In this episode of “Literary Arts: The Archival Project,” we feature an event from the 2021 Portland Book Festival, moderated by author and editor, John Freeman. The title of the event is taken from Freeman’s anthology of the same name: Tales from two planets: stories of climate change and inequality in a divided world. Freeman spoke to authors Aimee Nezhukumatathil and Kawai Strong Washburn to talk about writing and the environment, and the conversation naturally turns to language and its relationship to history, connection, identity and the world. natural. How and why do we write about a natural world in crisis? What is the ethics of doing it? What can we learn from biodiversity for our own cultures?
Aimee Nezhukumatathil is an acclaimed poet and author of the “World of Wonders” collection of illustrated essays. It is a book about the natural world and how its inhabitants can teach us, support us and inspire us. Kawai Strong Washburn’s debut novel, “Sharks in the Time of Saviors,” deals with supernatural events that force a family to consider the meaning of the inheritance and the cost of survival.
Aimée Nezhukumatathil is the author of “World of Wonders”, a collection of illustrated essays, as well as four books of poetry, the most recent “Oceanic”, winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. His other awards for his writing include scholarships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mississippi Arts Council, and MacDowell. His writings are published in Poetry, The New York Times Magazine, ESPN and Tin House. She is a poetry professor for the writing workshops in Greece and is a professor of English and creative writing in the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Mississippi.
Kawai strong washburn was born and raised on the Hamakua Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. Her work has appeared in “Best American Nonrequired Reading”, “McSweeney’s” and “Electric Literature’s Recommended Reading”, among others. He was a 2015 Tin House Summer Fellow and 2015 Bread Loaf Work-Study Fellow. Today, he lives with his wife and daughters in Minneapolis. Sharks in the Time of Saviors is his first novel.
John freeman is the editor-in-chief of “Freeman’s,” a literary directory published by Grove Press, and editor-in-chief at Alfred A. Knopf. He has written several non-fiction books, including “How to Read a Novelist” and “Dictionary of Defeat”, as well as three collections of poems, “Maps”, “The Park” and the upcoming “Wind, Trees”. Between 2014 and 2020, he edited a series of anthologies on inequalities, concluding with “Tales of Two Planets”, which focuses on the climate crisis and global inequalities. His latest books are “The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story” and, with Tracy K. Smith, “There’s a Revolution Outside, My Love,” in which poets, novelists and essayists create space to respond to disasters and racialized violence. from 2020. Freeman’s work has been translated into over 20 languages and appears in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and Zyzzyva. He lives in London.