Talk to Me: Shirley Hazzard on 'Fire'

Monday, May 03, 2010

Authors Shirley Hazzard and Richard Ford had a tête-à-tête about writing, poetry and much more at the 92nd Street Y for the PEN World Voice Festival. The chemistry between the two writers made for a lively discussion, and the pair elicted much laughter from the audience. In particular, Ford interviewed Hazzard about The Transit of Venus and The Great Fire.

Annabel Davis-Goff read from "Harold," Hazzard's first story, which written when she was 20 years old and published in The New Yorker.


Use the player above to listen to the entire event.

Bon Mots
Highlights from the conversation. Download the full audio above.

On Publishing Her First Story: "I thought, 'Why not?' I had a story and I sent it, because the best place to send it, really, was The New Yorker, and I didn't see why I should send it anywhere else."

On Writing Well: "Ideally, one should have things that leap off the page. If they're just doggedly sitting on the page, waiting to be encouraged, I don't think this is a good way of writing."

On Poetry: "It can't be forced on people... [but] people realize within themselves that they have deeper feelings than language always allows them to express. And poetry, I think, can save very much, the souls of people who feel that way, who feel cut off from a deeper thing in themselves."

Produced by:

Georgia Kral


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About Talk to Me

Talk to Me brings you downloadable readings and conversations with writers, artists, and scholars – from author Joshua Ferris to choreographer Mark Morris to poet Sharon Olds – recorded at cultural institutions in New York City and beyond. Stream, download, or subscribe to the full-length podcasts here.


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