June 2nd, 1989

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“I didn’t have a chance / to say a word before you became / a character in the news...” Khaled Hosseini, Rita Dove, Philip Gourevitch, and Siri Hustvedt read Liu Xia’s poem “June 2nd, 1989” from Empty Chairs (Graywolf Press, 2015), translated from the Chinese by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern. PEN America and Amnesty International collaborated on the video series as a call to free Liu Xia from house arrest in Beijing, where she has been held since her late husband, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, was imprisoned in 2009.

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Rita Dove

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Rita Dove reads her poem "American Smooth" at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in 2010. Her new book, Collected Poems: 1974–2004 (Norton, 2016), which is longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award, is featured in Page One in the May/June issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Rita Dove

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“I always tell my students that the first version of anything that you write is purely personal and probably incomprehensible to anybody else.” In this clip, renowned poet Rita Dove discusses the act of creating a poem and the writer’s relationship to the reader.

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