2121: A Tale Of The Near Future

For Halloween, an original update of an old-time radio show, we call 2121: A Tale of the Near Future.

In a world where efficiency must be maximized, are poets and artists non-essential workers to be imprisoned and exterminated?

Featuring Mary Murphy as Caroline, Rick Tuman as the Guard, Julius Hollingsworth as the General Manager, and myself as James T. Randall. With music from Kojiro Miura.

Click the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the story, as broadcast today on Arts Express on WBAI FM NYC, and Pacifica stations across the country.

The Poems of Denise Levertov

Today we’ll be celebrating the work of much-loved poet Denise Levertov, who published her poems over a span of 40 years and influenced generations of British and American poets.

Levertov has said that “I knew before I was ten that I was an artist-person and I had a destiny.”

Click the triangle or mp3 link above to hear the segment I produced, with the poems read by Mary Murphy, broadcast today on Arts Express on WBAI and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

Everyone Was Beautiful: Paul Hostovsky

I first heard poet Paul Hostovsky reading in a poetry series out of Boston called Rozzie Reads. His poems immediately struck me as funny, closely observed crafted stories, the kind you come home and tell your intimate other about.

Paul’s work for the past decades situates him in a unique position with regard to language: Hostovsky is a sign language interpreter and a Braille instructor who has been a recipient of an award from the American Association of the DeafBlind “for being a devoted friend and ambassador by promoting the interests and well-being of DeafBlind Americans.”

Click on the triangle or the mp3 link above to hear the poems as broadcast yesterday on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica stations across the nation.

Paul’s website is www.paulhostovsky.com and you can get his latest book, Mostly, at: https://www.amazon.com/Mostly-Paul-Hostovsky-ebook/dp/B08Z4GYRBM/

April Showers

 In this issue:

** Comedian/actress Margaret Cho talks with Prairie Miller about Anti-Asian racism and more

** Paul Robeson re-imagined in an excerpt from actor/playwright Tayo Aluko ‘s Paul Robeson’s Love Song

** Poet Paul Hostovsky with his humorous and trenchant poems.

** Photos from the larger-than-life Garden of Sculpture

And much more!

Click here to view online:

April 2021 Newsletter

Get your free email subscription by emailing us at Artsexpresslist@gmail.com and put the word “subscribe” in the subject line

“Oh God, And This Is Only A Metaphor!”: Molly Peacock

(photo by Candice Ferreira)

I was happy to become acquainted recently with Toronto-based writer Molly Peacock and to help produce a selection of her poems for broadcast, voiced by the always wonderful Mary Murphy.

Whether Molly is writing as a poet, biographer, essayist or novelist, we love how her multi-genre literary work is always infused with both playfulness and rigor.

Molly’s latest poetry collections are The Analyst: Poems and Cornucopia: New and Selected Poems published by W.W Norton and Company. She is a former President of the Poetry Society of America and Poet-in-Residence at the American Poets’ corner. She’s also the co-founder of Poetry In Motion on New York’s subways and buses and the founder of the series  The Best Canadian Poetry.

Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear a selection of Molly’s poetry as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI FM NYC and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

More Molly at Mollypeacock.org

March Madness

In our latest Arts Express Newsletter:

*Erin Brockovich, the great environmental activist, talks about her new book on how to do grassroots organizing.

*American-Canadian poet Molly Peacock offers up a plateful of playful and provocative poetry

*Artist Vivienne Shalom mesmerizes with her mosaics and acrylic paintings.

and much more!

Click here to view online:

March 2021 Newsletter

And if you like what you see, get your free subscription by emailing us at Artsexpresslist@gmail.com and put the word “subscribe” in the subject line

“From Sullen Earth Sings Hymns At Heavens Gate”

You’ll never hear a Shakespearean sonnet again in the same way. Folk singer Steve Earle makes a good case for Shakespeare being the Bob Dylan of his era—or vice versa.

