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Beautiful Database

A compilation of contemporary oral histories. The landscape of American literature as it stands as seen from a moving vehicle. The Knox Writers' House is one of the most beautiful audio databases around.

In 2010, Emily Oliver, Sam Conrad, Bryce Parsons-Twesten and Monica Berlin (students, writers and instructors at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois) began driving around the country in search of place, and the writers writing about place. To discover the places writing lived. They got what they were looking for. Displaced visiting instructors reciting poems of home, living masters living in the middle of cornfields, fresh voices settled in any one of five boroughs for now. There are hours of content. Interviews, collaborations, recitations, flash readings, long, throat-parching, Marco Rubio-style-Dying-Of-Thirst readings, writers reading old favorites readings. Search by writer, search by region, find amazing audio material. Pretty great.      

But the best part about it? The Knox Writers' House is still a living, breathing thing. Each week a writer is asked to pick a recording from the database and talk about it, creating a matrix of literary connectivity. Also, they want to grow. Contact them if you have stories, poems, recordings, etc.

The House was kind enough to record me when they came to Iowa for the Writers' Workshop's 75th Anniversary in 2011. Below is my audio page with a rousing rendition of Leonard Michaels' "In The Fifties" and some of my own short fiction.

Also, here was my Pick of the Week, Peter Orner's "On a bridge over the Homochito."

Posted by Adam Soto on 3/1/13 | tags: Poetry Reading poetry recordings travel fiction oral history audio

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