John Freeman

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John Freeman

John Freeman is an award-winning writer, book critic, and poet who has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, The Guardian, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2007, he won the James Patterson PageTurner Award. He is most recently the author of the collection of poems, Maps (Copper Canyon Press, 2017).

Freeman is editor of the anthologies Freeman’s: Family: The Best New Writing on Family (Grove Press, 2016), Freeman’s: Arrival: The Best New Writing on Arrival (Grove Press, 2015), and Tales of Two Cities: The Best and Worst of Times in Today’s New York (Penguin, 2015). He is also the author of How to Read a Novelist (FSG, 2013).

He is the former editor-in-chief of Granta and lives in New York City. 

Sarajevo (Summer 2016)

She pointed, two hundred meters: there. I was
fifteen. We were drinking wine outside
a bookshop. The shelling lasted
all night. The ruby-colored sunset, the river

close. The theater so crowded
people sat in one another’s laps. Bombs fell so near every
few minutes, parts of the stage splintered.

I’m leaning on a car, cool
metal, smoked glass. The actors,
she tells me, didn’t flinch, didn’t miss
a single line. The audience

didn’t move, didn’t
make a sound.

You’re here; you survived;
and you’re there —
floor shaking, streets buckle —
watching a play that
for eternity will last.

From Maps (Copper Canyon Press, 2017)



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Reading with Eula Biss | February 26, 2019

Writing in the Englishes | March 28, 2017

The Canon: Do Countries Need a National Literature? | March 28, 2017

Authors’ Reading | March 28, 2017

Seminar with Aminatta Forna and Marlon James | September 23, 2016

Reading with Aminatta Forna and Marlon James | September 23, 2016

Conversation with Aminatta Forna | November 17, 2015