Literature

yellow plains against a blue sky

From an early age, Ukrainian-American poet Ilya Kaminsky developed a deep personal understanding of the political power of poetry and language. He explains why poetry is such a powerful tool in crisis.

A typewriter in Ukrainian light

We talk with poets and novelists about how they deeply notice the historical time we live in — through their words and voice.

Orwell among roses

George Orwell was the great writer on tyranny and authoritarianism. But as Rebecca Solnit shows in her book "Orwell’s Roses," he was also a gardener who loved flowers and trees. Beauty and the natural world sustained him through difficult times.

Akwaeke Emezi

Nigerian writer Akweake Emezi identifies as trans, non-binary and also an Ogbanje. In Emezi’s native Igbo culture, an Ogbanje is a spirit that can be born into a human — a spirit with a plural identity.

Torrey Peters

One of the most eyebrow-raising books of 2021 was Torrey Peters’ debut novel, "Detransition, Baby.” Rolling Stone called it “the most subversive book of the year." It’s a story about three women – transgender and cisgender – and an unexpected pregnancy.

the raven

Bad things happen when people lose their connection to the more-than-human world. "Animals know something that we that don't," says psychologist Sharon Blackie. That's one lesson you can take from the old shapeshifting myths and fairy tales.

A wolf eyes the horizon

Horror writer Stephen Graham Jones loves werewolves. He redefined the genre with his 2016 novel "Mongrels," about a family of werewolves on the run in a hostile American landscape — a story drawn from his own background.

field hockey witch

The 1980s were a golden age for witches. Women everywhere started covens. Among them, the girls field hockey team at Danvers High School in Massachusetts. At least, that’s how Quan Barry imagines it in her recent novel, “We Ride Upon Sticks.”

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