30 May 2012

Caitrin Lynch and Lynn Kear are Woman-Stirred

This week I welcome anthropologist Caitrin Lynch, whose new book, Retirement on the Line: age, work, and value in an American factory (Cornell UP), is a fascinating ethnology of the Vita Needle factory in Needham, MA, and Lynn Kear, whose second novel, Tighter, Tighter is a tale of secrets and retribution.   
Lynn Kear, PhD

First up at 4:15, is Lynn Kear, who grew up in Illinois and has lived in Georgia for more than twenty years. Here is how Kear describes Tighter, Tighter:

“I wanted to explore various themes in this novel. For one thing, I’m intrigued how people’s lives can take such different paths, often because of a single event or a series of seemingly unimportant decisions. I also wanted to write about the complicated relationships between parents and children. Finally, I have nostalgia for the 1970s and wanted to capture the life of a young person growing up in a small Illinois town.”

Then at 5:00, Dr. Caitrin Lynch comes on air to talk about Retirement on the Line: age, work, and value in an American factory.
Caitrin Lynch, PhD
The idea of elder workers is not all that surprising or unusual these days, and since the Crash of 2008, there are more and more women and men who have had to retire from retirement in order to make ends meet, afford medications, or, for those elders who are more comfortable financially, to keep busy and add dimension to the what some describe as the loneliness and isolation of retirement. 

In Retirement on the Line, Caitrin Lynch moves beyond the obvious facts of elder employment to the Vita Needle Company of Needham, Massachusetts. The company hires older workers as a matter of policy and Caitrin Lynch "explores what this ...company's commitment to an elderly workforce means for the employer, the workers, the community, and society more generally" (GLW). 

Caitrin Lynch, Phd, is currently a Visiting Research Associate in the Department of Anthropology at Brandeis University. At Olin College, she teaches in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences program. She is the secretary of the American Ethnological Society (of the American Anthropological Association) and past treasurer of the American Institute of Sri Lankan Studies. Dr. Lynch has published Juki Girls, Good Girls: Gender and Cultural Politics in Sri Lanka's Global Garment Industry (Cornell, 2007), and she is the producer of the documentary film, My Name is Julius www.juliusfilm.com.

So please join us this Thursday, May 31st for interviews with Lynn Kear and Caitrin Lynch. Call the air studio at 802.454.7762 and join the conversation!

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 community radio station in Plainfield, VT.

24 May 2012

Poet Eileen Myles & ALEC and Its Influence on WSR

Mary Boyle

Today on Woman-Stirred Radioat 4:15 I welcome Mary Boyle, vice president for communications, Common Cause, Wally Roberts, vice president, Common Cause Vermont. A long-time Vermont journalist Wallace Roberts was appointed executive director of Common Cause Vermont in 201.

Then at 5:15 poet Eileen Myles.

Common Cause was organized forty years ago and, with a national presence, works to improve the democratic process by advocating for campaign finance and election law reforms and greater government transparency.

The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, works to effect legislation that supports conservative values. Here's what they say about themselves:

[ALEC is] "A nonpartisan membership association for conservative state lawmakers who shared a common belief in limited government, free markets, federalism, and individual liberty. Their vision and initiative resulted in the creation of a voluntary membership association for people who believed that government closest to the people was fundamentally more effective, more just, and a better guarantor of freedom than the distant, bloated federal government in Washington..."  

But ALEC  has been working steadily to influence, effect, and pass laws crafted by ALEC and for ALEC interests in state legislatures. An infamous ALEC success is the Stand Your Ground Law, which has been passed in numerous states and has been widely-cited in the Trayvon Martin case. Click here for the text of the law.

So join us at 4:15 today on Woman-Stirred Radio for an informative and informed discussion of the American Legislative Exchange Council with Common Cause's vice president for communications, Mary Boyle and executive director,  Wally Roberts of Common Cause Vermont.

Eileen Myles
Then at 5:15, we'll listen to a prerecorded interview with poet Eileen Myles, in which we talk about and she reads from her latest collection: Same Streets / Snowflake (Wave Books, 2012).

Eileen Myles was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1949, was educated in Catholic schools, graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Boston in 1971, and moved to New York City in 1974 to be a poet. She gave her first reading at CBGB's, and then gravitated to St. Mark's church where she studied with Ted BerriganAlice Notley and Bill Zavatsky. She has published more than a dozen volumes of poetry and fiction including Not Me (1991), Chelsea Girls (1994), Cool for You (2000), and Skies (2001). Recent books include Sorry, Tree (2007), The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art (2009), and Inferno: a poet's novel (2010). Eileen has also written for the Poetry Foundation's blog, Harriet.

