April 10, 2020 Marcus Jackson
Cave Canem Fellow Marcus Jackson reads from his 2019 Ohioana Award-winning poetry book, Pardon My Heart, as well as from his debut collection, Neighborhood Register. An Ohio native, who teaches in the MFA program at The Ohio State University, he discusses the importance of Cave Canem in his development as a poet and the resulting relationships he formed with The Symphony Poets. Jackson reads poems that touch on themes of love, racial identity, and family, particularly from Pardon My Heart, which he began writing after he was newly married.
April 3, 2020 Mark Doty
Esteemed poet Mark Doty discusses his work, including Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems winner of the 2008 National Book Awards, and his 2013 book-length poem and meditative bestiary called A Swarm, A Flock, A Host: A Compendium of Creatures. He also talks about why he turned to writing the memoirs, Dog Years and Firebird, and how the prose writing helped him deal more fully with the difficult issues of AIDS, death, and grief. Doty reads from his work and talks about his collaboration with the painter Darren Waterston on his exploration of the animal kingdom through poetry. Our audio archives also include a 1999 interview with Mark Doty.
March 27, 2020 Feminist Poets: Past American Voices
This program pays tribute to the past American voices of feminist poets from the last century, who opened doors at publishing houses for the vast numbers of talented women writers today. Listen to excerpts from Pulitzer Prize winners Maxine Kumin (1925-2014) and Carolyn Kizer (1925-2014), as well as MacArthur "genius" fellow Adrienne Rich (1929-2012). We'll also listen to the late Audre Lorde (1934-1992), who was the State Poet Laureate of New York when she died in 1992. To find more programs with these poets, search our Audio Archives.
March 20, 2020 Kim Shuck
Kim Shuck is San Francisco's seventh Poet Laureate and the first from a recognized Native Nation. Shuck, a citizen of Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, takes on the disappearance of native women in the United States in her poetry book, Murdered Missing, winner of the 2019 PEN Oakland Censorship Award. During her reading at Haskell Indian Nations University, she opens up about her own daughter's disappearance, and how her book came to be. She also reads from the book that just won the Northern California Golden Poppy Book Award for Poetry in 2020, Deer Trails: San Francisco Poet Laureate Series No. 7, that celebrates her city. She also shares poems from her "Early Day" Series about an offensive statue, recorded at the San Francisco Public Library. Her upcoming chapbook, Whose Water, is due out in 2020. Visit our audio archives to listen to a show with Kim Shuck reading from the anthology from BkMk Press called The World is One Place: Native American Poets Visit the Middle East.
March 13, 2020 Adrienne Rich: Past American Voice
This Past American Voice episode features the late, great poet Adrienne Rich, who died in 2012. Known for her perfectly crafted, award winning poems, she was also a fearless spokeswoman for the Feminist Movement, gay rights and peace. This program features excerpts from a 1995 New Letters on the Air interview and from a 2002 Cockefair Chair presentation at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
March 6, 2020 Patricia Smith
In the second half of this interview, Patricia Smith, a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts fellow, reads from her book Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah, the 2014 winner of the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and the Rebekah Johnson Bobbitt Award. Smith also shares a poem from her earlier National Poetry Series Award-winning collection, Teahouse of the Almighty. She discusses her relationships with her parents, who were part of the Great Migration of African-Americans from the south to the north, and life before and after her father's murder.
February 28, 2020 DaMaris Hill
In the final part of the "On Writing, On Race" program at the Kansas City Public Library, DaMaris Hill, the youngest and first living American poet to be signed to Bloomsbury Publishing, reads poems from her book, A Bound Woman is a Dangerous Thing. She talks with novelist Whitney Terrell as part of the Writers at Work series, about how she uses her writing to challenge authority and creatively share stories of powerful black women.
February 21, 2020 Anthony Grooms
Anthony Grooms, the author of Bombingham, reads from his newest novel, The Vain Conversation, a finalist for the 2020 Townsend Prize for Fiction. In part one of this show produced from a presentation at the Kansas City Public Library called "On Writing, On Race" Grooms, a two-time Lillian Smith Prize Recipient, sat down with fellow novelist Whitney Terrell for his Writers at Work series to talk about the importance of writing about race in America. The two discuss the novel, based on a 1946 lynching of two black couples in Georgia, and how it's told from the viewpoints of characters white and black, offering a complicated and nuanced story of our humanity.
February 14, 2020 Ernest Gaines: Past American Voice
We pay tribute to one of America's best fiction writers, Ernest Gaines (1933-2019), whose career really took off with his fourth novel, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. A native of Louisiana, Gaines brought to life the pre-Civil Rights days for black Americans in the south through his fiction. This Past American Voices episode features excerpts from 1989 and 1998 archive programs, featuring the MacArthur "genius" talking about his life and works, including his National Book Critics Circle Award-winning novel, A Lesson Before Dying, that that didn't become a bestseller until it was chosen for Oprah's Book Club.
February 7, 2020 Patricia Smith
Patricia Smith is the author of seven poetry books and a four-time National Poetry Slam Champion, the most successful poet in the competition's history. In part one of this interview, she reads from her recent book, Incendiary Art, 2018 winner of an NAACP Image Award and the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and discusses the why she chose to write so much about the late Emmett Till, who was killed the year of her birth.
January 31, 2020 Tyehimba Jess
Tyehimba Jess, winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry reads from his multi-award winning Olio at the Kansas City Public Library, during his 2019 visit to the Unesco Creative City of Music. The book delves into the voices of African American creatives in the 19th and early 20th century, allowing them to engage with each other in ways not possible in history. Jess is also interviewed by the Poet Laureate of Kansas City's 18th and Vine Jazz District, Glenn North. Listen to this conversation about poetic form, music and the legacy of African American poetry and history with Tyehimba Jess, who is also the author of Leadbelly.
Kansas City Literary Events
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