“All my life, ideas have come to me right as I’m waking up in the morning.” Novelist Lily King discusses how writing leads to personal discovery, the importance of rewriting as a form of reevaluation, and her unique strategy for combating writer’s block.
A curated selection of videos, including book trailers, brief interviews, and other literary curiosities updated daily.
“You can control the material, but first of all you have to know what the material is.” Author Gillian Slovo discusses the challenges creative nonfiction writers encounter when researching family secrets and revealing personal stories to the world.
“Empty and full have the same glass, though neither shows you the way.” Poet Charles Wright discusses his creative process, the power of language, and the subjects that influence and define his poetry.
“I think now I can safely describe myself as a writer.” Author Eric Siblin discusses his first book of creative nonfiction, The Cello Suites: J. S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece, which was inspired by a personal connection to an extraordinary piece of music.
“Even people who don’t read poems have poetry in their heads.” Filmed as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, this video features poets Hans Magnus Enzensberger and Tracy K. Smith, who discuss the nature of poetry and their creative processes.
“If you need a character all you have to do is look up.” In this BBC Newsnight video, author Donna Tartt discusses her ability to write anywhere, finding inspiration, and the creative processes and literary influences that shaped her acclaimed novel The Goldfinch, published this year by Little, Brown.
In this video, Hamish Hamilton, the distinguished British publishing house founded in 1931 and now an imprint of Penguin, reveals archival footage of personal letters, memos, and scraps of paper that capture the humanity of prestigious authors such as George Orwell, J. D. Salinger, Albert Camus, and Jean Paul Sartre.
“If you're going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don't even start.” In this fascinating visual interpretation of Charles Bukowski’s poem “Roll the Dice,” director Willem Martinot uses vivid, lonely images and inspiring music as the backdrop to words that extol the solitary virtues of being an original soul.
Created by filmmaker Temujin Doran, this unique and artful video honors the subtle power that vowels wield in our everyday language. The archival sound recording is based on the 1945 Linguaphone publication English Pronunciation: A Practical Handbook for the Foreign Learner.
“There is some kind of energy that I’m manifesting as I’m writing line to line.” English professor and author George Saunders discusses the thought processes and creative forces that shape his characters and inform his stories. His latest book, Tenth of December: Stories, was published by Random House this year.