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Hilton Als & Junot Díaz

To open Shorts: Stories, Essays & Other Briefs, Junot Díaz and Hilton Als came together on the subject of “Baldwin’s Children, or, Our Bodies Long for (a) Home: Belonging, Exile, and Love in African Diaspora Letters.”

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Showing KWLS Audio Archives from: Shuffle

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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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...

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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Julia Reed

Julia Reed is a contributing editor at Newsweek and a native of Greenville, Mississippi. In this rollicking talk from the 2011 Seminar, Reed discusses facets of Southern life including disproportionate rates of murder and churchgoing; Mississippi’s repeal of Prohibition, 33 years behind t...

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Francisco Goldman

Novelist Francisco Goldman talks about José Martí, a seminal figure in the birth of the Cuban nation. The talk focuses on Martí’s years in exile in New York (1878-1895), where he worked as a journalist, and later organized and raised funds for the revolutionary force which would eventually ...

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Richard Wilbur

Richard Wilbur is among the singular poets of our time, the only living poet to have twice won the Pulitzer Prize, and a former Poet Laureate of the United States. In this recording from 2010, Wilbur reads more than two dozen poems and translations, many of which would be published by Harcourt that ...

KWLS - Day One Morning--9

Wally Lamb

Wally Lamb reads his essay, “A Case of Joni,” in which Joni Mitchell’s song “The Magdalene Laundries” is used as an entry point into a discussion on the complexities of compassion. Lamb also explores his path to becoming a writer and his work teaching at a women’s prison in Connecticut.

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Paul Muldoon

Paul Muldoon was born and raised in Northern Ireland and has lived in the United States since 1987. He is poetry editor for The New Yorker and the author of more than 10 collections of poems, including the 2002 Moy Sand and Gravel, which won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the International Griffi...

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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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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 ...

James Tate

James Tate

James Tate, half stand-up comic, half great American poet, reads a selection from his work, including “Of Whom Am I Afraid,” “A Sound Like Distant Thunder,” “The Animists,” “The Rally,” “Silver Queen,” “The Rules,” and “Th...

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George Saunders

George Saunders is a fiction writer and essayist noted for his acute sense of satire, outrageous humor, and keenly perceptive observations on contemporary life. In this talk, he recounts his coming of age as a writer and explains how he learned to stop aping his literary idols and begin making use o...

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