• Terrance Hayes
    Terrance Hayes Wins National Book Award

    The poet Terrance Hayes is “bringing the National Book Award home to Pittsburgh,” as he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Hayes’ Lighthead beat out the works of four other poets, including established writers such as C.D. Wright. Watch Hayes read at the 2010 Jazz Poetry Concert and read Sampsonia Way’s interview with the author.

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  • Alfred Patterson:Turned-On Trombone

    Saxophonist and Trombone player Alfred Patterson moves just as easily between musical styles: he was a member of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, toured with the American Ballet Company, played in the pit orchestras for musicals such as “Dreamgirls” and “La Cage Aux Folles,” and jammed with the Count Basie and Duke Ellington Orchestras. In this video, Patterson discusses sound, poetry, and the nature of improvisation.

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  • Soheil-Najm-Translates-Iraqi-Poetry
    Soheil Najm Translates Iraqi Poetry

    For the Iraqi translator and poet Soheil Najm, poetry offers an opportunity to start a conversation across cultural barriers. Najm is the co-editor of Flowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of Iraq, an anthology of Iraqi poets in translation. He has also translated selections of work by Nikos Kazantzakis, Alasdair Gray, Ted Hughes, and Jose Saramago. Soheil Najm presents Ra’ad Zamil’s poem, offering a glimpse into the struggles of a generation of Iraqis who have survived Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship and are trying to make a life in Iraqi’s nascent democracy.

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  • Writer of the Week: Human Rights Activist Irakli Kakabadze

    Irakli Kakabadze was the writer-in-residence at the Ithaca City of Asylum for the past two years. Hailing from the Caucasus nation of Georgia, Kakabadze suffered persecution at the hands of the government because of the opinions he expressed through his writings and protesting. We corresponded with Kakabadze via email to see what project he is currently working on and to learn about his experiences with City of Asylum.

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