Writers on Writing

(Note: This show originally aired back in February.) "Bobby BlueJacket: The Tribe, The Joint, The Tulsa Underworld" is a well-researched book exploring little-known aspects of American crime, Native American identity, and smalltown politics in the 20th century. It's also an engrossing biography of a real and remarkable person: Bobby BlueJacket, born in 1930, who grew up in Tulsa amid teenage rumbles, mean streets, dangerous pool halls, and Midwest safecracker crews -- and who actually went from being a career thief to a prison journalist to a Eastern Shawnee Indian activist.

Our guest is the award-winning British author and journalist William Atkins, whose new book -- a dense and engrossing blend of history, memoir, geography, and travel writing -- is called "The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places." It's a work that, per The Wall Street Journal, "courts comparisons with the capaciously learned nature writing of John McPhee. But there's also an open-ended spiritual quest to Mr.

On this edition of ST, we speak once again with Michael Chaiken, the curator of the Tulsa-based Bob Dylan Archive, which is currently located at the University of Tulsa's Helmerich Center for American Research at Gilcrease Museum, and which houses some 6,000 items related to Dylan's life and career in music -- nearly six decades of writings, recordings, memorabilia, film, and more. This facility is meant for researchers and scholars; it is not open to the public.

Our guest is Daniel Wilson, the bestselling sci-fi writer and Tulsa native (and TU alum) whose latest novel, just out in paperback, is "The Clockwork Dynasty." (Note that we spoke with Wilson last summer, when this book was first being published.) As was noted of this novel in The Los Angeles Review of Books: "Wilson is one of the foremost prophets of the near future.... In 'The Clockwork Dynasty,' the irrepressibly readable Wilson has retreated to pseudo-vampiric sentient robots.

Looking for a great book or three to relax with this summer? Of course you are. We've got lots of surefire suggestions on that score from Nancy Pearl, our longtime book reviewer here on StudioTulsa. A widely beloved literary critic, editor, author, and now-retired librarian -- and a former resident of Tulsa -- Nancy shares with us new and recent works of fiction, mystery, history, and more. Here, in order, are the books that she chats with us about:

1) "1947: Where Now Begins" by Elisabeth Asbrink

2) "Mozart's Starling" by Lyanda Lynn Haupt

On this edition of ST, we speak with the Tulsa-based playwright Ilan Kozlowski, whose two-act dramatic comedy, "Shades of White" will be staged at the Tulsa PAC on June 22nd and 23rd. As noted of this work at the Tulsa PAC website: "Set in Tulsa in 1996 -- the 75th anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre -- [this play] explores the relationships between an Israeli immigrant and a former member of the Ku Klux Klan and their wives. Narrow-minded Dr. Whitehill and his crone of a wife, Birdie, are set in their miserable ways until Dr.

On this edition of ST, we listen back to an interview from October of last year. At that time, we spoke with Jennifer Egan about her novel, "Manhattan Beach," which is just now out in paperback. As was noted of this book in a starred review in Kirkus: "After stretching the boundaries of fiction in myriad ways...Egan does perhaps the only thing left that could surprise: she writes a thoroughly traditional novel.

Our guest is the the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Lawrence Wright, who joins us to discuss his new book. "God Save Texas" is a collection of stereotype-busting essays exploring the history, culture, and politics of Lone Star State. As was noted of this book by Jennifer Szalai of The New York Times: "Vivid.... Omnivorous.... Affectionate and genial.... [Wright] captures the full range of Texas in all its shame and glory.... An illuminating primer for outsiders who may not live there but have a surfeit of opinions about those who do....

Our guest is Roger Thompson, a Tulsa native and nonfiction writer who also directs the Program in Writing and Rhetoric at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Formerly, Thompson was a wilderness canoe guide in Minnesota; later on, he founded an environmental program in Banff, Alberta, Canada. His newest book, which he told us about recently while visiting Tulsa, grew directly out his longtime appreciation of outdoor exploration.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Richard Russo, the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of such popular novels as Empire Falls and Nobody's Fool. Also known for his short stories and autobiographical writings, Mr. Russo has a new book out, his very first collection of personal essays, which he tells us about. It's called "The Destiny Thief." Note: Mr. Russo will soon do a free-to-the-public reading and signing here in Tulsa; on Thursday the 17th, beginning at 7pm, he'll be at the TCC Center for Creativity.

