Editor-In-Chief Pam Uschuk discusses 358 page TRUTH TO POWER: WRITERS RESPOND TO THE RHETORIC OF HATE AND FEAR, featuring writing by 118 of America's top writers confronting social issues including racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, attacks on the natural world, police brutality, corporate and political greed, and advocating for human rights, the arts, people with various disabilities, national health care, and truth replacing public lies. All profits from this book go to the ACLU, Standing Rock Sioux Water Protectors, The Southern Poverty Law Center, Planned Parenthood and Friends of The Earth.
Los Angeles's second Poet Laureate Luis Javier Rodriguez is also a novelist/memoirist/short story/children's book writer as well as a community & urban peace activist, mentor, healer, youth & arts advocate, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
He has 15 books in all genres, including the best-selling memoir, "Always Running, La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A." His latest memoir is the sequel, "It Calls You Back: An Odyssey Through Love, Addiction, Revolutions, and Healing." His latest poetry book is "Borrowed Bones" from Curbstone Books/Northwestern University Press. Luis is founding editor of Tia Chucha Press, now in its 28th year, and co-founder/president of Tia Chucha's Centro Cultural & Bookstore in the San Fernando Valley. And he's co-convener of the Network for Revolutionary Change.
Luis is dedicated to a clean, balanced, abundant, cooperative, healing world. No more capitalist private property relations, exploitation, war, or inequities. "In essential things, unity; in nonessential things, liberty. In all things compassion."
"I met a fella named Luis Rodriguez, a writer and a poet, who had a ... cultural center in Los Angeles. These are people I've known and worked with for a long time. These are the people trying to fill the holes that should long ago have been filled by government. Those are the people who give me optimism. They're relentlessly hopeful, and they face it all on the front lines on a daily basis.”--Bruce Springsteen from Rolling Stone magazine, November 15, 2007
Poet, translator, and filmmaker David Shook was raised in Mexico City. He earned a BA at the University of Oklahoma and an MSt at Oxford University. In his debut collection, Our Obsidian Tongues (2013), Shook explores the violence and hunger of everyday life, steeping his poems in lush imagery and sensory detail. His translations include Mario Bellatin's Shiki Nagaoka: A Nose for Fiction (2012), Oswald de Andrade's Cannibal Manifesto (2011), and Robert Bolaño's Leave Everything, Again,” a manifesto appended to his novel The Savage Detectives (2008, translated by Natasha Wimmer). Shook’s short documentary lm, Kilometer Zero, records the poetry of Equatorial Guinean poet Marcelo Ensema Nsang. Shook has also collaborated with cartoonist Tom Neely, filmmaker Ben Rodkin, book artist Laura Peters, and musician Adrian Wong. In 2013, Shook began to raise funds for a Poetry Drone, which would deploy poems printed on biodegradable, seed-embedded papers over populated areas. He has served as the editor of Molossus and Phoneme Media and as a contributing editor to World Literature Today and Ambit. His honors include a Pushcart Prize nomination and an English PEN Translation Residency for Poetry Parnassus. Shook lives in Los Angeles.
Adam O’Riordan was born in Manchester in 1982 and read English at Oxford University. In 2008 O’Riordan became the youngest Poet-in-Residence at The Wordsworth Trust, the Centre for British Romanticism. His first collection In the Flesh (Chatto and Windus) won a Somerset Maugham Award in 2011. He is Lecturer in Poetry Writing at the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Brian Avery is a native of Los Angeles and attended Loyola High School where he was awarded the Bing Crosby Drama Medal at Graduation and then attended Loyola University on scholarship. He received a B.A. from the Liberal Arts College of Loyola University majoring in English with minors in Philosophy and Languages. Brian's stellar artistic career began in New York City when he co-starred on Broadway in the dramatic musical of the great John Ford Film, "How Green Was My Valley". A talent scout for Universal Studios saw him onstage and convinced the studio to offer him a movie contract. He began work at Universal Studios with Harrison Ford and Katharine Ross, also under contract. Harrison and Brian did "Journey To Shiloh" together and Katherine and Brian were chosen by director Mike Nichols to be the wedding couple in his classic film The Graduate (1967). Brian is also featured as Diane Keaton's boyfriend in Woody Allen's Sleeper (1973), as well as roles in numerous other motion pictures, television shows and theatrical plays.
