One of our favorite poets passed away on October 14, 2017. The great American poet Richard Wilbur was 96 years old. We remember him with a re-broadcast of our 2009 conversation with him at his home in Cummington, Massachusetts.
Author Christian McEwen and I spoke with Wilbur about his life, poetry and translations. He also read some of his poems to us in his beautifully resonant voice.
Katy Simpson Smith talks about her new novel, Free Men. Then in the second half of the show, we replay our 2014 interview with Smith about her acclaimed first novel, Story of Land And Sea. Also, we review Academy Streetby Mary Costello and hear two poems by Amy Dryansky. Continue reading →
Lesléa Newman talks about her latest book of poetry, I Carry My Mother (Headmistress Press, 2015). The elegiac volume is composed of poems chronicling her mother’s last illness and dying, as well as her own grief.
In the book, Chaskey considers “the web of biodiversity and resilience at the heart of our cultural inheritance” by weaving history, politics, botany, literature, mythology, and memoir into his profoundly moving book.
Leah Vincent talks about her memoir Cut Me Loose: Sin and SalvationAfter My Ultra-Orthodox Girlhood. And April is poetry month; we talk with poet Amy Dryansky about her new poetry volume, Grass Whistle, and about balancing being a mother and a poet.
Rebecca Solnit talks about her latest book, THE FARAWAY NEARBY (Viking, 2013.) It weaves memoir, history and natural science into a contemplation of the stories that define, comfort, and entrap and free us. And Martine Bellen reads from and tells us about her new poetry collection, THE WABAC MACHINE (Furniture Press Books, 2013.)
Reading the poetry of Martine Bellen is an excursion into a fascinating labyrinth of language that evokes multiple meanings. Her work is more to be experienced with the heart than dissected with the mind.
Her latest poetry collection is The Wabac Machine — with reference both to the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, as well as to the past iterations of the internet. Fellow poet Charles North wrote:
Martine Bellen’s psychological and linguistic adventures in poetry are unlike anyone else’s. Celebrating the instabilities of our experience, her poems maneuver kaleidoscopically between ordinary life and myth or fairy tale, vital human concerns such as identity and dreamlike atmospheres where nothing stays as it appears for long. Her “host of unlikely divinities” display a reality that is never ordinary, always evocative.
Bellen is the author of eight collections of poetry including Tales of Murasaki and Other Poems, which won the National Poetry Series Award; as well as the novella 2X(Squared) and several librettos for opera. Bellen is a contributing editor of the literary journal Conjunctions.
A Zen practitioner, Bellen says there is an intimate connection between Zen Buddhism and poetry — a connection that informs her work. She explores that connection more deeply in the unabridged version of our conversation.
We re-play our 2012 interview with Rebecca MacKinnon about her book Consent of the Networked. Then we look back again at Wikileaks and what it means for press freedom: we air our 2010 interviews with the late Alexander Cockburn and with Tim Karr of the organization, Free Press. And finally, we hear a Spring poem from Philip Schultz: Bleeker Street.