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Website of the Week — Wired for Books


Time again for our Website of the Week, when we showcase interesting and innovative online destinations. Our web guide is VOA's Art Chimes.

This week it's a site where literature meets the spoken word, where authors read their books, and writers discuss their craft.

KURZ: "What we have are a lot of audio and video files as well as text and pictures that celebrate books and reading and authors and literature in general."

David Kurz is the creator of Wired for Books at WiredforBooks.org. It's hosted at Ohio University and takes advantage of the school's many literary events to include audio recordings of writers reading their work. And it includes a massive collection of author interviews recorded by radio producer Don Swaim for a show he did for many years. "Book Beat" was a two-minute radio feature, but the original, unedited interviews run a half-hour or more.

KURZ: "And these are just a fantastic resource, really, for the world, of some of the greatest writers of the late 20th century in America. And we also have some international writers there, too. We have Toni Morrison, Doris Lessing, John Updike. The list just goes on and on and on. Norma Mailer, Kurt Vonnegut, Maya Angelou. As I said, there are nearly 700 interviews."

Also Ray Bradbury, Allen Ginsburg, William Styron, and many others. In addition to the interviews and the author readings, Wired for Books has a growing collection of audio theater presentations of great works of literature.

KURZ: "We got some local actors together, and we did a dramatic audio reading of Shakespeare's Macbeth. And so that led to Lewis Carroll's The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, and we're coming out in a few weeks with L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz."

David Kurz adds says they have a special children's section called Kids' Corner, which includes some popular stories in French, German and Japanese, as well as English.

A feast for the ears for lovers of books at WiredforBooks.org, or get the link from our site, voanews.com.

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