Brendan Constantine is a poet based in Hollywood. His work has appeared in numerous journals, most notably Ploughshares, FIELD, Zyzzyva, Ninth Letter, Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, ArtLife, PANK, and L.A. Times Best Seller, The Underground Guide to Los Angeles. His first book, Letters To Guns (Red Hen Press 2009), is now required reading in creative writing programs across the nation. His most recent collections are Birthday Girl With Possum (Write Bloody Publishing 2011) and Calamity Joe (Red Hen Press 2012). Mr. Constantine has had work commissioned by the Getty Museum and he has received grants from the James Irvine Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts. He is currently poet in residence at the Windward School and adjunct professor at Antioch University. In addition, he regularly offers classes in hospitals, prisons, shelters, and with the Alzheimer's Poetry Project.
Joy Harjo's name carries an astounding history of literary, musical and social activism, deeply informed by the spirit, her Creek Nation ancestry and drawn from the natural world. Joy has said that "every event has a place of power located somewhere within it." What is the power within our current chaotic events? How does an event like Standing Rock engage us into further action and awareness? In this half-hour program Joy Harjo shares several poems from "Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings," a "marvelous instrument that veins through a dark lode of American History" (Yusef Komunyaka), calling the spirit back to its true path on this earth.
World Literature Today says "This is not merely a book of poetry. These are instructions for the soul, a song to lead the reader home... [Harjo is] the first lady of American Indian Poetry."
Joy Harjo is an internationally known performer and writer of the Mvskoke /Creek Nation, the author of ten books of poetry and a memoir, Crazy Brave. A critically acclaimed poet, her many honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Josephine Miles Poetry Award, the William Carlos Williams Award, and the American Indian Distinguished Achievement in the Arts Award. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
KPFK - Poets Cafe M.C. Ford in Conversation with Phil Proctor Guest host Michael C. Ford talks with Firesign Theatre alumnus Phil Proctor about the political humor written by members of the group that was often an influential part of their performances. They also talk about the early days of KPFK and their beginnings there.
Michael C Ford was born on the Illinois side of Lake Michigan. His debut spoken word vinyl LANGUAGE COMMANDO earned a Grammy nomination in 1986. His book of Selected Poems EMERGENCY EXITS was honored by a 1998 Pulitzer Prize nomination. His CD FIRE ESCAPES was bankrolled in 1995 by New Alliance: produced at Sonora by Michael Campagna who also composed and orchestrated most of the charts. He concluded a recording project: a verbal rhapsody video which pays an important tribute to both the art and the history of percussion; collaborating with DOORS co-founder John Densmore at the drum kit.
Born in Indiana in 1940 and raised in New York City, Phil Proctor became known as a member of the Firesign Theatre and its two man offshoot, Proctor and Bergman. Like many musicians and comedians of the '60s, Proctor's interest in comedy began with listening to Bob and Ray, among other comedians, on the radio, and by making his own tapes on a reel-to-reel recorder his parents bought for him. From 1958 to 1962, he attended Yale as a drama major, where he met future Theatre member Peter Bergman, and the two became friends. Proctor acted in several college productions, some scripted by Bergman, and the two eventually made their way to Los Angeles, where they began working with Phil Austin and David Ossman on Radio Free Oz, a late-night freeform radio show broadcast from KPFK. As part of Firesign Theatre, Proctor became known for characters such as Ralph Spoilsport, Pastor Rod Flash, and Clem, the hero of I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus. With Bergman, Proctor released three further comedy albums, TV Or Not TV, What This Country Needs, and Give Us a Break, all during the '70s, after the Firesign's releases became more sporadic. Through the '80s and '90s, Proctor did work for television and radio, among them providing voices for a NPR production of War Of the Worlds, based on the 1938 radio play, and an adaptation of Tom Lewis's book Empire of the Air.
We caught three-time United States Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky on the day of one of our nation's most monumental marches. CNN had just published one of his poems on their Opinions page, a statement on the importance of literary commentary and action in our times. There's much to love in this 30-minute interview as Pinsky chats about his passion for poetry in the hands and through the breath of every-day Americans. Poetry as an instrument in life and in the challenging days ahead.
Producer: Marlena Bond
with host: Lois P. Jones
Robert Pinsky‘s new book of poems is At the Foundling Hospital (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). His Selected Poems appeared in 2011. Pinsky has described his 2013 book Singing School as a combined anthology and manifesto. His best-selling translation The Inferno of Dante was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Award in Poetry and the Harold Morton Landon Translation Prize. His other awards include the William Carlos Williams Prize, The Lenore Marshall Prize, the Korean Manhae Prize, the Italian Premio Capri and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pen American Center. As Poet Laureate of the United States, he founded the Favorite Poem Project, featuring the videos at www.favoritepoem.org and a summer Poetry Institute for K-12 Educators. He performs with pianist Laurence Hobgood on the spoken word CDs PoemJazz and House Hour, from Circumstantial Productions. Pinsky is William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at Boston University and has also taught at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the only member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters to have appeared on both The Colbert Report and The Simpsons.
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
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.
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.