Bibliocracy takes a hiatus. Back in spring 2015. Listen for other literary arts programs on KPFK.

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Monday, January 27, 2014

Wednesday, Jan 29 - Creating Atheists!

My guest tonight is an author-activist two-fer, a teacher-philosopher and seditious and provocative strategist who both preaches, as it were, the practice of critical thinking and teaches others how to exercise it.  He walks the walk and talks the talk by way of not just engaging audiences and students but persuading them to actively, respectfully, humanely and aggressively engage others, including the religionists or unengaged whose thinking is the opposite of critical.  Dr. Peter Boghossian is the author of the unshyly titled  A Manual for Creating Atheists with a foreword by our own Southern California skeptics activist Michael Shermer.  Boghossian is a full-time faculty member at Portland State’s philosophy department and likes to remind us that he was thrown out of the doctoral program at the University of New Mexico’s philosophy department.  No less than Richard Dawkins acknowledges Boghossian’s techniques of friendly persuasion and I have personally been so stirred not just by his argument but by his sincere and generous, even loving promotion of an “Honest and authentic way to live life.” God bless you for listening, on the radio or online, or as a free download from the station archives.  Please support KPFK as a listener-sponsor with a generous renewal of your membership.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Wednesday, January 22 - Russ Kick, Death Poems

Wednesday night on Bibliocracy, KPFK 90.7 FM in Southern CaliforniaRUSS KICK.  It’s perhaps possible to talk with my guest tonight Russ Kick about nearly anything.  Or everything, and to hear him talk about it all well, and authoritatively.  Or anti-authoritatively.  Ha!  He’s the legendary underground publisher and editor of all kinds of books, about government, society and the arts, and most recently the wonderful mad genius behind three volumes of literary fiction and nonfiction organized and imagined and illustrated by graphic artists --- in other words cartoonists --- in the amazing instant classic The Graphic Canon: The World's Great Literature as Comics and Visuals.  You might know him best through his work as editor of the Everything You Know series, from his own Disinformation Press.  Russ Kick is a kind of Tom Paine pamphleteer meets archivist and political-cultural provocateur, and his latest if unlikely contribution to the literature of what is often not celebrated is an anthology of poetry with a helpfully inviting subtitle.  It’s called Death Poems: Classic, Contemporary, Witty, Serious, Tear-Jerking, Wise, Profound, Angry, Funny, Spiritual, Atheistic, Uncertain, Personal, Political, Mythic, Earthy, and Only Occasionally Morbid. It’s a lovely volume, with all the usual suspects (Dickenson, Yeats, Hughes, Shakespeare and Homer) to our own late Wanda Coleman, Billy Collins and Andrei Codrescu, just to drop a few names.  Kick will talk about his project, and the two of us read some favorite poems, me in Studio C and Russ Kick from the auspices of the University of Arizona Poetry Center, thanks!.  Thanks to you for listening, on the radio or online, or later as a download from the KPFK archives. Please remember Bibliocracy Radio when the next fund drive arrives.    

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Wednesday, Jan 15 - Don Waters

Tonight on Bibliocracy, 8 PM on KPFK 90.7 FM in Southern CaliforniaDON WATERS.  My guest tonight skirts not the thin line, but a very broad line, between satire and sincerity, picaresque and realism, in this case that line being the US border with Mexico, a wall, a metaphor, a state of mind and a terrific trope for the division and dualism in the life of his conflicted hero, a smart, broken-hearted thirty something slacker who genuinely cares for old people even as he sells them drugs.  After the prizewinning short story collection that got him lots of attention for smart, funny writing, my guest Don Waters has upped the ante with a morality and mortality tale, set in a retirement village in Arizona, that border and borderline state, in a short, punched-up, funny and roughly charming novel called, yes, Sunland.  Don Waters is the author of the previous story collection Desert Gothic, winner of the Iowa Short Fiction Award. His fiction has been anthologized in the Pushcart PrizeBest of the West, and New Stories from the Southwest.  A frequent contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle, he’s also written for the New York Times Book ReviewOutsideThe Believer, and Slate, among other magazines. He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where he was an Iowa Arts Fellow.  But what, you ask, has he done lately?  Ha!  He’s written a sincerely and sarcastically and astute novel which sends up and yet shows empathy for generations of Americans, old and young.  Thanks for listening, on the radio or online live, or as a free download from the KPFK audio archives.  Support the only non-commercial, anti-corporate people’s media on the dial.  Support KPFK.  Find and friend me on Facebook, and do share the audio link with other readers, thinkers, listeners. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Wednesday, January 8 - Tom Nissley's Reader's Book of Days

Tonight at 8 PM on Bibliocracy, KPFK 90.7 FM:  TOM NISSLEY.  My guest tonight has produced a huge gift for readers, and an irresistible way in for non-readers: an almanac and homage and fun encyclopedic invitation to history, books, politics, digression --- and more wonderful digression --- storytelling and literacy, all of it a tribute to his own happy pursuit of, yes, all of the above.  Introduced to America as “a writer from Seattle, Washington” on Jeopardy!, super-winner on that show Tom Nissley holds an English Ph D, is a former editor and blogger at Amazon and, indeed, has written for the Paris Review Daily, The Millions and The Stranger.  His amazing book, A Reader’s Book of Days, should have been your holiday present to all the readers in your life, but it’s not too late to secure a copy, for them, and for yourself.  A Reader’s Book of Days is a year-long daily review of authors’ births and deaths, publications, with almanac-style fictional and nonfictional details, incidents, anecdotes, jokes and revelations.  This book esteems not just writers and the reading and writing life, but argues for a whole readerly way of appreciating past, present and future, one day at a time.  Thanks for listening, on the radio or online live, or as a free download from the station’s audio archives.  Thanks to engineer Stan Misraje, and to you for supporting listener-sponsored anti-corporate community radio for smart people who read, and listen.  Find me on Facebook.