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Chanukah Tales

Poet Marilyn Kallet reads from her book, One for Each Night: Chanukah Tales and Recipes, whic...

The World Is One Place

Writers Diane Glancy and Linda Rodriguez discuss co-editing the anthology The World Is One Place: Native American Poets Visit the Middle East. The pair, who both have...

Michelle Boisseau: Past American Voice

Poet Michelle Boisseau died November 15, 2017, at age 62. In this interview conducted earlier this year at the Kansas City Public Library, the late Michelle Boisseau discusses her fifth book, ...

Deborah Miranda

Native American poet Deborah Miranda reads from her award-winning mixed-genre book Bad I...

Geoffrey Brock and Padma Viswanathan

In the second half of this interview with poet Geoffrey Brock (shown) and novelist Padma Viswanathan, the husband and wife couple discusses their shared interest in translation. Brock reads a translation of the Italian poet Cesare Pavese from his ...

Geoffrey Brock and Padma Viswanathan

In the first half of this conversation with novelist Padma Viswanathan (shown) and poet Geoffrey Brock, the husband and wife writing duo reveal how they balance their writing careers and family life. Brock reads one of his wife's favorite poems fr...

Susan Aizenberg

Poet Susan Aizenberg discusses the use of fiction within poetry, admitting that she draws from real life, but notes that there is a distinction between truth and fact. Recently retired from teaching at Creighton University, she reads from her thir...

Terrance Hayes

Award-winning poet Terrance Hayes gives insight into his creative process in this public reading as part of the 2016 Hall Center for the Humanities Lecture Series at the University of Kansas. He shares work from his fifth collection,...

Judith Ortiz Cofer: Past American Voice

The late Puerto Rican writer Judith Ortiz Cofer talks about how her heritage has influenced her work. This multi-genre writer of poetry, fiction, and memoir was Professor Emeritus of English and Creative Writing at the University of Georgia, when ...

John Balaban

Discover the stories behind the poetry of John Balaban, who served as a conscientious objector in Vietnam. He returned to the country later to help war-torn children and to collect folk poems, when he discovered the work of an 18th century Vietnam...

Michael Nava

As an attorney for the California Supreme Court, Michael Nava moonlighted as a novelist, authoring seven novels in the Henry Rios mystery series, six of which won the Lambda Literary Awards for Gay Men's Mystery books. (Now retired, he's reimagine...

Judith Ortiz Cofer: Past American Voice

The work of the late Judith Ortiz Cofer (1952-2016) often reflected her Puerto Rican heritage and her childhood in New Jersey. A li...

John Ashbery: Past American Voice

The poet, critic, and translator John Ashbery, who died on September 3rd at age 90, won nearly every major writing award, including in a single year, the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and National Book Critics Circle Award. Besides writing ...

Natasha Trethewey

In the first part of this interview, Mississippi Poet Laureate (2012-16) and guest editor of Best American Poetry 2017,...

James Tolan and Olivia Stiffler

Olivia Stiffler always wanted to be a poet, but writing took a backseat to her family life. Decades later, while at a Savannah writing workshop, she met James Tolan (shown), a poet and English professor, who helped her envision her work as a...

Conger Beasley: Past American Voice

We honor the Past American Voice of Conger Beasley Jr.(1940-2016). This author of fiction, poetry, essays and non-fiction covered various subjects, ranging from texts for the Sierra Club Guide to the history of the Lakota Sioux to the fictionalize...

Jeannette Walls

A journalist who worked for such publications as Esquire, New York Magazine, and MSNBC.com, Jeannette Walls turned to memoir for her first book, the 2005 international bestseller, ...

Kent Haruf: Past American Voice

We look back on the life of novelist Kent Haruf (1943-2014), still a favorite writer of book clubs across the country. September 2017 marks the inaugural Kent Haruf Literar...

Judson Mitcham

In the second half of a conversation with Georgia State Poet Laureate (2012-present) Judson Mitcham talks in front of a WUGA audience in Athens, GA, about his two novels, ...

Antonya Nelson

The author of eleven books of short stories and novels, Antonya Nelson appears as UMKC's 2015 Cockefair Chair Writer-in-Residence at the Kansas City Public Library. She talks about her most recent books: the novel ...

Rodney Jones

Visiting Kansas City for the Midwest Poets Series, National Book Critics Circle Award winner Rodney Jones discusses what he learned about the use of language from the late writers and friends, Kent Haruf and ...

Larry Watson

While at the Woodneath Library Center, novelist Larry Watson reads from his tenth book, As Good As Gone. Though he grew up in North Dako...

Michelle Boisseau

In this interview at the Kansas City Public Library, poet, editor, and Guggenheim Fellow Michelle Boisseau discusses her fifth book, Among the Gorgons....

Edward Hirsch

In the second part of this conversation, poet and "MacArthur genius" Edward Hirsch discusses how the sudden death of his son inspired his 2014 book ...

Whitney Terrell

Novelist Whitney Terrell talks about his time being embedded with the military in Iraq, writing nonfiction for ...

Gwendolyn Brooks: Past American Voice

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Gwendolyn Brooks' birth, we turn to our extensive archive to present this look back at the legacy of the legendary poet. The first African-American to win a Pulitzer Prize for her 1949 poetry collection, An...

Kansas City Literary Events

Dunlay, Marchetti, Wagner

Thursday, June 28, 2018
Lawrence, Kan.

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New Letters Summer 2018 Poetry Series

Follow our new series of poems about children, each day or two through July. Begin reading here. 

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Clarion Awards Selection CD Special

Jamaica KincaidJim ShepardGloria Vando & Anika ParisLuis Alberto Urrea, and Alex George, normally $7.99 per episode, this cd collection comes with over $15.00 in savings. Downloads of these programs have been reduced and are available through our archives.