San Francisco: Inspiration

The fourth Poets & Writers Live event was held on January 10, 2015, at the Brava Theater Center in San Francisco and featured Joyce Carol Oates, Kay Ryan, D. A. Powell, Wendy Lesser, Yiyun Li, Alejandro Murguía, David Shields, Michelle Tea, Caleb Powell, Keith Devlin, Nick Twemlow, and many other authors, editors, artists, and publishing professionals.

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Former United States poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize–winner Kay Ryan reads a selection of her work during her poetry keynote address at Poets & Writers Live on January 10, 2015.

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The Resources for Writers in San Francisco and the Role of Community panelists, from left: Jamie Fitzgerald of Poets & Writers, Stacey Lewis of City Lights Books, Laura Moriarty of Small Press Distribution, Joyce Jenkins of Poetry Flash, Janis Cooke Newman of the Grotto, and Jason Bayani of Kearny Street Workshop.

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Joyce Jenkins of Poetry Flash (left) talks about the role of community for writers in San Francisco with Janis Cooke Newman of the Grotto.

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Jason Bayani of Kearny Street Workshop (right) talks about the importance of being engaged in a writing community and building relationships by attending reading series and other events.

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The Savvy Self-Publisher panelists, from left: moderator Debra Englander, publicist Amy Packard, and literary agent Ted Weinstein.

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Literary agent Ted Weinstein (right) talks about the rewards and challenges of self-publishing with publicist Amy Packard (left).

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An audience members asks a question during the Savvy Self-Publisher panel at Poets & Writers Live in San Francisco.

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Debra Englander, a freelance editor, writing coach, and former editorial director at John Wiley & Sons, discusses self-publishing at Poets & Writers Live on January 10, 2015.

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The Perfect Pitch panelists, from left: Kevin Larimer of Poets & Writers, literary agent Danielle Svetcov, Ethan Nosowsky of Graywolf Press, Jordan Bass of McSweeney's Publishing, and publicist Megan Fishmann of Counterpoint Press.

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Kevin Larimer, editor in chief of Poets & Writers, introduces the Perfect Pitch panel, during which an agent and other publishing professionals critiqued query letters written by members of the audience.

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Audience member and writer Georgia Kolias reads her query letter as part of the Perfect Pitch Panel. 

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Ethan Nosowsky, editorial director at Graywolf Press, responds to a query letter written by Gerogia Kolias during the Perfect Pitch Panel.

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Publicist Megan Fishman (left) and writer and Poets & Writers Live audience member Georgia Kolias, whose query letter is projected behind them, share a light moment during the Perfect Pitch Panel.

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Writer and Poets & Writers Live audience member Richard Slota (far left) responds to feedback from the Perfect Pitch panelists.

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Writer and Poets & Writers Live audience member Michael Karpa reads his query letter on stage during the Perfect Pitch Panel.

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Caleb Powell (left) and David Shields, coauthors of I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrel (Knopf, 2015), discuss preconceived divisions between reality and fiction, life and art, following a screening of the film adaptation of the book by James Franco.

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Caleb Powell (left) and David Shields, coauthors of I Think You're Totally Wrong: A Quarrel (Knopf, 2015), engage in some intellectual sparring at Poets & Writers Live on January 10, 2015.

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An audience member asks a question during the quarrel between David Shields and Caleb Powell.

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The Why We Write panel takes center stage at the Poets & Writers Live event in San Francisco.

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Why We Write panelists, from left: Melissa Faliveno, Wendy Lesser, Yiyun Li, Alejandro Murguía, D. A. Powell, and Michelle Tea.

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Wendy Lesser (left) and Yiyun Li discuss the personal and professional reasons for doing what they do during the Why We Write panel.

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Poet D. A. Powell (center) talks about his reasons for writing during the Why We Write panel on January 10, 2015.

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Joyce Carol Oates reads her poem "Too Young to Marry but Not Too Young to Die" as part of the Insipration Experiment at San Francisco's Brava Theater Center.

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Novelist and singer-songwriter Ben Arthur performs an original song inspired by Joyce Carol Oates's poem "Too Young to Marry but Not Too Young to Die" as part of the Inspiration Experiment.

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Sarah Fiske performs a dance inspired by Joyce Carol Oates's poem "Too Young to Marry but Not Too Young to Die" as part of the Inspiration Experiment.

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Artwork by Roman Muradov, inspired by a poem by Joyce Carol Oates, is projected behind Sarah Fiske as she performs her dance inspired by the same poem.

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Kevin Larimer, editor in chief of Poets & Writers, talks with Joyce Carol Oates following the Inspiration Experiment.

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Nick Twemlow (right) talks about his short film "As the Sky Shifts Overhead," with Sarah Fiske during a conversation following the Inspiration Experiment.

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Artist Roman Muradov (right) discusses the experience of creating art inspired by a poem, with filmmaker Nick Twemlow, during a conversation following the Inspiration Experiment.

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Sarah Fiske talks about her dance interpretation of a Joyce Carol Oates poem during a discussion following the Inspiration Experiment.

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Artist Roman Muradov chats with audience members during the wine reception following Poets & Writers Live in San Francisco on January 10, 2015.

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