fbpx Skip to main content

The Way We Live Now: Hilton Als with Saskia Hamilton and Kathleen Chalfant

The Way We Live Now: Hilton Als and America’s Poets

Originally Aired: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Hilton Als (Photo by Ali Smith)


(Above photo credit: Hilton Als/Ali Smith)

Join The New Yorker‘s Hilton Als as he continues his residency exploring the ways poets and poetry reflect contemporary American life.

Poet Saskia Hamilton discusses her upcoming book, The Dolphin Letters, featuring the correspondence between one of the most famous couples of 20th-century literature: Elizabeth Hardwick and Robert Lowell. It focuses on the last seven years of Lowell’s life, a time of personal crisis – and creative innovation, for both writers. Acclaimed actress Kathleen Chalfant joins us to read excerpts.

Co-presented by the Academy of American Poets.

Hilton Als began contributing to The New Yorker in 1989, writing pieces for Talk of the Town. He became a staff writer in 1994, a theater critic in 2002 and chief theater critic in 2013. He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Writing, a George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, the American Academy’s Berlin Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism for his work at The New Yorker in 2017. He is the author of the critically acclaimed White Girls, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the winner of the Lambda Literary Award in 2014, and a Professor at Columbia University’s Writing Program. Als lives in New York City.

The Way We Live Now: Hilton Als and America’s Poets looks at the ways poets and poetry reflect contemporary life. Whether Als is talking to Native American writer Natalie Diaz about her culture’s marginalization, or Shane McCrae’s lyrics about homelessness and difference, The Way We Live Now puts poets at the center of the conversation as it concerns America, its goals, aspirations, defeats and realities.

Production Partners

The Greene Space is funded by you.

Make a monthly donation of $10 or more to support us and all the programs and podcasts you love from WNYC, WQXR, Gothamist and more!