In response to questions from attendees, John Ashbery discusses cinema, wide-ranging responses to his two earliest books (Some Trees, 1956, and The Tennis Court Oath, 1962), and his appreciation for the poetry of Walt Whitman. He also considers movements in American poetry including modernism, postmodernism, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry, and new formalism.
John Crowe Ransom reads widely from his extensive body of work.
Poet and playwright Denise Chávez reads from her poems and short stories, and also performs some scenes from her stories, drawing from her work in the theater arts. She reads first from Descansos: An Interrupted Journey (a 1995 collaboration with Rudolfo A. Anaya and Juan Estevan Arellano, combining photography and creative writing), which explores the cultural and personal histories surrounding roadside crosses. She also reads from Face of an Angel (1994), a novel about a career waitress, exploring themes of divorce, race, and childbirth.
Vaunda Micheaux Nelson reads from and discusses No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller (2012). A conversation with Stephanie Troutman concludes the reading.