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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

LeeSmith

Lee Smith

As a bonus track, we went back to Lee’s talk from the 2005 Seminar on Humor. Smith’s tale of her high school English class re-enactment of Huckleberry Finn and Jim’s journey down the Mississippi (in a raft of their own construction which they built in a lumber yard in Paducah, Kent...

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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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Pico Iyer

Iyer delivered the annual John Hersey Memorial Address that kicked off the 2006 Seminar on The Literature of Adventure, Travel, and Discovery. The talk, preserved on this recording and entitled "A New Kind of Travel for a New Kind of World: Stillness and Movement on a Fast-Turning Globe" is a dazzli...

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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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Siri Hustvedt

On January 14th, 2007, Siri Hustvedt spoke on the topic of “A writer’s adventures in psychiatry and neuro-science.” It was a complex and bracing piece of writing and an intense talk. Hustvedt said afterwards that she was contemplating putting together a book of her essays on scienc...

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Phyllis Rose

Phyllis Rose explores our fascination with writers' lives, while uncovering the dueling impulses of biography and critical theory. 'Writing is done in private and involves a descent into the self,' she says. 'This struggle for truth and precision is so specialized, so private, so word-dependent, tha...

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...

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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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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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Harvey Shapiro

The late Harvey Shapiro reads a selection of his poems as well as work by Richard Wilbur and Yiddish writer Joseph Rolnik. Shapiro discusses the impact of World War II on the ‘class of 1924’ and talks about his mentors Charles Reznikoff, Louis Zukofsky, and George Oppen.

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Allan Gurganus

Allan Gurganus is best known as the author of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Talls All, his 1984 debut novel that spent eight months on the bestsellers list of The New York Times and has been translated into at least 12 languages. Other books include Plays Well with Others and White People, which w...

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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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