On this edition of ST, an interesting discussion with Hannibal B. Johnson, the Tulsa-based attorney, local historian, and prolific author. He joins us to talk about his newest book, which is just out: "The Sawners of Chandler: A Pioneering Power Couple in Pre-Civil Rights Oklahoma." As is noted of this compelling and eye-opening book at Mr.

Our guest on ST is the best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Rick Bragg, who's known for his books "All Over but the Shoutin'" and "Ava's Man." His new book, which he tells us about, is "The Best Cook in the World." In this work, Bragg sets out to preserve his heritage as well as his family history by telling the stories that framed his mother's cooking, her upbringing, her education, her child-rearing, and so forth -- from her own childhood into old age. As Bragg tell us, in the American South just like everywhere else, good food always has a good story behind it.

We speak with the British novelist, Matt Killeen, whose first novel is just out now. "Orphan Monster Spy" is a YA novel that offers a "powerful, bleak, and penetrating portrait of an isolated young woman excelling in unimaginable danger" (Kirkus Reviews). It's the exciting tale of a young woman named Sarah -- a blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish 15-year-old living in 1939 Germany...who (thanks in part to her "non-Jewish" looks) becomes part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich.

On this edition of ST, we offer a chat with Pam Muñoz Ryan, the prolific American writer for children and young adults who often produces books with multicultural and/or progressive themes. Ryan is the winner of the 2018 Anne V. Zarrow Award, which is given annually by the Tulsa Library Trust. Her 40 or so books include "Riding Freedom" (1998), "Esperanza Rising" (2000), "The Dreamer" (2010), and "Echo" (2015). She will appear here in Tulsa at a free-to-the-public event on Friday the 4th at the Hardesty Regional Library (which begins at 7pm).

On this edition of ST, we learn about the first-ever Tulsa Lit.Fest, an impressive array of free-to-the-public events that will happen here in our community from tomorrow (the 19th) through Sunday (the 22nd).

It's been commonly noted that we as human beings are basically hard-wired for long walks -- and for the thinking, observation, and spiritual reflection that always comes with such walks. Henry David Thoreau, for example, believed that walking alone through the woods was in itself a remedy for most of life's problems. Another such person might be the journalist and storyteller Steve Watkins, who's our guest on ST. In his new book, "Pilgrim Strong: Rewriting My Story on the Way of St.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with the Austin-based, Montana-raised filmmaker Alex Smith, who's currently visiting TU in order to screen and answer questions about his feature film, "Walking Out." (The film will be shown tonight, the 13th, at the Lorton Performance Center; the screening is free to the public.) Smith and his twin brother Andrew work together on various film and TV projects, and "Walking Out" is their most recent movie.

Our guest is the writer and writing teacher Brandon Hobson, whose new novel, "Where the Dead Sit Talking," has just been published. Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, it's a spare, lyrical, and at times troubling story about a fifteen-year-old Cherokee boy who's been placed in foster care. As was noted of this book in a starred Publishers Weekly review: "Hobson's narrative control is stunning....

On this edition of ST, we speak with Wyoming's own C.J. Box, who is the bestselling author of more than 20 novels, including the popular Joe Pickett series. A winner of the Edgar Alan Poe Award for Best Novel, the Gumshoe Award, the Western Heritage Award for Literature, and various other honors, Box is among the most popular writers at work today within the mystery/suspense/detective genre.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the locally based poet, poetry teacher, and literary activist, Victoria McArtor. She tells us about her new book, "Reverse Selfie," which is a collection of poems written in response to -- or in conversation with, or in tribute to -- various Tulsa landmarks. This book, which actually began as a write-one-poem-every-day-for-a-month project back in 2015, also features striking photographs by Matthew Phipps, thereby capturing in both words and images the vitality, beauty, wonder, and strangeness of the City of Tulsa.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the Denver-based artist and author Melanie Gillman, who holds an MFA in comics from the Center for Cartoon Studies. Gillman is a queer, nonbinary, and award-winning cartoonist who specializes in color-pencil work and creates narratives with LGBTQ young-adult themes and subjects. Currently living and working here in our community as a Tulsa Artist Fellow, Gillman has a new book out; it's a graphic novel called "As the Crow Flies." We discuss this book on today's show.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the well-regarded novelist and short-story writer Richard Ford, who is the recipient of the 2017 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. Ford is the author of many critically acclaimed works of ficition, including "The Sportswriter," "Independence Day," and "Let Me Be Frank with You." His newest book, just out, is a memoir about his parents, which he discusses with us at length.

