poetry

Russian Political Trials
1:29 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

For Mother Of Russian Billionaire, It's A Lonely Train Ride To Arctic Prison To Visit Her Son

Russian Plains
Credit Flickr Photo/giocomai

In the last 12 months there has been a series of political trials in Russia. First there was the punk rock group Pussy Riot. Then, demonstrators from the anti-Putin protest movement faced the court followed by the rising star of the opposition, Alexei Navalny. Some say Putin is using the justice system to shut down their political rivals and that this kind of injustice is accelerating.

When This Whole Thing Started

It began ten years ago with the arrest of the oil billionaire Mikhail Khodorkovsky. He has been in prison ever since. First, he was in Siberia. Now, he's at the edge of the Arctic. His mother travels vast distances to visit him.

Today on KUOW Presents, we join her on that long, cold train ride.

Full list of stories from KUOW Presents,  June 20:

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Poetry
9:30 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Phin Dauphin's "Baritone Without A Body"

A self-portrait by poet Phin Dauphin.
Credit Phin Dauphin

"I will no longer mispronounce myself," resolves Phin Dauphin in "Baritone Without a Body." 

A self-described "gender fluid person," Dauphin says the poem was written while part of a slam poetry team preparing to represent Seattle at Brave New Voices, an international poetry festival. "Baritone Without a Body" aims to document the path taken to understand Dauphin's gender, and reflects a deep regard for language rooted in the experience of growing up in a household where English, Spanish, French and Creole were spoken on a daily basis.

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Poetry
1:45 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

Inside A Toddler's Brain: "Epiphanette"

Poet Dennis Caswell.
Credit Jack Straw Productions/Sherwin Eng

In "Epiphanette," Woodinville poet Dennis Caswell speculates on what happens to the "carefree cognitive tumbleweed" of his baby daughter's mind when it "is struck by the SUV of enlightenment" in the form of a little epiphany.

Already she baby-knows:
A dance you learn; the dancer you're stuck to.
                                          from "Epiphanette"

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Poetry
8:48 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Jourdan Keith's "Traveling Seeds"

Poet, storyteller and environmental activist Jourdan Keith
Credit Brian McGuigan

Strange fruit has black seeds. Papaya pearls dropping tropics in our mouths.

from "Traveling Seeds"

Contemplating the generative power of papaya seeds led writer Jourdan Keith to write a parable about the African diaspora. Her story-poem "Traveling Seeds" is a hybrid of African folktales, Native American legend, Japanese poetic forms and also pays homage to the Harlem Renaissance.

Based in Seattle, Jourdan Keith is a poet, storyteller and environmental activist. She served as the Seattle Public Library's first Naturalist-in-Residence and is a Seattle Poet Populist Emerita.

Her essay, "Human Estuaries," which is based on her 2011 TEDxRainier talk, appeared in YES! Magazine.

She is the founder and director of Urban Wilderness Project, "providing storytelling, environmental education and wilderness service learning programs rooted in social change."

She was recorded in the KUOW Studios May 10, 2013.

Poetry
9:00 am
Tue May 21, 2013

Marjorie Manwaring's "Letter From Zelda"

Writer Zelda Fitzgerald
Credit WikiMedia

In "Letter from Zelda," poet Marjorie Manwaring creates an imaginary letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, written by his wife Zelda from her room in a mental hospital.

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Poetry
11:56 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Poet Colleen McElroy On "Crossing Oceans"

Author Colleen McElroy
Credit Ingrid Pape-Sheldon

One of the most persistent stories about America — that it was made by immigrants fleeing "the old country" — is also one of the most incomplete. And since stories shape our perception of reality, poet Colleen McElroy is intent on telling another aspect of America's story in "Crossing Oceans."  The poem appears in her most recent collection "Here I Throw Down My Heart" (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012).

