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David A. Kaufelt

“I have a theory why we all live here—it’s called the Peter Pan theory. Freud said we’re at our most creative before we’re five years old. That’s where we are here. We wear shorts, we ride bicycles, we have the water, a great symbol of the unconscious, and we’re free to be children here and let our spirits go.”

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Showing KWLS Audio Archives from: Shuffle

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William Kennedy

William Kennedy is best known for the novels of his Albany Cycle. A singular epic of that capital city and its Irish-American clans in the 19th and 20th centuries, the work has earned Kennedy comparisons to James Joyce and Saul Bellow. Among its novels are Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game (1979), ...

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Joyce Carol Oates

Joyce Carol Oates is the author of more than 50 novels, as well as many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction. In this recording from the 2012 seminar, Oates reads “San Quentin,” a short story based on her experience teaching English at San Quentin State Prison in the spring of 2011.

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Hannah Pittard

Hannah Pittard reads “The Year Helen Turned Forty-One,” at the 2008 Key West Literary Seminar: New Voices. It begins: The year Helen turned forty-one, she developed bronchitis and fell in love. He was tan, wore shorts in the winter, and had fantastically large calves. He rode a bicycle t...

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Megan Abbott, Gillian Flynn, Laura Lippman

Laura Lippman, Megan Abbott, and Gillian Flynn discuss how novels and films featuring women protagonists are presented in popular culture and perceived by audiences. “Things that make men cry are considered profound,” remarks Lippman. “Things that make women cry are considered sentimental.”

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Silas House

Silas House reads from his in-progress novel, Yvonna Darling, “about a woman who kidnaps her own child after custody is unfairly taken away from her.” Ominously full of the slow summer sounds of cicadas, willow trees, and the song of a whippoorwill, this desperate passage is brought to v...

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James Merrill

This 1993 reading in tribute to Elizabeth Bishop reveals James Merrill’s significant gifts as a reader and interpreter of Bishop’s work, and suggests the depths of the influence he felt from the poet who “set standards for me as no other contemporary did.”

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Michael Wood

On Thursday, January 11th, 2007, Michael Wood delivered the annual John Hersey Memorial Address in a talk entitled “The Liberation of Macondo.” From KWLS 2007: Wondrous Strange This recording is available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights belong to the author. © 200...

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Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala reads from a nonfiction work-in-progress about people living with HIV/AIDS in northern Nigeria. Set in and around a rural hospital in northern Nigeria, the excerpt focuses on a young man named Ifanye, and his struggle with “the something” with which he is infected. From 2...

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Discussion: Rosenblatt & Trudeau

Garry Trudeau and Roger Rosenblatt had been travelling together for two days when they sat down to have their scheduled conversation at the 2005 Seminar, and Trudeau kicks it off by asserting that they’re all talked out. They weren’t. The consensus was that these two should start a talk ...

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Maggie Nelson

Maggie Nelson reads two long poems, “The Mute Story of November” and “The Halo Over the Hospital,” from her book Something Bright, Then Holes (Soft Skull Press, 2007). In a brief introduction, Nelson gives credit for the title of her book to Annie Dillard, whose essay “...

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Kay Ryan

Kay Ryan was the sixteenth United States Poet Laureate, from 2008-2010. Her work has drawn comparisons to Emily Dickinson, Marianne Moore, and Elizabeth Bishop, and like these poets, Ryan’s masterfully concise poems fuse acute observation of the physical world with equally sharp introspection;...

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Steve Stern

Steve Stern spoke at the 2007 Seminar on January 14th, on the topic of “Memories of Amnesia: Jewish Folklore and the Mystery of Identity.” In Stern’s hands this was a funnier topic than the title might lead you to believe; he had them rolling in the aisles, leading one attendee to ...

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