After Hours at the Bookclub: ZEE JLF in Boulder – Amy Stolls

“I’m interested in who is doing the writing and making sure that a wide diversity of people are feeling empowered to write.” — Amy Stolls

How to create a culture of reading was one of the topics under discussion at the ZEE Jaipur Literature Festival, in its 3rd year at the Boulder Public library September 15-17th.

Amy Stolls, the Director of Literature at the National Endowment for the Arts says literature festivals like ZEE JLF are great opportunities to hear not just from authors and other writers, but from readers also.

“Audiences and readers and hear their questions and what’s on their mind, so festivals are the perfect venue for that.”

Stolls says so much of her job is encouraging reading and as such she has to be open to the fact that people come to literature and poetry in different ways.

“I want to make sure that if we’re going to reach folks, that we reach them with as many voices as we can, because the diversity of voices is important. So maybe people aren’t reading as much because they’re not hearing from folks that they can necessarily relate to. So I’m interested in who is doing the writing and making sure that a wide diversity of people are feeling empowered to write.  And then I want to make sure that that writing is getting to readers: how is it getting distributed, how is it getting to independent bookstores, how is it getting to readers in terms of print, do readers prefer print…or e-books? Do they prefer it enhanced by music, or spoken, or through film or with visual aids, with illustrated books? And then I think about who is reading? The books and poems and whatnot can get to the readers, but I’m curious not just about the illiterate population but the aliterate, those who can read but don’t. Some times I make the argument  that they should because there’s such fantastic stuff out there, but sometimes I make the argument that no, no, you are, you just don’t realize it. You’re encountering literature all the time and you are. There’s poetry out there. If you think you’re not reading, you’re just not reading that 800 page text.”



ZEE JLF at Boulder happens at the Boulder Public Library September 15-17th.

The radio bookclub is a collaboration between KGNU and the Boulder Bookstore and is co-hosted by KGNU News Director Maeve Conran and Arsen Kashkashian, head buyer at the Boulder Bookstore. Each month, Arsen selects a book to inspire listeners to read along together. The author will then join us in-studio for a discussion.


Subscribe to our Radio Book Club Series on iTunes to get new editions and special additional web-only features