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CIERA BURCH One City One Story: Yvonne

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"Yvonne" by Ciera Burch is the 2019 One City One Story all-city read selection for the city of Boston. One City One Story is an annual project of the Boston Book Festival, which prints and distributes 20,000 copies of the selected story for free throughout Greater Boston. Ciera Burch will appear at the Boston Book Festival for town hall discussions on both October 19 and October 20, in Copley Square and Dudley Square. For more information about the Boston Book Festival and One City One Story, please visit bostonbookfest.org. The story is read aloud by Henriette Lazaridis. (31:12)

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JANISSE RAY Cheyenne

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Cattle auctions, pastures, and an old horse. These make up the world of Janisse Ray's essay "Cheyenne", about an old horse taken in by Ray's family. Ray's piece explores the nature of love, the connections between love and pity, and the discovery of grace. (15:59)

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NICKOLE BROWN Two Poems

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Nickole Brown reads her poems "Wild Thing" and "Against Despair: The Kid Goat" and speaks with Poetry Editor Kirun Kapur about topics ranging from her inspiration for her work, to her Kentucky upbringing, to the first poem that resonated with her. (37:18)

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BRADFORD PHILEN What's Heavy?

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"I don't have much time," says Dickie, the narrator of Bradford Philen's "What's Heavy". Dickie is a high-school kid, but he doesn't have much time--before his father's kidneys give out, before the coming hurricane hits, before Ophelia, the girl he's into, gives up on him. Dickie is under more than specific pressures on this one night when his many burdens weigh on him. (21:49)

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KARI LUND-TEIGEN Keep in Touch

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The Great Confusion has occurred, and in its aftermath, Bea is looking for her daughter. Her husband has gone missing, too. Kari Lund-Teigen's "Keep in Touch" vividly evokes a dystopian world, as well as the lengths to which its inhabitants will go to to communicate and connect. (14:09)

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HEATHER CRIPPS Devil's Drop

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Three boys make an unpleasant discovery while playing in a local park. Through one boy's narration, Heather Cripps' "Devil's Drop" tells the story of the children's vulnerability and the poignant ways in which they search for reassurance. (15:51)

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AMY LEE LILLARD Head Like a Hole

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The husband who narrates Amy Lee Lillard's story "Head Like a Hole" watches, puzzled, as a perfectly round hole grows in his backyard. The growing hole, and the wife's ongoing vigil, tell a poignant story of self, integrity, and, ultimately, connection. (20:50)

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GREGORY SPATZ Hit Me

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A group of high-school boys tests each other and themselves with the game of knuckles. From the pain of knuckles, to the release of getting high, to the sweet pleasure of a Charleston Chew, these boys feel everything, and try to pretend they can choose what they let in. "Hit Me" is a story--beautifully performed by Spatz--about aggression, recklessness, and surprising weakness. (34:36)

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ERIN HOOVER Poems

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Erin Hoover's poems "What Is The Sisterhood to Me" and "If You Are Confused About Whether a Girl Can Consent" speak to the issues of our current news-cycle and to the timeless issues of power and selfhood. In an accompanying interview with Poetry Editor Kirun Kapur, Hoover talks about her process, her favorite poem, and other aspects of her work. (16:45)

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PHIL SHRECK MAILBOX

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A thing as ordinary as a mailbox becomes the focus of all of one man's passions in Phil Shreck's eponymous story. Russell tilts not at windmills but at his mailboxes, old and new, and at a deep-seated sense of inadequacy. Shreck reads his darkly funny story aloud in a brilliant performance. (22:56)

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AUSTIN SEGREST Two Poems and an Interview

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Football and a bong are the ostensible subjects of Austin Segrest's two poems "Wingback" and "The Big Bong". Segrest's poetry is both playful and serious here, classically grounded and utterly contemporary. After reading the poems, he speaks with Poetry Editor Kirun Kapur about his sources of ideas, his approach to writing, and his current non-poetry obsession: tennis. (8:18)

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VARIOUS FEBRUARY FLASH MIXTAPE

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Since February is the shortest month, we think it's the perfect time for the shortest of stories. And so, we bring you that icon of long-ago pop culture, now modified for the post-cassette era: the mixtape. In one track, we've compiled six short pieces from The Drum's archives, from writers Matt Bell, Ron MacLean, Michelle Seaton, Cumi Ikeda, Allison Williams, and Nathan Poole. These are tales of snakes and tidepools, butchers and fish, identity and danger. (21:45)

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