How we got through 2017: staying, leaving, crying, laughing, writing | KUOW News and Information

How we got through 2017: staying, leaving, crying, laughing, writing

Dec 29, 2017

2017 was a fun, rigorous, informative year for the producers, editor, and host of The Record. Here are some of the segments we couldn’t forget.

American Eclipse. The eclipse of 2017 brought a divided country together, squinting toward an experience we all shared. Before it happened, Bill spoke with former NPR reporter David Baron about his lifelong love of eclipses. Baron was emphatic that everyone try to get as close to totality as possible. Did you?

Author Isabel Allende in the KUOW studios on Tuesday, November 28, 2017.
Credit KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Finding within yourself an invincible summer. Beloved Chilean author Isabel Allende’s latest book is "In the Midst of Winter." In a wide-ranging interview with Bill, they discuss everything from love that blooms later in life to a dress Allende spotted in Seattle decades ago that got away.

Is deeply flawed love any less real? Author Sherman Alexie’s memoir, "You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me," explores his complicated relationship with his mother. Lillian Alexie was both a pillar of the community and a woman capable of extreme cruelty. In a wide-ranging conversation, he reflected on what she’d meant to him and the ways that he continued to censor himself after her death.

Murtadha Al-Tameemi
Credit KUOW Photo/Jason Pagano

'This is not a country I want to give up on.' Murtadha Al-Tameemi is an engineer at Facebook in Seattle. He’s close to his family, some of whom live in Canada. And he’s also an Iraqi immigrant who was caught off guard by the rushed implementation of the first Muslim ban earlier this year. Given the four- to five-hour screening process that accompanies every border crossing for him, he laughs at the idea of "bad guys pouring in." "That’s absurd. There’s nobody pouring in. If you’re Iraqi, or Iranian, you don’t breeze through the airport." He spoke to Bill about the choice the ban presents: his work and adopted country, or his family north of the border.

Elisa Chavez (left) and Ian Martinez are slam poets in Seattle.
Credit KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Rain City slams. Sorting through multiple identities is one of the great joys and anguishes of becoming an adult. Some of us did this on MySpace (flaaaaashbaaaack) – and others use poetry. Elisa Chavez and Ian Martinez are one-half of the board of directors of the Rain City Poetry Slam; they spoke about the ways in which poetry helped shape who they are.

The Tizon family’s slave. Alex Tizon’s piece, “My Family’s Slave,” was published posthumously in The Atlantic. Tizon could no longer speak for himself, and neither could Eudocia Polido, his enslaved distant relation. But his widow, Melissa Tizon, could. She joined Bill in the studio to discuss Tizon's essay, and her own experiences living with Lola towards the end of her life.

A screenshot of the Seattle Poetic Grid.

Emerald City Blues. The Seattle Poetic Grid is the capstone project for Claudia Castro Luna, as Seattle’s outgoing civic poet. As Castro Luna prepares for her tenure as Washington State Poet Laureate in 2018, we look back at her interview with The Record. There are many site-specific poems included, read by Castro Luna, grid contributor Anna Bálint – and a particularly heartfelt reading by Bill.

Ghosted by a goldfish. Daniel Handler, alias Lemony Snicket, just wrote a book called "Goldfish Ghost" with his wife Lisa Brown. The children’s book is as much a meditation on the need for our darker emotions as it is a paean to a dead fish. We don’t really want happy endings, argues Handler/Snicket. And we’re more enriched than we think by bewilderment and loneliness in our daily lives.

Adra Boo and Jen Petersen talk about leaving and staying in Seattle.
Credit KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Should I stay or should I go? In late 2016, Bill spoke to Jen Petersen and Adra Boo about how their lives would change in the wake of the election results. At the time, Petersen said she was moving to Latin America – which she did. On a visit back to Seattle, she and Boo reunited in the studio with Bill to talk about what had happened in a year.

Thanks for listening along with us this year. We've appreciated your feedback, your curiosity, and your ears. We're looking forward to another wonderful year in 2018.

Your producers and hosts: Amina Al-Sadi, Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong, Bond Huberman, Matt Martin, Jason Pagano, Bill Radke, and Jeannie Yandel.