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Friday, September 11, 2009

Monday, September 15 - poet Marilyn Nelson

Today at noon on KPFK I’ll play a reading recorded at the Casa Romantica Reading Series in San Clemente. For more on this excellent free public reading series offered monthly, visit the Casa website. On a recent evening there, next to the pier and the seashore in South Orange County, a roomful of poetry fans heard poet Marilyn Nelson. Nelson is the author or translator of twelve books and three chapbooks. Her book The Homeplace won the 1992 Annisfield-Wolf Award and was a finalist for the 1991 National Book Award. Other books, all award-winners, include The Fields Of Praise: New And Selected Poems, Carver: A Life In Poems, A Wreath For Emmett Till and Fortune’s Bones. Most recently, The Cachoiera Tales And Other Poems won the L.E. Phillabaum Award and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Her newest, from which she also reads now, is Freedom Business: Including a Narrative of the Life and Adventures of Venture, with Deborah Muirhead. “The reward for freeing people,” she writes, in the voice of an ex-slave who bought his own family, “is a broken heart.” Marilyn Nelson’s honors include NEA creative writing fellowships, a Connecticut Arts Award, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship, and a Guggenheim. Marilyn Nelson is professor emeritus of English at the University of Connecticut; founder and director of Soul Mountain Retreat, a small writers’ colony; and was Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut.

Stay tuned in the Bibliocracy Radio encore half-hour for a rebroadcast of my show with novelist Larry Beinhart, author of
Salvation Boulevard, the perfect summer political conflict novel, whether you are reading at the beach or at a town hall meeting or shouting down the president of the United States on behalf of your faith-based, anti-woman, pro-militia, gun-nutty, Sarah Palin-lovin' "pals." Stay cool.

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