Library Talks
Nico Muhly & Ira Glass on Composers & the Internet

Ira Glass, creator and host of “This American Life,” talks to composer Nico Muhly, who has composed a wide scope of work for ensembles, soloists, and organizations including the New York Philharmonic, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the Paris Opera Ballet. In this colorful conversation, Muhly and Glass discuss music, anxiety, and their image of the first Christmas.

Direct download: 92_Muhly__Glass.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EDT

Neil Gaiman Reads "A Christmas Carol" (Rebroadcast)

This week, we bring you a rebroadcast of a podcast favorite. Acclaimed author Neil Gaiman comes to the Library to present a memorable reading of A Christmas Carol from the Library’s own rare copy, which includes edits and prompts Charles Dickens wrote in his own hand for his unique readings 150 years ago. Dressed in full costume and joined by writer and BBC researcher Molly Oldfield, Gaiman performs the classic tale as the great author intended.

Direct download: 41b_Gaiman_Christmas_Rebroadcast.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:30am EDT

Timbaland on Mantronix, Reinvention, & Kids

Renowned music producer Timbaland joins us to talk about his new memoir, “Emperor of Sound,” which provides a long-anticipated inside look at his extraordinary life and career. In this, his first public conversation about his new book, Timbaland sits down with author and educator Dr. Jelani Cobb at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture to discuss hip hop, creativity, and the passion that drives his artistic career.

Direct download: 91_Timbaland.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Edmund de Waal on Porcelain, Time Travel, & Sound

Celebrated artist Edmund de Waal's porcelain works can be found in major museum collections around the world. His new book, “The White Road,” chronicles the lure his chosen medium has held over the centuries, as well as its role in his own life and work. In this conversation with NYPL’s Paul Holdengraber, de Waal talks about obsession, history, and why a ceramicist needs literature.

Direct download: 90_de_Waal.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Gloria Steinem on Sex, Justice, & Magazines

World-renowned activist and writer Gloria Steinem's new book “My Life on the Road” was released in October to critical acclaim. She came to the Library this fall to talk with attorney Roberta Kaplan, who landed a major victory for the LGBTQ movement by successfully arguing for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act before the Supreme Court. In this enthralling conversation, Steinem and Kaplan discuss marriage, social justice, and the power of stories to shape our world.

Direct download: 89_Steinem.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Mary-Louise Parker on Relationships, Motherhood, & Religion

Emmy and Tony-award winning actress Mary-Louise Parker comes to the Library this fall to celebrate the release of her first book, “Dear Mr. You,” which has received advance acclaim from the New York Times and Publishers Weekly, among others. In this conversation with bestselling memoirist Mary Karr, Parker talks about relationships, forgiveness, and the invaluable lessons she learned from her father.

Direct download: 88_Parker.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:01pm EDT

Elvis Costello on the Internet, Records, & Imitation

Grammy Award-winning musician Elvis Costello's prolific career as a singer-songwriter spans nearly four decades. This fall, he comes to NYPL to celebrate his new memoir, “Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink.” In this delightful conversation with Paul Holdengraber, Costello discusses memory, songwriting, and his life in rock and roll.

Direct download: 87_Costello.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Sloane Crosley on College, Jewelry, & Publicity

Writer Sloane Crosley is a frequent New York Times contributor and author of the bestselling books “How Did You Get This Number” and “I Was Told There’d Be Cake,” a Thurber Prize finalist. In this conversation with NYPL’s Jessica Strand, Crosley discusses humor, human nature, and her new novel, “The Clasp.”

Direct download: 86_Crosley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

The 2015 Library Lions on Truth & Inspiration

World-renowned activist and author Gloria Steinem, award-winning author and playwright Alan Bennett, heralded dancer and choreographer Judith A. Jamison, celebrated author and illustrator Maira Kalman, and groundbreaking novelist Karl Ove Knausgaard are this year’s Library Lions, five outstanding individuals recognized by NYPL for their achievements in the fields of art, culture, scholarship, and letters. We sat down with each of these incredible people to talk about libraries, the creative process, and much more.

