- Quote: “The stories we tell ourselves can feel like a weapon to someone else.”
- Answer: Thomas Page McBee wrote about his experiences and what it means to be a transgender man in “Man Alive,” which numerous publications agreed was one of the best books of 2014. McBee's work explores gender and masculinity—but above all, he asks what it means to be human. McBee’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Glamour, and Playboy among many other outlets.
- Quote: “What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness.”
- Answer: The essayist, novelist, and professor George Saunders included this line in his collection of essays titled “The Braindead Megaphone.” Saunders didn’t get his start until later in life, spending his early years working in some odd places, like a slaughterhouse in Texas, and as an oil field explorer in Sumatra. After receiving a master of arts from Syracuse University, where he now teaches, Saunders went on to write numerous books of short works, including revolutionary pieces of fiction like his novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo.”
- Quote: “How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you.”
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- Answer: Rupi Kaur’s work is everywhere, and is especially prevalent in just about anyone’s social media feed. The Canadian poet, performer, and artist wrote, illustrated, and self-published her first book “Milk and Honey” and her second book “The Sun and Her Flowers.” Together, these books have been translated into 42 languages and sold more than 8 million copies worldwide. Her work focuses on loss, healing, and growth.
- Quote: “Poets are damned but they are not blind, they see with the eyes of angels.”
- Answer: Born in Rutherford, New Jersey on Sept. 17, 1883, William Carlos Williams spent his life working as a doctor while also writing poems, plays, short stories, and other works. His poetry was recognized with a Pulitzer Prize and Gold Medal for Poetry of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, among other awards. One of Williams’ most prolific works, “Paterson,” is an epic poem filling six books.
- Quote: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
- Answer: Thomas Stearn Ellion, more widely known as T. S. Elliot, produced a prodigious amount of work during his life. Born in St. Louis, Elliot later set down roots in Europe. His works attained him worldwide fame, a Nobel Prize, and honorary doctorate degrees. “The Waste Land” is one of his most well-known works, and a lasting contribution to American literature.
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