Ru Freeman and Todd Hearon
At the 2015 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference this year, our team at tatestreet.org were excited to kick off a new collaboration between Tate Street, Robert Pinsky, and the Favorite Poem Project (favoritepoem.org). The FPP was created by Robert Pinsky during his time as Poet Laureate (1997-2000) of the United States to celebrate and document the role of poetry in the lives of Americans. Tate Street filmed a new and more informal branch of the FPP’s online collection of short video documentaries. These videos showcase individuals reading and speaking personally about their favorite poems. Robert Pinsky, the Favorite Poem Project and Tate Street selected a diverse group of readers from the writing conference—composed of editors, translators, educators, fiction writers, and poets—to participate at AWP 2015.
Ru Freeman is a Sri Lankan born speaker, activist, and writer whose work has appeared internationally. She is the author of the novels A Disobedient Girl (Atria/Simon & Schuster, 2009) and On Sal Mal Lane (Graywolf, 2013), both of which have been translated into multiple languages, and editor of the forthcoming anthology of American writers writing about Palestine, Extraordinary Rendition (OR Books). She is the 2014 winner of the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction by an American Woman. She blogs for the Huffington Post on literature and politics.
Todd Hearon is a prize-winning poet and dramatist, co-founder and artistic board member of The Bridge Theatre Company, Boston. His first book of poems, Strange Land, won the Crab Orchard Poetry Series Open Competition, judged by US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, and his full-length play, Wives of the Dead, was winner of the Paul Green Playwrights Prize (it was subsequently produced at the Boston Playwrights’ Theatre). He lives and teaches in Exeter, New Hampshire.