featured audio

More than five hundred unique presentations by the world’s most influential writers are available in our audio archive. The selected recordings featured here include a brief introduction, with biographical information about the speakers and a summary of the material. We encourage educators worldwide to use these unique resources and share them with your community of readers.


Richard Wilbur: 1993
A Reading in Tribute to Elizabeth Bishop

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 “Little Exercise.” Originally published in her debut 1946 collection North and South, the poem ostensibly describes a thunderstorm “roaming the sky” over the mangrove islands, palm-lined boulevard, herons, and sleeping indigents characteristic of Key West, a place each poet called home.

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Billy Collins: 2003

This recording of Billy Collins was made in January of 2003, during his second term as U.S. Poet Laureate. He reads a selection of poems, including “Shoveling Snow With Buddha,” “Monday,” “Flock,” “Creatures,” “The Lanyard,” “The Country,” “Surprise,” “No Time,” “Love,” “Sonnet,” “Japan,” “Forgetfulness,” “Consolation,” “On Turning Ten,” and “Nightclub.” …

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Allan Gurganus | 2009
A Still Small Voice Under the Cannonade

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 won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

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Geraldine Brooks | 2009 | March

Australian-born Geraldine Brooks is the author of novels including People of the Book and March, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2005. As a journalist for The Wall Street Journal in the 1980s and 1990s, Brooks covered crises in the the Middle East, Africa, and the Balkans.

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Barry Unsworth: 2009: Land of Marvels

In this recording from the first session of the 2009 Seminar, Unsworth reads a passage from Land of Marvels, concerning Somerville, the British archeologist whose work on an ancient Assyrian site is threatened by a railroad being constructed by a German company, and Jehar, the financially-motivated Arab he pays to report on the railway’s progress.

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Mark Doty: 2008

In this recording from the 2008 Seminar, National Book Award-winning poet Mark Doty reads a selection of work inspired by a previous visit to Key West in 1997, including a section from his 2007 memoir Dog Years, and the poems “Sea Grape Valentine,” “Watermelon Soda,” and “Catalina Macaw.”…

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Forrest Gander: 2003

Forrest Gander is the author of several collections of poetry, essays, and the novel As a Friend, published by New Directions in 2008. He has translated the works of several Latin American poets including Coral Bracho and Pura Lopez-Colome, and is the editor and co-translator with Kent Johnson of two books by Bolivian poet Jaime Sáenz.

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C.D. Wright

C.D. Wright: 2003

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 Poetry from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

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