Aspen Writers' Foundation

Since the winter of 1998, the Aspen Writers' Foundation has presented Winter Words, an annual author series that elevates the written word off the page and onto the stage. Over the years, dozens of literati, including Pulitzer Prize winners, National Book Award honorees, and bestselling authors, have engaged Aspen audiences after the lifts close during this "Après Ski for the Mind" program.

Aspen Public Radio and the Aspen Writers' Foundation are proud to bring you these podcasts to you. 

NOTE: Kent Haruf passed away in December 2014.  This interview was recorded in May 2013. 

Kent Haruf’s honors include a Whiting Foundation Award, a Stegner Award, a Frank Waters Award, and a special citation from the PEN/Hemingway Foundation. His novel Plainsong won the Mountains & Plains Booksellers Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the New Yorker Book Award. He lives with his wife, Cathy, in his native Colorado.  His most recent novel is Benediction.

Michael Lionstar

James Salter grew up in New York City and was a career officer and Air Force pilot until his mid-thirties, when the success of his first novel, The Hunters (1957), led to a fulltime writing career. Salter’s potent, lyrical prose has earned him acclaim from critics, readers, and fellow novelists. His novel, A Sport and a Pastime (1967), was hailed by the New York Times as “nearly perfect as any American fiction.” His latest book, All That Is, was published to critical acclaim in 2013. He lives in New York and Aspen.

Bastian Schweitzer

Dani Shapiro is the bestselling author of the memoirs Devotion and Slow Motion, and five novels including Black & White and Family History. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, One Story, Elle, The New York Times Book Review, The Los Angeles Times, and has been widely anthologized. She has taught in the writing programs at Columbia, NYU, The New School and Wesleyan University, and she is co-founder of the Sirenland Writers Conference in Positano, Italy. She is a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure. She lives with her family in Litchfield County, Connecticut. Her new book is called Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life.

Adam Haslett is the author of the short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here and the novel Union Atlantic. His story collection was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award. His journalism and fiction have appeared in The Financial Times, Esquire, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, The Nation, The Atlantic Monthly, Zoetrope All-Story, Best American Short Stories, and The O'Henry Prize Stories. A graduate of Swarthmore College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Yale Law School, he has been a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and Columbia University. www.adamhaslett.net

Memories of the Motherland

History, memory, personal stories, family ties … Two authors of Chinese descent discuss how China informs their writing, their understanding of the past and their worldview as Asian Americans.

Panelists: Lisa See, Sandra Tsing Loh

Moderator: Amy Kwei

Follow Your Obsession

"Write what you know” might be the most famous (and famously misunderstood) piece of writing advice, but Kafka had other ideas: “Don't bend; don't water it down . . . Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.” Three writers weigh in on chasing their obsessions in their work.

Panelists: David Lipsky, Nino Ricci, Scott Lasser

Moderator: Barbara Dills

The Great Firewall

Join us in a conversation that explores censorship in China: how censorship affects the literature produced there, authors in their work, and the types of stories we hear from abroad.

Panelists: James Fallows, Yiyun Li

Moderator: Melissa M. Long

Publishing Industry Insiders Tell All

For those who live outside of Manhattan, the publishing industry can seem byzantine at best. How does it all work--and are eBooks really changing everything? Industry pros will give the inside scoop around breakout books, landing an agent and the impact of today’s technology on what (and how!) we’ll be reading tomorrow.

Panelists: Kathleen Anderson, Rebecca Saletan, Victoria Skurnick

Moderator:  Cathy O'Connell


Courting the Muse

When inspiration strikes, writing can feel as easy as turning on the faucet. But what happens when the well runs dry? Writers share tips for quieting the inner critic and coaxing the muse back into the room.

Panelists: Nino Ricci, Pam Houston, David Mason

Moderator: Julie Comins Pickrell

As Deborah Fallows so poignantly stated in her presentation for Google, “China is no one thing.” It is a place of myriad experiences and perspectives. This evening will introduce our Festival stars as they share personal stories from and about the motherland.

Panelists: Deborah Fallows, James Fallows, Yiyun Li, Sandra Tsing Loh, Lisa See

Moderator: Todd Breyfogle

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