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A curated selection of videos, including book trailers, brief interviews, and other literary curiosities updated daily.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” South African leader Nelson Mandela passed away yesterday at age ninety-five. He claimed the poem “Invictus,” written by English poet William Ernest Henley and published in 1875, helped him survive twenty-seven years of incarceration on Robben Island. Watch this moving interpretation of the inspirational poem.
“I fought every single day.” Roger Bonair-Agard’s collection of poems, Bury My Clothes, published in 2013 by Haymarket Books, earned him a spot on the longlist for this year’s National Book Award for poetry. In this video, he discusses his journey as a writer, rap as a poetic form, and what poetry can do for youth.
“Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air, are heading home again.” Watch this engaging interpretation of Mary Oliver’s transcendent poem “Wild Geese.” Ryland Brooks, the filmmaker, produced the video from footage he shot in 2012 while traveling in the United States and Peru.
In this video clip, artist Cara Barer transforms discarded books into compelling sculptures that reveal the soulful aesthetic and remarkable creative power hidden in the pages of unwanted books. These works reflect the ephemeral nature of meaning and existence and, most strikingly, the precarious future of books in print.
“Do you know what it feels like to wait for your son to come home alive every night?" Award-winning poet Wanda Coleman, often called the “unofficial Poet Laureate of L.A.,” died Friday at the age of sixty-seven. Coleman’s book of poetry Mercurochrome was a finalist for the National Book Award in 2001. In this clip from May 2013, she reads at California State University.