28 August 2009

Mixing Tracks with Jan Steckel on Woman-Stirred Radio

Please join Merry Gangemi in welcoming Jan Steckel back to Woman-Stirred Radio, this Thursday, September 3rd at 4:15 (Eastern), to talk about her new book, Mixing Tracks, published by Gertrude Press and winner of the 2008 Fiction Chapbook Competition.

Jan Steckel is a bisexual activist and a Harvard- and Yale-trained former pediatrician. Over a hundred of her short stories, poems and nonfiction pieces have appeared in print and online publications such as Scholastic Magazine, Yale Medicine, Red Rock Review, So to Speak and Redwood Coast Review. Her work has won writing awards and has been widely reprinted and anthologized. Her writing has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize: once for nonfiction and once for poetry.

She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic and cared for Spanish-speaking families in California at a county hospital and at a large HMO. In 2001 she left the practice of medicine to write full-time. Her poetry chapbook The Underwater Hospital is available from Zeitgeist Press. She is currently working on a book-length collection of interrelated short stories and on a collection of short humorous first-person essays. Most of the stories and essays have already appeared in print. She lives in Oakland, California, with her husband Hew Wolff.

Woman-Stirred Radio broadcasts live on WGDR (91.1 fm) and online at wgdr.org every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. (eastern), with interviews, music, and guest commentaries from lesbian and queer activists.

Woman-Stirred Radio is funded in part by the Samara Foundation of Vermont, a non-profit, Burlington-based foundation that seeks to improve the quality of life for Vermont's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered citizens. Click on the link to find out more about Samara Foundation and its programs.

19 August 2009

This is No Mere Future, Sarah Schulman




In Sarah Schulman's Mere Future "Road crews were taking down billboards, and any kind of brand name or mass-reproduced symbol was being quietly painted over. No more Nike swooshes, no more yellow arches. It was visually a whole lot quieter out there, but also more complex. I could no longer just glance at a sign and know what it wanted me to do. I had to really look at it. Each one had its own code. Walking down the street took more time, if you were a curious person" (40).

And curious one should be about Schulman's delightfully horrifying gaze into the crystal ball. Not since Rudy Giuliani swept out Times Square and installed a permanent Disney installation, has New York City been as sinister and weird. In a steady and increasingly prescient voice, Schulman's narrator walks us through the early optimism of a new regime and the subsequent view of quiet hysteria in life and love, truth and illusion, deception and cruel self-interest.

So please join Merry Gangemi this Thursday, August 20th at 4:15 in welcoming Sarah Schulman to Woman-Stirred Radio and discussing her new novel, The Mere Future.

Sarah Schulman is the author of nine novels, four nonfiction books, and numerous plays. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim and a Fulbright, and is a professor of English at the City University of New York, College of Staten Island. Schulman is also a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities at New York University.

Questions and comments are always welcome, so call the air studio at 802.454.7762 to join in.

Woman-Stirred Radio broadcasts live on WGDR (91.1 fm) and online at wgdr.org every Thursday afternoon from 4 to 6 p.m. (eastern), with interviews, music, and guest commentaries from lesbian and queer activists.

Woman-Stirred Radio is funded in part by the Samara Foundation of Vermont, a non-profit, Burlington-based foundation that seeks to improve the quality of life for Vermont's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered citizens. Click on the link to find out more about Samara Foundation and its programs.

13 August 2009

Elana Dykewomon takes a RISK!



Elana Dykewomon returns to Woman-Stirred Radio this week, on August 13th at 4:15 (est) to celebrate her new book, Risk, a novel that is not only a wonderful and engaging story but a story that encapsulates and honors the extraordinary lesbian community of dykes and femmes in Oakland, California.

As Gertrude Stein so famously proclaimed about Oakland: "There is no there there."

Wrong!

There really is something there in Oakland, and it is amazing. Risk allows the reader to discover and rediscover "a rich vibrant culture of dykes and femmes: "We are the serious dykes," her protagonist says, "the ones who have the heart to change how the heart works."

Dykewomon's novel is rich in characters that bend the rules of the straight world and struggle to live without "rules" within their own community, a process one of the main characters, Carol, finds painfully fascinating and difficult to navigate. But the resolutions are plausible, and the twists and turns delightful.

Risk does not avoid difficult conversations about gender, class, and race. Instead the women Elana Dykewomon brings to life are savvy, brilliant, bone honest, and lots of fun. Yup, I laughed out loud many times as I read. And when I read it again, there was the humor again, the laughs it elicits and the wonderful alliances with irony, strength of spirit, and a profound world view of equality, justice, and of course peace world peace.

The womyn in Risk are risk takers. They thrive in the complex culture of the Bay Area with chutzpah, hilarity, compassion, and a keen sense of for all women. Older dykes and femmes will so enjoy the references and contexts, and for our younger sisters in dykedom, it will open both heart and mind to the history of lesbian culture, which paved the way for the openness and acceptance so many lesbians enjoy today.

So, please join Merry Gangemi and all of us at Woman-Stirred Radio, in welcoming Elana Dykewomon. Tune in or stream the program live at WGDR, Thursday August 13th, at 4:15 p.m (eastern) for a delightful discussion of Risk and why we should all read it!

Woman-Stirred Radio broadcasts live every Thursday from 4 to 6 p.m. (Eastern) and streams live at http://wgdr.org. Phone calls are always welcome. 802 454-7762