Momaday, N. Scott. In the Presence of the Sun: Stories and Poems, 1961-1991. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992.
In this reading, Silko engages in "what I really love to do"--storytelling in the Laguna tradition. Most of the stories and poems told here would be collected in the 1981 volume Storyteller.
Ishmael Reed performs poems from his extensive body of work, including several unpublished poems. He remarks that his reading will "start out with a song and end with a song"--that is, with his poems "Betty's Ball Blues" and "I'm Running for the Office of Love" as set to music by Taj Mahal and Allen Toussaint.
In this reading, originally given with David Foster Wallace, Peter Rock reads a story that would later appear in the collection The Unsettling: Stories (2006).
Richard Russo reads the title story from his collection The Whore's Child and Other Stories (2002).
Alan Heathcock reads from the collection Volt: Stories (2011).
Richard Siken reads poems from Crush (2005). This reading was originally given with Camille T. Dungy and Heriberto Yépez for the Next Word in Poetry Series.
Simon J. Ortiz reads poems following the theme that poetry is the voice that we all speak.
Leslie Marmon Silko reads from her poems and fiction, including excerpts from Almanac of the Dead (1991) and Storyteller (1981). She also performs traditional oral stories.
Luci Tapahonso reads from poems published throughout her career, many of them fueled by personal anecdotes.
Bruce Dobler explains the relationship of his work to documentary fiction. He speaks of the necessity of journalistic fiction and the writer's task of capturing "the spirit and mood of a place and a time that would otherwise be inaccessible." Dobler reads from his novel, The Last Rush North (1976), exploring the construction of the Alaskan pipeline. Rather than picking a single chapter in the novel, Dobler reads an assortment of excerpts following one of the novel's many characters, a truck driver named Jill Jones. He closes with an excerpt following a character named Little Nasty, who gets into a fight with a much larger man.
Juan Felipe Herrera warmly engages the audience with work that would be collected in books such as Mayan Drifter: Chicano Poet in the Lowlands of America (1997), Notebooks of a Chile Verde Smuggler (2002), and Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems (2008), as well as uncollected pieces. Standout performances include "Notes on Other Chicana and Chicano Inventions" and "Suicide in Hollywood / Lupe Velez (Circ. 1923) Serigrafía de una actriz Mexicana," read in Spanish and English. Opening his reading with an invocation to sky, earth, wind, and fire, Herrera encourages audience laughter and participation throughout the evening.