On the Avenue

I didn’t know him, but he knew me. He knew Harlem, he knew poetry, he knew Jesus, and he knew my mother. He knew sin. I did not know… More

Everyman

Turning toward the coffin, she picked up a clod of dirt and, before dropping it onto the lid, said lightly, with the air still of a bewildered young girl,… More

Subject Matter

I am Eikoh Hosoe, a photographer from Tokyo. It is a great honor for me to speak on this special occasion about my collection of photographs of Ba-ra-kei, or… More

Restless Incarnation

Like most novelists, Mishima writes principally about himself. In each volume of his Sea of Fertility tetralogy, which shines ever more obviously as one of the great works of… More

Something Radical

In the 1970s I traveled to Cuba for an international writers’ conference. After I had read a paper to an appreciative audience, some of the organizers asked me if… More

Grace Notes

Before Langston died—long before he died—he prepared the order of his funeral service: no minister, no prayers, not even an MC. The folks invited got there, and a jazz… More

Facts and Fictions

I first met Gabriel García Márquez on Martha’s Vineyard about ten years ago. Since then it’s been a privilege and a pleasure to count this great Latin American writer… More

Laying It Down

This Langston riff is for that cardigan-sweater-wearin’ blues poet Raymond R. Patterson, Professor Emeritus, CCNY, author of 26 Ways of Looking at a Black Man and Elemental Blues.I found Langston behind his… More

Narrative Transmutations

Ralph Manheim, the great translator from the German, compared the translator to an actor who speaks as the author would if the author spoke English. A sophisticated and provocative… More

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