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. 

16 May 2012

The Sweet Relief of Missing Children & The New Feminist Agenda on WSR

Sarah Braunstein (photo WWNorton)
This week on Woman-Stirred Radio we look at the work of  writer Sarah Braunstein and former
U. S. ambassador and Vermont Governor Madeline May Kunin---two women of different generations and professions, who articulate the realities of women, children, and families in 21st-century American culture and social policy.

Goddard President Barbara Vacarr will join Madeline Kunin for a dialogue on how Goddard College is one of the "smart institutions" Governor Kunin believes are necessary, if not essential components in nurturing and supporting social change.

At 4:15, I welcome Sarah Braunstein, whose debut novel,  The Sweet Relief of Missing Children, has been re-released in paperback. Braunstein's narrative is dense in detail and cold reality but keeps the reader engaged with animated and expansive prose. here's the opening of Part 2, entitled "Leonora":

"What a day! What a day! Not sunny but wickedly bright, the sky white as snow and silver at the horizon, the tree's all elbows and knuckles, the bark like cashmere. The birds hovered but did not land. Leonora tried to breathe deep, to inhale the silvery air, but its coldness was the cold of a coin placed firmly in your palm while you're waiting for a bus in the heart of winter" (73).

The energy in "What a day! What a day!" kick-starts the section, makes us look around at the grand light of the "white sky" and the "silver at the horizon," and then, when the tone begins to turn, the enthusiasm fades; the reader is hooked. We keep reading. The Sweet Relief of Missing Children is a novel that pivots all the fine rhetoric of childhood and our hypocrisy in "protecting" childhood, delving into the "terror and transcendence of our most central experiences: childhood, parenthood, sex, [and] love."

So please tune in at 4:15 for an conversation with Sarah Braunstein.  Want to join the conversation? The air studio phone is 802.454.7762.

Madeline M. Kunin (photo Paul Boisvert)
At 5:00, former ambassador and Vermont Governor Madeline Kunin joins us to talk about The New Feminist Agenda: defining the next revolution for women, work, and family (Chelsea Green, 2012).

Hilary Clinton, Robert Reich, former U. S. Secretary of Labor says: "Women's social and economic gains over the past thirty years has been staggering---but equally staggering is how little America has changed in response."  And Reich has zeroed in on one of Kunin's most salient points as she articulates a roadmap of sorts as to rally women and men to join a new social revolution, one that reconfigures and then protects the equal rights and quality of life of all Americans.

In a straightforward and organized voice, Governor Kunin calls for a change of attitude and position, for women to focus on involvement in the processes of the American political landscape.

"Politics is about competition," Kunin writes. "The first round... is obvious---getting elected. The second round ... is less visible---how to deal with competing interests, how to find a spot near the top of the agenda. That's where democracy's toughest battles are fought: in determining what will get done" (245).  [emphasis mine].
Barbara Vacarr

Kunin's agenda is one of foresight and possibility: by focusing collectively on how America had reclaim its dignity and moral courage when it comes to the responsiveness of policymakers.  Kunin calls for workplace flexibility, paid family leave, paid sick leave, and early childhood education---all of which are paltry or nonexistent for the 99%.

"It's time," Kunin says, "to change all that. Looking back over five decades of advocacy, she analyzes where progress stalled, looks at the successes of other countries, and charts the course for the next feminist revolution---one that mobilizes women, and men, to call for the kind of government and workplace policies that can improve the lives of women and strengthen their families" (CG).

The last segment of our discussion will open up to include Goddard College President, Barbara Vacarr, who will give perspective
on how Goddard programs contribute to a vision such as Kunin's, and her perspective on the future of women in America


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. 

