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Letters From America


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Three British writers explore the influence of American writers Tennessee Williams, Walt Whitman and Toni Morrison.

Three British writers – playwright Polly Stenham, poet Richard Scott, and novelist Diana Evans – explore the influence of American writers Tennessee Williams, Walt Whitman and Toni Morrison. Their discussion celebrates the power of words to travel seas, and the transformative potential of kinship with writers across generations and literary forms. Diana Evans is the author of 26a, and The Wonder. Her novel Ordinary People was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Rathbones Folio Prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, and won the South Bank Sky Arts Award. Richard Scott’s pamphlet Wound won the Michael Marks Poetry Award in 2016. Soho is his first collection and was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2018. Polly Stenham is a playwright, screenwriter and director. Her plays include That Face at the Royal Court, and Julie, an adaptation of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie, at the National Theatre in 2018. They are joined by writer, academic and critic Shahidha Bari, whose book Dressed: The Secret Life of Clothes was published in 2019.

We are grateful to the Hawthornden Charitable Trust for sponsoring this event.

Recorded on: September 30, 2019
Recorded at: British Library Knowledge Centre