April 27, 2018 Stephen Corey
Poet, essayist, and editor of The Georgia Review, Stephen Corey reads from his 2017 book Startled at the Big Sound: Essays Personal, Literary, and Cultural. Corey reveals how his two adopted daughters helped inspire this book and discusses his approach to editing. He also shares a villanelle from his poetry collection Greatest Hits: 1980-2000 and talks about his 2003 book There is No Finished World.
April 20, 2018 Kansas Poets Laureate
The second half of this reading by Kansas Poets Laureate, Past & Present, recorded at the University of Kansas Center for Design Research begins with Wyatt Townley (2013-15), who introduces the Kansas Poet Laureate she followed, Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg (2009-13). She reads from her newest collection about yoga, as well as her prize-winning book, Chasing Weather. Denise Low (2007-09) reveals some poetic inspirations for her new books, from turtles to her Native American ancestry, then circles back around to the current Kansas Poet Laureate, Kevin Rabas (2017-19).
April 13, 2018 Kansas Poets Laureate
In part one Kansas Poets Laureate, Past & Present, the current holder of the post, Kevin Rabas, reads along with former laureates Eric McHenry and Wyatt Townley. They share their works, new and old, in a presentation sponsored by the Kansas Area Watershed Council at the University of Kansas Center for Design Research. The poets reveal how they infuse avocations and personal experience into their books, including Kevin's jazz, Eric's humor and history, and Wyatt's practice of dance and yoga.
April 6, 2018 Robert Stewart
Robert Stewart, the St. Louis born writer and editor of New Letters magazine, has written several books of poetry and essays. Winner of the Thorpe Menn Award for Literary Excellence and a National Magazine Award for Editorial Excellence, Stewart talks about his creative process and discusses how his blue collar past has inspired his writing, from his 1988 book Plumbers (reissued in 2017) to his 2018 collection of poetry, Working Class. He also reads from his 2014 essay book, The Narrow Gate: Writing, Art & Values. Earlier interviews with Robert Stewart from 1983 and 2005 are also available in our Audio Archives.
March 30, 2018 Hadara Bar-Nadav & Kathryn Nuernberger
In this interview at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library, poets Hadara Bar-Nadav and Kathryn Nuernberger, who were both chosen as 2017 NEA Literary Fellows, discuss their latest collections along with their origins and influences, and talk about how dreaming affects their poetry. Bar-Nadav, the co-editor of the textbook, Writing Poems, who teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, reads poems from Fountain and Furnace and The New Nudity, while Nuernberger, editor of Pleiades Press at the University of Central Missouri and author of essay collection, Brief Interviews with the Romantic Past, reads from her James Laughlin Award-winning poetry collection, The End of Pink.
March 23, 2018 Rachel Hall
Published in various anthologies and literary magazines, including New Letters as the Fiction Prize winner of 2004, Rachel Hall discusses her first book, a collection of interconnected short stories called Heirlooms. Chosen by Marge Piercy as the 2015 winner of the G.S. Sharat Chandra Prize for Short Fiction from BkMk Press and winner of the 2018 Philip McMath Post-publication Book Award, it is based on her own family's history and wartime papers and photos. The book follows a Jewish family through the French Resistance and the Holocaust, tracing their lives from Palestine, to France, and eventually to Missouri in the United States. While at the National Archives at Kansas City, Hall reads from this collection and reveals why she chose to write this as fiction rather than memoir. Click here to view the photos Rachel Hall discussed during this interview.
March 16, 2018 Monica Youn
A lawyer-turned-poet, Monica Youn has written three books of poetry, and now teaches creative writing in New York. Twice a finalist for the National Book Award, she reveals why she felt the need to leave the legal field for creative writing after her second poetry book. She also discusses how historical views on a woman's place in society and her own struggles with infertility helped shape her third book, Blackacre, winner of the 2017 William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America.
March 9, 2018 Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill was born in the UK, but was sent to live with her aunt in Ireland at age five. Now considered one of the country's leading poets writing all in Irish, she has won numerous awards for her books of poetry and essays, with her works translated into English by the likes of Paul Muldoon. Her 2017 book, Entry Permitted, features her lectures as the Ireland Chair of Poetry. She reads from her poetry books The Fifty Minute Mermaid and The Water Horse and her Selected Essays, and discusses her fight to gain recognition in her early career and the influence of Irish lore and landscape on her writing.
March 2, 2018 The Augurs: Women of an Age
In ancient Rome, an Augur was thought to be a herald or one who could interpret the natural signs as an indication of divine approval or disapproval of proposed actions. This public poetry reading was recorded in Washington D.C. during the 2017 Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference, under the auspices of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics and Writers at The Catholic University of America. It features a group of women poets, most over the age of 60, sharing their work and views on our society. Eleanor Wilner, Alice Friman, Alicia Ostriker, the late Michelle Boisseau, Terese Svoboda, Kate Daniels, Robin Becker, and Rosellen Brown read their award-winning poetry that is both poignant and political in The Augurs: Women of an Age.
February 23, 2018 James Alan McPherson: Past American Voice
The late essayist and short story writer James Alan McPherson (1943-2016) was the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. In this 1991 archive interview with Rebekah Presson, he talks about his life as a writer, father, teacher, and more. Born and raised in Savannah, Georgia, McPherson graduated in History and English from Atlanta's Morris Brown College, and then received his Harvard Law Degree in 1968, before pursuing his M.F.A. at the Iowa Writer's Workshop. He later became one of the school's most beloved professors, teaching there until his retirement in 2014. McPherson's writing often portrayed race, family, and class issues, as in his story "A Loaf of Bread" from his 1977 Pulitzer Prize-winning collection Elbow Room, read in this program by Walter Coppage. The late writer will be honored at the 2018 AWP conference, where his daughter, Rachel McPherson, whom he talks about in this interview, will be present.
February 16, 2018 Black Women Writers in History
We go to the archives to revisit a program that examines important African-American writers, beginning with the 18th century's Phillis Wheatley and concluding with former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove. This show also features the late Margaret Walker and Gwendolyn Brooks, as well as recordings from the Folkways collection called Black American History in Ballad, Song, and Prose.
Kansas City Literary Events