The Paris Review:
An Audio Odyssey

May 5, 2020

I think of beauty as an absolute necessity.

Toni Morrison

In front of a live audience at On Air Fest, the pages of The Paris Review came to life. Hear excerpts of Toni Morrison’s 1993 Art of Fiction Interview live scored by musicians, then Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Vijay Seshadri reads his poem “Ailanthus”; actor Quincy Tyler Bernstine reads “A Story for Your Daughters, A Story for Your Sons” by Rebecca Makkai; finally, Emily Wells provides live scoring for Bill Callahan's rendition of Adrienne Rich’s poem “A Tree.” Executive producers John DeLore, Emily Nemens, and Brendan Francis Newnam guide the performance.

In this episode:

“The Tree” excerpted from Collected Poems: 1950-2012 © 2016 by the Adrienne Rich Literary Trust. Used with permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
The full interview with Toni Morrison can be read in issue no. 128.
More poems by Vijay Seshadri can be found on The Poetry Foundation's website.
The musicians providing the live scoring are Curtis Brewer on guitar, Sam Ospovat on drums, and Mike Brown on bass.
The Paris Review Podcast theme song is composed by David Cieri.
This episode of The Paris Review Podcast was engineered by The Reverend John DeLore.