Novelist and short story writer Russell Banks talks about his new collection of stories, A PERMANENT MEMBER OF THE FAMILY. And George Saunders just received the National Book Award for his story collection, TENTH OF DECEMBER. We re-play Writers Voice associate producer Drew Adamek’s February 2013 interview with Saunders in the second half of the show.
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.
Cultural scholar Carla Kaplan talks about her acclaimed new book, Miss Ann in Harlem: The White Women of the Black Renaissance. It explores the lives, contributions and contradictions of white women who supported the African American cultural ferment of the 1920s. And we re-air a clip from our interview with Rilla Askew about the impact of anti-immigration laws on families and communities. Her novel is Kind of Kin.
Emily Brady talks about her book, HUMBOLDT: Life on America’s Marijuana Frontier (Grand Central Publishing, 2013). And Susan Stinson discusses her just published novel, SPIDER IN A TREE (Small Beer Press, 2013), in a new interview with Drew Adamek. It’s about the brilliant, 18th century preacher Jonathan Edwards.