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Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson

Pulitzer Prize-winner Marilynne Robinson delivers a lecture on the notion of grace, “a word without synonyms, a concept without paraphrase.” From the current state of the publishing industry to her work in academia, Robinson presents a series of thought-provoking contrasts and illuminations.

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Showing KWLS Audio Archives from: Shuffle

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Sharon Olds

Sharon Olds reads a selection of poems from her body of work, including 1987’s “On the Subway,” “Animal Crackers,” “When I Left Her” (work in progress), “Stag’s Leap,” “Wooden Ode,” “When She Slept In,” and “A ...

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Eric Foner

Eric Foner is one of America’s preeminent historians, especially known for his work on the post-Civil War period of Reconstruction. In this fascinating lecture from the 2009 Key West Literary Seminar, Foner explores the social and political implications of historical inquiry, and the role of t...

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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 h...

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Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon was born and raised in Northern Ireland and has lived in the United States since 1987. He is poetry editor for The New Yorker and the author of more than 10 collections of poems, including the 2002 Moy Sand and Gravel, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the International Griffi...

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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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Conversation: Auster & Hustvedt

Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt spoke in a conversation guided by Mary Morris. From KWLS 2007: Wondrous Strange This recording is available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights belong to the author. © 2007 Paul Auster and Siri Hustvedt. Used with permission from Paul Auster and Siri...

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Pico Iyer & Barry Lopez

This conversation focuses on the concept of wonder and it’s relationship to literature. In this broad yet focused discussion, Pico Iyer & Barry Lopez speak on the importance of diversity, the author’s obligation to bear witness, and the ethical dilemmas that accompany such pursuits.

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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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Barry Unsworth

In this recording of the 2009 John Hersey Memorial address, Barry Unsworth outlines his thoughts on the nature of truth in works of fiction. On the one hand, argues Unsworth, the novelist must strive for accuracy in relating the historical facts of a period. On the other hand, "the writer of fiction...

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Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz reads from his Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), and, in far-ranging comments, addresses the danger inherent in a dominant authorial voice. “No matter how many ruses I use,” Díaz says, “I’m the only one speaking.R...

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Colm Tóibín

Irish novelist Colm Tóibín discusses Elizabeth Bishop and Thom Gunn. It is part of their achievement as poets, he argues, that 'Bishop and Gunn, in a confessional age, masked their grief with reason.' Includes close readings of Bishop's 'One Art,' 'Poem,' and 'North Haven' and Gunn's 'In Santa Mar...

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George Saunders

George Saunders is a fiction writer and essayist noted for his acute sense of satire, outrageous humor, and keenly perceptive observations on contemporary life. In this talk, he recounts his coming of age as a writer and explains how he learned to stop aping his literary idols and begin making use o...

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