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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

C.D. Wright

C.D. Wright

C.D. Wright is the author of numerous collections of poetry and prose, including Cooling Time: An American Poetry Vigil (2005). She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (twice), the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Bunting Institute, as well as Witter Bynner Prize for Poet...

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Samantha Hunt

Samantha Hunt is the author of The Invention of Everything Else, which has been shortlisted for the 2009 Orange Prize for Fiction. In this recording from the 2009 Key West Literary Seminar, Hunt discusses the subject of her historical novel, Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla, whose revolutionary inventi...

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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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Sara Paretsky

Sara Paretsky weaves together contemporary social and political issues as they relate to mystery and crime fiction. She asks “What is the role of the writer?” while warning of the dangers of self-censorship and government surveillance; and she reminds us that fiction reveals essential truths abo...

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Joy Williams

Joy Williams is the influential author of dozens of short stories and essays, which are collected in Taking Care (1982), Escapes (1990), Honored Guest (2004), and Ill Nature: Rants and Reflections on Humanity and Other Animals (2001), which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award f...

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Barry Unsworth

Barry Unsworth’s body of work is marked by scrupulous historical research and compelling narratives. In this recording from the 2009 Key West Literary Seminar, Unsworth discusses the impulses, instincts, and concerns that drive his fascination with history. The often intimate discussion sugges...

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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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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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Hannah Pittard

Hannah Pittard reads “The Year Helen Turned Forty-One,” at the 2008 Key West Literary Seminar: New Voices. It begins: The year Helen turned forty-one, she developed bronchitis and fell in love. He was tan, wore shorts in the winter, and had fantastically large calves. He rode a bicycle t...

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Maggie Nelson

As KWLS Board Member Bob Richardson says in his introduction, Maggie Nelson is “intimately acquainted with the night”. Nelson reads from and discusses her books “Jane: A Murder” and “The Red Parts: A Memoir”. Both concern Jane, who was Nelson’s mother’...

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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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Richard Wilbur

The 1993 Key West Literary Seminar was devoted entirely to Elizabeth Bishop. A series of readings-in-tribute offered her fellow poets the opportunity to discuss Bishop and her influence. In this recording from the event, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Wilbur reads Bishop’s “Littl...

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