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Former U.S. Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera begins with English and Spanish readings from Akrílica (2022), trading languages with translator Farid Matuk. Together, they also read Herrera’s poem "i am not a paid protestor," which Herrera terms a "duo poem" for two voices in dialogue with one another. Herrera closes out the reading with poems and remarks about mass shootings, classical music, space exploration, and human suffering and connection.
Tyehimba Jess reads historical persona poems from leadbelly (2005) and his Pulitzer Prize-winning Olio (2016), including the full sonnet sequence about the McKoy twins from Olio. He also discusses the research behind Olio and the complex forms he uses throughout the collection, particularly his syncopated sonnets.