Direct download: Lions_podcast_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Shaquille O'Neal on Germany, Rap, & Slam Dunks

Sports legend and businessman Shaquille O’Neal's nineteen-year basketball career made him a three-time Finals MVP, a four-time NBA champion, and a fifteen-time All-Star. This fall, he comes to NYPL to celebrate the release of his new children’s book, “Little Shaq.” In a fun and provocative conversation with NYPL’s Paul Holdengraber, Shaq discusses reading, dunking, and the value of having a sense of humor.

Direct download: 84_Shaq.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Ta-Nehisi Coates on Theft, Atheism, & History

Recent Macarthur Genius Grant winner Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent for “The Atlantic” whose latest book, “Between the World and Me,” is a nominee for the 2015 National Book Award. This fall, Coates sits down with Khalil Gibran Muhammad, Director of NYPL’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, for a conversation on race, writing, and more.

Direct download: 83_Coates.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Patti Smith on Authors She Loves

Musician, writer and artist Patti Smith returns to the podcast this fall to discuss her new memoir “M Train,” a follow-up to her 2010 National Book Award-winning debut memoir, “Just Kids.” In a conversation with NYPL’s Paul Holdengraber, Smith talks about art, the city, and the experiences she’s gained during her prolific and eclectic career.

Direct download: 82_Patti_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

Erica Jong on Becoming a Poet & Favorite Authors

Award-winning author Erica Jong's prolific career has produced such bestsellers as “Fear of Flying,” “Seducing the Demon,” and her latest work, “Fear of Dying.” In this delightful conversation with NYPL’s Jessica Strand, Jong discusses feminism, early success, and why she’s never stopped writing over the course of her long and fruitful career.

Direct download: 81_Jong.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EDT

Ron Rash on Writer Survival & Place

A two-time winner of the O. Henry Prize, Ron Rash is the author of numerous novels, short stories and poetry collections, including New York Times bestseller “Serena,” and most recently, “Above the Waterfall.” In a conversation with NYPL’s Jessica Strand, Rash discusses narrative, Appalachia, and finding the universal in a particular setting.

Direct download: 80_Rash.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

Alice Waters on the Pleasures of the Palate

Two stars of the culinary world join us for this week's podcast: Chez Panisse restaurateur Alice Waters and James Beard Award-winner and wine importer Kermit Lynch. Waters, a pioneer of the farm-to-table movement and recent winner of the National Humanities Medal, sat down with Lynch in 2013 to discuss their shared passions. In this delectable conversation, Waters and Lynch talk about fresh food, wine, and the culinary world’s impact on the environment.

Direct download: 79_Waters.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

John Lithgow on Shakespeare & Bedtime Stories

On this week’s podcast, we’re reaching back in the archives to 2011, when NYPL welcomed John Lithgow, winner of numerous Emmys and Golden Globes and one of the most distinguished American actors of his generation. In a conversation with Peabody Award-winning journalist Bill Moyers, Lithgow talks about not only his acting career, but also his authorship of numerous children’s books, an anthology of poems, and most recently, his memoir, “Drama: An Actor’s Education.”

Direct download: 78_Lithgow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Jack White on Music & Freedom

This week, we’re excited to welcome a panel of guests including musician Jack White and cofounder of Revenant Records, Dean Blackwood. Along with author Daphne A. Brooks, these lovers of music examine the rise and fall of Paramount Records, a label that existed from 1917 to 1931, and compiled a dizzying array of performers still unrivaled to this day — from Louis Armstrong to Ma Rainey and Ethel Waters. In this captivating panel discussion, our guests talk about the music business, the Great Migration, and how the legacy of Paramount Records lives on today.

Direct download: 76_Jack_White.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:00am EDT

In Memoriam: Oliver Sacks on Hallucinations

This week, we’re honoring the memory of Oliver Sacks, esteemed neurologist and author of numerous bestselling books, including “Awakenings”, “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” and, most recently, his autobiography “On the Move.” We’re reaching back in the archives to 2009, when Dr. Sacks delivered NYPL’s annual Robert B. Silvers lecture. In this fascinating talk, Dr. Sacks explores the musical hallucinations of the deaf, the visual hallucinations of the blind, and more strange behaviors of the human brain.

