Saeed Jones

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.

 

Sandra Cisneros

Author Sandra Cisneros discusses her prolific career as a writer, Latinx representation in the arts and her 2018 short story, “Puro Amor.”

Sandra Cisneros is a poet, short story writer, novelist and essayist whose work explores the lives of the working class. Her novel “The House on Mango Street” has sold over six million copies, been translated into more than twenty languages and is required reading from elementary through college across the nation. Her numerous awards include NEA fellowships in both poetry and fiction, a MacArthur Fellowship, several honorary doctorates and book awards nationally and internationally, the PEN Center USA Literary Award and the National Medal of Arts, awarded to her by President Obama in 2016. She is a dual citizen of the United States and Mexico.

Nikki Giovanni

Poet and activist Nikki Giovanni talks about her long career, writing process and reflects on the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.

Nikki Giovanni is a poet, writer, activist and educator. Her works cover everything from race and social issues to children’s literature. She has received the Langston Hughes Medal, the Rosa Parks Woman of Courage Award, the NAACP Image Award, more than 20 honorary degrees from national colleges and universities and a Grammy nomination. In 2005, Oprah Winfrey named her one of the top 25 Living Legends. Her 2017 collection of poems is titled “A Good Cry.”

Sponsors

Hill Co Partners

Laura and John Beckworth / Hobby Family Foundation

Claire and Carl Stuart