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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: af

John Ashbery

John Ashbery

In response to a panel discussion titled Poets and Their Work: Poetry as Its Own Biography (personal I vs. poetic eye), John Ashbery delivers a “mini-lecture” on so-called confessional poetry and the work of Elizabeth Bishop. At the conclusion of the lecture, Ashbery reads his “Soo...

Ashbery

John Ashbery

John Ashbery reads from Chinese Whispers (2002), his twenty-fourth book of poems. Along the way, he discusses the poems’ references to Erik Satie, Marcel Duchamp, Arthur Rimbaud, and other titans of French music, art, and literature. The reading, from the 2003 Key West Literary Seminar: The Be...

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Conversation: Atwood & Cunningham

On January 14th, 2007 Margaret Atwood and Michael Cunningham sat down on the Key West Literary Seminar stage for a conversation on the topic of “Speculative Fiction and the Art of Subversion” From KWLS 2007: Wondrous Strange This recording is available for noncommercial and educational u...

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Panel: Atwood, Gleick, Miéville, Oates

Acclaimed science and technology writer James Gleick leads Year of the Flood author Margaret Atwood, British novelist China Miéville, and American writer Joyce Carol Oates in a discussion of the tensions between the real and the unreal inherent in writing and reading works of fiction.

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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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Andrea Barrett

Andrea Barrett’s acclaimed novels and short-stories are marked by their investigation of scientific and historical themes. In this recording from the 2009 Key West Literary Seminar, Barrett explains how she began to write about science and history in the short story form after the disappointme...

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Ann Beattie

Ann Beattie is the Edgar Allan Poe Chair of the University of Virginia’s Department of English and Creative Writing. A short story writer and a novelist, she has received critical acclaim for her body of work and has been called “one of our era’s most vital masters of the short for...

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John Banville & Benjamin Black

“We have this illusion that we are unitary beings. We have the notion that there is a pilot light inside us that is one's self. I don't believe this is the case. We're a collection of poses, of attitudes, of versions of ourselves. We make ourselves up as we go along. This is what makes life in...

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Geraldine Brooks

Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is the author of novels including People of the Book and March, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2005. As a journalist for The Wall Street Journal in the 1980s and 1990s, Brooks covered crises in the the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans. In thi...

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Tina Chang

Tina Chang is the author of Half-Lit Houses and the co-editor of Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia and Beyond. The New York native was appointed poet laureate of Brooklyn in 2010, and has previously earned honors including an award from the Academy of America...

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Billy Collins

This recording from the 2010 Key West Literary Seminar features Collins delivering a lecture and reading entitled "Dear Reader." "I think of the poem as a social encounter," says Collins, one equally dependent upon both reader and writer, for "the poem is completed in the mind of the reader." He quo...

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Billy Collins

This recording of Billy Collins was made in January of 2003, during his second term as U.S. Poet Laureate. He reads a selection of poems, including "Shoveling Snow With Buddha," "Monday," "Flock," "Creatures," "The Lanyard," "The Country," "Surprise," "No Time," "Love," "Sonnet," "Japan," "Forgetful...

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Conversation: Coupland & Gibson

Douglas Coupland and William Gibson discuss technology, culture, and the craft of writing. Communications technologies are a "global memory prosthesis," says Gibson, and aspire to an experience in which distinctions between the "virtual" and the "real” are dissolved. "We are already the borg," Gib...

Robert Creeley

Robert Creeley

As part of a panel discussion in 2003, we asked Robert Creeley to read and comment upon one of his favorite poems. It was no surprise when he selected a poem by his great friend and comrade, Charles Olson. Creeley reads passages from his introduction to Olson’s Selected Poems, and reads the la...

Junot Díaz

Junot Díaz

Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz reads “Boyfriend,” a short story from his 1997 collection, Drown. I should’ve been careful with the weed. Most people it just fucks up. Me, it makes me sleepwalk. And wouldn’t you know I woke up in the hallway of our building feeling my head ...

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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...

Mark Doty

Mark Doty

In this recording from the 2008 Seminar, National Book Award-winning poet Mark Doty reads a selection of work inspired by a previous visit to Key West in 1997, including a section from his 2007 memoir Dog Years, and the poems "Sea Grape Valentine," "Watermelon Soda," and "Catalina Macaw."....

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Mark Doty

Mark Doty is the author of eight books of poems and four volumes of nonfiction prose. He has received the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; and his Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems won the 2008 National Book Award in poetry. Doty was the keynote speaker at ...

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Rita Dove

As a Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, Rita Dove is among the most accomplished and recognizable poets of our time. Her collections of poetry include Thomas and Beulah, American Smooth, and, most recently, Sonata Mulattica, an ambitious and fascinating poetic recre...

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Geoff Dyer

In an interview with Christopher Lydon, Geoff Dyer argues that literary greatness should not be measured by the novel, but by marginal genres like essays, letters, and travel writing. The pursuit of truth in literature will succeed only when you ‘remain absolutely faithful to the vagaries of your ...

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Patricia Engel

Patricia Engel was the winner of the Key West Literary Seminar’s Marianne Russo Scholarship for 2009. She subsequently signed a two-book contract with Grove/Atlantic, which will publish Vida, a collection of short stories, in 2010. Engel’s short story “Madre Patria,” workshop...

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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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Bruce Jay Friedman

At the 2005 Seminar on Humor, Bruce Jay Friedman read his short story “A Change of Plan”, originally published in Esquire. Friedman talked about how the story made the journey to the screen with the 1972  Elaine May-helmed The Heartbreak Kid (just remade starring Ben Stiller). It’...

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