Thanks to YouTuber PublicTheaterNY

Connie Norgren: Poems In A Time Of Crisis

I was happy to voice these poems of poet Connie Norgren on the Arts Express program. Click on the triangle to hear the poems as broadcast today on WBAI NY and Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

Poetry by Pablo Neruda

https://jackshalom.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/neruda.mp3

For Arts Express, I helped produce this reading of a short poem by Pablo Neruda, performed by the incomparable Mary Murphy.

To listen click on the triangle or link above.

Charles Bukowski: “Don’t Try”

bukowski-foto-24

***

***

It’s August and that’s the month poet Charles Bukowski was born in 1920. With over 5000 poems and six novels and hundreds of short stories to his name, he’s become a kind of cult figure over the last decades. While his writings have stamped him with the indelible persona of an alcoholic anti-social misanthropic and misogynistic git, yet there’s also a gentler humanness in Bukowski.

He died at the age of 74. On his gravestone the epitaph reads, “Don’t Try.”

Come with us now as we go out to our favorite virtual watering hole, knock down a couple of drinks, and listen to a performance of some of Bukowski’s poems as broadcast today on Arts Express radio on Pacifica stations across the nation.

Click on the grey triangle or mp3 link above to listen.

“I Owe So Much To Those I Don’t Love”: Wisława Szymborska

close upWislawa-Szymborska

***

***

This month we celebrate the birthday of Polish poet Wisława Szymborska, the winner of the 1996 Nobel Prize for Literature, born July 2, 1923. Her experience of the German occupation of Poland during WWII was the backdrop to some of her most famous poems, but she was also a keen observer of everyday domestic life as well.

I recently had the pleasure of performing a selection of her poems along with Mary Murphy for the Arts Express radio program. All of the poems are from Szymborska’s recently published collection of works called MAP.

Click on the triangle or mp3 link above in order to hear the poems as broadcast today on  Pacifica affiliates across the nation.

Many thanks for permission to publicly broadcast the poems granted by the Wisława Symborkska Foundation and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers, the publishers of MAP, excellently translated by Clare Cavanagh and Staislav Baranczak.

 

“Coming To You With A Sad Glass Of Soda And A Vague Sense That The World Was Coming To An End”: Peter Davis

peter

***

***

I first encountered Indiana poet/musician Peter Davis’s work only a few months ago, but his laconic slacker sensibility, quirky playful sense of humor and self-deprecation immediately appealed to me.

His poems start off ordinarily enough, and then often veer into strange territory, defying expectation. Underlying much of it, the poems are about self-justification and what we say to ourselves and others in order to get us out of the existential jam that we have no idea what we’re doing, even as we proceed with bluff assurance.

Click on the triangle or mp3 link above to hear my reading of some of Peter Davis’s poems as broadcast today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI NY, WBAI.org, and Pacifica affiliates across the country.

You can catch up with Peter Davis’s work  at artisnecessary.com

One Is The Loneliest Number

wolf-4561204_1280

***

***

Here’s a little piece I put together that was broadcast today on WBAI radio’s Arts Express program and on Pacifica affiliates across the country. Just a fun segment about the  current craziness, along with some appropriate music for the time.

 

Arts Express April Newsletter Preview!

April logo

And here we are with a preview of our third free issue of the Arts Express Newsletter, the jam-packed, super-duper April Issue.

As always, think of the Arts Express newsletter as a print extension of the conversation started on our global radio arts magazine, Arts Express, heard on WBAI 99.5 FM in NYC, WBAI.org, and Pacifica affiliates across the country, in Paris, Beijing, and Berlin.

Every month, it’s full color pages of Arts Express goodness, filled with fascinating interviews, reviews, scripts of our radio drama, photo features, gossip, film, theatre, book recommendations and more.

