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Poets Cafe
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Category: TV & Film
Location: North Hollywood
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January 19, 2017 06:40 PM PST

Los Angeles poet Alexis Rhone Fancher is the author of How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen and other heart stab poems, (2014), State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, (2015), and Enter Here (forthcoming in 2017). She is published in Best American Poetry 2016, Rattle, Slipstream, Rust+Moth, streetcake, Hobart, Cleaver, Public Pool, H_NGM_N, Fjords Review, The MacGuffin, Poetry East, and elsewhere. Her photographs are published worldwide, including spreads in River Styx, HeArt Online and Rogue Agent, and the covers of Chiron Review, Witness, and The Mas Tequila Review. A multiple Pushcart Prize and Best of The Net nominee, Alexis is poetry editor of Cultural Weekly, where she also publishes a monthly photo essay, “The Poet’s Eye,” about her on-going love affair with Los Angeles. Find her at: www.alexisrhonefancher.com

January 03, 2017 08:34 PM PST

Mandy Kahn is the author of the poetry collection Math, Heaven, Time. In January of 2016, former Poet Laureate Ted Kooser featured a poem from the collection, “At the Dorm,” in his syndicated newspaper column American Life in Poetry. Kahn collaborates with composers to create works that feature poetry in tandem with classical music and has had readings and signings at Colette (Paris), Motto (Berlin), Shoreditch House (London), Davies Symphony Hall (San Francisco), Printed Matter (New York) and Art Center College of Design (Pasadena). She was one of several librettists who wrote the text for the critically acclaimed opera-in-cars Hopscotch; her libretto for the project was subsequently quoted in The New Yorker. Kahn also works as an essayist, and is coauthor, with Aaron Rose, of the nonfiction book Collage Culture: Examining the 21st Century’s Identity Crisis, which features graphic design by Brian Roettinger. Collage Culture was simultaneously released as a record which paired readings of the book’s texts with a score by the band No Age.

December 29, 2016 10:26 AM PST

CARTOONS IN STEREO is a radio show hosted by animation historian Jerry Beck, broadcast on Christmas Day on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and www.kpfk.org.
Jerry Beck is an American animation historian, author, blogger, and video producer. The author or editor of several books on classic American animation and classic character, including The 50 Greatest Cartoons (1994), The Animated Movie Guide (2005), Not Just Cartoons: Nicktoons! (2007), The Flintstones: The Official Guide to the Cartoon Classic (2011), The Hanna-Barbera Treasury: Rare Art Mementos from your Favorite Cartoon Classics (2007), The SpongeBob SquarePants Experience: A Deep Dive into the World of Bikini Bottom (2013), Pink Panther: The Ultimate Guide (2005), and Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons (with Will Friedwald, 1989). He is also an authority on the making of modern films, with his books detailing the art of Mr. Peabody and Sherman, DreamWorks' Madagascar, and Bee Movie. Beck is also an entertainment industry consultant for TV and home entertainment productions and releases related to classic cartoons and operates the blog "Cartoon Research." He appears frequently as a documentary subject and audio commentator on releases of A&E's Cartoons Go To War as well as DVD collections of Looney Tunes, Popeye the Sailor, and Woody Woodpecker cartoons, on which he serves a consultant and curator.

September 30, 2016 10:43 AM PDT

Willis Barnstone is one of America's most prolific and highly-regarded translators and poets. In his latest collection "Mexico in My Heart - New and Selected Poems" we begin on the rooftop of a Spanish children's orphanage and travel across the globe to the many places in Barnstone's heart including Greece, Spain, France and especially to his beloved friend and literary companion, Jorge Luis Borges with whom he spent a year during the Dirty War of Argentina.

We felt fortunate to spend time with this beloved scholar and polyglot, who dons like a smart beret, his playfulness and charm in this special Poets Cafe segment.

