Poet Nate Marshall spoke to Scott Simon at NPR about his new collection, Finna, and the ways the form has informed his perspective on the world. “I’ll tell you the point at which I knew I was a poet,” Marshall says. “I was 16, it was maybe a few weeks after my grandmother had passed, I was taking the bus home from high school and I’m getting off the bus. And these four guys jumped me, right? They were on the bus. They came off the bus behind me. One of them grabbed me and like, they sort of ganged up on me or whatever. Right. This all probably happens in, like, less than a minute. I’m fine, but I’m shook up and, you know, a little battered. Once they sort of ran away and I realized I would be OK. The first thing that I thought was, man, this is going to make a good poem…So I guess like if that says anything about how poetry shapes the way I see the world is, I think I’m always thinking about how does the lived life translate onto the page.”
Alexandra Alter interviews National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates about the success of Between the World and Me. As he puts it, “The best part of writing is really to educate yourself. I don’t want to be anybody’s expert. I came in to learn.” Pair with our own Sonya Chung’s Millions piece on Coates’s epistolary essay.
The longlist for Canada’s 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize has been announced. Notable omissions: “Ilustrado by Montreal’s Miguel Syjuco, which won the Man Asian Literary Award before it was even published; Beatrice and Virgil, Yann Martel’s first novel since his breakthrough Life of Pi; and, most notably, Room by Emma Donoghue, which was recently shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.”