A curated selection of videos, including book trailers, brief interviews, and other literary curiosities updated daily.

James McBride

“Poetry changes society every day because it gives readers and listeners a completely different set of lenses through which to view their world.” Roger Bonair-Agard’s collection of poems, Bury My Clothes, published in 2013 by Haymarket Books, earned him a spot on the longlist for the 2013 National Book Award for poetry. In this video, he discusses his beginnings as a writer, rap as a poetic form, and what poetry can do for youth.

Fri, 11/22/2013 - 03:00

The Power of Print

Watch this video that is both a clever book promotion for The Best of McSweeney’s and a playful commentary on the demise of print. Fittingly, this clip also honors an era of film rendered obsolete by the relentless advance of technology.

Thu, 11/21/2013 - 03:00

Big Sur

Watch this recent movie trailer for Big Sur, based on Jack Kerouac’s novel of the same name, which chronicles the beatnik author’s transition from a rebellious and reluctantly famous young man into an emotionally troubled adult. The book debuted in 1962; Jack Kerouac, born in 1922, died in 1969, only seven years after its publication.

Wed, 11/20/2013 - 03:00

Doris Lessing

Renowned author Doris Lessing—who wrote notable novels such as The Grass Is Singing, The Golden Notebook, and The Good Terrorist and won the 2007 Nobel Prize for Literature—died on Sunday at age ninety-four. Watch this BBC News video that reflects on her colorful personality, prolific writing career, and occasionally controversial life.

Tue, 11/19/2013 - 03:00

George the Poet

“My life could have been your life, with a twist.” George the Poet finds inspiration in a Paul Graham photograph of a lonely woman on a New York City sidewalk, and uses his poetry to explore the individual’s place in modern society.

Mon, 11/18/2013 - 03:00

Pablo Neruda

“Love is so short, forgetting is so long.” Watch this ethereal visual interpretation and sober reading of Pablo Neruda’s poem “Tonight I Can Write the Saddest Lines.”

Fri, 11/15/2013 - 03:00

Stanley Kunitz

“What makes the engine go? Desire, desire, desire.” Stanley Kunitz, who died in 2006, is seen here at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in 2000 reading “Touch Me.”

Thu, 11/14/2013 - 03:00


Watch this trailer forTar, an independently produced movie based on the 1983 book of the same name by poet C. K. Williams. Twelve New York University students directed the film, which stars James Franco and Mila Kunis.

Wed, 11/13/2013 - 03:00

Katie Makkai

“I have not seen my own face in ten years, but this is not about me.” In this video clip from 2002, veteran slam poet Katie Makkai performs “Pretty,” which confronts the harsh reality of how our culture perceives women and appearances.  

Tue, 11/12/2013 - 03:00

Zombie Nouns

This video addresses the common but debilitating abuse of language known as nominalizations, or, as Helen Sword characterizes them, zombie nouns. Animation by Bran Dougherty-Johnson.

Mon, 11/11/2013 - 03:00