Yusef Komunyakaa reads widely from his poetry published in the 1980s, including many poems from Dien Cai Dau (1988). He also reads poems that would soon thereafter be collected in Magic City (1992) and Neon Vernacular: New and Selected Poems (1993).
Lynn Emanuel reads poems appearing in her collection The Dig (1992).
Amy Hempel reads from her first two short story collections, Reasons to Live (1985) and At the Gates of the Animal Kingdom (1990). She opens by reading Jack Gilbert's poem "Hunger," which she describes as being taped above her typewriter for "years and years."
Roberta J. Hill opens with two poems from her first collection, Star Quilt (1984), before reading more recent work that would later be collected in Philadelphia Flowers (1996). Both collections were published under the name Roberta Hill Whiteman.
Leonard Michaels reads from short stories written throughout his career, and concludes the reading with an excerpt from his novel The Men's Club (1981). His uncompromising realist sketches catch characters at their darkest and most vulnerable moments, and are colored with absurdist humor. Stories include those published in his collections Going Places (1969) and I Would Have Saved Them If I Could (1975).