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Byrd's Books is proud to be the home of Write America!
Write America was an author series created by writer Roger Rosenblatt, featuring award-winning, nationally-renowned authors, and new and emerging writers, in readings and conversation each week about how books and art might bridge the deep divisions in our nation. Conversations were streamed Mondays on Byrd's Books' Crowdcast channel, until we moved over to zoom in the later episodes. Writers including Rita Dove, Major Jackson, Alice McDermott, Vijay Seshadri, Garry Trudeau, Francine Prose, Alan Alda, Amy Hempel, Tyehimba Jess, Natalie Diaz, Paul Auster, Juan Felipe Herrera, Billy Collins and many more came together for these virtual events.
Check each listed episode to get the YouTube link to watch. Attendance has always been free.
The series launched February 2021 and wrapped up at the end of January 2023. View the full schedule of conversations below.
Write America Mission Statement:
We are each other's
We are each other's
we are each other’s
magnitude and bond.
- “Paul Robeson” by Gwendolyn Brooks
Write America is an organization of writers concerned about the divisions in our country that have evidenced themselves and deepened over the past few years. We see a torn America these days, jeopardizing basic principles of justice, freedom, fair play, and equality.
These principles are important to writers, felt passionately if shown indirectly. They undergird our poems, novels, essays, memoirs, every form by which we attempt to reach out to our human family through grace and precision of language and the quiet power of art. A writer’s words are a tacit call for people to gather round and discover or rediscover their common thoughts and feelings and their connections to one another. Whatever its subject, writing is at heart a moral force, what Stanley Kunitz called “the testing of existence at its highest pitch.” Writing makes justice desirable, evil intelligible, grief endurable, and love possible.
In this project, then, we have come together to read our work in the interests of life's nobler values. Normally, in the course of our profession, we keep our distance. We create, publish, and say with Chaucer, 'go little book,' to a remote receiving world. With our readings for Write America we will try to bridge that distance in a gesture of bonding. The nation is injured. We hope to contribute to its healing.
- Roger Rosenblatt
Past episodes from 2022:
41 1/3/22 Sequoia Nagamatsu, Karla Brundage and Lance Morrow YouTube link
SPECIAL EVENT: Wednesday January 5th: Al Gore in Conversation with Roger Rosenblatt YouTube link
42 1/10/22 Francine Prose, LaTanya McQueen YouTube link
43 1/17 /22 Susan Shreve and Thomas Becker YouTube link
44 SPECIAL EVENT: Monday January 24th: Garry Trudeau and Jules Feiffer- in conversation about the art of cartooning YouTube link
45 1/31/22 Miranda Beeson, Emily Bernard and Kurt Andersen YouTube link
46 2/7/22 Elizabeth Hawes Weinstock, Ursula Hegi and Vijay Seshadri YouTube link
SPECIAL EVENT Wednesday, February 9th Billy Collins and Robert Reeves honor Frank McCourt YouTube link
47 2/14/22: Tyehimba Jess, Molly Gaudry and Marie Howe YouTube link
48 2/21/22: Arthur Sze and Alice McDermott YouTube link
49 2/28/22: Grace Schulman, Samyak Shertok and Jennifer Haigh YouTube link
50 3/7/22: Robert Reeves, Jill McCorkle and Magdalene Brandeis YouTube link
51 3/14/22: Jamaal May, Michelle Whittaker and Lindsay Adkins YouTube link
52 3/21/22: Ken Auletta, George Colt and Susan Isaacs YouTube link
53 3/28/22: Jillian LaRussa and Roger Rosenblatt YouTube link
54 4/4/22: Carmen Giménez and Dan Halpern- this episode was cancelled.
55 4/11/22: Anne Fadiman and Lou Ann Walker YouTube link
56 4/18/22 Meg Wolitzer and Delia Ephron YouTube link
57 4/25/22: Jim and Deb Fallows YouTube link
58 5/2/22: Rose Styron, Philip Schultz and Marilyn Nelson YouTube link
59 5/9/22 : Susan Minot, Kirstin Valdez Quade, and David Remnick YouTube link
60 5/11/22:: Special Event: Roger Rosenblatt in conversation with Derek and Sissela Bok (this episode is cancelled)
61 5/16/22: Helen Vendler and Lloyd Schwartz YouTube link
62 5/23/22: Edward Zwick and Patricia McCormick YouTube link
5/30/22: MEMORIAL DAY- NO READING
64 6/13/22: Major Jackson and Genevieve Sly Crane YouTube link
65 6/20/22: Gail Mazur, Lloyd Schwartz, and Nicole Terez Dutton YouTube link
66 6/27/22: Rachel Pastan, Alison Fairbrother, and Tyehimba Jess YouTube link
67 7/11/22: Vanessa Cuti, Elizabeth Nunez, and LaTanya McQueen YouTube link
68 7/18/22: Maureen Murphy and Joyce Maynard YouTube link
69 7/25/22: Carlos Fonseca, Priya Jain, and Rita Dove YouTube link
8/1/22: NO READING
70 8/8/22: Frank Bidart and Robert Lopez YouTube link
71 8/15/22: Dinitia Smith and David Nasaw YouTube link
72 8/22/22: Nicole Hebdon, and Dan Barry YouTube link
73 8/29/22: Gregory Pardlo and Nick Flynn YouTube link
9/5/22: LABOR DAY- NO READING
74 9/12/22: Fred Newman and Tony Earley YouTube link
75 9/19/22 Edvige Giunta and Richard Rabinowitz- You Tube Link
76 SPECIAL EPISODE: 9/28/22 Rose Styron, Edward Hirsch and Elizabeth Hawes Weinstock- YouTube link
78 10/10/22 NEW LINE-UP: Jillian LaRussa and Claudia Acevedo-Quiñones YouTube link
79 10/17/22 Edward Zwick, Paul Harding, and Hilma Wolitzer YouTube link
80 10/24/22 Lindsay Adkins and Wally Marzano-Lesnevich YouTube Link
81 10/31/22 Patricia McCormick and Genevieve Sly Crane YouTube Link
11/7/22 NO READING
82 11/14/22 Emily Bernard and Robert Lopez YouTube link
83 SPECIAL EVENT: Wednesday 11/16/22: Roger Rosenblatt and Grace Schulman YouTube link
84 11/21/22 Linda Pastan and Miranda Beeson YouTube link
85 11/28/22 Frank Bidart and Richard Tillinghast YouTube link
86 12/5/22 Alice McDermott and Jill McCorkle You Tube link
Episodes from 2023
Past Episodes PAGE FROM 2021
Early 2021 episodes from the Book Revue