Willis Barnstone, born in 1927 in Lewiston, Maine, and educated at Bowdoin College, the Sorbonne, School of Oriental Studies of the University of London, Columbia and Yale (PhD), taught in Greece at the end of the civil war (1949-51), was in Haiti in 1960 during the deadly rule of Papa Doc and in Buenos Aires during the Dirty War (1975-1976). He was in China during the Cultural Revolution in 1972 invited by Chou Enlai. A Fulbright Professor at Beijing Foreign Studies University (1984-1985). Former O’Connor Professor of Greek at Colgate University (1973), he is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and Spanish at Indiana University. He lives in Oakland, California. Borges has written:

A Guggenheim fellow, he has received the NEA, NEH, ACLS, W.H. Auden Award of NY Council on the Arts, Midland Authors Award, four Book of the Month selections, four Pulitzer nominations, six awards from Poetry Society of America, including the Emily Dickinson Award. In 2015 he received the Fred Cody Life Achievement Award in 2015. His work has appeared in American Poetry Review, Harvard Review, Harper’s, New York Review of Books, Paris Review, Poetry, New Yorker, Times Literary Supplement.

Some poetry books are A Day in the Country (Harper) Life Watch (BOA Mexico in My Heart : Moonbook & Sunbook (Tupelo Books), New and Selected Poems (Carcanet), Stickball on 88th Street (Red Hen Press), Café de l’Aube à Paris / Dawn Café in Paris (Sheep Meadow Press); translations include Poetics of Translation (Yale), ABC of Translation: Poems & Drawings (Black Widow), Ancient Greek Lyrics (Indiana), Restored New Testament (Norton), The Gnostic Bible (Shambhala), The Other Bible (Harper); memoir books are Sunday Morning in Fascist Spain (Southern Illinois), We Jews and Blacks (with Yusef Komunyakaa), and With Borges on an Ordinary Evening in Buenos Aires (Illinois). Borges has written, “Four of the best things in America are Walt Whitman’s Leaves, Herman Melville’s Whale, the sonnets of Willis Barnstone’s Secret Reader, and my daily Corn Flakes – the rough poetry of morning.” Harold Bloom describes his version of the New Testament as “a superb act of restoration.”

September 20, 2016 07:24 PM PDT

Guest host Suzanne Lummis with California Poet Laureate Dana Gioia on POETS CAFE! Dana is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning poet. Former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, Gioia is a native Californian of Italian and Mexican descent. He received a B.A. and a M.B.A. from Stanford University and an M.A. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University. Gioia currently serves as the Poet Laureate of California. (Gioia is pronounced JOY-uh.)

September 07, 2016 11:11 AM PDT

Interview with Lois P. Jones and Ilyse Kusnetz Tuesday, September 6, 2016 KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles Pacifica Radio In an intimate phone interview from her home in Florida, poet, educator and essayist, Ilyse Kusnetz speaks through her poetry with eloquence of the world's injustices with razor specificity and disarming intellect. Her range is broad and deep, exposing the veins of history without flinching - the forgotten and suppressed, monarchs and match girls in what Carolyn Forché calls a "ministry of dreams." These poems from the T.S. Eliot winning collection "Small Hours" as well as works from her forthcoming collection "Angel Bones," reveal a passion for both the dead and the living and a vision beyond this world. Please join us as Poets Cafe returns for this special program. Poet and journalist Ilyse Kusnetz is the author of Small Hours, winner of the 2014 T.S. Eliot prize from Truman State University Press, and The Gravity of Falling (2006). She earned her M.A. in Creative Writing from Syracuse University and her Ph.D. in Feminist and Postcolonial British Literature from the University of Edinburgh. Her poetry and essays have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Guernica Daily, the Cincinnati Review, Crazyhorse, Stone Canoe, Rattle, and other journals and anthologies. She has published numerous reviews and essays about contemporary American and Scottish poetry, both in the United States and abroad; she has served as a guest editor at Poetry International and the Atlanta Review for feature sections on Scottish poetry. She is currently at work on a new poetry manuscript—Angel Bones. She teaches at Valencia College and lives in Orlando with her husband, the poet and memoirist Brian Turner.

January 27, 2016 09:35 PM PST

Originally aired on 1/27/16
Richard Gilbert: While at Naropa University (Boulder, Colorado) studied and hung out with beat poets Allen Ginsberg, Gregory Corso, Peter Orlovsky, Gary Snyder, and others; became a Tibetan Buddhist meditator. Performed in and produced conceptual art multidisciplinary presentations as poet, videographer, and electric guitarist. Undergraduate thesis on Japanese classical haiku, BA in Poetics and Expressive Arts, 1982. Completed Tibetan Buddhist seminary training in 1984, and returned to Naropa for an MA in Contemplative Psychology, graduated 1986. Worked as a clinical adult outpatient psychotherapist at Boulder Community Mental Health Center. In 1990, completed a Ph.D. at The Union Institute & University, in Poetics and Depth Psychology, studying Archetypal Psychology with James Hillman. Moved to Kumamoto, Japan, in 1997, teaching at university and publishing academic articles on Japanese and English-language haiku, while designing EFL educational software. Received tenure as an Associate Professor of British and American Literature, Faculty of Letters, Kumamoto University in 2002.

