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Aaron Shurin is the author of eleven books of poetry and prose, most recently Citizen, a collection of prose poems and King of Shadows, a collection of personal essays. His writing has appeared in over thirty national and international anthologies, and has been translated into seven languages. Shurin's honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the California Arts Council, the San Francisco Arts Commission, and the Gerbode Foundation. He lives in San Francisco.

Cathy Park Hong's first book, Translating Mo'um, was published in 2002 by Hanging Loose Press. Dance Dance Revolution, her second collection, received the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Her third and most recent book of poems, Engine Empire, was published in May, 2012. Hong is also the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She lives in Brooklyn and is an Associate Professor at Sarah Lawrence College.

American poet Billy Collins reads a selection of humorous poems and then discusses the craft of writing with Dean Nelson and an appreciative audience in this keynote event of the 2013 Writer's Symposium by the Sea, sponsored by Point Loma Nazarene University.

This reading is a special event celebrating the first anthology of Burmese poetry in English translation in more than fifty years. At a time of political transformation in Myanmar, Zeyar Lynn, poet, essayist, and translator presents his work from "Bones Will Crow: 15 Contemporary Burmese Poets." Lynn is widely regarded as the most influential living poet in Myanmar and a translator of many Western poets, including Sylvia Plath, John Ashbery, and Charles Bernstein.

Benjamin Franklin and the American dream are often associated with the uninhibited pursuit of money. Nothing could be further from the truth, argues UC San Diego political scientist Alan Houston. To Franklin, the good life - a life of improvement - was spent pursuing knowledge, cultivating friendship, advancing freedom, and addressing human needs. Houston's presentation is the first of a seven-part lecture series exploring the meaning of the good life, sponsored by The Making of the Modern World program at UC San Diego.

Author, New York Times columnist and master storyteller Samuel Freedman describes the process of creating powerful narratives about people engaged with race, faith and other cultural issues in this interview with veteran journalist Dean Nelson. Freedman is presented as part of the 19th Annual Writer's Symposium by the Sea at Point Loma Nazarene University.

"The Brick People" chronicles the story and legacy of Mexican immigrants who came to work at Simons Brickyard #3 in Los Angeles during the early part of the 20th century. The bricks they made literally built Los Angeles and the surrounding region. Produced by UC Irvine professor Alejandro Morales, this documentary explores themes of immigration, discrimination and cultural foundry as told by former residents and historians of Simons, California .

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Harvard's Steven Pinker, Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology, for a discussion of his intellectual journey. Pinker discusses the origins and evolution of his thinking on human nature. Topics include: growing up in Montreal in a Jewish family, the impact of the 1960's, his education, and the trajectory of his research interests. He explains his early work in linguistics and how he came to write his recent work, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. In the conversation, Pinker describes the importance of interdisciplinary research and analyzes creativity. He concludes with a discussion of how science can contribute to the humanities and offers advice to students on how to prepare for the future. Recorded on 02/04/2014.

From the moment of birth, human infants require an inordinate amount of care and, unlike our nearest living relatives, remain dependent on a variety of caretakers during an unusually long maturation period followed by extraordinary adult longevity. How did such a distinctive pattern of development evolve and what other human features are linked to it? Wenda Trevathan (New Mexico State Univ) begins with a discussion about Birth and the Newborn Infant, followed by Kim Bard (Univ of Portsmouth) on the Infant State in Apes and Humans, and Sarah Blaffer Hrdy (UC Davis) on Born Human: How the Utterly Dependent Survive.
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