9 May 2012

 This week we're taking a break from the serious stuff books and heading into the kitchen!
This Thursday on Woman-Stirred Radio, just in time for Mother's Day award-winning baking authority Judy Rosenberg’s famous Rosie’s Bakeries are a beloved New England institution, her mouthwatering confections have garnered countless Best of Boston awards, and her legendary Chocolate Orgasm Brownie is pure gustatory ecstasy.
When it comes to sweet indulgences, Rosenberg knows that great desserts call for authentic ingredients: real butter, real cream, real chocolate, and lots of it!!
Judy Rosenberg
Packed with over 250 recipes for delicious cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies, and bars, The Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed BakingBook [Workman Publishing; November 22, 2011; $15.95; Paperback Original] imparts the baking wisdom gained from Rosie’s Bakery’s 30+ year history of serving award-winning treats. 
As a self-taught baker whose career began in a tiny Boston apartment (every doorknob was coated in chocolate and the sugar-dusted floor crunched with every step) Rosenberg is a connoisseur of real homemade flavor and her recipes are easy, crowd-pleasing, and irresistible. In The Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book, Rosenberg offers the home cook words of encouragement, step-by-step instructions, and helpful tips for everything from writing on a cake to decorating with fresh flowers to salvaging a mistake to executing a delicious “end-of-anxiety” pie crust. 
Judy Rosenberg opened the Rosie's Bakery in Cambridge, Ma, in 1974. The bakery now has three locations and has won dozens of awards, including Best Bakery Sweets, Best Brownies, best Cakes, Best Chocolate Chip Cookie, and Best Pecan Pie. Judy lives in Newton, MA.

So tune in at 4:15 for a fun conversation with Judy Rosenberg! Want to join the conversation? Call the air-studio at 802.454.7762.

Then at 5:00, I ring up Katie Workman, whose The Mom 100 Cookbook is a pragmatic and fun addition to your cookbook collection written by the founding editor-in-chief of Cookstr.com and a mother of two. Katie Workman delivers solutions to the 20 most common cooking dilemmas that every modern mom faces, providing recipes and tips for parents who are so baffled by their kids’ food preferences that mealtime has become a minefield.

Some of Workman's's suggestions include: The English Muffin Pizza as a breakfast alternative; lunches that won’t get tossed or returned; snacks that don’t come in crinkly bags; entrées to feed the overnight vegetarian convert; seafood mains that even fish-o-phobes will embrace: best-shot vegetable dishes; and the fudgiest brownies you’ll ever eat . . . made using only one pot! 

Workman shows moms how to crack open the door for the salad rejector and how to make an enticing entrée with whatever’s in the fridge. Her recipes include brilliant shortcuts, such as a four-ingredient casserole perfect for family and company, and cooking flank steak in the broiler—so quick and simple!  
  wise tips, personal anecdotes, and wry one-liners sprinkled throughout. Exemplifying the deliciousness of simplicity, each of her smart, crowd-pleasing recipes masterfully combines basic ingredients and ingenious techniques for extraordinary results. 

Katie Workman
Because Katie Workman knows what it’s like to be a mom in the kitchen, her recipes also include special Fork in the Road suggestions as well as Make Ahead and What the Kids Can Do sidebars. 

A Fork in the Road recipe lets you make one basic dish while still catering to different tastes. Example: Your picky eater is less adventurous with couscous than the rest of your family. After the couscous is cooked, set aside a portion to be kept plain, then add the rest of the spices and vegetables to the remaining couscous. 

What the Kids Can Do sidebars include ways kids can join in and help prepare the recipes. Example: When making Corn Chowder, kids can crumble cooled bacon, smash up cooked potatoes and vegetables, and sprinkle individual portions with scallions and chives. 

Make Ahead recipes are ones you can prepare in advance and store in the fridge or freezer to eat sometime later—they’re even better than leftovers.

Each of the 100 recipes is complemented by mouthwatering color photographs taken by Todd Coleman, executive food editor of Saveur magazine. The result is an attractive, easy to understand, indispensable resource that every mom will be grateful for every day of the week.
KATIE WORKMAN is the founding editor in chief of Cookstr.com. She writes about food and cooking for websites and magazines, including The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, AOL Food, KitchenDaily.com, AARP.com, and New York magazineShe sits on the board of City Harvest, New York’s leading food rescue nonprofit, and is an active supporter of Share Our Strength.  Katie lives with her husband and two children in New York City, where she's developed such an open house reputation that all sorts of friends, neighbors, and families with kids in tow wind up at her table.

So tune in and listen up to Judy Rosenberg and Katie Workman, two of the best cooks on the East Coast visit Woman-Stirred Radio! Want to join the conversation? Call the air-studio at 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. 

