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Kevin Young and Natasha Trethewey

Kevin Young is one of America’s most acclaimed young poets, and he talked with us about the new volume of poetry that he edited called The Art of Losing: Poems of Grief and Healing. Young is the author of several notable books of poetry including For the Confederate DeadJelly RollMost Way Home and Black Maria. He was also joined by the poet Natasha Trethewey, who also contributed to the new volume. Trethewey is the author of Domestic WorkBellocq’s Ophelia, and Native Guard, for which she was awarded the 2007 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry.

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Jayne Anne Phillips

Set in West Virginia, Jayne Anne Phillips’ National Book Award-nominated Lark & Termite is her first book in nine years. Set during the 1950s in West Virginia and Korea, it is a story of the power of loss and love, the echoing ramifications of war, family secrets, dreams and ghosts, and the unseen, almost magical bonds that unite and sustain us. Phillips is the award-winning author of Motherkind and Shelter.

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Gordon S. Wood

Gordon S. Wood is a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and one of America’s most distinguished historians of early America.  He joined us on November 9, 2009 to discuss his new book, Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815. It’s the latest in the acclaimed “Oxford History of the United States” series that aims to take a definitive look at what we know about the first quarter-century of our nation’s history under the Constitution. Critics are calling it “a triumph of the historian’s art.”

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Philip Lee Williams talks with Terry Kay

Philip Lee Williams is one of Georgia’s finest authors and winner of the Michael Shaara Award for his Civil War novel A Distant Flame. He returns with an exciting, new Civil War story, The Campfire Boys. Williams is a novelist, poet and essayist whose books include The Heart of a Distant Forest and Crossing Wildcat Ridge, and he also is represented on the Georgia Center for the Book’s list of “25 Books All Georgians Should Read.” This appearance by Mr. Williams was even more special because it was held as an onstage conversation with his friend and fellow author Terry Kay. We’re pleased to present to you the wonderful conversation between Phillip Lee Williams and Terry Kay, recorded on November 2, 2009.

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ConunDrums is a community of diverse women drawn together by a combination of fate, chance, intention and the call of the drum. Through their performances, they offer audiences an opportunity to connect with their own authentic selves. Armed with drums, songs, stories and dance, ConunDrums invites the audience to grab a shaker or shake their booties and share in the joy that has come into each of their lives through the drumming community.

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Wil Haygood Discusses Sugar Ray Robinson

Wil Haygood is the author of a riveting new biography, Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson, one of the greatest boxers in history. Haygood’s book is “a biography worthy of a great athlete and an important social force,” vividly detailing the often controversial life in and out of the ring of the legendary Sugar Ray, who was born in rural Georgia. His story weaves in some of the major figures in 20th century American history, including Langston Hughes, Miles Davis and Lena Horne. Haygood previously has written acclaimed biographies of Adam Clayton Powell and Sammy Davis, Jr.

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The Gypsy Hicks featuring Elise Witt

The Gypsy Hicks (Mick Kinney, Evan Kinney, Kirk McAlpin, Moses Nelligan) play 1930s swing in the style of the Hot Club of Paris, made famous by legendary guitarist Django Reinhart. With violin, accordion, banjo and guitars, the Gypsy Hicks recreate the sound of French bistros and cabarets where this blend of musette, gitane and “le jazz hot” originated. True to their name, the trio sifts in a dash of roots americana such as ragtime, blues, and novelty songs.

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Wendell Potter

In 2009, Wendell Potter made headlines all over the country when he testified before Congress that many in the health insurance business are corrupt and are dedicated to denying benefits to consumers while spending billions on lobbying to protect their interests. Now Potter, former executive with CIGNA, has written a powerful book about his experience, Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans. It’s a “must” program that explains how health insurers have consistently put profits ahead of patient care. Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia says Potter’s book and the story of his conversion from a health care executive to outspoken advocate of reform “is essential reading for anyone trying to understand how the system really works.” We urge you to join us for this program and discussion.

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R. A. Salvatore

The author of more than 40 books, a dozen of them New York Times’bestsellers, Salvatore has a terrific, exciting new book: The Ghost King: Transitions, Book III, the gripping conclusion to the Transitions trilogy. When the Spellplague ravages Faerun, Drizzt and his companions are caught in the chaos. Seeking help from the priest Cadderly, the hero of the recently reissued series, The Cleric Quintet, Drizzt finds himself facing his most powerful and elusive foe: the twisted Crenshinibon, the demonic crystal shard believed destroyed many years before.  Mr. Salvatore visited us on October 19, 2009.

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Robert Olen Butler

Robert Olen Butler, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, visits us to discuss his stunning new novel, Hell. It’s a hilarious romp, all about good, evil and free will and one of the year’s best novels. You’ll meet a television news anchorman now residing in hell and living with Anne Boleyn, surrounded by a remarkable cast of characters including Shakespeare, Humphrey Bogart and most of the popes and former U.S. presidents. It promises to be a fun evening! Butler won the Pulitzer for his book, A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain.

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