Writers on Writing

Our guest on StudioTulsa is Keele Burgin, an entrepreneur, activist, author, filmmaker -- and survivor. She tells us about her new memoir, which candidly documents her incredible personal story of self-preservation, self-discovery, and self-betterment. As was noted of this book by Jennifer Read Hawthorne, a bestselling author: "Keele Burgin is a living, breathing example of the triumph of the human spirit. The story of how she overcame the extreme abuse of her childhood is nothing short of breathtaking.

(Note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Nathan Englander is our guest; he's the bestselling author of "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges," "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank," and other books. He joins us to discuss his new novel, "Kaddish.com." Per a critic writing for The New York Times, this book is "sublime.... [It] reads like a modern-day Hasidic tale in which religious characters are bedeviled by the challenges of upholding God's word in an all too human world.... Kafka and Roth's influences are felt in Englander's work....

(Note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the bestselling young-adult writer Laurie Halse Anderson, who's widely known and appreciated for the brave manner in which she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Her novel "Speak," which first appeared two decades ago, was groundbreaking in this regard.

(Please note: This interview first aired last year.) Our guest is Vanessa Hua, a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, who joins us to discuss her debut novel, "A River of Stars." It's a powerful and moving saga of modern-day motherhood, immigration, and identity in which a pregnant Chinese woman makes her way to California (i.e., Los Angeles, and then San Francisco's Chinatown) in pursuit of the American dream.

(Note: This show originally aired back in February.) Our guest is the novelist Margaret Verble. Her new book, which she tells us about, is "Cherokee America." Set on the American frontier in the spring of 1875, and specifically in the Cherokee Nation -- which would later be part of Oklahoma -- this novel follows a series of complex family alliances and cultural and racial clashes in the aftermath of the Civil War. It's a vivid (and often funny) novel of blood relations and home lands, of buried histories and half-told truths, and of past grief and present-day harm.

Our guest is Carla Rachel Sameth, a writer who teaches at the LA Writing Project (at California State University Los Angeles) and at Southern New Hampshire University. She joins us to discuss her new book, "One Day on the Gold Line: A Memoir in Essays." As Sue William Silverman, author of "The Pat Boone Fan Club: My Life as a White Anglo-Saxon Jew," has noted of Sameth's book: "Race, class, drugs, sexuality, otherness.... Twenty-first century American hot-button issues are on full display in this brave, gritty, unflinching memoir.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Adam S. Cifu; he's the co-author of a new book about "medical reversal" -- i.e., what happens when doctors start using a medication, procedure, or diagnostic tool without a robust evidence base...and then stop using it when it's found not to help, or even to harm, patients.

Photo by Uncovering Oklahoma

Our guest on this edition of ST is the OKC-based travel and humor writer, Shelby Simpson. She's the author of a book on travel called "Good Globe," but it's her more recent book, "We're All Bad in Bed," a raunchy retelling of epic bedroom and intimacy failures, that has led to a live show which will appear in Tulsa soon. "Bad in Bed Live" is an unusual book-reading event featuring 1990s hip-hop, dancers, multi-media effects, and audience participation.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn all about the vitally important book/author/reading series known as Book Smart Tulsa, which was started ten years ago (pretty much single-handedly) by our guest, Jeff Martin. He worked for years as a local bookseller and is now the Communications Manager at Philbrook Museum of Art; he's also the co-creator of our popular Museum Confidential podcast here at Public Radio Tulsa.

Many of us living here in Oklahoma -- and indeed, living all over the nation -- are today both pleased and proud to affirm that Joy Harjo, the much-celebrated, 68-year-old writer and musician based in Tulsa, was recently named by the Library of Congress as the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States. A member of the Muscogee Creek Nation, Harjo is the first Native person to be selected for this honorable role. On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to a conversation that we aired with Harjo in 2012, when her well-regarded memoir, "Crazy Brave," had just appeared.

(Note: This interview first aired last November.) Our guest is David Grann, a staff writer at The New Yorker Magazine. He's the bestselling author of "The Lost City of Z," "Killers of the Flower Moon," "The Old Man and the Gun," and other books. Grann joins us to discuss his newest work of nonfiction, "The White Darkness," which profiles one Henry Worsley, a family man and decorated British special forces officer who also happened to be obsessed with Ernest Shackleton, the 19th-century polar explorer.

Nathan Englander is our guest; he's the bestselling author of "For the Relief of Unbearable Urges," "What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, and "Dinner at the Center of the Earth," among other books. He joins us to discuss his new novel, "Kaddish.com." Per a critic writing for The New York Times, this book is "sublime.... [It] reads like a modern-day Hasidic tale in which religious characters are bedeviled by the challenges of upholding God's word in an all too human world.... Kafka and Roth's influences are felt in Englander's work....

Our guest is the Oklahoma-based author, attorney, and legal scholar Walter Echo-Hawk.

The highly acclaimed novelist Rachel Kushner is our guest; she joins us to discuss her latest novel, "The Mars Room," which is now out in paperback. As was noted of this book (which was Time Magazine's #1 Fiction Title of the Year as well as a New York Times Notable Book of 2018) in a starred review in Publishers Weekly: "Two-time National Book Award finalist Kushner delivers a heartbreaking and unforgettable novel set in a California women's prison.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, we welcome Dr. Sunita Puri, who tells us about her "visceral and lyrical" (The Atlantic) new memoir, a book that delves thoughtfully and artfully into medicine and spirituality. "That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour" finds Puri telling her own story, as the ambitious American-born daughter of immigrants, as well as the story of her parents: what they did for her, gave to her, and shared with her.

