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.

This episode includes these sounds from freesound.org: “Thunder, thunderstorm, lightening” by YleArkisto and “Rain and Thunder in the Forest” by pulswelle.

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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 marymackcomedy.com for links to her albums and tour dates.

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Gaelynn Lea Reads E. E. Cummings

Gaelynn Lea

NPR Tiny Desk Contest winner Gaelynn Lea makes music that is often described as “haunting” and “heartbreaking.” At her live shows, however, Lea cracks jokes in between songs. “A lot of people, when they meet me, say, ‘Oh, I thought you’d be more depressed,” says Lea. In this episode, Lea reads a favorite poem by E. E. Cummings and discusses the importance of acknowledging the duality of light and darkness in the world.

Later on, we check the Haiku Hotline for your poems about youth. Our guest curator is Lauren K Carlson. Transcriptions of this week’s featured listener poems are available here.

“53” by E. E. Cummings appears in the collection 100 Selected Poems from Grove Press. The music in this interview is from Gaelynn Lea’s album, The Songs We Sing Along the Way.

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Krista Tippett Reads Rainer Maria Rilke

Tippett

Launching a public radio show about God and the meaning of life is no easy task. In this episode, On Being host Krista Tippett reads a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke that gave her courage and resolve during the creation of the show in 2003. Today, On Being airs on more than 400 radio stations across the U.S. and is downloaded weekly by thousands of devoted listeners.

Later on, we check the Haiku Hotline for your poems about accompaniment. Our guest curator is Pádraig Ó Tuama. Transcriptions of this week’s featured listener poems are available here.

“God speaks to each of us as he makes us” by Rainer Maria Rilke appears in the collection Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God, translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy, and published by Riverhead Books. Krista Tippett’s most recent book is Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living.

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Waziyatawin Reads John Trudell

Calls for solidarity are common in our political climate, but is solidarity possible before widespread acknowledgement and rectification of past injustices? In this episode, Waziyatawin explores this question in the context of the poem, “Cry Your Tears,” by the late John Trudell. Waziyatawin is a leading Dakota intellectual, activist, and the executive director of Makoce Ikikcupi, a non-profit dedicated to Dakota land recovery. John Trudell was a prolific poet, actor, musician, and activist.

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

“Cry Your Tears,” by John Trudell, appears in his collection, Lines From a Mined Mind, © 2008, Fulcrum Publishing, Golden, CO. The music in this interview is excerpted from Trudell’s song “Cry Your Tears,” from the album Madness and the Moremes. Waziyatawin’s influential book, What Does Justice Look Like? is available from Living Justice Press.

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Benjamin Percy Reads Brian Turner

Author Benjamin Percy is interested in “the ghosts we carry on our backs.” He writes the Green Arrow and Teen Titans series’ for DC Comics, and recently published a terrifying fourth novel, “The Dark Net.” In this episode, Ben reads a poem by Iraq War veteran Brian Turner about a soldier haunted by visions of war while shopping at Lowe’s Home Improvement Center.

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

“At the Lowe’s Home Improvement Center,” by Brian Turner, appears in his collection, Phantom Noise, published by Alice James Books.

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