Browse Reading by Year

John Barth reads excerpts from his novel Sabbatical: a Romance, a year before the novel's release. Copyright (c) John Barth, used with permission of the Wylie Agency LLC.

In this performance for the Writers at Work Series, Patrick D. Hoctel reads from a story set in Miramar, Baja California, titled "Playing with Light."

Robert Pack delivers a lecture titled Voice as Metaphor: Silences, Sighs, Ellipsis, O's and Ah's, reflecting on the work of poets such as Wallace Stevens and Robert Frost.

Mark Strand reads from Selected Poems (1980) and Mr. and Mrs. Baby and Other Stories (1985). He gave this reading with Nancy Mairs.

Nancy Mairs reads from In All the Rooms of the Yellow House (1984). She gave this reading with Mark Strand.

William Stafford reads poems from throughout his career, on themes such as aging, memory, nature, war, and human violence. He also reads what he claims is his "weakest" poem, "The Little Girl by the Fence at School."

Tim O'Brien reads a chapter from his novel The Nuclear Age, which would be published three years after this reading.

University of Arizona fiction faculty member Robert Houston reads excerpts from an early novel and from Bisbee '17 (1979).

Dannie Abse reads from Tenants of the House: Poems 1951-1956 (1957), Funland and Other Poems (1973), Way Out in the Centre (1981), and New and Collected Poems (2003).

Leslie Ullman discusses process and reads poems from her collection Natural Histories (1979), including "Bravado," "Fur," "Last Night They Heard the Woman Upstairs," and "Midwife"; she also reads poems that would go on to be collected in Dreams by No One's Daughter (1987).

N. Scott Momaday reads both poetry and fiction for the Writers at Work series. He begins with a series of short epitaphs, followed by a series of charms inspired by the Native American oral tradition. He reads a few more poems, including selections from his collection The Way to Rainy Mountain (1969). He concludes the reading with a selection from his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel House Made of Dawn (1968).

Peter Wild reads poems appearing in Getting Ready for a Date(1984), The Peaceable Kingdom(1983), and Barn Fires(1978) as well as uncollected works.

Marcia Southwick reads poems from the second half of The Night Won't Save Anyone (1980), along with poems that would go on to be collected in Why the River Disappears (1990).

Seamus Heaney reads from Death of a Naturalist (1966), Door into the Dark (1969), Wintering Out (1972), North (1975), Field Work (1979), and Station Island (1984). This recording is incomplete due to a malfunction on the original reel-to-reel tape, and the final three tracks display some sound distortion. 

Larry McMurtry reads selections from his novel The Desert Rose (1983).

For her first reading at the Poetry Center, Graham reads solely from her second book of poems, Erosion (1983).

Paul Zimmer reads poems inspired by his troubled youth during the Eisenhower years, as well as several persona poems.

In this reading, Gerald Stern reads poems appearing in The Red Coal (1981), Paradise Poems (1984), and Lucky Life (1977).

In this reading, given 4 years before the publication of his Melville Cane Award-winning collection Cemetery Nights, Stephen Dobyns reads poems that would appear in that book, as well as poems that would be published in his 1990 collection Black Dog, Red Dog.

Tillie Olsen reads excerpts from Tell Me a Riddle (1961), her collection of short stories; Yonnondio: From the Thirties (1974), an unfinished novel; and the classic work of nonfiction, Silences (1978). Olsen's reading is interspersed with anecdotes and narrative summaries.

Al Young reads poems from The Blues Don't Change (1982) and Heaven: Collected Poems 1956-1990 (1992), along with several prose selections.

John A. Williams reads poems from an early manuscript that would eventually come to form his collection Safari West (1998). He then reads from his novel !Click Song (1982), investigating issues of race, colonialism, and diaspora. Both books are winners of the American Book Award.

James Laughlin reads primarily from In Another Country (1978) and Selected Poems, 1935-1985 (1985).

An interview with poet, publisher, and New Directions founder James Laughlin, hosted by Lawrence Clark Powell.

Lucille Clifton reads poems on many subjects, including family and illness, as well as a series of Rastafarian-inspired poems about the life of the Biblical figure Mary. In addition to poems, Clifton reads excerpts from Generations: A Memoir and her children's book Sonora Beautiful.

Myra Sklarew opens with a reading of poems by Richard Shelton, Tadeusz Rózewicz, and Takis Sinopoulos, continuing with poems from her collections The Science of Goodbyes (1982), Travels of the Itinerant Freda Aharon (1985), and Lithuania: New & Selected Poems (1995).

Carolyn Forché reads from The Country Between Us (1981), the Lamont Poetry Selection of The Academy of American Poets for 1982. In the middle of the performance, she reads excerpts from and discusses El Salvador: Work of Thirty Photographers (1981), which influenced the poems in this reading.

Jean Rukkila, a graduate student in Creative Writing at the time, reads her story "Andi and Ann." Ron Hansen reads four sections from his novel The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (1983).

In this performance, Jon Anderson reads poems from his collections The Milky Way (1982) and In Sepia (1974). The reading concludes with Jon Anderson performing a poem written by his son and a performance of Wallace Stevens's "Esthétique du Mal."

In this reading, Mona Van Duyn reads poems appearing in To See, to Take (1970); Letter From a Father and Other Poems (1982); and Selected Poems (2002).

Peter Matthiessen reads from his works of nonfiction The Snow Leopard (1978) and Indian Country (1984), along with a hallucination scene from his novel At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1965).

Henry Carlile begins with his poem "The Fire"; this reading also includes "Grace," "Depression," "Keeper of the Towels," and "The Cloud and The Plough and The Meaning of Rhyme."

In this reading, Denise Levertov performs work from five of her books: Oblique Prayers, Candles in Babylon, Evening Train, Breathing the Water, and Relearning the Alphabet.

W.S. Merwin reads widely from his works. Used with permission of the Wylie Agency LLC.

Robert Hass reads poems appearing in his collection Human Wishes (1989).

Carolyn Kizer reads poems appearing in Harping On (1996); Yin (1984); and Cool, Calm & Collected (2001).

Sir Angus Wilson reads his early short story "What Do Hippos Eat" (1949), along with excerpts from his novels The Old Men at the Zoo (1961), No Laughing Matter (1967), and As If By Magic (1973).
Robert Hemenway reads an excerpt from At the Border (1984) and prefaces his reading with a description of common themes in his writing.

Charles Wright reads from several of his books, along with three poems that would later be published, in slightly different versions, in his 1988 collection Zone Journals.

Frank Waters reads from his novel The Man Who Killed the Deer (1942) and his memoir Pumpkin Seed Point (1973).

British poet Jon Silkin reads from his poems, filled with imagery related to animals, death, and British history, especially the history of the Jewish community in Great Britain.

Steve Orlen reads from his collections Permission to Speak (1978) and A Place at the Table (1982), as well as from newer material.

Ellen Bryant Voigt reads what she describes as future work: poems from a manuscript that would be published two years after her reading as The Lotus Flowers.

Ai reads solely from the manuscript for Sin, a collection published the year following this reading. She briefly discusses her time at the University of Arizona, where she was a student during the late 1960s.

Peter Wild reads uncollected poems on a diverse range of subjects, from famous Western frontiersmen to radio therapy to optometrists. Along the way he shares with the audience experiences and preoccupations that have shaped his work.

Howard Moss reads widely from his body of work.

Robert Bringhurst reads selections from his poetry, providing background and historical context.

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