2 May 2012

The Lord God Bird & What they Do in the Dark on WSR

Right off the top, I want to thank all our listeners local and global, who carried us to our goal of $15,000!! Another pledge drive that opened up our growing communities even further. We met new folks, heard incredible programming, superb live music and the best sticky buns in the universe from Red Hen Bakers!! Thank you thank you thank you! And if you missed the chance to pledge, you can make a secure donation HERE.

My ever-lovin' thanks to David and Jackie and Kris, Josh and Carl and Judy and Cynthia, and Patti, Janine, and Cam (and Pam), and Alan LePage, and Tonio and Buffalo Mountain Co-op and my guests Meghan O'Rourke, and Julie R. Enszer and so many other individuals and organizations and businesses. WGDR does rock. It's totally official.

Amanda Coe
Anyway, this week on WSR we continue the tradition of bringing excellent radio to the world and I'm thrilled to welcome Amanda Coe, author of What they Do in the Dark (WWNorton, 2012), and Tom Gallant, whose luscious new novel, The Lord God Bird(Quantuck Lane, 2012), takes us into the magical, neo-mythical world of a man who spots an Ivory Billed Woodpecker and then observes "with wry humor and wisdom the goings-on around him" (QLP).

First up, at 4:15, British writer and screenwriter, Amanda Coe joins us from England to talk about What they Do in the Dark, a debut novel brimming with pain, joy, and the occasional beauty of childhood" (WWN).

"Spoiled and emotionally neglected Gemma, who appears to have everything, and semi-feral Pauline, who has less than nothing, are two very different ten-year-old girls. In fact, the two classmates identify with opposite ends of the socially volatile Yorkshire spectrum in the 1970s. Gemma enjoys the pleasures of holidays in Spain and new seasonal outfits, while Pauline fights and steals, living in neglect and near-squalor, longing for the simple luxuries of Gemma's neatly folded socks and clean hair. Gemma, upset by her parent's breakup and the new man in her mother's life, begins losing herself in fantasies of meeting the child television star, Lallie. When Lallie shoots a movie in their hometown, Gemma and Pauline jump at the opportunity for their wildest dreams to come true: an escape from their own lives" (WWN).

So please join us tomorrow, Thursday, May 2nd at 4:15 for a transatlantic conversation with Amanda Coe.
Want to join the conversation? Call the air studio at 802.454.7762

Tom Gallant
Then at 5:00, I welcome Tom Gallant,  Tom Gallant's The Lord God Bird is an elegant and elegiac meditation on the way human beings live in this world, how we treat one another, the animals who share this place with us, and how we treat the planet. A humble widower alone in his canoe in Big Woods Arkansas sees, for a fleeting moment, an Ivory Billed Woodpecker. His heart is full of joy that this long thought extinct bird is still among his neighbours. When the world finds out about his sighting, scientists and strangers arrive to mount a proper search" (QLP).

Ivory-billed woodpecker
Tom Gallant is never idle. Understatement. The man has produced a large volume of quality work in all mediums.... marked by a willingness to take chances, tempered by an understanding of what it means to communicate to an audience. Gallant is also a sing-songwriter,... an actor and director in both theatre and film. A memoir, A Hard Chance: Sailing into the Heart of Love, won an Atlantic Book Award. Gallant has logged 50,000 miles of deepwater sailing on his schooner, and lives near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. His work is marked by one unifying principle.... that love abides through all the hypocrisy, greed, and foolishness, and that it is in simplicity, humility, and empathy that true greatness resides (QLP).

Here's a passage from The Lord God Bird:

      The fish was wonderful, and the man washed it down with strong coffee laced with bourbon. Then he cleaned the tin plate and iron pan and stowed them in the basket that had always been part of the canoe's equipment. While he did these things, he heard a sharp knocking, distinctive and rare. It triggered an old memory from his childhood. He stood there, rummaging around in his brain. What was that sound? Once, it had been familiar
     He didn't believe his ears because the sound was that of an ivory-billed woodpecker, a bird so beautiful that it was known as The Lord God Bird, as in, 'Lord God, look at that bird.' They were big birds, with distinctive black and white markings, a dramatic red flash on the handsome head, and a long ivory-colored beak, They had been thought extinct since the man was a boy. He stood silent on the shore and listened for a long time, barely breathing, hoping to hear it again. But for all the woods were saying, for all the birdsong, and frog calls, scurries and footfalls of woodland creatures, and even the occasional turtle fart, the sharp, distinctive knock was gone. (10-11).

So please join us this week on WSR for another two interviews I believe you will enjoy. Want to join the conversation? Call the air-studio at 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.