Poets Major Jackson and Ladan Osman

 

On today’s program, we'll speak to two poets – Major Jackson and Ladan Osman. The two authors served as jury members for the 2017 Neustadt International Prize for Literature – which is awarded each year by World Literature Today.

 

 

Major Jackson serves as the Richard Dennis Green and Gold Professor at University of Vermont and the Poetry Editor of the Harvard Review. He is the author of four poetry collections: Roll Deep; Holding Company; Hoops; and Leaving Saturn, for which he won numerous poetry prizes and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His poetry, which has been described as "unashamedly lyrical... layered with allusion and homage," uses Jackson's own experiences as a starting point for identifying and exploring universal experiences.

 

Ladan Osman, who graduated with a BA from Otterbein University and an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin's Michener Center for Writers, also served as a 2017 Neustadt Prize juror. Osman's first full length collection of poetry, The Kitchen-Dweller's Testimony, won the Sillerman First Book Prize, and her chapbook Ordinary Heaven was selected for inclusion in the box set Seven New Generation African Poets. The daughter of Somali immigrants, Osman grew up in Columbus, Ohio and uses her work to explore the contours and possibilities of language, translation, and identity. Described in an interview with The Paris Review as both "rich and playful" but also "brutal and transformative," Osman's work has been translated into more than ten languages.

 

Transcript.

 

Music: Miles Away by Stefan Kartenberg (c) copyright 2017 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/JeffSpeed68/56360 Ft: Javolenus

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