Writers on Writing

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we learn about "The Gun Show," a critically acclaimed one-person play by the Oregon-based playwright, E.M. Lewis. It's being staged at the Nightingale Theater (1416 East 4th Street) through January 26th by the Midwestern Theatre Troupe, and Ms. Lewis is our guest today. As she tells us, this play aims to candidly and sincerely present both sides of the gun-control issue through a series of distinct yet related scenes or vignettes. More about the play is posted here.

Our guest is Dr. Duane Bidwell, a  professor of practical theology, spiritual care, and counseling at Claremont School of Theology in California. He tells us about his well-regarded new book, "When One Religion Isn't Enough: The Lives of Spiritually Fluid People." This especially timely volume, named a Best Book of 2018 by Library Journal, looks closely and respectfully at the lives of people who embrace two or more religious traditions.

(Note: This program originally aired back in October.) On this edition of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D., M.P.H., who is an adjunct professor at Columbia and a lecturer at Yale. She joins us to discuss her book, "Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything." Per Publishers Weekly: "Science writer Epstein gives readers a lucid and entertaining look at the social and scientific history of endocrinology.

In recent days, per our year-end custom, we've been offering The Best of StudioTulsa -- i.e., encore presentations of interviews from throughout 2018 across a range of topics and themes. Here's a guide (complete with on-demand audio links) regarding what we have re-aired of late, and when we've re-aired it. On 12/26/18, we offered our February 2018 chat with the author of "Smoketown: The Untold Story of the Other Great Black Renaissan

Our guest is the Tulsa-based writer and historian, Michael Wallis. His new book, just out from the Museum of New Mexico Press, is "Los Luceros: New Mexico's Morning Star." It's a lavishly illustrated, in-depth profile of the Los Luceros Historic Property, a 150-acre region in northern New Mexico. Wallis, who used to live in that state, fills us in on both the gorgeous terrain and colorful history of this once-quite-fashionable region. Also on ST today, our commentator Connie Cronley presents a personal essay on the age-old theme of "Cranky Christmas."

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.

On this edition of our program, we offer an engaging conversatiuon with Deborah Hunter, a Behavioral Health Rehab Specialist and Case Manager at Family & Children's Services here in Tulsa. She's been with F&CS since 2011, and she is also a longtime and award-winning poet. Interestingly, Hunter also works as a social worker for the Tulsa City-County Library, mainly at the TCCL's Central Branch (and 5th and Denver).

Our guest on ST is the locally based photographer and writer, Rhys Martin, who joins us to discuss his new book: "Lost Restaurants of Tulsa." The book is just out, and it reveals the histories of dozens of restaurants from T-Town's past -- family sagas, culinary wonders, beloved diners, edge-of-town favorites, popular hang-outs, and more. It's a book that's sure to appeal to those who can lip-smackingly recall the likes of Pennington's, Shotgun Sam's, Villa Venice, The Golden Drumstick, The Razor Clam, St. Michael's Alley, The Louisiane, et al.

Photo by The Daily Beast

Our guest on ST is the celebrated British writer Hilary Mantel, who is the newest recipient of the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, which is given annually by the Tulsa Library Trust. Mantel is the author of several books, including the historical novels "Wolf Hall" and "Bring Up the Bodies," which both recount the life of Thomas Cromwell, the "political fixer" best known for his tenure in the court of Henry VIII. Mantel speaks with us about these and other of her very popular works.

Our guest is Anna Leahy, director of the Creative Writing Program at Chapman University. She joins us to discuss her new 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.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in August.) Our guest is the award-winning British author and journalist William Atkins, whose latest 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.

Our guest is the noted playwright, Sarah Ruhl, a Tony Award nominee and the author of "100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write," which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She tells us about her newest book, a collection of moving and insightful letters between herself and Max Ritvo (1990-2016). Ruhl teaches at the Yale School of drama, and Ritvo -- a noted poet who died young of cancer -- had been one of her favorite students.

Our guest is Teresa Miller, the local author and Director Emerita of the Center for Poets and Writers at OSU. Miller is also the co-editor of a new anthology, which she tells us about: "Love Can Be: A Literary Collection about Our Animals." It's a gathering of about thirty acclaimed authors, all of them celebrating pets, animals, creatures, and other forms of life: cats, birds, frogs, butterflies, bears, dogs, raccoons, horses, etc.

(Note: This interview first aired back in June.) Our guest is Allen Gannett, the founder and CEO of TrackMaven, a software analytics firm whose clients have included Microsoft, Marriott, Home Depot, Aetna, and Honda.

Our guest on ST Medical Monday is Dr. Judy Melinek, a board-certified forensic pathologist practicing forensic medicine in California's Bay Area, where she is also the CEO of PathologyExpert, Inc. Lately, Dr.

Our guest is Jill Bialosky, a writer based in NYC who's published several collections of poetry as well as the bestselling memoir, "History of a Suicide: My Sister's Unfinished Life." She joins us to discuss her latest book, an engaging memoir/anthology titled "Poetry Will Save Your Life." Per The Chicago Tribune: "A delightfully hybrid book: part anthology, part critical study, part autobiography.... Candid and canny.... Bialosky's erudite and instructive approach to poetry [is] itself a refreshing tonic." Please note that Ms. Bialosky, who is also an editor at W. W.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, an interesting discussion with Dr. Ira Byock, one of the nation's leading palliative care physicians. Also known for his work as a writer and longtime public advocate for improving end-of-life care, Dr. Byock will soon (as in, tomorrow night, the 9th) give a free-to-the-public lecture at the Cascia Hall Auditorium here in Tulsa on "What Mortality Can Teach Us About Living." His book, "The Four Things That Matter Most," is now out in a Tenth Anniversary Edition. Dr.

On this edition of ST Medical Monday, our guest is Randi Hutter Epstein, M.D., M.P.H., who is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and a lecturer at Yale University. She joins us to discuss her new book, "Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything." Per a critic writing for Publishers Weekly: "Science writer Epstein gives readers a lucid and entertaining look at the social and scientific history of endocrinology.

Our guest is Linda Kay Klein, whose detailed and engrossing new memoir looks at the devastating effects that evangelical Christianity's purity culture has had on a generation of young women in America. Back in the 1990s, the widespread white evangelical Christian culture created a "purity movement" of sorts -- purity rings, purity pledges, purity balls, etc. Girls were seen by this movement as potential sexual "stumbling blocks" for boys and men, and any expression of a girl's sexuality could be judged as a corruption of her character.

Our guest is Vanessa Hua, a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, who joins us to discuss her debut novel, "A River of Stars: A Novel." 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. Per USA Today: "Hua's story spins with wild fervor, with charming protagonists fiercely motivated by maternal and survival instincts."

Our guest is Christina Dalcher, whose new novel, her first, is an equally engrossing and unsettling thriller called "Vox." Per a critic writing for Vanity Fair: "Dalcher's debut novel, set in a recognizable near future and sure to beg comparisons to Margaret Atwood's dystopian 'The Handmaid's Tale,' asks: if the number of words you could speak each day was suddenly and severely limited, what would you do to be heard?

On this encore edition of ST, we hear from the Oklahoma-based writer and writing teacher Brandon Hobson, whose latest novel is "Where the Dead Sit Talking." Set in rural Oklahoma during the late 1980s, it's a 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.... Far more than a mere coming-of-age story, this is a remarkable and moving novel."

(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.

Photo by John Cohen / Bob Dylan in 1962

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....

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