Co-judge of the Kusamakura International Haiku Competition, Kumamoto, Japan (2003-present). Founder and Director of the Kon Nichi Haiku Translation Group, Kumamoto University (2002-present). Founding Associate Member of The Haiku Foundation (thehaikufoundation.org). In March 2008, publication of Poems of Consciousness: Contemporary Japanese & English-language Haiku in Cross-cultural Perspective (Red Moon Press, 2008, 306 pp.) was awarded the HSA 2009 Mildred Kanterman Award for Haiku Criticism and Theory. In mixed media publication, the gendaihaiku.com website presents subtitled video interviews with notable gendaihaiku (modern Japanese haiku) poets, biographical information and haiku translations. In 2011, publication of Ikimonofûei: Poetic Composition on Living Things (a talk by Kaneko Tohta, with commentary and essays. Gilbert, et al, Red Moon Press, 92 pp.), and The Future of Haiku, an Interview with Kaneko Tohta (with commentary and essays. Gilbert, et al, Red Moon Press, 138 pp.). In 2012, publication of Selected Haiku of Kaneko Tohta, Part 1, 1937-1960 (with commentary, essays and chronology. Gilbert, et al, Red Moon Press, 256 pp.), and Selected Haiku of Kaneko Tohta, Part 2, 1961-2012 (with commentary, chronology and encyclopedic glossary. Gilbert, et al, Red Moon Press, 250 pp.). The two 2012 Selected Haiku of Kaneko Tohta volumes were awarded The Haiku Foundation 2012 Touchstone Distinguished Book Award. In August 2013, publication of The Disjunctive Dragonfly: A New Theory of English-language Haiku (R. Gilbert, Red Moon Press, 132 pp.): A revised and expanded update of the decade-old essay, which first appeared (in North America) in Modern Haiku Journal 35:2 (2004). The book contains 275 haiku by 185 authors, and several new sections, including a comparative discussion of strong and weak styles of disjunction in excellent haiku, and a presentation of seven newly coined "strong reader-resistance" disjunctive categories.

Deborah P Kolodji served as president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. She is the moderator of the Southern California Haiku Study Group and currently serves as the California Regional Coordinator for the Haiku Society in America. She has published over 800 poems in journals such as Star*Line, Strange Horizons, the Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Mythic Delirium, Modern Haiku, Frogpond, Acorn, the Heron’s Nest, A Hundred Gourds, Rattle, Pearl, and poeticdiversity. She has published four chapbooks of poetry, including one of speculative haiku, “Red Planet Dust” in 2007. She has been anthologized in the Rhysling Anthology, the Red Moon Anthology, Dwarf Stars, Aftershocks: The Poetry of Recovery, Haiku 21, and Lighting the Global Lantern: A Teacher’s Guide to Writing Haiku and Related Forms. Her short stories have appeared in THEMA, Tales of the Talisman, and Everyday Weirdness. She has a memoir in Chicken Soup for the Dieter’s Soul. Her radio interview with Lois P. Jones on the Poet’s Café, which aired in Los Angeles in 2010, can be heard on the Timothy Green’s Blog: http://www.timothy-green.org/blog/deborah-p-kolodji/

Music from a collection of seven Kinko-ryu shodan pieces performed by Koto, Shamisen and voice for shakuhachi practice.
Vocal/shamisen: Takako Matsuno Koto: Yoko Inoueby Jeff Cairns
1) Through the Leaves
2) Shin Kyorei

January 13, 2016 10:20 PM PST

Is there a person nationwide who doesn't know the fate of Kelly Thomas? Ron Thomas, Kelly Thomas's father remains an outspoken advocate for the homeless community. Four years after Fullerton police officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli were acquitted of brutally beating his son Kelly Thomas to death near the Fullerton bus station in 2011, he continues to be an advocate for justice, not only for his son, but for all those affected by homelessness in his local community and nationwide. We spent an hour with Ron talking about the early days of Kelly Thomas, the need for social reform, the use of excessive force from both sides of the fence (Ron is an ex-sheriff) and much more. We were joined by homeless advocate, fine artist and poet Leigh White, as well as poet and reading series host, Steve Ramirez. Tune in for this moving and poetic tribute to Kelly Thomas.