(Note: This show originally aired in August of this year.) Our guest is author Ladee Hubbard, who joins us to discuss her first novel. It's called "The Talented Ribkins." It's a creative and widely acclaimed book about race, class, politics, and America itself...and it focus on, of all things, a family of super-heroes. And per a starred review of this novel by Kirkus: "Crafty and wistful.... Hubbard weaves this narrative with prodigious skill and compelling warmth. You anticipate a movie while wondering if any movie could do this fascinating family, well, justice.

"To have great poets," as Walt Whitman once noted, "there must also be great audiences." And great cities, it would seem, likewise require great bookstores. On this edition of ST, we learn all about Magic City Books -- an indie bookstore owned and operated by the non-profit Tulsa Literary Coalition (or TLC) -- which will soon, at long last, open for business in downtown Tulsa. Indeed, after a series of construction-related delays, Magic City Books will open on Monday the 20th at 9pm...with Mayor G.T.

On this edition of our program, we chat with Eilis O'Neal, the editor-in-chief of TU's long-running literary publication, Nimrod International Journal. Nimrod will soon host its 2017 Write Night (tomorrow night, the 20th) at the Tulsa Garden Center, which will be followed (on the 21st) by the day-long Conference for Readers and Writers at the Allen Chapman Student Union. As we learn from Ms.

On this edition of ST, we chat with the New York-based author and journalist Jennifer Egan, whose newest novel, the much-praised "Manhattan Beach," is just out. As was noted of this book in a starred review in Kirkus: "After stretching the boundaries of fiction in myriad ways...Egan does perhaps the only thing left that could surprise: she writes a thoroughly traditional novel. Realistically detailed, poetically charged, and utterly satisfying: apparently there's nothing Egan can't do." And further, per Dwight Garner in The New York Times: "Immensely satisfying....

On this installment of our show, an in-depth discussion with the novelist Tom Perrotta, whose books include "Election" and "Little Children" (both of which were made into well-regarded films). Perrotta has a new novel out, titled "Mrs. Fletcher," and he tells us about it on today's program. As was noted of this book in a front-page appreciation in The New York Times Book Review: "[This book], Perrotta's seventh novel and first since 2011's "The Leftovers," operates and succeeds in ways that will be pleasingly familiar to his admirers.

On this edition of ST, we are pleased to welcome the noted book critic, editor, and retired librarian Nancy Pearl back to our show. A former Tulsan, she's also the longtime book reviewer for this program, and she can be heard talking about books from time to time on NPR's Morning Edition. Nancy has a new novel out -- it's her first, and it's called "George and Lizzie" -- and it was thus praised by Booklist (in a starred review): "Pearl dramatizes a complicated and deeply illuminating union of opposites and conducts profound inquiries into the self, family, empathy, and love.

On this edition of ST, a discussion with the USSR-born writer Anna Badkhen, whose well-regarded books of nonfiction include "Walking with Abel: Journeys with the Nomads of the African Savannah," "The World Is a Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan Village," and "Waiting for the Taliban: A Journey Through Northern Afghanistan." She's written about wars and warfare -- and about living with warfare -- in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Chechnya, and her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Harper's, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and elsewhere.

(Note: This interview first aired back in May.) On this edition of ST, we chat with Michael Wallis, the best-selling Tulsa-based author of "Route 66" and "David Crockett" and many other books.

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