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Episode Nine: Poetry

In this episode, prose writer Dan Wakefield talks about the importance of poetry in his own life and in his writing. This is a wide-ranging conversation that touches on many poets,...

In perhaps the most personal of these podcasts, Dan discusses the time he spent in Hollywood working on the television series James at 15, a period of his life that began with an o...

When Wakefield first moved to Los Angeles to start a novel in Joan Didion’s basement and later on the beach in Venice, where he lived at the Chateau Marmont and entered a tumultuou...

Wakefield began his journalism career as a civil rights reporter for The Nation, The Atlantic, Esquire, and The New York Times. After his coverage of the Emmett Till trial, he cont...

As a young journalist, Wakefield was inspired by Hemingway’s notion that you have to face death to be a writer. “I wanted to put myself at risk,” Wakefield says in this interview, ...

Dan had the opportunity to study under some of the greatest teachers/writers/critics of the 20th century, including Lionel Trilling and Mark Van Doren. Rabbi Harold Kushner was als...

In 1955, Wakefield graduated from Columbia University and went looking for his first job. Through Indianapolis connections, he landed an interview with Barney Kilgore, editor of Th...

At the time of this taping, Wakefield was Kurt Vonnegut’s “oldest living friend.” It was Vonnegut who wrote the New York Times review of Wakefield’s Going All the Way and it’s Wake...

When Dan Wakefield moved back to his hometown of Indianapolis in 2005, he saw it with a different lens and was re-awakened, in his 80s, to the history of racism and the erasure of ...

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