Reyna Cowan interviews Berkeley-based directors: John Haptas and Kris Samuelson about their new documentary essay, Life Overtakes Me. The film looks at refugee children in Sweden who have become afflicted into Resignation Syndrome, withdrawing from the world into a coma-like state for months, or even years. The families of these children have been subjected to severe trauma in their home countries, followed by the anxiety of a lengthy asylum process and an uncertain future. 


On today’s show, continuing his celebration of Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Jack will read selections from his essay on the poet. The essay ends: Ferlinghetti remains, in his own phrase, a poet of “the splendid life of the world” (“Endless Life”)—a life which is always vanishing. The questions his work raises, however, are by no means trivial ones.Is poetry like painting, a visual art? Is it like music, an oral/aural art? Is the poet a public figure, and, if so, what kind of a public figure? How is it possible to create a space for art in a country where art is notoriously devalued (“In two hundred years of freedom / we have invented / the permanent alienation of the subjective / almost every truly creative being / alienated & expatriated / in his own country”—“Adieu à Charlot”)? What is the relationship between books and “the media”? How does one create an audience for poetry? What is the relationship of our ethnic identities to our “American” selves? (Immigration is a mode of “passage” and colors that theme in Ferlinghetti.) These are not dead issues but living perplexities, questions which any conscious poet continues to ask at this moment. Ferlinghetti’s work helps to create a powerful “space” in which some kind of clarification of these issues may be possible. At a recent exhibition of his paintings, he remarked, “I hope nobody gets the idea that just because it’s more institutional…that I don’t have some subversive intent, or that Eros is at rest.” To be sure, his vision is of a kind we call “Romantic.” But, as Robert Creeley suggests in Echoes, the problems the Romantics posited are still with us—we are all “Romantics”: “whatsover [is] ‘Rome’ [is] home.” These Are My Rivers is a fine exploration of the condition of America 1955-1993.


When Franklin Roosevelt defeated Herbert Hoover in the 1932 election, they represented not only different political parties but vastly different approaches to the question of the day: How could the nation recover from the Great Depression?  Professor Eric Rauchway join us to talk about the months before the hundred days, FDR and Hoover battled over … Continued


Democracy Now

Supreme Court Appears Set to OK Census Citizenship Question Despite Risk of Undercounting Millions

Supreme Court Appears Set to OK Census Citizenship Question Despite Risk of Undercounting Millions; Bernie Sanders Spurs Debate on Prisoner Voting Rights, But the Idea Is “Not as Radical as It Seems”; Economist Joseph Stiglitz: Capitalism Hasn’t Been Working for Most People for the Last 40 Years; Joseph Stiglitz: Elizabeth Warren & Bernie Sanders Want … Continued


Supreme Court Appears Set to OK Census Citizenship Question Despite Risk of Undercounting Millions; Bernie Sanders Spurs Debate on Prisoner Voting Rights, But the Idea Is “Not as Radical as It Seems”;Economist Joseph Stiglitz: Capitalism Hasn’t Been Working for Most People for the Last 40 Years; Joseph Stiglitz: Elizabeth Warren & Bernie Sanders Want to … Continued


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