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.
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.
On November 8, 2016, Ilhan Omar was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives, making her the highest-elected Somali-American public official in the United States. In this episode, Ilhan reads and discusses “Conversations about home (at the deporation centre),” by Warsan Shire, and reflects on the meaning of home.
“Conversations about home (at the deportation centre),” by Warsan Shire, appears in the pamphlet, Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth, from Flipped Eye Publishing.