From the Archives: DonaldHall reads two poems that he wrote while teaching here at Michigan. We also talk about poetry as a vocation, Eagle Pond farm, a life inside and outside academia, the art of revision, baseball, Edgar Allan Poe, and writing with hope.
Robert Fanning reads from his collection American Prophet out with Marick Press. We talk about creating a character that speaks for an entire book of poems and what that allows to surface in the work. We also talk about humor, Detroit, the vision within Elvisfest and the karaoke of a Master.
Colson Whitehead reads from his novel Sag Harbor published by Doubleday. We talk about drawing on your own past and using elements of autobiography to frame what ideas you want to explore in your fiction. What are the risks and pay-offs involved? We also talk about summer at the shore and the 80s: music, fashion, and the glory.
JimShepard reads from his latest story collection Like You’d Understand, Anyway in paperback from Vintage.RonHansen reads from his novel Exiles published with FSG. A sort of
homecoming–these two writers met here at Michigan some years ago, their offices across the hall from each other in Angell Hall.
PatrickLane and LornaCrozier read poems from among their many poetry books including Last Water Song from Harbour Publishing and The Blue Hour of the Day published by McClelland & Stewart. We talk about the ways of “seeing”–how these ways might be determined without our even knowing it in our formative years. Patrick looks very close-up to things, and Lorna‘s vision requires the expanse of space–fields upon fields. Between them they have covered almost everything–from nonfiction to novels to anthologies. We talk about Canada’s literary scene and ecology too.
KhaledMattawa reads from his latest poetry collection Amorisco (2008) published by Ausable Press. We also hear selections from two books of his translations of Iman Mersal and Joumana Haddad–and talk about how working in translation impacts and informs his own poetry. We talk about his early years in Libya and what it is like to make a life and to make your art outside the country of your birth. And what it means to be a Liverpool supporter.
NamiMun reads from new stories from Miles From Nowhere. We discuss the life of the writer inside and outside of academia, linked stories within a collection, and her experience with writers‘ residencies like Yaddo and The MacDowell Colony. We also talk about being a criminal investigator and a dramatist.
MichaelShilling reads from his debut novel Rock Bottom from Little, Brown & Company. We talk about writing from multiple character perspectives. We also talk about humor and pacing–and the challenge of creating a story as an insider within a particular culture or industry that others dream about.
Author, educator, and environmentalist BillMcKibben talks about his book Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future as well as 350.org, his project to encourage a global grassroots campaign on climate change. Also we talk about community radio, the predicament of “fighting, not writing” and why nature writing is our century’s major contribution to literature. The BillMcKibben Reader is out from Holt Paperbacks.