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Celebrated author Armistead Maupin discusses the daily negotiating required to publish his serialized "Tales of the City" stories in the conservative format of a daily newspaper. Maupin recounts a particularly risque conversation with San Francisco Examiner publisher Will Hearst regarding Smurfs.
David Ulin opens the Tales from Two Cities conference with an inquiry into what it means to write from the perspective of a Californian.
Author Ursula Heise mentions some notable science-fiction novels that use California as a backdrop for a dystopian vision of the future.
Robert Hass, former Poet Laureate of the United States, discusses his hometown of San Francisco, California during 1950's- era Beat Generation scene, and its subsequent impact on American poetry.
Paul Yamazaki talks about the founding of City Lights Bookstore by Lawrence Ferlinghetti and his desire to create a meeting place for writers and artists beyond just a store that sold books.
Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, reads his poem "California Hills in August."
Poet and filmmaker Richard Moore remembers his most controversial film called Tom Wolfe's Los Angeles.
John Tayman, Founder and CEO of Byliner, discusses how his company works with and for the writers who produce its content.
Historian Kevin Starr points out some of his favorite Californians from history that he has learned about through a long career studying the golden state.
Salon.com founder David Talbot describes earlier artistic communities and movements in San Francisco and compares the city today to a cultural hub like Florence, but lacking the patrons to support artists and creators.
Authors Frances Dinkelspiel and Ellen Ullman discuss whether regionality actually exists in writing and what unique characteristics of northern California influence their work.