Podcasts

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Courtesy of Jennifer Haigh

Novelist and NEA Literature Fellow

In Jennifer Haigh’s fifth novel Heat and Light, she returns to the fictional town of Bakerton, Pennsylvania: its prosperity withered with the closing of the coalmines. So when it’s learned that the area is rich in natural gas, many people are eager to sign over their mineral rights to energy companies. And the debate about fracking and all that it entails upends the community. Jennifer Haigh knows her subject well; she was raised in a former coal town that also sits on deposits of natural gas. In our conversation she talks about her hometown and how it’s become the basis for much of her writing, the pull of the past on the present and the legacy of North Appalachia’s geology.

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Photo by Nazia Abbas

Poet and essayist Seema Reza investigates loss and love with ruthless honesty and lyrical power in her book, When the World Breaks Open. In this week’s podcast, Reza discusses writing her life and her determination to reveal herself on the page through poems, essays, fragments and observations, recipes—whatever it took to tell her story precisely and thoroughly. The result is at times heartbreaking but not grim. She owns her sorrow, but she’s also fierce and joyful in her determination to be known for herself.

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Photo by Justus Poehis

Poet and 2015 NEA Literature Fellow

Her poetry collection Scriptorium illuminate her Appalachian Roots.

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Photo by Dese’Rae L. Stage

Author of The Big Read selection "Station Eleven"

A novel about what endures when civilization ends.

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Photo courtesy of the author

Novelist, essayist, graphic novelist

His novels take a satirical look at race and identity.

Author, Journalist and Filmmaker

His book Tribe rethinks PTSD.

Award-winning children’s and young adult writer

Opens up worlds of complications and riches.

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Photo by Nina Subin

Author

The National Book Award winner talks about Julia Alvarez, Oscar Wao, and the wonder of reading.

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Photo by Elizabeth R. Cowan

Award-winning novelist

Welcome to Braggsville: A madcap and tragic satire that unpacks attitudes about race

Photographer and author

Her book Balancing Acts takes us backstage with dancers who are mothers.

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