Direct download: 76_Sacks.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:07pm EDT

Chimamanda Adichie & Zadie Smith on Race, Writing, & Relationships

On the heels of the blockbuster success of her latest novel, “Americanah,” Adichie sat down with Smith at NYPL’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture to discuss the critically acclaimed book and how it came to be. In their far-reaching conversation, Adichie and Smith talk about race, feminism, and finding one’s identity in a globalized world.

Direct download: 75_Adichie__Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Colson Whitehead on Poker

The Macarthur Award-winning author joins us to celebrate the release of his latest book, “The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky & Death,” which chronicles his experience as an amateur card player trying his hand at the World Series of Poker. In a conversation with NYPL’s Jessica Strand, Whitehead discusses his mediocre card skills, the grueling training regimen that prepared him for the tournament, and what he learned about the human condition in Las Vegas.

Direct download: 74_Whitehead.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:44pm EDT

The Moth on the Power of Storytelling

Eighteen years ago, storytelling collective The Moth launched what has become a world-wide storytelling movement. In this captivating show, we join novelist and Moth Founder George Dawes Green, writer Andrew Solomon, and The Moth's long-time Artistic Director Catherine Burns for a performance and discussion with NYPL’s Paul Holdengräber about the craft of storytelling and its power to re-shape the world.

Direct download: 73_The_Moth.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:30am EDT

Lou Reed on Playing Outside the Box

Lou Reed, Mo Tucker, and Doug Yule of the Velvet Underground reunited at the Library in 2009 for a discussion with Rolling Stone journalist David Fricke. In this provocative conversation, the three legendary musicians talk about strange performance venues, the energy of New York, and how it felt to go where no musician had gone before.

Direct download: 72_Reed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:00am EDT

The bestselling author's latest book, “The Odd Woman and the City,” was released this May to critical acclaim. In this conversation with NYPL’s Jessica Strand, Gornick talks about modern feminists, New York City, and the evolution of friendship over the past two centuries.

Direct download: 71_Gornick.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:13pm EDT

Alan Rusbridger on Whistleblowers & Wikileaks

Former editor-in-chief of The Guardian and a keen amateur pianist, Alan Rusbridger's book “Play It Again” recounts how he learned Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 during a year bookended by Wikileaks and the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. Together with NYPL’s Paul Holdengraber, Rusbridger discusses music, the Pentagon Papers, and why he always carries a destroyed government hard drive in his breast pocket.

Direct download: 70_Rusbridger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Patti Smith on Youth & Friendship

This week, we’re taking you back in the archives to a captivating conversation with Patti Smith, the beloved and critically acclaimed artist and performer. Smith came to the Library in 2010 to mark the release of her book “Just Kids,” which chronicles her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in 1960s and 70s New York City. Joined by NYPL’s Paul Holdengraber, Patti Smith takes the stage to discuss friendship, youth, and her creative awakening — and maybe even sing a song or two.

Direct download: 69_Smith_01.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

This week on the podcast, we welcome renowned photographer Sally Mann, whose works are included in the permanent collections at the Whitney Museum and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, among many others. Mann came to the Library this spring to celebrate the release of her latest book, “Hold Still: A Memoir With Photographs.” In this conversation with NYPL’s Jessica Strand, Mann discusses memory, mortality, and how she crafted a striking personal history through image and narrative.

Direct download: 68_Mann.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

This week, we’re excited to welcome legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog, whose numerous, award-winning films have made him one of the most influential directors of New German Cinema and contemporary film around the world. In a conversation co-presented by the Onassis Cultural Center of New York, Herzog talks to NYPL’s Paul Holdengraber about Ancient Greek literature and its influence on his cinematic work over the past half-century.

Direct download: 67_Herzog.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:19pm EDT

Dan Savage on Monogamy

This week, we’re celebrating Pride Month with popular writer and gay activist Dan Savage, author of the advice column "Savage Love" and creator of the Emmy-winning "It Gets Better" campaign. Along with fellow writer and political commentator Andrew Sullivan, Savage came to the Library back in 2013 to mark the release of his latest book, “American Savage.” In this entertaining and thought-provoking conversation, Sullivan and Savage talk about moralism, marriage, and monogamy.

