2021 Program and Podcast Highlights

During yet another challenging year for many of us, we once again found comfort in the words and stories of the writers we hosted for author programs and podcast episodes. Take a look back at some of our favorite moments in 2021.

Gary Paulsen, author of Gone to the Woods

AWM Author Talks

“Nobody gave me anything. Nobody. Parents, nothing. And [the librarian] gave me a library card. And it was my identity. It’s what I became. You just have no idea, you really don’t. It wasn’t just pivotal, it was everything. I started to read then…The librarian for me, that was life or death.


Angela Stewart, archivist at the Margaret Walker Center

Nation of Writers: Margaret Walker

“Writers are the most important type of activists, because writers encourage, inform and motivate action.


Photo of Rigoberto González

Rigoberto González

AWM Author Talks

“As long as you are still dazzled by reading a book, reading a poem, a story…that energy, that wonder is going to sustain you even in moments of doubt.


Nikki Giovanni discussing her friendship with Maya Angelou

Nation of Writers: Maya Angelou

“I just think it’s important that people be what they are…Every day is today, and that’s the day you want to live with. That’s the day you want to have. And you want to be the best person that you can be for yourself today.


Robert Jones, Jr. (The Prophets) on his literary hero James Baldwin

Dead Writer Drama: James Baldwin

“What I would say is that Baldwin was just an astute observer of human behavior…He just simply knew human beings at their core, what they were, how they operate and the ways in which power corrupts and where that leads. What he did wasn’t magic. It was wonderful, astute, brilliant scholarly observation and work.


Ann Tashi Slater on Cuban exile Reinaldo Arenas

Nation of Writers: Reinaldo Arenas

“[Reinaldo Arenas] never felt that there was anywhere that he belonged. And I would say, if there’s anywhere that he did feel at home, it was in his creative world and in his imagination. And that’s where he could live.


Sam Weller (The Bradbury Chronicles) on his friendship with Ray Bradbury

AWM Author Talks

“Throughout the whole process, he taught me innumerable aspects of the creative process. And to learn to just relax and be grateful for the fact that we all have the ability to be creative. That’s why we do this in the first place. That’s why Ray Bradbury, as a little boy on a toy dial typewriter, sat down and wrote his first story and wrote for the rest of his life: because he loved it.


Laurie Woolever discusses Anthony Bourdain as a writer

Nation of Writers: Anthony Bourdain

“It’s the same kind of thing being a line cook or a chef. You don’t have all day to precisely arrange things and think about the sauce. You have to be constantly producing at a very high and very fast-paced pace level. So I think some of that may have bled over into his process as a writer.


Barbara Lau, Executive Director of the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice

Dead Writer Drama: Pauli Murray

“When historians look back at 20th Century America all roads will lead to Pauli Murray. Civil rights, sexuality, activism. All of these places where Pauli’s life overlaps with the nexus of these very important changes.


Joanne Lee Molinaro

Joanne Lee Molinaro, The Korean Vegan Cookbook

AWM Author Talks

“When we were seeing so much crime against the AAPI community, that was on my mind a lot. And so a lot of my storytelling was aimed at trying to open people’s hearts to my community.


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