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Kay Boyle Day: Part 1

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Item Type: Sound Recording Duration: 170 min
Event Type: Spoken Word Program Origin: KPFA

On February 19, 1988, as part of a fund-raising marathon, KPFA presented a nine hour festival of programing in honor of Kay Boyle’s 86th birthday, which included interviews with the poet, author, and political activist and readings of her work. One of the most important American writers of the 20th century, Boyle was born in St. Paul, MN in 1902 and was educated at The Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. She moved to France in 1923, and spent the next twenty years associating with the best and the brightest authors and artists of Europe. She became increasingly politically active and was eventually blacklisted during the McCarthy era. This however only encouraged her and she soon became heavily involved in the civil rights, anti-Vietnam War, and nuclear disarmament movements. She taught creative writing at San Francisco State University from 1962 to 1979. She published over 40 books, including 14 novels and eight volumes of poetry, 11 collections of short stories and three children's books. Boyle was married three times, had six children, and died in 1992. In this first of three segments you will hear an interview with Boyle recorded in 1985 in which she talks with Kay Bonetti about her life. They discuss the similarities between Reagan and McCarthy, the counterculture of the 1960s compared to the milieu of Paris in the 1920s, as well as Boyle’s memories of such literary luminaries as Ezra Pound, James Joyce, William Carlos Williams, and others. This is followed by the reading of four of her remarkable short stories. Part political metaphor, part semi-autobiographical, and part insightful imaginings, Boyle’s short stories are always enjoyable and written with impeccable style.

Musical Selections:  [1985 Interview with Kay Bonetti] (51:00) -- [a reading of “Cabaret”, a story from the book “The Smoking Mountain”] (42:00) -- A Nation Once Again (2:00) / The Clancy Brothers -- [excerpt of an unidentified song that quotes from “Way Down Upon the Swanee River”] (1:00) -- Blowing in the Wind [excerpt] (0:50) / Bob Dylan -- [a reading of “Security”, a story from the book “The White Horses of Vienna”] (13:33) -- [a reading of “Theme”, a story from the book “Wedding Day”] (8:21) -- [a reading of “Attempts Made to Capture by Microphone the Troating of Stags”, from the book “365 Days”] (2:00)
Performers:  Padraigin McGillicuddy, reader (Cabaret)
Betsy Davids, reader (Security)
Kay Boyle, reader (Theme)
Susan Stone, reader (Attempts)
Genre:  Literature
Subject:  Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992; Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972; Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963; Joyce, James, 1882-1941; Matisse, Henri, 1869-1954; Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946; Anderson, Sherwood, 1876-1941; Authors; Politics and literature; Literature; Short stories; Fiction; Authors, American -- 20th century -- Biography; Americans -- France -- Paris -- History -- 20th century
People:  Amirkhanian, Charles ; Jennings, Russ; Stone, Susan, 1952-; Boyle, Kay, 1902-1992; Bonetti, Kay; Franckenstein, Ian; Davids, Betsy
Recording Date:  2/19/1988
First Broadcast Date:  2/19/1988
 
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