Eudora Welty Reads From “The Wide Net”

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When Eudora Welty read at 92Y on April 22, 1985, it had been 32 years since her last Poetry Center appearance. “She has graciously declined 31 annual invitations to appear again,” then Poetry Center director Shelley Mason told The New York Times.

“I’m gonna spend the whole time on one story,” Welty told the audience that night. “So don’t think it’s gonna end and something new will happen.” Welty usually read two shorter stories, but this night it was one long one—“The Wide Net,” from 1943. “I decided I’d read something special for the Poetry Center,” she told The Times. As the paper reported the next day, she wore a bright red dress and was flanked by a huge bowl of pink, purple and yellow flowers.