Literature

PRT

Even the most cynical among us has a hard time avoiding the contagious and perpetual hope that a new calendar year brings.

Understanding in our rational minds that nothing magical happens between December 31 and January 1st does little to quell our persistent optimism. For this, I am grateful. Yes, we are a foolish, reckless species with a stubborn unwillingness to learn from our past. But, boy do we know how to drink champagne, light fireworks, and cast aside our collective sense of impending doom. 

Learning to Listen

Dec 17, 2020
PRT

When the world grows quiet, we learn to listen.

This is the theme of the beautiful children’s book Ten Ways to Hear the Snow written by Cathy Camper and illustrated by Kenard Pak. It’s a book that on my gift-giving list for many of the children in my life, but I’ve read and enjoyed it a few times myself. The morning I wrote this, we woke to the kind of snow illustrated in this book and not too often seen here in Tulsa. Like many others, I stepped outside to listen to the quiet. 

Our guest is Katherine May, a writer of fiction as well as nonfiction based in the seaside community of Whitstable, England. She joins us to discuss her enjoyable new book, "Wintering," which draws many engaging and far-flung lessons from literature, history, nature, and mythology about the transformative -- and even inspiring -- power of rest, retreat, and recuperation. As was noted of this book by a critic writing for BookPage: "Beautiful.... [May] is a poetic observer of the natural world, and quotable lines abound....

Comfort and Joy

Nov 19, 2020
PRT

It seems that the winter holiday season began the first week in November this year. Have you noticed this, too?

Let’s talk about fear.

Not the existential dread that you’ve been carrying in the pit of your stomach for the last eight months, but the good kind of fear that is cleverly created by authors and purposefully sought by certain readers. It might seem slightly strange that in the midst of so many looming disasters, I would find comfort in spooky stories, but I have. I’ve recently rediscovered my love of Gothic fiction. 

What exactly is Gothic fiction, you ask? 

Rebecca Howard

Fall offers us many comforts--farm stand apples, homemade soups, and long walks in the woods with leaves crunching underfoot. Fall fiction generally offers no such reprieve, which is just the way that I like it. 

Some readers live for juicy summer reads that inevitably wind up with the scent of sunscreen and sand embedded between the pages. For fall book lovers, a coffee or tea ring is the mark of a great read. (Important PSA: these stains are merely metaphorical if you’re reading a library copy, of course!) 

As readers anxiously await the final volume of Hilary Mantel's trilogy on novels on the life of 16th Century royal advisor Thomas Cromwell, we bring you a conversation from December 2018, when Mantel received the Peggy V Helmerich Distinguished Author Award.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the acclaimed poet and writing instructor Quraysh Ali Lansana (born 1964 in Enid, Oklahoma). Now based in Tulsa and recently named a Tulsa Artist Fellow, Lansana has published several books over the years: poetry collections, children's books, edited or co-edited anthologies, textbooks, etc. Long based in Chicago, and greatly influenced by the African-American cultural, social, and political life of that city -- and more generally, by the Black Arts Movement in American life and letters -- Lansana has a new book out.

Nancy Pearl is our guest on ST. An editor, novelist, literary critic, retired librarian, and internationally acclaimed reading and literacy advocate, Pearl used to live and work in Tulsa -- way back in the day -- and that's when she started appearing occasionally on our radio show. Pearl returns today (by phone) to share several bookish gift-giving ideas.

Loving the Book Sharers
By Rebecca Howard
Tulsa City-County Library