The Gypsy Moth Summer

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“The first summer fair of the season, the East Avalon Fair, was a ‘coming out’ party for everyone on the eastern tip of the island.” Julia Fierro reads from a draft of her novel The Gypsy Moth Summer (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), which is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, for the Why There Are Words reading series.

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Life on Mars

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"My interest in science fiction was really based in what now seems like a very kitschy futuristic aesthetic—an image of the future from about forty years ago." Poet Tracy K. Smith discusses how she conducted research for her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Life on Mars (Graywolf Press, 2011). Smith, whose new book, the memoir Ordinary Light, is forthcoming from Knopf, is featured in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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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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Self-Portrait as Mae West Anagram

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“I’m no moaning bluet, mountable / linnet, mumbling nun. I’m / tangible, I’m gin. Able to molt / in toto, to limn.” Paisley Rekdal, who was named the new Utah state poet laureate in May 2017, recites her poem “Self-Portrait as Mae West Anagram” for the Utah Division of Arts and Museums. 

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Patricia Lockwood Reads Jonathan Franzen

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“It had started as a family joke: Dad always orders the mixed grill in restaurants, Dad only wants to go to restaurants with mixed grill on the menu.” Patricia Lockwood, poet and author of the memoir Priestdaddy (Riverhead Books, 2017), performs a dramatic reading of a passage from Jonathan Franzen’s novel The Corrections (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2001) for the literary nonprofit O, Miami.

Remember

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“Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you. / Remember language comes from this.”​ In this video from the Academy of American Poets, Joy Harjo reads the poem “Remember” from her 1983 collection, She Had Some Horses. Harjo is the winner of the 2017 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize and is featured in “Vote of Confidence: The Life-Changing Support of an NEA Fellowship” in the May/June 2017 issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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