Talking about books on the streets of New York, in the mountains of the Catskills and on the road. I find that when I ask people about what they’re reading, they tend to start talking about books generally and then start talking to others about books. Encouraging the discussion of books cannot be a bad thing!
While visiting the Golden Notebook bookstore in Woodstock last summer, my daughter Melanie and I met and struck up a conversation with bookseller, author and poet, Gretchen Primack. It turns out that Gretchen is also an educator in a more formal sense. Gretchen has taught and/or administrated with prison education programs (mostly college) in maximum security prisons since 2006.
Gretchen recently released a new book of poems called ”Visiting Days”, which is inspired and informed by her years of first hand experience teaching and administrating in maximum security prisons.
Visiting Days has been described as a collection of short, keen dramatic monologues, a work of advocacy as well as of poetry.
In connection with the celebration by my law firm, @Orrick, of Pride Month and the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, I discussed with Alvin Lee and Amy Pasacreta of Orrick The Great Believers, by Rebecca Makkai, which is a very moving, beautiful and at the same time devastating, award winning novel about the AIDs epidemic in Chicago in the 1980s, its impact on young gay men and on the survivors as well.
I’m very proud to say that Orrick has a long standing commitment to inclusiveness that enables the LGBTQ lawyers and staff of the firm to be authentic and to thrive. For 13 consecutive years, Orrick achieved a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s annual Corporate Equality Index, which evaluates LGBTQ-related policies and practices, and Orrick was one of the first global law firms to offer benefits to same-sex couples and to also offer fully inclusive transgender benefits.
A discussion by a serious and thoughtful,reader of four sets of "paired" books - Song of a Captive Bird + The Age of Light/ Churchill & Orwell: The Fight for Freedom + East West Street: On the Origins of Crimes Against Humanity and Genocide/ Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll + Fasting and Feasting/ Golden Hill + His Bloody Project - and also Solitary; The Village: 400 Years of Beats and Bohemians, Radicals and Rogues, a History of Greenwich Village; Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art; and The Coral Island: A Tale of the Pacific Ocean. This is one full agenda!
Kate McGloughlin is a painter and printmaker (and storyteller), and during her long career, she has exhibited in notable galleries and museums around the world. Kate is president emeritus of the Board of Directors of the Woodstock School of Art, where she teaches printmaking and landscape painting, including to Carol, and where she directs the Printmaking Studio.
Through her paintings, poetry and prose, Kate’s book, Requiem for Ashokan, The Story Told in Landscape, is her outlet to tell a personal story with universal themes of tragedy, loss, grief, confusion and rage, as well as of migration, shared resources, competition for resources, and the importance of fair treatment by the government.
Kate lives and maintains her own studio in Olivebridge, NY, near the site of the Ashokan Reservoir, which is at the center of our discussion.
The Ashokan Reservoir and its aqueducts and tunnels were built to get water to New York City to alleviate chronic and dangerous water shortages in the rapidly growing metropolis, but the cost was borne by the thousands of residents of the Esopus Valley who were displaced from their family homes and farms and mills; taken from them and demolished to make room for the reservoir, which dammed the Esopus Creek and then flooded the valley.
Sophie McManus (master's degree in fiction writing/ teaching writing at Sarah Lawrence College; author of critically acclaimed novel, The Unfortunates) discusses The Art of Time in Fiction by Joan Silber, and a variety of books written in Classic Time, Long Time, Slowed Time, Switchback Time and Fabulous Time.
Nick Lyons is a lifelong fisherman and has also written 20 highly regarded books about his passion for the outdoors and fly fishing, has edited and published many more, and Nick also for 25 years wrote the Seasonable Angler column for “Fly Fisherman” magazine.
Nick’s memoir, Spring Creek, is a love letter to a creek in Montana. In it, Nick writes that he aims for his writing “to be rich enough to catch some of the stillness, complexity, joy, fierce intensity, frustration, practicality, hilarity, fascination, [and] satisfaction” that he finds in fly fishing. If you read anything that Nick has written, you will enjoy that richness.
We discuss on the podcast the Esopus Creek, the Amawalk, the East Branch of the Croton, the Odell in Montana, the Bourne in the U.K. and the rivers in New Zealand, as well as the books and authors Nick loves. We also talk about fly selection, fly tiers and solitude on the river.
Emma Holland discusses what she is reading as well as how she reads, highlights and rereads, her love for words, and also her favorite book in the last decade, Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose.
Dr. Hardin Coleman discusses the 11 distinct regions of the country and their particular political, social and emotional traits, President Grant’s pardon of the Confederate generals after the Civil War in order to preserve national unity and the need to find the right balance between acting locally and globally in order to have an impact on the issues we face in the nation today.