arts

David Brooks at the 2011 TED Conference in Long Beach, California.
Flickr Photo/Vasudev Bhandarkar

Author and journalist David Brooks says that he gets paid to be a “narcissistic blowhard” and that he has to work harder than most people “to avoid a life of smug superficiality.”

As far as blowhards go, he seems fairly humble. He told NPR “the turning point in a life toward maturity is looking inside yourself and saying, 'What's the weakness that I have that leads to behavior that I'm not proud of?”

Leija Farr, Seattle's new youth poet laureate, calls poetry a form of "self-healing."
KUOW photo/RadioActive staff

Seattleites love their poetry. The city is home to one of the nation's few poetry-only bookstores, Open Books, in the Wallingford neighborhood.

The Washington state poet laureate, Elizabeth Austen, is a Seattle resident. And the city recently decided to create a Seattle poet laureate position.

Courtesy of Julie Busch

Jeannie Yandel talks with Mark Titus, director of a new documentary called "The Breach," about the inspiration for the film, Russ Busch.

Marcie Sillman talks with book maven Nancy Pearl about a more subtle offering from the science fiction genre: "The City & the City," by China Mieville. It's the story of two worlds that take place simultaneously, in the exact same geographic spot.

Judy Blume (right) speaks with Nancy Pearl at Town Hall Seattle in June 2015.
Courtesy of Libby Lewis Photography

Certain people tend to “erupt into squeals” at the prospect of an appearance by author Judy Blume. For the uninitiated, Blume’s books are among the top bestselling children’s books ever published. She has sold over 80 million books for children and young adults.

We all know that listening to music can soothe emotional pain, but Taylor Swift, Jay-Z and Alicia Keys can also ease physical pain, according to a study of children and teenagers who had major surgery.

Chris Hedges at the 2012 Occupy National Gathering in Philadelphia, PA
Flickr Photo/Steve Rhodes (CC-BY-NC-ND)

During his career as a journalist, Chris Hedges has seen first-hand the workings of revolution around the world. On a recent sweltering night at Town Hall Seattle he talked about the prospects for social upheaval right here in the United States.

Hedges’ latest book is “Wages of Rebellion: The Moral Imperative of Revolt.” In it he tells stories of rebels throughout history, and what it takes to stand up to powerful forces of injustice and oppression.  

Seattle Playwright Yussef El Guindi.
Courtesy ACT Theatre

Seattle-based playwright Yussef El Guindi was born in Egypt. But he feels more at ease in his adopted home.

"Egypt is always going to a part of my background, my heritage," he says. "But I've been here 30 years now. I definitely consider myself American."

Spiegel & Grau

Long before a policeman shot to death an unarmed young black man in Ferguson, Missouri, reporter Jill Leovy was exploring murder in Los Angeles.

She posted every murder on a blog and examined how many involved young black men.

Nancy Pearl tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman about the book that resulted from Leovy's investigation for the Los Angeles Times: "Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America."

The cover of Mishna Wolff's book, "I'm Down," about growing up as a white girl in South Seattle.
Macmillan

Before there was Rachel Dolezal, there was Mishna Wolff’s dad.

In this 2009 interview, comedian Mishna Wolff tells Steve Scher about her dad, a white man, and how he became a part of Seattle's black community. 

Lara Davis is the arts education manager for Seattle's Office of Arts and Culture
Seattle.gov

Once upon a time, when you were young, you probably painted pictures, sang songs and danced yourself dizzy.

Many artists and arts educators believe that making art is second nature to humans. And they believe it helps kids learn. But somehow, by the time children reach their teens, many lose their enthusiasm for creative activities. Experts say that lack of arts curriculum in schools may be to blame.

James Alred

Over the past couple of decades, Jana Harris  has written a series of poetry collections that blend exhaustive research with "documentary imagination," as she calls it. In these poems, Harris gives voice to 19th century women living in the western United States. 

Her latest collection,  "You Haven't Asked About My Wedding Or What I Wore: Poems of Courtship on the American Frontier," focuses on stories of courting and marriage. 

Juan Felipe Herrera Named U.S. Poet Laureate

Jun 9, 2015

Poetry readers, prepare yourselves for a passing of the laurels. The Library of Congress announced in the wee hours Wednesday that the next U.S. poet laureate will be California writer Juan Felipe Herrera. He will be the first Latino poet to be appointed to the position.

"This is a mega-honor for me," Herrera said in the announcement, "for my family and my parents who came up north before and after the Mexican Revolution of 1910 — the honor is bigger than me."

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with book hugger Nancy Pearl for this week's memoir recommendations: 

  • "Raising Demons" and "Life Among the Savages," by Shirley Jackson
  • "Please Don't Eat the Daisies," by Jean Kerr
  • "Quiet! Yelled Mrs. Rabbit," by Hilda Cole Espy
  • "The Egg and I," by Betty MacDonald.

Seattle Is Getting A Poetic New Post

Jun 9, 2015

Marcie Sillman speaks with Elizabeth Austen, Washington state poet laureate, about a new poetry post in Seattle. The city will name a civic poet for Seattle by early August.

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