There are countless examples of writers using paintings or other visual art as inspiration to create entirely new work. Think "Girl with a Pearl Earring," "The Da Vinci Code," or even "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats. This is what the award-winning writer Donna Baier Stein did when she decided to write a new collection of short stories based on lithographs by iconic American artist Thomas Hart Benton. The issues that Benton dealt with and depicted throughout the Great Depression and afterward still resonate today.

Each year, the Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature is given by the TCCL's Tulsa Library Trust to a nationally acclaimed author who has made a significant contribution to the field of literature for young adults. This year, that award will go to Rita Williams-Garcia, our guest today on ST. She is being recognized, as noted at the TCCL website, "for writing bestselling novels for young adults that inspire imaginations, dreams, and pride in all ages.

Our guest is Mallory O'Meara, an author, screenwriter, and film producer who lives and works in Los Angeles. She tells us about her new book, which is a biography of Milicent Patrick -- one of Disney's first female animators and the only woman in history to create one of Hollywood's classic movie monsters: The Creature from the Black Lagoon. As was noted of this volume in a starred review in BookPage: "Fascinating....

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.

On this edition of ST, we learn about two new plays to be presented on April 19, 20, 26, and 27 at the Nightingale Theater here in Tulsa, at 1416 East 4th Street. Heller Theatre Company recently opted to stage two one-act plays (in a single evening) by a pair of Tulsa-based playwrights in order to continue its ongoing mission to support original dramatic work, and thus Heller is offering "Trade Privileges" (written by David Blakely) and "Niñas de la Tierra" (written and directed by Shadia Dahlal).

On this edition of ST, we welcome Carol Haralson. A former citizen of Tulsa, she is an award-winning book designer now based in Arizona. She's designed several striking book jackets over the years, across a range of literary genres. And Haralson's now written a book of her own -- a blend of memoir, fiction, poetry, personal essay, and photography titled "At the Far End of O Street." She'll appear tomorrow night, Wednesday the 17th, at a free reading and signing at Magic City Books (beginning at 7pm).

Our guest is the well-regarded Pennsylvania-based poet, Ron Silliman, who has written and edited over 30 books, and who is seen as one of the founders of the so-called Language Poetry movement in American literature. A 2003 Literary Fellow of the National Endowment for the Arts, Silliman also received the Levinson Prize from the Poetry Foundation in 2010 (among many other honors). He'll be reading from and talking about his work tonight (the 11th) as part of the 2nd Annual TulsaLitFest.

Our guest is the bestselling young-adult writer Laurie Halse Anderson, who is widely known and appreciated for the brave manner in which she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Her novel "Speak," which first appeared two decades ago, was groundbreaking in this regard.

"The River: A Novel"

Mar 11, 2019

Our guest is the writer Peter Heller, whose new novel, "The River," has been named an Amazon Best Book of March 2019. It's a fast-paced, thoughtful thriller about two friends on a river excursion in northern Canada. And per The Denver Post: "A fiery tour de force [of] poetic, staccato sentences and masterfully crafted prose.... The story itself resembles a trip down a river -- some parts are peaceful and allow for quiet introspection and big, deep breaths. But then you hit the rapids and the danger and risk jump off the page, forcing a sense of urgency.

Novelist Thomas Mallon is our guest. His latest historical yarn, which he tells us about, explores the George W. Bush White House. It's called "Landfall," and per The Wall Street Journal: "As in Mr. Mallon's many other novels, the writing is crisp and witty, the central characters complex and sympathetic in surprising ways, the narrative structure tight." And further, from The New York Times Book Review: "Entertainingly bitchy.... Smart and knowing and absorbing.... Extremely well-made.... The prose is a pleasure.... 'Landfall' is fascinating." Please note that Mr.

(Note: This program originally aired in December.) Our guest is Anna Leahy, director of the Creative Writing Program at Chapman University. She joins us to discuss her book, "Tumor." A brief yet thoughtful volume that is part memoir, part study, and part history, the book was thus praised by Prof. Kristen Iversen at the University of Cincinnati: "In clear, compelling language, Leahy writes with insight and empathy about cancer and the social and cultural dimensions of one of our greatest fears.

Our guest is the novelist Margaret Verble. Her new book, which she tells us about, is "Cherokee America." Set on the American frontier in the spring of 1875, and specifically in the Cherokee Nation -- which would later be part of Oklahoma -- this novel follows a series of complex family alliances and cultural and racial clashes in the aftermath of the Civil War. It's a vivid (and often funny) novel of blood relations and home lands, of buried histories and half-told truths, and of past grief and present-day harm.

Our guest is Dr. Jennifer Airey, an associate professor of English at TU and the editor of Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature. Her work connects the politics of the 17th and 18th centuries with British popular and literary culture. Our far-reaching conversation with Dr. Airey explores themes of propaganda, sexual violence, war trauma, women's believability, and even zombies -- with all of the above based on her research into Mary Shelley, 18th century playwrights, and related women writers and their experiences. For more about Dr.

On this installment of ST, a discussion of the history of race relations in America -- and of a landmark Supreme Court decision that profoundly shaped this history. Steve Luxenberg is our guest; he is a longtime senior editor at The Washington Post, and his new book is "Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America's Journey from Slavery to Segregation." As Louis Menand of The New Yorker Magazine has noted: "Luxenberg has chosen a fresh way to tell the story of Plessy.... 'Separate' is deeply researched, and it wears its learning lightly. It's a storytelling kind of book....

Our guest is the New Mexico-based writer, poet, and educator Lauren Camp, whose books include "One Hundred Hungers" (winner of the Dorset Prize and a finalist for the Arab American Book Award) and "Turquoise Door." Last year, Camp presented her poems on dementia at the Mayo Clinic and also at an Alzheimer's Association Caregivers Conference. "Poetry & Dementia: A Reading with Lauren Camp" will happen on Thursday the 7th at 7pm in TU's Tyrrell Hall; the gathering is free to the public.

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