Direct download: 66_Savage_v2.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:00am EDT

Suzanne Farrell on George Balanchine

This week, we’re thrilled to welcome Suzanne Farrell, one of George Balanchine’s most celebrated muses and a legendary figure in the ballet world. The world-renowned dancer inspired some of Balanchine's finest choreography, and today, she helps maintain his legacy as founder of the Balanchine Preservation Initiative and her own ballet company at The Kennedy Center. In a thought-provoking conversation with NYPL’s Paul Holdengraber, Farrell reflects on Balanchine, ballet, and her influence on both.

Direct download: 65_Farrell.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:00am EDT

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bitcoin

This week, we’ll be hearing from a panel of writers and innovators on the often talked about, but rarely understood, Bitcoin. New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper, whose book “Digital Gold” tells the story of this trail-blazing virtual currency, will be joined on stage by Gavin Andresen, the programmer who has been leading the Bitcoin project since 2010, and Fred Wilson, one of the biggest venture capitalists backing the project. In a conversation moderated by New York Times columnist and CNBC anchor Andrew Ross Sorkin, this group of powerful thinkers discusses virtual currency and the future of money in the digital age.

Direct download: 64_Bitcoin.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:22pm EDT

Damien Echols on Hope & Death Row

This week, we’re excited to welcome Damien Echols, whose bestselling memoir “Life After Death” describes how he was falsely convicted of three murders and spent nearly eighteen years on death row. He’s joined by performer and activist Henry Rollins for a conversation about prison life, holding onto memories, and how to stay hopeful in the worst of times.

Direct download: 63_Echols.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:34am EDT

Matthew Weiner on the End of "Mad Men"

In his first public discussion of the show from beginning to end, "Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner sits down with writer A.M. Homes to talk about the show’s themes, the fates of its characters, and the enigmatic final episode.

Direct download: 62_Weiner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EDT

He's written a memoir Not My Father's Son. He's Eli Gold on The Good Wife. He's been Nightcrawler in X-2: Men United and Hamlet and Mr. Elton in the film adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma. He's Alan Cumming, and we're so pleased to share his recent appearance at Books at Noon in this week's episode of the New York Public Library podcast.

Direct download: 61_Cumming_-_51815_1.53_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:31pm EDT

Internationally renowned fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg comes to NYPL for a conversation with Rhonda Garelick, award-winning scholar and author of “Mademoiselle: Coco Chanel and the Pulse of History.” Together, von Furstenberg and Garelick discuss success, women taking the lead, and what it means to be a fashion icon.

Direct download: 60_Von_Furstenberg.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:32am EDT

In this inspiring conversation with NYPL President Tony Marx, Sotomayor talks about her early life in the Bronx, the importance of education, and her rise to becoming one of the most powerful women in America today.


Direct download: 59_Sotomayor_-_64_32000.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:16pm EDT

Frank Bruni on College Admissions Mania

The author and popular op-ed columnist for the New York Times joins us to discuss his latest book, “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania.” Talking to NYPL’s own Jessica Strand, Bruni reflects on modern anxieties, higher education, and what truly defines success.

Direct download: 58_Bruni.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:48am EDT

T.C. Boyle on Finding Stories and Themes

Bestselling and prolific author T.C. Boyle comes to NYPL to discuss his twenty-fifth book, “The Harder They Come.” In this witty conversation with the Library’s Jessica Strand, Boyle talks about irony, black humor, and America’s obsession with image and materialism.


Direct download: 57_Boyle_-_42215_1.04_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:15pm EDT

Tavis Smiley on Maya Angelou

Joined by NYPL’s Jessica Strand, Tavis Smiley talks about his latest book, “My Journey with Maya,” which details his friendship with the late Maya Angelou. In this moving conversation, Tavis Smiley discusses the value of debate, his connection with the past, and how Angelou’s friendship transformed him into the man he is today.

Direct download: 56_Smiley.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:29pm EDT

Azar Nafisi on the Freedom to Read

The bestselling author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran,” a portrayal of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and its effects on one university professor and her students, Azar Nafisi comes to NYPL to celebrate the success of her most recent book, “The Republic of Imagination.” Nafisi joins NYPL’s Paul Holdengraber for a conversation on the importance of literature, freedom, and originality in today’s global society.

