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The Freedom Takes
39 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
The Past's Presence: Jesmyn Ward
Author Bio:Jesmyn Ward is a novelist and professor of creative writing at Tulane University. She is the author of the novels Where the Line Bleeds; Salvage the Bones, which won the 2011 National Book Award; Sing, Unburied, Sing, which won the 2017 National Book Award; and of the memoir Men We Reaped, which was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. She is the editor of the anthology The Fire This Time. Ward has received the MacArthur Genius Grant, a Stegner Fellowship, a John and Renee Grisham Writers Residency, and the Strauss Living Award. She currently resides in Mississippi. To Learn More:Visit us online at Freedom Reads and follow us on Twitter @million_book
34 minutes | Jun 23, 2021
As True As I Can Write It: Erika Sánchez
Author Bio:Erika Sánchez is a poet, essayist, and novelist. She's the author of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, a New York Times Bestseller, a National Book Awards finalist, and a soon-to-be film adaptation directed by America Ferrera. Her poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion, was a finalist for the PEN America Open Book Award, and her memoir, Crying in the Bathroom, is slated to be published in 2022. She was a 2017-2019 Princeton Arts Fellow, and a recipient of both the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry. She was appointed the Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Chair in the Latin American and Latino Studies Department at DePaul University and is part of the inaugural core faculty of the Randolph College Low Residency MFA Program.
57 minutes | Apr 30, 2021
Telling Stories of Inside: Susan Burton and Rachel Kushner
Today's bonus episode of The Freedom Takes is a collaboration with the National Book Foundation. Over the last three years, the foundation's Literature for Justice committees have curated thought-provoking reading lists on the topic of mass incarceration. Dwayne is a former committee member and a selected author. The Foundation has partnered with Freedom Reads to send Literature for Justice titles to reading groups in prisons and juvenile detention centers nationwide. On today's episode, Dwayne returned to moderate a discussion with authors and committee members Susan Burton (Becoming Ms. Burton: From Prison to Recovery to Leading the Fight for Incarcerated Women, 2019-2020 Reading List) and Rachel Kushner (The Mars Room, 2019-2020 Reading List) in conversation on their work and the larger work of literature inside and outside of prisons to open new worlds of possibility.
43 minutes | Apr 23, 2021
Reclaiming Voice & Self: Randall Horton
Author Bio:Randall Horton is the author of the poetry collections#289-128, Dark Anarchy, The Definition of Place, andThe Lingua Franca of Ninth Street. His memoir,Hook, was the winner of the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award.Horton currently a Professor of English at the University of New Haven. He’s received numerous awards, including the Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award, the Bea Gonzalez Poetry Award, the Great Lakes College Association New Writers Award for Creative Nonfiction, and a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature. In 2018-2019 Randall was selected as Poet-in-Residence for the Civil Rights Corps in Washington DC, a non-profit that challenges systemic injustice in the American legal system. To Learn More:Visit us online at Freedom Reads and follow us on Twitter @million_book
46 minutes | Apr 2, 2021
Shooting Baskets in Verse: Natalie Diaz
Author BioNatalie Diaz was born and raised on the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California. She is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. Her first poetry collection, When My Brother Was an Aztec, was published by Copper Canyon Press in 2012. Her most recent collection, Postcolonial Love Poem,was published by Graywolf Press in 2020. She is 2018 MacArthur Foundation Fellow, a Lannan Literary Fellow and a Native Arts Council Foundation Artist Fellow. She was awarded a Bread Loaf Fellowship, the Holmes National Poetry Prize, a Hodder Fellowship, and a PEN/Civitella Ranieri Foundation Residency, as well as a US Artists Ford Fellowship. Diaz teaches at the Arizona State University Creative Writing MFA program.To Learn More:Visit us online at Freedom Reads and follow us on Twitter @million_book
42 minutes | Mar 11, 2021
The Interior Landscapes of Church Ladies: Deesha Philyaw
Author Bio:Deesha Philyaw is an author, columnist, essayist, and public speaker.The Secret Lives of Church Ladies won the Story Prize (2020/2021), was a finalist for the 2020 National Book Award for Fiction, the 2021 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and a 2021 LA Times Book Prize: The Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction. Her work has been listed as Notable in the Best American Essays series, and her writing on race, parenting, gender, and culture has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, The Rumpus, Brevity, Apogee Journal, and elsewhere. Philyaw is a Kimbilio Fiction Fellow. To Learn More:Visit us online at Freedom Reads and follow us on Twitter @million_book
40 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
The Many Ways to Tell a Story: James McBride
Celebrated author, musician, and screenwriter James McBride, speaks directly to our primary audience -- people in prison -- about moving past regret in life, finding freedom in books, claiming power in knowledge. He also offers a micro-lesson on the varying ways to tell a story -- from his piano bench. McBride is the author of a number of celebrated books, including The Good Lord Bird, which won the National Book Award for Fiction and was adapted into a limited series on Showtime starring Ethan Hawke. His other books include Deacon King Kong, Miracle at St. Anna, and The Color of Water. In 2015, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama “for humanizing the complexities of discussing race in America.” He holds several honorary doctorates and is currently a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.
28 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
Perpetual Line-Crosser: Reginald Dwayne Betts
When a poetry anthology was slid under young Betts' cell door 23 years ago is when the Million Book Project -- an endeavor to slide thousands of world-opening books to readers in prisons across the country -- really took root. Betts is an award-winning poet and author of several poetry collections, including Felon: Poems, Shahid Reads His Own Palm, and Bastards of the Reagan Era. His Memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison was awarded the 2010 NAACP Image Award for Non-fiction. Betts also served on the Coordinating Council of the Office of Juvenile and Delinquency Prevention under President Barack Obama. He continues to work as a poet, lawyer, public speaker, and artist. You can learn more about his work here.
39 minutes | Jan 27, 2021
To Leave or Stay & Fight: Miriam Toews
Miriam Toews is the best-selling and award-winning author of eight books, including her most recent work, Women Talking -- the heartbreaking, philosophical, and funny account of female crime victims defining justice for themselves. It is both a good story, and the kind of good story that gets into the marrow of readers: the kind for which Toews is renowned. On today's show, Toews discusses the making of Women Talking, the challenges of leaving but continuing to love her former Mennonite community, and her certainty that literacy is freedom.
32 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
Inventing the Language of Cross River: Rion Amilcar Scott
Rion Amilcar Scott is an award-winning writer who turns a short story into deep glimpses inside the souls of Black folks. Over two collections of stories, Insurrections and The World Does Not Require You, Scott has created a world-- literally -- in the Cross River of his invention: a spot in Maryland where a triumphant slave rebellion led to the founding of a city. And in creating that world, he has fashioned a wild collection of indelible characters and cutting stories.
31 minutes | Dec 7, 2020
No Boring Books: Jason Reynolds
To learn more about Freedom Reads, visit https://www.freedomreads.org and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.You can find out more about the author and his work by going to https://www.jasonwritesbooks.com/.
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