What do you turn to when the world falls apart? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the comfort of words. What people are reading today to help them get to tomorrow. And the power of poetry to transform lives. Jimmy Santiago Baca was illiterate when he discovered Emily Dickinson and Pablo Neruda. Today he's one of America's best-known poets.
T. Coraghessan Boyle talks with Steve Paulson about writing in response to hot button issues. His new collection of short stories, "After the Plague" deals with everything from abortion and air rage to surviving an apocalyptic plague. Boyle says he won't touch the events of September 11th — at least not for a long time. Also, novelist Jennifer Egan talks with Jim Fleming about the middle eastern terrorist at the heart of her novel "Look at Me," and how she reacted to the events of September 11th. Her novel has been nominated for the National Book Award.SEGMENT 2:
Lynn Garrett is the religion editor for Publisher's Weekly. She tells Steve Paulson that bookstores are selling out of books on Islam and terrorism, and that there's strong interest in books that tackle fundamental moral questions. Also, some poetry in the aftermath of September 11th. Jim Fleming reads Wendell Berry's "The Peace of Wild Things." And, Anne Strainchamps talks with Robert Pinsky, 39th Poet Laureate of the United States, who reads several of the poems people have been sending him since the attacks. You'll find them transcribed here. There are more at Pinsky's website favoritepoem.org.SEGMENT 3:
Jimmy Santiago Baca was illiterate and in a maximum security prison for selling drugs. He taught himself to read and fell in love with words. Today he's a champion of the International Poetry Slam, and the author of four books of verse. Now he's written a memoir, "A Place to Stand." Santiago Baca talks with Steve Paulson about the power of poetry and reads some of his own verse.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 01-10-14-A.
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