Direct download: 55_Nafisi.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:29pm EDT

Jeffrey Deitch on Art & Spectacle

Jeffrey Deitch, a celebrated art critic and curator, talks about his popular new book “Live the Art,” which details his decades of boundary-pushing work in the galleries and museums of New York, California, and beyond. In a fascinating conversation with Massimiliano Gioni, Artistic Director of New York’s New Museum, Deitch discusses innovation, creation, and his appreciation for spectacle.

Direct download: 54_Deitch_and_Gioni.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:59pm EDT

RuPaul on Fantasy & Identity

The musician, performer, and host of "RuPaul's Drag Race" sashays onto our stage to celebrate the recent release of his seventh studio album, "Realness." In a wildly entertaining and thought-provoking conversation, the cultural icon talks to NYPL’s Paul Holdengräber about success, performance, all things drag and beyond.

Direct download: 53_RuPaul.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:05pm EDT

Stay Tuned

Get ready for our upcoming spring season of exciting talks from very special guests at the Library, now released every Tuesday on iTunes, Stitcher, and SoundCloud.

Direct download: 52_1.2_Spring_Promo_-_31915_1.02_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:23pm EDT

Art historian and curator Sarah Lewis talks to award-winning actress Anna Deavere Smith about Lewis’s nonfiction debut, “The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery,” which examines stories of innovation and discovery born from the unlikeliest of experiences. In a conversation that’s equal parts funny, moving, and thoughtful, the two women discuss how failure is crucial to true success.

Direct download: 52_Lewis_and_Smith.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:42pm EDT

Ann Patchett & Elizabeth Gilbert on Writing

Ann Patchett, the award-winning author of numerous books including “Bel Canto” and “State of Wonder,” joins her good friend Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the hit bestseller “Eat, Pray, Love,” to talk about the challenges and joys of their craft. In this thrilling conversation, Patchett and Gilbert ask each other how and why they write, covering everything from grief, to frustration, to divine inspiration.

Direct download: 51_Gilbert_and_Patchett.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:11pm EDT

Jay-Z on Hustling & Forgiveness

Grammy Award winning artist Jay-Z came to NYPL in 2010, when his long-awaited memoir, "Decoded," had just hit shelves. He’s joined by NYPL’s Paul Holdengraber and intellectual icon Cornel West for a conversation about his journey from a rough childhood to becoming an internationally renowned rap artist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur.

Direct download: 50_Jay-Z.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm EDT

New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow joins Khalil Muhammad, Director of NYPL’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, for a conversation about Blow’s new memoir, “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” Through the lens of Blow’s powerful personal story, the two men discuss visual art, social justice, and the need for empathy in American culture.

Direct download: 49_Blow.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:56pm EDT

On the heels of the success of his bestselling 2012 novel “Back to Blood,” Wolfe came to NYPL to discuss identity, beliefs, and the weaving together of journalism and fiction.

Direct download: 48_Wolfe_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:35pm EDT

Ntozake Shange on Inspiration & Harlem

The great American playwright and poet Ntozake Shange, creator of the Obie Award-winning play “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf,” celebrates the 40th anniversary of her landmark work with a panel discussion about its inspiration, creation, and enduring legacy.

Direct download: 47_Shange.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:06pm EDT

Joan Didion on Writing & Revising

The beloved writer talks to fellow bestselling author Sloane Crosley about the challenges of putting personal tragedy and illusory pleasure into words.

Direct download: 46_Didion_-_12915_5.11_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:45pm EDT

Before her memoir Wild become an oscar nominated film, Strayed joined NYPL to discuss the blockbuster memoir, measuring success, and good advice.

Direct download: 45_Strayed_-_12315_12.06_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:41pm EDT

The prolific and beloved writer talks about creativity, productivity, and the importance of living an inspired life.

Direct download: 44_Oates_-_11615_2.40_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:57pm EDT

The two great authors discuss experimental narrative, political turmoil, and blending believable fiction with the absurd truth.

Direct download: 43_James__Rushdie_-_1915_3.22_PM.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:52pm EDT