Jamaica Kincaid

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“...this is how you sweep a corner; this is how you sweep a whole house; this is how you sweep a yard...” In this video from 2014, Jamaica Kincaid reads her short story "Girl," and speaks about her life and writing career as part of Journeys, the twenty-fifth anniversary celebration of the Chicago Humanities Festival.

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The Poetic City That Was

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"It was still the last frontier when I arrived in 1951. It was a wide-open city." Lawrence Ferlinghetti recalls his early days in San Francisco and speaks about the changing life of the city. Ferlinghetti's City Lights Bookstore is featured in "Best-Selling Booksellers" by Lynn Rosen in the September/October issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Imbolo Mbue

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"In a public library, surrounded by all these books, I felt very much at home." Imbolo Mbue talks about her love of public libraries, reading Toni Morrison's 1977 novel, Song of Solomon, for the first time, and her experience writing her debut novel, Behold the Dreamers (Random House, 2016). Read more about Mbue in "First Fiction 2016" in the July/August issue of Poets & Writers Magazine and listen to her read from her debut novel on Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast.

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Will Alexander

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"[Los Angeles is] part of an international community. The city has allowed tremendous growth for me, in terms of its cultural outlets, from libraries, great cinema, dance, orchestra, interesting mixes of people.... I see myself as a global citizen and a global writer." Will Alexander, winner of the 2016 Jackson Poetry Prize awarded annually by Poets & Writers, talks about the influence the city of Los Angeles has had on his relationship with language and writing.

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The Fishermen

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"I want to be able to have some impact on the Nigerian youth, and I want to be able to go back home and do something inspiring..." Chigozie Obioma talks about the response to his debut novel, The Fishermen (Little, Brown, 2015), which was shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize and won the 2016 Los Angeles Times Book Prize/Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction.

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Lauren Redniss

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Lauren Redniss gives a TEDx Talk about the process of trial, error, and transforming mistakes that went into the creation of her second book, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout (It Books, 2010). Redniss was awarded the 2016 PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award for her latest book, Thunder & Lightning: Weather Past, Present, Future (Random House, 2015).

Jhumpa Lahiri and Ann Goldstein

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Jhumpa Lahiri talks with Ann Goldstein, translator of Elena Ferrante's novels, about Ferrante, literature, translation, and writing at the Center for Jewish History. Lahiri, who is featured in the the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, has a new memoir, In Other Words (Knopf, 2016), which is translated from the Italian by Goldstein. For more from Lahiri and Goldstein, listen to the latest episode of Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast.

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