Raised in South Carolina and New York, Jacqueline Woodson always felt halfway home in each place.

In Brown Girl Dreaming she uses vivid poems to share what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

Matthew Akers

  Looking at Lemon: Transforming Life through Literature is a series of events focusing on the life and work of Lemon Andersen, a writer, performance artist, screen actor and Tony Award-winning poet.

Andersen is also a three-time felon who grew up in Brooklyn, the child of heroin addicted parents who died of AIDS before he was fifteen leaving Lemon an orphaned teenager fending for himself. A high school drop-out who spent years in jail and on probation, his attempts at rehabilitation faltered until he attended a poetry reading and found a sense of purpose in the art of words.

The series celebrates Lemon’s ability to find meaning in his life, discover healing in creative work and transform pain into art. He joins us in Studio A to tell us about his life and work. Also joining us, Kim Engel Assistant Director of the UAlbany Performing Arts Center.

youtube / KTN Kenya

The world is mourning the death in Broome County of a prominent African scholar who had ties to New York's State University system.

Kenyan-born Professor Ali Mazrui died early Monday morning - the 81-year-old was an academic and political writer on African and Islamic studies and North-South relations, as well as professor and director of the Center for Global Cultural Studies, State University of New York at Binghamton.


  With a poet’s eye and naturalist’s affinity for wild places, Kathleen Jamie reports from the field in a collection of fourteen essays in her book, Sightlines, which has won the 2014 Orion Book Award for Non-Fiction.

Jamie roams her native Scottish byways and hills and sails north to encounter whalebones and icebergs. Interweaving personal history with her scrutiny of landscape, she dissects whatever her gaze falls upon from vistas of cells beneath a hospital microscope, to orcas rounding a headland, to the aurora borealis lighting up the frozen sea.


  The Sandisfield Players are presenting a production of Dylan Thomas’ Under Milk Wood. It features a cameo performance by Simon Winchester and narration by Benjamin Luxon.

This is a rare opportunity to hear the poetry and humor of Thomas’ wonderful creation, Under Milk Wood. The play spans one entire day and a dreaming night in the life of a small Welsh seaside town through a series of lyric adventures, each with its own cast of eccentric and sometimes bawdy characters.

Commissioned in 1953 by the BBC it was finished only a month before Dylan Thomas’ death at age 39.

Benjamin Luxon is the narrator and director. In the 1970’s and 80’s, Luxon was one of the most versatile and gifted operatic Baritones singing all over the world, and in almost every genre of music. But Luxon’s career was cut short by acute hearing loss. Now instead of Opera, it’s the spoken word.

"Venera" By Jay Rogoff

Apr 21, 2014


  Jay Rogoff has taught at Skidmore College since 1995; first in the former Liberal Studies Program, and since 2001 in the English Department, where he teaches courses in poetry, poetry writing, nonfiction writing, arts reviewing and criticism, Shakespeare, and twentieth century poetry.

His new poetry collection is Venera. It is Rogoff’s fifth book. In it, a husband consoles his wife when she is wakened by an imaginary child; another man daydreams of his kindergarten crush. Mary at the Annunciation, stunned by Gabriel’s inhuman beauty, contemplates her decades of purity stretching ahead.

Drawing on the natural world, personal intimacy, and the imagination as evoked in visual art and biblical narrative, Rogoff’s poems detail our drive to both acts of veneration and submission to Venus’s sensuous power.


April is National Poetry Month, and today we’ll celebrate the likes of Whitman, Frost, and Ginsberg by welcoming readings of your favorite poems and recollections of how you discovered and fell in love with those words.

      In His Day is Done, Maya Angelou delivers an authentically heartfelt and elegant tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, who stood as David to the mighty Goliath of Apartheid and who, after twenty-seven years of unjust imprisonment on the notorious Robben Island, emerged with “His stupendous heart intact / His gargantuan will / Hale and hearty” to lead his people into a new era.

Maya Angelou joins us to discuss the poem and the loss of a man she feels fortunate to have called a friend.

    Two-term Poet Laureate of the United States Billy Collins has put together his first compilation of new and selected poems in twelve years.

Aimless Love combines more than fifty new poems with selections from four previous books - Nine Horses, The Trouble with Poetry, Ballistics, and Horoscopes for the Dead.

Collins’s unmistakable voice, which brings together plain speech with imaginative surprise, is clearly heard on every page, reminding us how he has managed to enrich the tapestry of contemporary poetry and greatly expand its audience.

Made in the Berkshires

Oct 9, 2013

Curated by Hilary Somers Deely and Barbara Sims, Made in the Berkshires is a locally-grown festival of new works including theatre, film, dance, poetry, music, short stories, performance and visual art.  

The 2013 Made in the Berkshires Festival being held from October 11 to October 13 at The Colonial Theatre, The Garage, and The Unicorn Theatre. Hilary and Barbara join us to tell us more.