We hear clips from seven of the top ten shows of 2010, including journalists David Grann, Hampton Sides, and Eric Pooley; novelists Isabel Allende and Sadie Jones; poet Philip Schultz and short story writer Marisa Silver. Also, links to the full interviews with the remaining three picks.
Sadie Jones talks about her new novel, SMALL WARS. Set in war torn Cyprus in 1956, it tells the story of a young British solider, and the effects of that war on him, his wife and their family. And we hear from Fernanda Eberstadt about her acclaimed new novel RAT. It’s about a girl of extraordinary courage who travels from a hardscrabble region of France to London in search of her father. Continue reading
Writers Voice host Francesca Rheannon recorded Jon Anderson reading Richard Wilbur‘s “Hand Dance” at a poetry event to support the children of Gaza in March, 2010. The poem is unpublished and, until this reading, had never been read publicly.
Listen to the full show when Jon Anderson reads his poem “Chimeras”.
Poet Diane Gilliam Fisher talks about her book, KETTLE BOTTOM. It’s about the Mine Wars of the 1920’s and the people who fought them. And we talk with Ted Nace about the movement to stop new coal plants from being built. His book is CLIMATE HOPE: On the Front Lines of the Fight Against Coal.
The Massey Energy Company mine disaster in West Virginia is but the latest in a long and bitter history of the exploitation of the people and the land of Appalachia’s coal country. The other side of that story is how the miners fought back to win better wages and working conditions by organizing the UMWU.
Looking at the Upper Big Branch mine, one fact stands out for those who know enough about how important that union history is. The mine was non-union. Far more coal mine fatalities happen in non-union mines than those where the workers are unionized.
Poet Diane Gilliam Fisher’s 2004 book KETTLE BOTTOM uses verse to tell the story of the West Virginia Mine Wars of 1920–21. That’s when the United Mine Workers union went up against the coal operators and their hired thugs. Many people died — mostly miners — and President Harding sent in troops to quell the rebellion. The southern coal fields didn’t win union recognition until 1933.
KETTLE BOTTOM won the 2004 Perigia Press Award, and was listed in the 2005 top ten list for poetry by the American Booksellers Association. In addition to KETTLE BOTTOM, Fisher is also the author of ONE OF EVERYTHING and RECIPE FOR BLACKBERRY CAKE. Writers Voice spoke to her in 2004.
Read Diane Gilliam Fisher’s poem Explosion at Winco No. 9.
Coal is most carbon intense fuel, according to climate scientist James Hansen. With climate chaos happening at a faster pace than even the most pessimistic scientists predicted, many are saying we should just leave the coal in the hole.
Ted Nace is one of them. His new book, CLIMATE HOPE: On the Front Lines of the Fight Against Coal, tells the remarkable story of the movement to stop the building of any new coal power plants in the US. In just 2 years, between 2007 and 2009, it managed to stop plans nearly a hundred coal plants from being built, out of 151 proposed. The loosely organized grass roots movement brought a burgeoning coal boom largely to a halt.
Patient advocate and author Patrick Malone talks about his book, The Life You Save: Nine Steps to Finding the Best Medical Care-and Avoiding the Worst. It’s about how to keep from being a victim of medical errors. We’ll also talk with novelist Lionel Shriver about her new novel, SO MUCH FOR THAT. It’s about health insurance gone very wrong. And Martin Espada, Richard Wilbur and other poets read at a benefit for the children of Gaza. Continue reading
In the spring of last year, Christian McEwen interviewed the poet, Marianne Boruch when she came to Smith College for its poetry reading series. Boruch is the author of seven volumes of poetry, as well as two volumes of prose. She was born in Chicago, grew up in a Polish Catholic family, and was already writing poems by the time she was in high school. Her work is strongly influenced by her Catholic childhood, as well as by her love of nature, and her interest in dreams. “I think we get into a dream state when we are writing,” she says. “We drop down under the surface and connect with that other realm.”
“I’d like to say I’m of the begging bowl theory of poetry. You put out your begging bowl and see what drops into it. I really don’t want to know where the poem is going. And of course revision is a great thing. You get a draft and start tinkering and find out where it really wants to go.”
Boruch currently teaches in Purdue University’s MFA program, and through the non-residential program for writers at Warren Wilson College. Her most recent book is [amazon-product text=”GRACE, FALLEN FROM” type=”text”]0819569534[/amazon-product].
This interview is part of a series of interviews of poets Christian McEwen is doing, called Sparks from the Anvil. Writers Voice is hosting several of the interviews. Sparks from the Anvil features poets who appear at Smith College’s poetry reading series.
Mark Lamster talks with host Francesca Rheannon about the great Flemish Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens’ career as an unofficial diplomat for the Spanish Crown. And mystery writer S.J. Parris tells us about Renaissance scientist Giordano Bruno’s visit to Oxford in 1583. She spins a murder mystery around the visit and around Bruno’s mission as a spy for the English Crown. Continue reading
Nicholson Baker talks about his new novel, THE ANTHOLOGIST. His hero Paul Chowder is looking back over his whole life and wondering what it’s amounted to. He’s also facing the dreaded disease: writer’s block. And Susan Stinson is just finishing her new novel, SPIDER IN THE TREE. She tells us about her protagonist, the 18th century preacher Jonathan Edwards who preached fire and brimstone – and love. Continue reading
Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie talks about her stunning collection of stories [amazon-product text=”THE THING AROUND YOUR NECK” type=”text”]0307271072[/amazon-product]. And poet Honor Moore reads from and tells us about [amazon-product text=”POEMS FROM THE WOMEN’S MOVEMENT” type=”text”]1598530429[/amazon-product]. Our guests use fiction (Adichie) and poetry (Moore) to evoke the lives of women with power, honesty and grace. Continue reading
We speak with former U.S. Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur about new poems and old, the art of translation, and his evolution as a poet. Richard Wilbur is one of America’s greatest living poets. He earned the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry twice, once in 1957 and then again in 1989, and was named the U.S. Poet Laureate in 1987. Wilbur also reads from his work for us.