Wasson, Michael. Swallowed Light. Port Townsend: Copper Canyon Press, 2022.
Li-Young Lee reads primarily from his second collection, The City in Which I Love You, which was published the same year as this reading. He also reads one poem from his first collection, Rose (1986).
Poet, playwright, and novelist Owen Dodson reads a range of poems from his distinguished career. As he introduces his poems, Dodson reflects on his consciousness as a writer, from his undergraduate days at Bates College to his engagement with spirituality, Civil Rights, and social justice.
Paul Zimmer reads from The Republic of Many Voices (1969), along with poems that would be published in The Zimmer Poems (1976) or remain uncollected. Making use of persona, narrative, and humor, he addresses topics such as childhood, identity, and mortality.
Stanley Elkin reads The State of the Art from his collection of short stories The Living End.
In this reading, originally given with Joni Wallace, Mary Jo Bang reads poems that would go on to be collected in The Last Two Seconds (2015) as well as a segment from her translation of "Canto III" of Dante's Inferno (2012).
G.C. Waldrep discusses the creation and experience of poetry as a spiritual practice, with special emphasis on parabolic and apocalyptic traditions.
Rita Dove reads from her collection American Smooth: Poems (2004).
Rae Armantrout reads from Writing the Plot About Sets (1998), Up To Speed (2004), Collected Prose (2007) and Next Life (2007). This reading was originally given with Rodney Phillips.
Rebecca Seiferle reads poems from The Ripped-Out Seam (1993), The Music We Dance To (1999), and Bitters (2001).
Linda Gregerson reads primarily from Waterborne (2002).
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.
Australian poets Vincent Buckley, Les Murray, and David Malouf visit Tucson to read their work, also providing background and commentary. Les Murray reads a selection of poems in chronological order, including his oldest poem "The Burning Crook." Vincent Buckley reads from Golden Builders (1976), Late Winter Child (1979), and The Pattern (1979), as well as some unpublished poems. David Malouf reads both poetry and passages from his novel An Imaginary Life (1978).
Jim Simmerman reads from a manuscript that would become his collection Kingdom Come (1999), a series of persona poems written in the voices of various Biblical characters. Jewell Parker Rhodes reads from her first novel, Voodoo Dreams: A Novel of Marie Laveau (1993), inspired by the life of the famed 19th century Voodoo Queen. She reads two scenes from the novel, the first set just before Marie Laveau's tenth birthday, and the second during the performance of one of Laveau's greatest miracles.
Ofelia Zepeda reads from her poetry collections When It Rains, Papago and Pima Poetry = Mat hekid o ju, 'O'odham Na-cegitodag (1982), Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert (1995), and Jewed 'I-hoi, Earth Movements (1997). She reads the poems first in O'odham, and then in English.
Essayist and poet Erik Reece reads poems from A Short History of the Present (2009) and essays from An American Gospel: On Family, History, and the Kingdom of God (2009) as well as Utopia Drive: A Road Trip Through America's Most Radical Idea (2016).
Poet and essayist Brian Blanchfield reads from his first work of non-fiction, Proxies (2016). This reading was originally given with Fenton Johnson.
Fenton Johnson reads from his novel The Man Who Loved Birds (2016). This reading was originally given with Brian Blanchfield.
Renee Angle reads from her book-length poetry project WoO (2016). This reading was originally given with Wendy Burk.