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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 interesting.”

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Showing KWLS Audio Archives from: 2008

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Kristen-Paige Madonia

Kristen-Paige Madonia was the recipient of our inaugural Marianne Russo Scholarship, and will be a Writer in Residence at The Studios of Key West this October. In this recording from 2008, she reads her short story, “Cheap Red Meat,” originally published in Pearl. Every other Tuesday I b...

Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala

Uzodinma Iweala reads from his critically acclaimed debut novel Beasts of No Nation, which tells the story of Agu, a child soldier fighting in a civil war in an unnamed west African country. In this section we are introduced to Agu, his friend Strika, Luftenant, and Commandante, as Agu kills for the...

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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Meghan O'Rourke

Meghan O’Rourke is a poetry editor at The Paris Review, and a culture critic and advisory editor at Slate. This recording from our 2008 Seminar captures O’Rourke’s crisp and elegant reading of several poems from her first collection, Halflife (2007), including “Peep-Show,R...

Kevin Young

Kevin Young

This 2008 reading features poet Kevin Young reading a selection of then-recent work, including “Aunties,” “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” “Black Cat Blues,” “Hang Dog Blues,” “Flash Flood Blues,” “Ode To The Hotel Near The Children...

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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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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...

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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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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