Damion Searls talks about his translation of 1944 Diary by the late German/Dutch writer Hans Keilson. It’s the first nonfiction work of Keilson’s that Searls has translated. We also air most of our 2010 interview with Damion Searls about his translation of Keilson’s acclaimed novel, Comedy in a Minor Key. Continue reading
We talk with John Nichols about his book HORSEMEN OF THE TRUMPOCALYPSE: A Field Guide to the Most Dangerous People in America. We also talk with Valerie Brown, co-author of a just released report for the magazine In These Times on how Monsanto kept the EPA from regulating the toxic weedkiller glyphosate for over 40 years. Continue reading
Carol Anderson talks about her bestselling book White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide. Anderson says every time African Americans make gains — from ending slavery to voting rights to the election of a Black POTUS — white Americans mobilize relentlessly to roll back those gains. She says the correct question is not why Black people are angry; it’s why whites are so angry when Black people get rights? Continue reading
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.
But first, we hear a clip from our 2007 interview with Jeanne Braham, author of The Light Within the Light: Portraits of Donald Hall, Richard Wilbur, Maxine Kumin, and Stanley Kunitz. Braham gives us her thoughts about the poet. Continue reading
We talk with John Duberstein about his late wife’s powerful and lyrical memoir, The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying. Nina Riggs died just shortly before the book was published from metastatic breast cancer, leaving her husband and two young children behind.
Then we play a clip from our interview in 2015 with Joseph Luzzi about his memoir, In A Dark Wood. After he lost his wife to a car accident, he was helped to heal from his grief by his study of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Continue reading
Dispatch from the Dark
Speaking of the dark: It’s past midnight, and we’re lying in bed. “I just can’t wait for things to get back to normal,” says John from his side of the moon.
I’m not sure how to respond. I hadn’t realized how attached I have become to the idea that, even in all of this, we are moving ahead somehow, and that dealing with all this is something to value. I feel a sharpness in my throat, the slip of the sureness beneath me.
“I can’t handle you saying that,” I say after a silence, even though I know he isn’t trying to fight. “Thinking that way kind of invalidates my whole life right now. I have to love these days in the same way I love any other. There might not be a ‘normal’ from here on out.” Continue reading
Writer and naturalist Leslie Sharpe talks about her new book, The Quarry Fox and Other Tales of the Wild Catskills. Then we air part of my 2007 interview with David Gessner about his book, Soaring with Fidel: An Osprey Odyssey from Cape Cod to Cuba and Beyond. Continue reading
As this show was being produced, the news came that the Supreme Court has upheld part of Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban — the part blocking new refugees coming from six majority-Muslim nations. The justices reversed rulings by a federal judge in Hawaii and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The ban will affect some 24,000 refugees seeking asylum, among them those fleeing war-torn Syria.
We focus today on the human cost of war. Journalist Deborah Campbell tells us about her book, A Disappearance in Damascus: Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War. Then, we re-air our interview earlier this year with Melissa Fleming about her book, A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee’s Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival.
The books tell the stories of two refugees, one who fled Iraq into Syria and then had to flee Syria to the United States — long before Trump’s Muslim ban. The other story is about a Syrian refugee who barely survived the treacherous crossing from Turkey to Europe to resettled in the far more welcoming country of Sweden. Both stories are about the real cost of war — a cost few Americans ever get to see. Continue reading
We talk with Marc Fasanella about his father, painter and labor organizer Ralph Fasanella and the new book he wrote about him, Ralph Fasanella: Images of Optimism (with an introduction by Leslie Umberger). Then, we turn to Marc Fasanella’s own project, the Ecological Culture Initiative. Continue reading
WV talks with with political analyst, author and radio host Wilmer Leon about his collection of essays spanning part of the Bush era and both terms of the Obama administration, Politics Another Perspective: Commentary and Analysis on Race, War, Ethics and the American Political Landscape in the Age of Obama.
Also, we air an edited version of our interview with investigative journalist Greg Palast about his book and movie, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy. He says the GOP and its billionaire funders have been stealing the votes of millions of Americans. Continue reading
August 26 is Women’s Equality Day. It marks the anniversary of the 1920 adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment to the US Constitution granting women the right to vote. In this episode, WV features two women who were important to the fight for women’s suffrage but whose names are less known than those of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.
We talk with John Tepper Marlin about his great aunt, suffragette Inez Milholland. He’s the author of a play about the women’s suffrage movement, Take Up The Song. Then we re-play our 2007 interview with writer Marge Piercy about her novel, Sex Wars. It’s about another great figure of the first women’s equality movement, Victoria Woodhull — the first woman to run for president. Continue reading
When disaster strikes, will we descend into dystopia — or cooperate? We talk with Cory Doctorow about his new work of speculative fiction, Walkaway (Macmillan). It’s an “optimistic disaster novel” about what motivates humans to do good in the face of civilizational crisis.
Then, De’Andre Harris was assaulted August 12 by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia. We talk with videographer and photojournalist Zach Roberts about his witnessing of the assault. His image of the beating (above) went viral. Continue reading
With his threats to ramp up the war on drugs, is Attorney General Jeff Sessions channeling the spirit of the man who started us down this perilous path?
We speak with Alexandra Chasin about her biography/cultural-political critique of America’s first drug czar, Harry J. Anslinger, Assassin of Youth: A Kaleidoscopic History of Harry J. Anslinger’s War On Drugs. Then we re-air our 2010 interview with cannabis legalization advocate Mason Tvert about his book, Marijuana Is Safer. Continue reading
Anthony Horowitz talks about his latest novel, Magpie Murders and about writing great mystery fiction. Then, the Battle to Save Net Neutrality is gearing up. We reach back into our archives for some very prescient conversations about the threats to the open internet and what to do about them. We talk with Rebecca McKinnon, author of Consent of the Networked and with Josh Silver, formerly of Free Press. Then we give our picks for summer reading. Continue reading