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Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson

Pulitzer Prize-winner Marilynne Robinson delivers a lecture on the notion of grace, “a word without synonyms, a concept without paraphrase.” From the current state of the publishing industry to her work in academia, Robinson presents a series of thought-provoking contrasts and illuminations.

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Showing KWLS Audio Archives from: Shuffle

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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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Colm Tóibín

Irish novelist Colm Tóibín discusses Elizabeth Bishop and Thom Gunn. It is part of their achievement as poets, he argues, that 'Bishop and Gunn, in a confessional age, masked their grief with reason.' Includes close readings of Bishop's 'One Art,' 'Poem,' and 'North Haven' and Gunn's 'In Santa Mar...

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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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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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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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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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Richard Wilbur

In this recording from the 2003 Seminar, Wilbur reads and comments upon numerous poems, translations, lyrics, and light verse spanning his career. Wilbur begins the reading with two poems, "The Reader" and "Man Running," from the then-unpublished Collected Poems, 1943-2004, and continues wi...

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David Levering Lewis

David Levering Lewis’s two-volume biography of W.E.B. Du Bois, each of which won the Pulitzer Prize, is the definitive work on the life and thought of a complex American intellectual. In this lecture from the 2009 Key West Literary Seminar, Lewis examines Du Bois’s largely-forgotten work...

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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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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...

Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem

Jonathan Lethem’s novels include Motherless Brooklyn and Chronic City and he is an authority on the works of sci-fi legend Philip K. Dick. At the 2012 seminar, he presented ‘The True and the Real,’ a ‘plate-spinning act’ exploring such disparate figures as writer Samuel D...

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Panel: House, Jones, & Smith

Tayari Jones, Silas House, and Lee Smith in conversation about the Southern voice in writing. From the 2008 seminar: “New Voices.”

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