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“We Read in Order to Come to Life”: Grief, Joy, and the Magic of Literary Form

How do writers assemble words in a way that lifts them beyond their literal meaning to speak what can’t really be said? These three writers are masters. In her novel Checkout 19, Claire-Louise Bennett (whose words are quoted in this program’s…
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Let Her Tell It: Black Women Writing on the Body and Mind

Many Black women have a complex relationship with their bodies. Historically their bodies have been racialized, hypersexualized, exoticized, abused, exploited for labor and othered. Stressors in their lives affects physical and mental health.…
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The Poetry of Exile

From Dante to Liu Tsung-yuan to Pablo Neruda, the subject of exile has been fertile ground for poetry. Four contemporary luminaries put their own singular spins on this timeless theme. New York Times Magazine poetry editor Victoria Chang draws…
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No Man’s Land: Writing the Story of Displacement

We’re living in a time when record numbers of people in the world are being displaced—whether by war or climate change or disaster or economic insecurity. Carol Edgarian (Vera) and Paisley Rekdal (Appropriate) are writers whose works span…
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Relationships, Reckonings & Remembrances: A Reading by Three California Poets

How do we contemplate and document political and familial histories? How can we address struggle and grief, love and survival? Three California poets navigate relationships, reckonings, and memory with unerring eyes through their distinct poetic…
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National Book Foundation Presents: Hanif Abdurraqib and Douglas Kearney

Join 2021 National Book Award Finalists Hanif Abdurraqib (A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance) and Douglas Kearney (Sho) for a conversation on poetics, performance, and the manipulation of genre to uncover meaning. The…