel Eliza Griffiths in partnership with the Academy of American Poets.

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Tracy K. Smith

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“In my own writing, I feel safest when I’m farthest from what I know.” Tracy K. Smith reads “Digging” by Seamus Heney, the poem she feels “invited her to start writing poetry,” and from “My God, It’s Full of Stars,” a poem she wrote about her father. This video, part of the P.O.P. series, was shot and edited by Rachel Eliza Griffiths in partnership with the Academy of American Poets.

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The Brand New Catastrophe

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Mike Scalise reads from his debut memoir, The Brand New Catastrophe (Sarabande Books, 2017), at the Sunday Salon series in New York City. Scalise is featured in “The Unknown Yet Inevitable: Debut Literary Nonfiction of 2017” in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

Frank Bidart’s Half-light

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“Now that your life nears its end / when you turn back what you see / is ruin.” Frank Bidart reads a selection of poems from his book Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017), which is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Frank Bidart Reads Herbert White

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In this 2014 video from the Chicago Humanities Festival, Frank Bidart reads his poem “Herbert White,” which is included in his latest collection, Half-light: Collected Poems 1965–2016 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017). The new book is featured in Page One in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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The Invention of Everything Else

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“Honestly I think that the reason his head was in my brain was because of that hair metal band Tesla...” Samantha Hunt reveals the inspiration behind her second novel, The Invention of Everything Else (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008), which fictionalizes the last days of inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla’s life. Hunt’s first story collection, The Dark Dark (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017), is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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