25 April 2012

Meghan O'Rourke is Woman-Stirred


This week on Woman-Stirred Radio, I'm thrilled to host Meghan O'Rourke, whose new collection of poetry, Once, was released by WW Norton last year.

Meghan O'Rourke
At 5:00, I welcome Meghan O'Rourke. Her new collection, Once, is at once subtle and minimal, but the poems rumble with emotion and careful observations. A participating witness to her mother's last days, and keenly effected by the changed nature of  America, Once moves through the labyrinth of grief and consternation, as in this excerpt from "After Her Death"

I lived in an underworld.

Snowflakes on my eyes, fingers curled,
I made the bed my home,
curtaining my eyes from the sun---
in my sleep she and I
                                       passed each other
side to side, and did not touch,
And my hands, O my hands
cracked            

Meghan O'Rourke is the author of Halflife, and a memoir, The Long Goodbye. She has served as editor for the New Yorker, The Paris Review, and Slate.  

So please join us, Thursday April 26th on Woman-Stirred Radio. Interview begin at 4:15 and the air studio phone number is 802.454.7762. 




Woman-Stirred Radio is underwritten by Sinister Wisdom, celebrating 35 years of  lesbian-feminist arts and letters.

Woman-Stirred Radio broadcasts live on WGDR 91.1 fm and WGDH 91.7 fm, Goddard College's community radio station located in Plainfield, Vermont. 

19 April 2012

Traci Brimhall, Sandra Beasley, and Dorianne Laux are Woman-Stirred



Traci Brimhall
This week's interviews kick off a few minutes earlier, to accommodate three separate interviews. At 4:10 with Traci Brimhall, and we'll talk about Our Lady of the Ruins, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize. Her first collection,Rookery, was a finalist for the Foreword Book of the Year Award.

Exploring war, plagues, and the search for a new god in exile, Our Lady of the Ruins follows a group of women on their pilgrimage through a mid-apocalyptic world.

The poems are haunting, profound, and mesmerising, Carolyn Forche describes them as "awake to the world... and radiant with lyric intelligence."

Here is an excerpt from "To Poison the Lion":

It is the most vulnerable part of the trinity,
and the most abiding. When a cyclone touched

                                                the earth and offered paradise to those
                                                who would enter, I sought the lion's den.



Sandra Beasley
Sandra Beasley joins us next for a conversation about her wonderful collection, I Am the Jukebox, recently re-released in paperback.

I Am the Jukebox is crisp, with attitude and passion. Beasley "eschews the poet-as-speaker convention and unleashes [poems] teeming with the inanimate, the anachronistic, and the animal kingdom.... [approaching] the world ...with clarity, humour, and compassion.

Here's an excerpt from "Another Failed Poem about Music,"

I love the small tyranny of it,
the musician standing with his arm raise
through measure upon measure,
waiting for a moment to strike his wand---


the ding that pierces a twelve-part din.
Technical name: struck idiophone.



Dorianne Laux
Last but not least, Dorianne Laux is up next in an interview recorded earlier this week. We talk about her newest collection, The Book of Men, which Tony Hoagland describes as "a songbook--- ruthless, damaged, and full of fierce athletic compassion." Nick Flynn, author of (The Ticking Is the Bomb, says "Each poem... makes us aware of a distant music we never paid attention to before, of our own bodies, as we hold the book... the stuff of the world in our hands."

From the cultural icons of Cher and Superman, to the point blank truths of our mortality, The Book of Men is terrific--- funny, quirky, weird and imaginative... connecting icons and idiosyncracies, the Fourth of July to getting Lost in Costco. It's a wild and fun book from a wild and brilliant shaper of language.




Join us Thursday, April 19 from 4 to 6 p.m. Want to join the conversations? Call 802.454.7762 or email your questions and comments to merrygangemi@gmail.com.



Woman-Stirred Radio is underwritten by Sinister Wisdom, celebrating 35 years of  lesbian-feminist arts and letters. Woman-Stirred Radio broadcasts live on WGDR 91.1 fm and WGDH 91.7 fm, Goddard College's community radio station located in Plainfield, Vermont.













4 April 2012

Paul Wilkes and Christine Stark on WSR!

This week's show will be an interesting juxtaposition: Paul Wilkes, author of The Art of Confession, and Christine Stark, author of Nickels, which has been nominated for a Lambda Literary Award.

Wilkes talks about confession with a small c, and Stark offers us the experience of dissociation and the relentless inner dialogue that plagues survivors.  What is a common thread? Both Wilkes and Stark explore processes of explaining and changing our behaviors. Of finding a meaningful and accessible means to tell our stories---not apologize---but tell the tale without the slant. Both search for truth.


Paul Wilkes

4:15 interview is with Paul Wilkes, whose new book The Art of Confession (Workman, 2012) has attracted very good reviews and for good reason. Wilkes has written a book that is unassuming, sage, and most informative.

"Confession," Wilkes writes, "is a conversation with ourselves.....and strips away the veil that we often cast over our actions, realigning our souls with what is best and truest in our natures" (x). The Art of Confession walks us through the chapters that unpack apology versus confession, the origins of confession, the birth of conscious and other aspects of confession that enrich and enhance our lives.

Drawing on traditions "as old as ancient Greece and as modern as psychotherapy, as diverse as Judaism, Buddhism, and Christianity," Wilkes presents the practice of daily confession "contemporary, relevant, universal---and vital" (WP).

So please join us at 4:15 for an interview with Paul Wilkes and if you want to join the conversation, call the air studio at: 802.454.7762, or email your questions to merrygangemi@gmail.com.

Then at 5:00, I welcome Christine Stark to WSR. We'll discuss her book Nickels: a tale of dissociation (Modern History Press, 2012), which is stunning in its raw, bold narrative as it recounts and details the extraordinary inner experience of dealing with childhood sexual and one of its common burdens, dissociation.



Christine Stark

The story tells of little "Miss So-and-So" whose father gives her a nickel every time he sexually assaults her. But this is more than a "story" because the emotional engagement with the text is profound and present. The veracity of the narrative penetrates the language, tenacity, and intelligence of the author. It's a tough book to read but it is worth every syllable.

Christine Stark's work has been published widely in periodicals and anthologies. A 2009 Pushcart nominee (fiction) and was awarded a 2010 Loft Mentorship in creative non-fiction. She teaches writing at metropolitan State University and Normandale Community College.

So tune in or stream us live this Thursday, April 5th, on Woman-Stirred Radio. Interviews begin at 4:15. And as always, if you want to join the conversation, the air studio phone is 802.454.7762 or email your questions: merrygangemi@gmail.com.




Woman-Stirred Radio is underwritten by Sinister Wisdom, celebrating 35 years of  lesbian-feminist arts and letters. Woman-Stirred Radio broadcasts live on WGDR 91.1 fm and WGDH 91.7 fm, Goddard College's community radio station located in Plainfield, Vermont.