December 28, 2015 12:57 PM PST

Animation Historian Jerry Beck plays cartoon music from the 1930's through the 1960's. Originally aired December 25, 2015 on Pacifica Radio station KPFK 90.7 FM in Los Angeles. Produced by Marlena Bond

September 25, 2014 08:37 PM PDT

Hosts: Lois P. Jones and Myrenna Ogbu. Airs 2nd, 4th and 5th Wednesdays at 8:30pm on KPFK 90.7 FM and www.kpfk.org

Since 2003, Poets Cafe has brought KPFK listeners stimulating poetry and conversation from some of the most celebrated (and non-celebrated) poets locally and from around the world.

Neil deGrasse Tyson was born and raised in New York City where he was educated in the public schools clear through his graduation from the Bronx High School of Science. Tyson went on to earn his BA in Physics from Harvard and his PhD in Astrophysics from Columbia.

Tyson’s professional research interests are broad, but include star formation, exploding stars, dwarf galaxies, and the structure of our Milky Way.

In 2001, Tyson was appointed by President Bush to serve on a 12-member commission that studied the Future of the US Aerospace Industry. The final report was published in 2002 and contained recommendations (for Congress and for the major agencies of the government) that would promote a thriving future of transportation, space exploration, and national security.

In 2004, Tyson was once again appointed by President Bush to serve on a 9-member commission on the Implementation of the United States Space Exploration Policy, dubbed the Moon, Mars, and Beyond commission. This group navigated a path by which the new space vision can become a successful part of the American agenda. And in 2006, the head of NASA appointed Tyson to serve on its prestigious Advisory Council, which will help guide NASA through its perennial need to fit its ambitious vision into its restricted budget.

In addition to dozens of professional publications, Dr. Tyson has written, and continues to write for the public. From 1995 to 2005, Tyson was a monthly essayist for Natural History magazine under the title Universe. And among Tyson’s ten books is his memoir The Sky is Not the Limit: Adventures of an Urban Astrophysicist; and Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution, co-written with Donald Goldsmith. Origins is the companion book to the PBS-NOVA 4-part mini-series Origins, in which Tyson served as on-camera host. The program premiered on September 28 and 29, 2004.

Two of Tyson’s recent books are the playful and informative Death By Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries, which was a New York Times bestseller, and The Pluto Files: The Rise and Fall of America’s Favorite Planet, chronicling his experience at the center of the controversy over Pluto’s planetary status. The PBS/NOVA documentary “The Pluto Files”, based on the book, premiered in March 2010.

For five seasons, beginning in the fall of 2006, Tyson appeared as the on-camera host of PBS-NOVA’s spinoff program NOVA ScienceNOW, which is an accessible look at the frontier of all the science that shapes the understanding of our place in the universe.

During the summer of 2009 Tyson identified a stable of professional standup comedians to assist his effort in bringing science to commercial radio with the NSF-funded pilot program StarTalk. Now also a podcast, StarTalk Radio combines celebrity guests with informative yet playful banter. The target audience is all those people who never thought they would, or could, like science.

Tyson is the recipient of fourteen honorary doctorates and the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given by NASA to a non-government citizen. His contributions to the public appreciation of the cosmos have been recognized by the International Astronomical Union in their official naming of asteroid 13123 Tyson. On the lighter side, Tyson was voted Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive by People Magazine in 2000.

In February 2012, Tyson releases his tenth book, this one exclusive devoted to space exploration: Space Chronicles: Facing the Ultimate Frontier, and he is currently working on a 21st century reboot of Carl Sagan’s landmark television series COSMOS, to air in 13 episodes on the FOX network in 2013.

Tyson is the first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose Directorship of the Hayden Planetarium. Tyson lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

ON CANVAS WITH PAINT

On canvas with paint
In the Artist’s school
It’s red that is hot
And blue that is cool.

But in science we show
As the heat gets higher
That a star will glow red
Like the coals of a fire.

Raise the heat some more
And what is in sight?
It’s no longer red
It has turned bright white.

Yet the hottest of all,
I say unto you,
Is neither white nor red
When the star has turned blue.

–from Merlin’s Tour of the Universe

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