What does the phrase:”National Destiny,” truly mean?  Too often, the impassioned palaver of politicians simply get it wrong.  Here, where the spirit of the self-proclaimed destiny of unified accomplishment became the gargantuan model of every free individual’s dream, we have created ‘Nervana-Run-Amock.’  The result has been the ‘Malling’ of America, with ‘Big-Box’ outlets and Strip-Malls covering every vestige  of green that Nature has grown.  This evolution has been accompanied by the corrosion of a nationwide network of infrastructure, unmatched in any other populous expanse.  This is the burden with which our ‘National Destiny’ of material acquisition has endowed us.  Now our problem is: What to do about it?

    The Sixth Annual Mount Tremper Arts Festival presents adventurous artists, intimate audience experiences and unique “Art-B-Qs,” - all nestled in the Catskill Mountains.

The festival features 11 weeks of programming where art can be a radical adventure and audiences, along with artists, can have a relaxing environment for nourishing their shared curiosity.

Here now to tell us more are Mount Tremper Arts Artistic Director Mathew Pokoik and Aynsley Vandenbroucke.


  Jacqueline Kellachan from The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY joins us with this week's Book Picks. 

List after the break.


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. 

Today in studio we welcome our very own Paul Elisha and poet Sarah Weist who will be reciting some of their poetry favorites. We will also be joined via telephone by Stu Bartow and a special guest poet. We welcome your favorites as well. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

    April is National Poetry Month. In this edition of A Bard's Eye View, WAMC's resident poet, Paul Elisha, sits down for a conversation with Djelloul Marbrook. They discuss Djelloul's work, Brushstrokes and glances.

Djelloul Marbrook's book of poems, Far from Algiers, won the 2007 Stan and Tom Wick Poetry Prize and the 2010 International Book Award in poetry. He worked for many years as a reporter and editor for newspapers including the Providence Journal, Elmira Star-Gazette, Baltimore Sun, Winston-Salem Journal, Washington Star, and others. He lives in New York s mid-Hudson Valley with his wife Marilyn.

How did a prisoner of war survive six years and eight months of soul-crushing imprisonment in the Hanoi Hilton during the Vietnam War? By writing poetry. And how did he do it without pencil or paper?

Then-Captain John Borling "wrote" and memorized poems to keep his mind sharp and spirits up. He shared his creations with fellow captives by their only means of communication—the forbidden POW tap code. Rapping on the cell walls with his knuckles, he tapped poems, certainly of pain and despair, but also of humor, encouragement, and hope, to keep everyone’s strength and spirits alive.

John Borling joins us to talk about Taps on the Walls: Poems from the Hanoi Hilton.

Nico Tucci/Courtesy Richard Blanco

    Richard Blanco, who last month became the fifth presidential inaugural poet, will be at Union College in Schenectady tonight at 7-PM to read from his works. Previous inaugural poets have included Robert Frost and Maya Angelou.

Although his poems have appeared in top literary journals and anthologies, including The Nation, New Republic, Michigan Quarterly Review and The Best American Poetry, Blanco was not widely known until he was chosen by President Barack Obama as the inaugural poet.

Obama selected Blanco because his “deeply personal poems are rooted in the idea of what it means to be an American.” Blanco became the first immigrant, the first Latino and the first openly gay person to be named the inaugural poet. At the inauguration, Blanco read his poem, One Today – which is being released in book form today.

Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse is a narrative poem interrupted regularly by other poems and occasionally by what Calvin Trillin calls a pause for prose With the same barbed wit he displayed in the bestsellers Deciding the Next Decider, Obliviously On He Sails, and A Heckuva Job, America’s deadline poet trains his sights on the Tea Party and the slapstick field of contenders for the Republican nomination.

Natalie Merchant

Dec 5, 2012

Leave Your Sleep is a collection of classic children's poetry, adapted to music by Natalie Merchant, which opens the door to a wondrous world filled with witches and fearless girls, blind men and elephants, giants and sailors and dancing bears.

WordXWord Festival 2012

Aug 10, 2012

The WordXWord Festival is an 8-day festival taking place at a variety of venues in downtown Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Venues range from store fronts to stages, studios to street corners, and rooftops to restaurants. Word X Word was founded in 2009 by Jim Benson, and he joins us with a preview this morning along with Leigh Strimbeck who will tell us about her new WAM Theatre piece about the impact of social media on women's lives.