Vick Mickunas

I have interviewed James Lee Burke more times than any other author. He is now in his early eighties and he is just as productive as he ever was. He put out another novel last January and we had him back on the program. He has another one coming out in January, 2019 and I am hoping he'll want to do an interview for that book, too.

"The Epic of Gilgamesh" is an ancient tale. It is probably the oldest story that we know about. It was discovered during the 19th century when some clay tablets were unearthed in the Middle East. The story had been written on the tablets in cuneiform characters and over the intervening years has been translated numerous times. Some of the tiles were missing fragments but most of the story had survived intact.

Julia Keller returned to the program to discuss the latest installment in her series that features Bell Elkins. These books are set mostly in the small town of  Acker's Gap, West Virginia. As this series has moved forward Bell Elkins has experienced quite a shift in her position in the world. Bell used to be the county prosecutor. Then she put herself in the position of allowing herself to be convicted of a murder and she was sent to prison. As this story begins she has been released from prison and has returned to Acker's Gap to rehabilitate herself.

We live in highly compressed times. Everything is moving super fast; social media, the news cycle, climate change, political scandals, you name it. And with this barrage of information our attention spans are getting overloaded. Many readers would never consider bothering to read a 300 page book. Not enough time they would say. Too busy.

Peter Blauner returned to the program to discuss his second book in a series that features an NYPD detective named Lourdes Robles. Robles is an unlikely law officer, she has had a difficult past, her father is serving time in prison. Fortunately for Lourdes she has had a great mentor named Sully who we met in the first book "Proving Ground." Sully is retired now but Lourdes has maintained that relationship and as this book reaches a stunning conclusion Sully is very much involved in the ultimate result.

In 2002 I had a very special guest come out to our studios in Yellow Springs to see me. Kathi Kamen Goldmark had been to Yellow Springs many times before. She was a graduate of Antioch College. On this particular occasion she came here for only one reason, to do this interview live in our WYSO studios.

Shuly Cawood returned to the program to share some of her poetry. You might recall that last year Shuly visited The Book Nook to discuss her memoir "The Going and Goodbye."

Following the recent death of WYSO's longtime poetic professor Conrad Balliet I hoped to offer an homage to him with some poetry and Shuly was the first poet that came to my mind. Shuly's poetry is beautiful. I hope you enjoy it.

Huffman Prairie is just down the road from our studios in Yellow Springs. Have you ever been there? It is located at Wright Patterson Air Force Base and that is the spot where the Wright Brothers perfected their flying machines. In fact if they had not accomplished this modern miracle at that location Huffman Prairie as it is today would surely not exist.

Back in 2002 I was looking for some poetry to feature on the program to mark National Poetry Month. I had just seen that three of the poet Galway Kinnell's books had recently been reissued in one volume as "Three Books: Body Rags; Mortal Acts, Mortal Words; and The Past" so I contacted his publicist to inquire about an interview.

Chris Hedges returned to the program to discuss his latest book. Over the years that I have been interviewing him I have discovered that his books are serious critiques of our society. He is thoughtful, articulate, and determined. This latest book is one of the most essential books that I have read in many years. Hedges speaks his truth and that can be profoundly depressing.

For decades Alan Cheuse was the book reviewer on National Public Radio's program All Things Considered. When I recorded this interview Cheuse had already booked 20 years on the program and had reviewed hundreds of titles. Cheuse was passionate about books and particularly works of fiction.

Cheuse continued his work for NPR until just a few years ago when he was involved in a tragic traffic accident in California. He eventually succumbed to his injuries. He was 75.

Sara Bir returned to the program to discuss her cookbook of recipes from all over Ohio. We live in a big state with varied cuisines. The food you'll find in Cleveland will be quite different from what you might discover to eat in Cincinnati. And then there are all those places in between. The author did a great job of assembling a wide variety of recipes that reflect the diversity and culinary excitement that you can find in Ohio.

Pages