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Poetry
1:42 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

"Letter To Mick Jagger From The St. Paul Chapter Of The Daughters Of Norway"

Poet Marjorie Manwaring
Credit Susan Filkins

The Woodstock generation may be aging, but don't try to tell them they're not still cool. Poet Marjorie Manwaring's "Letter to Mick Jagger from the St. Paul Chapter of the Daughters of Norway" captures the dissonance between how we feel inside, and how we may appear to others.

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Poetry
3:22 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Karen Finneyfrock's Monstrous Spring

Poet and novelist Karen Finneyfrock.
Credit Photo Credit/Inti St. Clair

A  Metro bus ride inspires poet, novelist and teaching artist Karen Finneyfrock to find a delightfully surprising personification for Northwest springtime in her poem "Monster."

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Poetry
8:48 am
Wed April 10, 2013

Annette Spaulding-Convy's "Bonsai Nun"

Annette Spaulding-Convy's debut collection draws on the five years she spent as a Dominican nun.
Credit University of Arkansas Press

As a former Dominican nun in the Roman Catholic Church, Annette Spaulding-Convy is intimately aware of the complex messages the institution sends about women's bodies. Her poem "Bonsai Nun" finds an apt metaphor in the severe pruning required to make a tree fit the aesthetic and spiritual ideal.

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Poetry
2:44 pm
Tue April 2, 2013

Marjorie Manwaring Offers A Poem Of Second Chances

'Search for a Velvet-Lined Cape' from Mayapple Press
Credit Mayapple Press

As spring edges out winter and previously bare tree limbs are suddenly effusive with blossoms, there's a sense that almost anything -- or anyone -- deserves a second chance. In her poem "A Quiet," poet Marjorie Manwaring meditates on alternative endings and the possibility of redemption.

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Poetry
2:54 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Poet Colleen McElroy On Choosing "What Stays Here"

Author Colleen McElroy.
Credit Photo Credit/Ingrid Papp-Sheldon

In her poem "What Stays Here," Colleen McElroy imagines life as a female soldier who must choose between loyalty to herself, and loyalty to a military code that says "keep quiet" and "get along." Like many of the poems in McElroy's ninth collection, "Here I Throw Down My Heart," (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012) the poem awakens us to voices and stories we might otherwise never hear with such intimacy and power.

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Poetry
8:16 am
Tue March 12, 2013

Poet Carolyne Wright's "Ghazal For Emilie Parker"

Poet Carolyne Wright.
Credit Photo Credit/Erik Rucker

It can be hard to know how to respond to tragedies on the scale of the Newtown, Conn. shooting. We want to do something, but what?

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Neurological Advancements
9:00 am
Thu February 28, 2013

Mapping The Human Brain

MRI scans of a brain.
Credit Flickr Photo/David Foltz

In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed a massive scientific endeavor to map the human brain. It's a multi-billion dollar, multi-year project that's meant to do for neuroscience what the Human Genome Project did for DNA. How will scientists actually achieve it? We talk with Dr. Christof Koch from the Allen Institute for Brain Science and Dr. Patricia Kuhl from the UW Institute for Learning and Brain Science.

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Arts & Life
10:00 am
Tue February 19, 2013

Taps On The Walls: Poems From The Hanoi Hilton

Many of us have written poetry during stressful times in life. Decorated retired Air Force Major General John Borling wrote his while imprisoned for six and a half years at the Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam. He joins us to share the poetry that helped him and his fellow POWs survive.

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Poetry
8:00 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Poet Alice Derry On Mourning A Complicated Relationship

Port Angeles poet Alice Derry's fourth collection is 'Tremolo.'
Credit Red Hen Press

Mourning begins in a kind of thick non-seeing,
only later clarified, gradually lightening,
until we recognize what our lives must carry.

So begins "The Planet Closest To Us," Alice Derry's frank and moving poem about grieving the loss of someone who it was not always easy to love -- her mother. Derry reads her poem, and talks about the unexpected gift in her mother's passing.

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