poetry

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot talk about the first woman to win math’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize, and North Korea’s missile test this week as Pope Francis visits South Korea.

Later, a conversation with classical Persian scholar Austin O’Malley. He says the language’s stability drew him to study centuries-old Near Eastern poetry.

Wikimedia Commons

When Austin O’Malley decided to take a Persian class during his last year of college, he had no idea it would become his life-long passion.

“I got a taste for it,” O’Malley says. “And that was very exciting on a personal level, and also sort of enlightening when you start seeing how language or literature works.”

It’s been a busy month for U.S. foreign policy, and Suzette Grillot and Rebecca Cruise talk about how the United States has responded to multiple crises - from the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner in Ukraine, to the situation in Gaza.

Later, a conversation with Venezuelan poet Arturo Gutierrez-Plaza about the literature of Latin America. His work explores the small scenes of everyday life.

Brian Hardzinski / KGOU

Venezuelan poet Arturo Gutierrez-Plaza has spent his career crafting poems exploring the scenes of everyday life. He told KGOU’s World Views he views poetry as a way to maintain the experience of childhood discovery as you learn new words, and how to use those words to unfold the tapestry of language.

Joshua Landis and Suzette Grillot discuss the 2014 State of the Union address and some of the foreign policy objectives President Obama outlined in Tuesday night’s speech.

Later, a conversation about migration and identity with Iranian-American novelist Laleh Khadivi, and Palestinian-American poet and physician Fady Joudah.

Laleh Khadivi reading from her work during the 2013 Neustadt Festival - October 30, 2013.
Jen Rickard Blair / World Literature Today

Novelist Laleh Khadivi grew up with a Kurdish father, and was raised in a “household full of stories” about that experience, even though she identifies more with her Iranian heritage.

She’s in the process of completing a trilogy of novels exploring Kurdish migration. Khadivi’s research examines the challenges the modern state system places on diaspora communities.

Joshua Landis, Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot revisit the global predictions they made this time last year, and also look ahead to their expectations for politics, economics, culture, and society in 2014.

Later, a conversation with poet Lauren Camp and author Deji Olukotun about technology’s effect on literature.

illuminated keyboard
Jeroen Bennink / Flickr Creative Commons

Author and attorney Deji Olukotun compares the growth and development of digital technology over the last decade to a spectrum, with highly-polished published work on one end, and tweeting and texting on the opposite.

“It’s making writing and communicating and expressing yourself more democratic, and that includes repressive countries,” Olukotun says. “At the same time, there’s still a value for quality and for craft.”

Olukotun works on digital freedom cases for the PEN American Center in New York.