Amy Thielen Reads Jim Harrison

In this episode, Amy Thielen reads “Death Again” by Jim Harrison and explores the relationship between great food and great literature. Amy Thielen is a chef and two-time James Beard Award-winning writer. She’s the author of The New Midwestern Table (a cookbook) and Give a Girl a Knife (a memoir). She’s also the host of Heartland Table on Food Network.

“Death Again” by Jim Harrison appears in Songs of Unreason, published by Copper Canyon Press.

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As always, the Haiku Hotline (612-440-0643) is open for your short poems and poetic musings.

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DJ Rekha Reads Audre Lorde

DJ Rekha

In this episode, DJ Rekha reads “A Litany for Survival” by Audre Lorde and discusses dancing as an antidote to fear. DJ Rekha is a producer, curator, and educator based in New York City. Her classic debut album, DJ Rekha presents Basement Bhangra, was released in 2007. Her monthly party, Basement Bhangra, ran from 1997 to the summer of 2017 – making it one of the most influential and longest continuously running parties in NYC history.

“A Litany for Survival” by Audrey Lorde appears in The Black Unicorn, published by W.W. Norton & Company.

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Inspired by something you heard in this episode? Write a haiku and text it to the Haiku Hotline (612-440-0643) – or call and read it after the beep! We’ll share our favorites on our Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds.

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Chris Koza & Malena Handeen: Live!

Chris Koza and Malena Handeen

We’re celebrating the last episode of our first season with a special double feature, recorded live at Java River Cafe in Montevideo, Minnesota. Our guests are Chris Koza and Malena Handeen.

Chris Koza is the frontman of the Americana rock band Rogue Valley. In this interview, he reads a poem by U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith that helped inspire his new side project, Nobody Kid.

Malena Handeen is a painter, songwriter, and organic vegetable farmer based in Western Minnesota. In this episode, she reads a poem by Tyehimba Jess and discusses how the weather affects her creative life.

Later on, members of our audience participate in our first ever live Haiku Hotline.

“The Museum of Obsolescence” by Tracy K. Smith appears in the book Life on Mars, published by Graywolf Press. “What the Wind, Rain and Thunder Said to Tom” by Tyehimba Jess appears in the book Olio, published by Wave Books.

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Marla Spivak Reads Rumi

Marla Spivak

Honeybees are in trouble, and entomologist Dr. Marla Spivak is leading the fight to save them. Dr. Spivak is a MacArthur Fellow and a professor at the University of Minnesota. She is known for her groundbreaking research on bee behavior and biology. In this episode, Dr. Spivak reads a poem by Rumi and discusses the changes in consciousness that are needed in order to rectify our relationship to bees– and the rest of the natural world.

Later on, we check the Haiku Hotline for your poems about bees. Transcriptions of this week’s featured listener poems are available here.

“When Grapes Turn to Wine” by Rumi, translated by Robert Bly, appears in the book If Bees Are Few: A Hive of Bee Poems, published by University of Minnesota Press. A portion of all proceeds from the book are donated to support research at the University of Minnesota Bee Lab.

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Mary Mack Reads Roald Dahl

Mary Mack

Stand-up comic Mary Mack is known for her unique style of oddball folk humor. When she was little, however, she “wanted to grow up to be a serious person.” In this episode, Mack reads a Roald Dahl poem that she performed on her high school speech team, which she considers her first foray into comedy.

Later on, we check the Haiku Hotline for your poems about jokes, curated by Steve Wasserman, host of the Poetry Pharmacy podcast. Transcriptions of this week’s featured listener poems are available here.

“Attention Please! Attention Please!” by Roald Dahl appears in the book Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, published by Puffin Books. Visit for links to her albums and tour dates.

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