M. B. McLatchey is recipient of the May Swenson Poetry Award for “The Lame God,” a collection of powerful poems on a very sensitive subject: the kidnap and murder of a young girl. Using the art of poetry she gives voice to a suffering—and a love—that might otherwise go unheard. Philip Brady says of this collection, “in magisterial cadences, this powerful poetic sequence gives voice to the unspeakable and transposes profound grief into immortal song. McLatchey's poems are talismans and spells--not against loss but against forgetting.
On Wednesday’s AU we’ll revisit our conversation from January with Jared Farmer whose latest book is “Trees in Paradise: A California History.” In addition to California, we’ll talk about Utah history, and Farmer will offer his list of iconic Utah trees as well. California now has more trees than at any time since the late Pleistocene. This green landscape, however, is not the work of nature. It's the work of history. In the years after the Gold Rush, American settlers remade the California landscape, harnessing nature to their vision of the good life.
What’s on your nightstand or in your beach bag? Periodically we come together as a UPR community to build a reading list. And It’s time once again. We want to know what you’re reading, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, classic literature, young adult or children’s books. You may have discovered a great read that we’d enjoy. You can post your book list to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-800-826-1495 during Access Utah Tuesday from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Elaine Thatcher will join Tom Williams for the program; and we’ll check in with Catherine Weller from Weller Book Works in SLC and other booksellers.
Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of American landscape architecture, made public parks an essential part of American life and forever changed our relationship with public open spaces. He was co-designer of Central Park, head of the first Yosemite commission, leader of the campaign to protect Niagara Falls, designer of the U.S. Capitol Grounds, site planner for the Great White City of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, planner of Boston’s “Emerald Necklace” of green space, and of park systems in many other cities.
Olmsted’s design of the public parks and parkway systems in Buffalo, New York, is the oldest coordinated system in America and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. To Olmsted, a park was both a work of art and a necessity for urban life. His efforts to preserve nature created an “environmental ethic” decades before the environmental movement became a force in American politics. “Olmsted has a double legacy," says writer Adam Gopnik. "On the one hand, he’s a super pragmatist; he’s a problem solver. At the same time, he’s a dreamer. What his parks are all about is finding immensely practical solutions to the problem of building a dream in the middle of a city."
My show is ending next week, so it’s appropriate that this week I feature the blues, with new releases from the legendary Bobby Rush, and the powerhouse writer Deanna Bogart. I’ll also play songs from new discs by Liz Kennedy, Lucky Peterson, and Tommy Malone, among other talented artists. Join me and listen this Saturday at 8pm, for Fresh Folk, on Utah Public Radio.
There’s nothing worse than finding a growing, succulent peach taken over by earwigs, or the anticipation of digging a sweet crunchy carrot in the middle of winter, only to find only carrot tops...but no carrots! Diane Alston handles your pest questions. Then, Jerry Goodspeed details the dangers of Vinca in Wait, Wait…Don’t Plant That! Then it's on to the rose in Petals and Prose with Helen Cannon.
If scientists supposedly now agree it’s not nature versus nurture; but the interaction of nature and nurture, why does the debate still go on? James Tabery, Associate Professor of Philosophy at University of Utah says it’s because those scientists aren’t just arguing about data and results. They’re engaged in a fundamentally philosophical debate about what “the interaction of nature and nurture” actually means. He says that “from disputes in the 1930s regarding eugenic sterilizations, to controversies in the 1970s about the gap in IQ scores for black and white Americans, to the contemporary debate about the causes of depression—this frustratingly persistent debate keeps emerging, even as the cast and context of each iteration of that debate changes from decade to decade.”
In “Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal,” Mary Roach explores the much-maligned but vital tube from mouth to rear that turns food into the nutrients that keep us alive. She introduces us to scientists who tackle questions no one else thinks to ask. Why doesn't the stomach digest itself? Can wine tasters really tell a $10 bottle from a $100 bottle? Why do Americans eat, on average, no more than thirty different foods on a regular basis? “Gulp” is as much about human beings as it is about human bodies.
In May of 1934, outside of Hugo, Oklahoma, a homeless man and his 13 year-old daughter are befriended by a Texas drifter newly released from the federal penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas. The drifter, Clint Palmer, lures father and daughter to Texas, where the father, Dillard Garrett, mysteriously disappears, and where his daughter Lucile begins a one-year ordeal that culminates in four Utah killings and Palmer’s notorious Greenville, Texas “skeleton murder” trial of 1935.