Here’s a preview of what’s in our April issue, which if you subscribe (just send an email to ArtsExpressList@gmail.com and put Subscribe in the subject line) , you will receive for free the first week in April and every month thereafter:

* Prairie Miller’s  interview with South African writer and anti-apartheid activist Tim Jenkin, who talks about his film Escape From Pretoria, which details his escape from Pretoria Maximum Security Prison, and his work setting up a communication system for the imprisoned Nelson Mandela.

*A joyful portfolio of photographs of the world’s largest flower parade held every year in Zundert, Netherlands, the birthplace of Vincent Van Gogh.

socks

* Red Vienna: An Arts Express Extra: Culture critic Dennis Broe writes about the city of Vienna in the 1920s, when a socialist city government planned and built public housing and public facilities throughout the city, which to this day makes Vienna one of the most livable cities in Europe.

* The poetry of Trinidad and Tobagoan poet Camryn Bruno, also known as “Queen Bee,” from her book Queen Bee Cavity.

queen bee (1)

*And Announcing the Arts Express Community Call-in. Would you like to join your fellow listeners in a telephone conversation about culture in a time of pandemic? Write us at artsexpresslist@gmail.com and we’ll give you more details!

*Plus: The Guest List–our recent and upcoming guests; The Back Room–news and gossip about WBAI and the Arts Express crew; and information about exclusive giveaways, and how to win an opportunity to broadcast your own work on the air.

It’s all in the new free Arts Express Newsletter.

If you’re not yet subscribed, you can get your free pdf copy every month to your email address, by sending an email to ArtsExpressList@gmail.com and put Subscribe in the subject line. We’ll do the rest!

And don’t miss our next radio show, Tuesday 3/31 at 4am NYC time, which you can hear on WBAI.org or WBAI 99.5FM NYC., featuring:

 Film: Mrs. America – Actress Margo Martindale discusses playing Bella Abzug in this upcoming feminist mini-series

TV: Asian American actress Keiko Agena on Prodigal Son, Gilmore Girls, Better Call Saul

Report From The Front: Europe And The Coronavirus. Arts Express Paris correspondent Professor Dennis Broe’s news and analysis from the European pandemic epicenter. And what all of this may have to do with austerity and automation; Shakespeare, the plague, King Lear and Macbeth; and Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal – where the poor are served up as a source of nutrition and fine dining.

Plus…Pandemic radio drama, Syrian comic pandemic satire in the No Laughing Matter Comedy Corner episode – and Bernie Sanders in performance.

 

 

 

Going Viral

monalisa-4893660_1280

(The latest pandemic has caused an outbreak of poetical inspiration in me.)

***

There’s nothing to fret about, see?
Even though treatment won’t be for free
Now ladies and gents,
I give you Mike Pence
Whoops, we just lost our latest VP

***

Corona is better as beer,
There’s nothing from that I would fear.
A bottle or two–
We laid up a few–
Will brighten the rest of the year

***

The Plague isn’t new in the mix
In London in Sixteen-Oh-Six,
They shuttered the plays
For hundreds of days
For Lear and for Hamlet, no tix!

***

Please pardon the lace and damask
And the heavy gauge armor–don’t ask
The pads and the plugs
Are all for the bugs
And excuse, please, the Donald Trump mask

“Queen Bee” Cavity: The Poetry of Camryn Bruno

queen bee

***

***

Our newest Arts Express contributor, KeShaun Luckie, put together this audio segment highlighting the wonderful poems of Camryn “Queen Bee” Bruno, performed by the author. It was a pleasure to have two such talented artists over here recording.

You can listen to Queen Bee’s reading, as broadcast today on Arts Express on WBAI 99.5 FM NYC, by clicking on the triangle above.

***

A title is a frame,
An instruction,
A message from above,
A set of clothes.

Untitled: too lazy to do it myself? Too coy?
Like: you do the work. Like: go ahead,
I’ll hide my eyes.
Whatever you say.

