The Art of the Memoir

Keynote delivered at the Loft Literary Center and broadcast on Minnesota Public Radio


The Big Time: F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald Theater, April 26, 2013 Commissioned by MPR in 2010 for the 100th anniversary of the Fitzgerald Theater, Patricia Hampl and Dan Chouinard perform a literary and musical story about Fitzgerald’s version of making it big.


The Florist’s Daughter: Memoir Adapted into a Performance  

Fitzgerald Theater, November 21, 2007  “Prince of Tides” author Pat Conroy says “Patricia Hampl writes the best memoirs of any writer in the English language.” She has written five of them, most recently “The Florist’s Daughter,” which she adapted into a performance and reading recently at the Fitzgerald Theater.

Just A Stop on the Circuit: Great Artists Visit Old Saint Paul
An MPR Writer’s View

Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul, MN November 10, 2006, 7:00 P.M. More than a century ago, Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde each made a visit to our northern state. Local author Patricia Hampl assays Saint Paul’s cultural history in the years since and the role of the Great World Out There coming to us. She looks at our dreams of making art and literature and her own inability to leave this place. With musical accompaniment by Dan Chouinard.

Life on the Upper Mississippi
An MPR Writer’s View

Fitzgerald Theater, St. Paul, MN June 3, 2004 Minnesota Public Radio described this performance as “a bluesy, meditative passage through the poetic history of the heartland flyover. She shares stories and observations about the great river, its history, and its cultures, combining her own experiences with writings by other authors, including the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sinclair Lewis. Pianist Dan Chouinard underscores the spoken-word presentation, creating a melodic dynamic.”

Reading and Lectures
Ms. Hampl has visited many universities, colleges and literary and cultural organizations across the United States and Europe to read her work and lecture on various aspects of contemporary literature, writing and–especially–the autobiographical voice in modern letters.

In addition to being Regents Professor and also McKnight Distinguished Professor at the University of Minnesota, Ms. Hampl is a member of the permanent faculty of the Prague Summer Program. She has been on the faculty of the Breadloaf Writers Conference regularly since 1995.

A selected list of her campus visits include: Benedict Distinguished Visiting Professor of Literature at Carleton College, Fall 1987; Emens Distinguished Professor at Ball State University, Spring 1989; and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Writing at the University of Iowa, Spring 1994 and Spring 2003; Mackay Chair in Creative Writing, Beloit College Spring 2002, and Erasmus Institute, University of Notre Dame, June 2005; She has presented lectures at institutions as diverse as the L.A. Times Festival of Books, New York University, the Weisman Art Museum, Radcliffe College, the IMAGE Conference on Film and Spirituality, the University of Maryland, the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse, the Teachers and Writers Collaborative (New York) and a USIA-sponsored tour of universities in Austria and Germany.