Poet and author Saeed Jones talks about his debut memoir, “How We Fight for Our Lives.”
Saeed Jones is the author of “Prelude to Bruise,” winner of the 2015 PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award for Poetry and the 2015 Stonewall Book Award/Barbara Gittings Literature Award. The poetry collection was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award, as well as awards from Lambda Literary and the Publishing Triangle in 2015. Jones is a former co-host of BuzzFeed’s morning show, “AM to DM,” and previously served as BuzzFeed’s LGBT editor and Culture editor. In his debut memoir, “How We Fight for Our Lives,” Jones tells his story of growing up a young, black, gay man from the South and fighting to carve out a place for himself within his family, within his country, within his own hopes, desires, and fears. Jones was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and grew up in Lewisville, Texas. He earned a BA at Western Kentucky University and an MFA at Rutgers University-Newark.
Native American novelist Tommy Orange discusses his transformation from being a poor student to receiving rave reviews on his 2018 debut novel, “There There,” which chronicles the lives of Native Americans living in Oakland, California.
Tommy Orange is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and is a graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow and 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. His first novel, “There There,” was hailed by The New York Times as “an energetic revelation of a corner of American life.” Orange was born and raised in Oakland, California and currently lives in Angels Camp, California.