Unserious. Nice Guy. Idiot Savant. Poet.
To be or not to be?
It’s enough to make me think
How entitled to be untitled.

Holiday Greetings, Magic Friends 2019

 

people standing in front of stage

Photo by Harrison Haines on Pexels.com

Twas the end of the year, and I noticed the clock,
The months had passed by, it was time to take stock
Of our magical friends and the pleasures they’d brought
A harkening back to some memories, I thought.

In my mind there’s a party of magical folk
Right here on my doorstep, but as I awoke
The doorbell was chiming, is this just a dream?
In front of my house, a whole magic team:

Chief Geniis are here, both Richard and Liz
The number one names of the magic news biz.
Hi Dustin, Hi Chloe, they seemed to prefer
No small talk, but writing up ten thousand words

The party began, with effortless ease,
The boundless good will of Juan Tamariz.
And here’s another great Spaniard, ah please!
Not Buddha, but better, Dani DaOrtiz

In walked juggler Penn, with his close partner Teller
Assuring us all, Ray’s back was much well-er
Harrison Greenbaum and Max Maven, too
Came with menorahs, ‘cause they both are Jews.

Next was a couple with talent and looks:
Dorothy Dietrich and partner Dick Brookz.
The next four, indeed, were also a thrill,
Regal and Mancha and Vincent and Spill.

The company’s magic just couldn’t be grander
Without the flotations of Mr. Losander
And candy and ice cream—you wouldn’t believe!
Came tumbling out of dear Rocco’s big sleeve.

Lucy Darling, (Carisa is really her name)
Hilarious magic, she plays a tough dame.
And who says a lawyer can’t be a charmer?
Her fellow Canadian, “Bammo” Bob Farmer.

The English chap Hollingsworth, in tails and in tie,
Did some cool sleight of hand, he’s a heck of a Guy.
Mark Lewis walked by, with some jokes and some jollies
Then immediately sold me a deck of Svengalis.

Pop Haydn, Todd Robbins, they put the log on,
And threw us some hype, ye masters of con.
Then cards flew about and changed at his whim:
The marvelous fingers of Master Shin Lim.

What’s this that we see upon the white drapes?
A bear and a dragon and other strange shapes.
The shadows appeared midst the bottles and cans
Sigh of relief—‘twas Raymond Crowe’s hands.

The bubbly’s flowing it’s time to converse
While Jerry Deutsch shows us some magic perverse.
And here comes Greg Chapman, fresh off of Four F;
Masks off to McBride, you know him as Jeff.

The blowout was awesome, the guests all a treat
To see all those folks on my little street!
Pit Hartling, Yann Frisch, and cool David Blaine,
The greatest legends of legerdemain.

And you were there, too, I remember it well,
Your name is too secret for us to re-tell
You showed us a trick in the house where I dwell
It was there that we all fell beneath your deep spell.

But all of a sudden, without a portent
The house was devoid of a lady or gent.
My head got too dizzy, was feeling all weird
For poof, gone and vanished; it all disappeared!

My eyes they were hurting, both bleary and groggy
I lurched around drunk, too high and egg-noggy.
I shook off the feeling, I got myself sober
But one thing was clear, it now all was over.

The people were gone, the food and the drink
The fantasy popped, but you know what I think?
Don’t look at me strangely, don’t think me insane
While the dream is a whisper, the magic remains.

And so as you enter the coming New Year
Be kind to your neighbors and wish them good cheer
For more than our cards, either red-backed or blue
The magic is in what we say and we do.

This story was brief, but I had a ball.
Happy holidays, my friends, and Peace to you all!

War Is Kind

adult alone anxious black and white

Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

***

***

Had enough of that old-time military jingoism? Stephen Crane’s your man. The Red Badge of Courage author penned a series of poems called War is Kind that taken together are devastating reading. You can listen to my performance of a selection of those poems as performed today on the Arts Express radio program on WBAI 99.5 FM NYC.

Click on the triangle above to hear.