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The Way We Live Now: Hilton Als with Michael Dickman and Brenda Shaughnessy

The Way We Live Now: Hilton Als and America’s Poets

Originally Aired: Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Hilton Als (Photo by Ali Smith)


(Above photo credit: Hilton Als/Ali Smith)

Join The New Yorker‘s Hilton Als as he kicks off his residency exploring the ways poets and poetry reflect contemporary American life.

Tonight he sits down with poets Michael Dickman (Brother) and Brenda Shaughnessy (Octopus Museum) to discuss their works, which touch on many of the issues Als sets out to examine in this series: world change, consciousness, race, gender, parenting, coupling and more.


Michael Dickman and Brenda Shaughnessy

Credit: L: courtesy of the guest R: photo by Janea Wiedmann

Brenda Shaughnessy was born in Okinawa and raised in Southern California. She is the author of five poetry collections, most recently The Octopus Museum (Knopf 2019). 2012’s Our Andromeda was a New York Times’ 100 Notable Book, a finalist for the Griffin International Prize and the Kingsley Tufts Prize. She’s the recipient of a 2018 Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a 2013 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.  Her poems have appeared in Best American Poetry, The Nation, The New Yorker, Paris Review, Poetry Magazine, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. She is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Rutgers University-Newark and lives in Verona, New Jersey.


Michael Dickman is the author of three books of poems, The End of the WestFlies (winner of the James Laughlin Award) and Green Migraine. He is co-author, with his twin brotherof 50 American Plays and Brother. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey, where he is on the faculty at Princeton University.

Hilton Als began contributing to The New Yorker in 1989, writing pieces for Talk of the Town. He became a staff writer in 1994, a theater critic in 2002 and chief theater critic in 2013. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Writing, a George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, the American Academy’s Berlin Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his work at The New Yorker in 2017. He is the author of the critically acclaimed White Girls, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the winner of the Lambda Literary Award in 2014, and a Professor at Columbia University’s Writing Program. Als lives in New York City.

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