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March 07, 2017 08:40 PM PST

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.

January 31, 2017 02:44 PM PST

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.

January 24, 2017 01:45 PM PST

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.

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

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