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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Erika L. Sánchez

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“Every day after school, the factory men yell / mamacita, /​ make noises like sucking /​ mangos.” ​Erika L. Sánchez reads the poem “Hija de la Chingada” from her debut poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion (Graywolf Press, 2017), for the Palabra Pura bilingual reading series. The collection is featured in Page One in the July/August 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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The Illusion of Safety/The Safety of Illusion

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Roxane Gay reads part of “The Illusion of Safety/The Safety of Illusion” from her essay collection, Bad Feminist (Harper Perennial, 2014). Her debut memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body (Harper, 2017), is featured in Page One in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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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