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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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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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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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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...

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Wendy Wasserstein

Wendy Wasserstein was a Brooklyn-born playwright who achieved popular and critical acclaim on Broadway for works that chronicled the triumphs and travails of modern American women. Her plays included Uncommon Women and Others and The Heidi Chronicles, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

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Maxine Kumin

Maxine Kumin was born in 1925 and lives on a horse farm in rural New Hampshire. She has published sixteen collections of poetry as well as numerous books for children, four of which were co-written with the poet Anne Sexton. Kumin won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for Up Country, and served as ...

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Valerie Martin

Valerie Martin is the author of three collections of short fiction, including The Unfinished Novel and Other Stories; several novels, including Tresspass and Mary Reilly, which was made into a movie with Julia Roberts and John Malkovich; and a nonfiction work about St. Francis of Assisi. In this rec...

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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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Panel: Nelson, Nguyen, Ryan, & White

Edmund White, Maggie Nelson, Bich Minh Nguyen, and Patrick Ryan discuss ‘newness’ in authorial voice, using Harold Bloom's idea of ‘the anxiety of influence’ as a starting point. Nguyen's theory of ‘the Asian once-over,’ Ryan's ‘Impostor Syndrome’ and Nelson's notion of "intoxicating...

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Charles Simic

Current U.S. Poet Laureate Charles Simic reads and comments upon his poems “White Room,” “Mirrors at 4 a.m.,” and “The Friends of Heraclitus.” From the 2003 Key West Literary Seminar. From KWLS 2003: The Beautiful Changes This recording is available for noncommerc...

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China Miéville

British novelist China Miéville is a 3-time winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award, given to the best science-fiction novel published in the U.K. Here he explores genre, 'the elephant in the room,' argues for its embrace as a useful taxonomy, and urges writers to aspire to the 'swagger' of hip-hop ar...

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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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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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