Thursday's Show

A Conversation with Sandra Cisneros

Thursday, we’re broadcasting our conversation with Latina writer and activist Sandra Cisneros, who was in Utah as a guest of the Tanner Humanities Center. Her 1984 novel The House on Mango Street has become a staple of American literature, but Cisneros says that only the “right kind” of immigrant is welcome in this country. She was born in Chicago, but it’s taken her decades to find home. Cisneros joins us to talk about heritage, identity, and how stories can be a bridge between people.

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The psychologist Alison Gopnik is worried about modern day parenting, including her own. It’s too much like being a carpenter, she says, where you shape chosen materials into a final, preconceived product. Kids don’t work like that. In her latest book, Gopnik suggests parents think less like carpenters and more like gardeners: creating safe, nurturing spaces in which children can flourish. Gopnik joins us Wednesday to discuss how we can raise better kids by changing our approach to parenting. (Rebroadcast)

Steve Henke; c/o Foodworks, Inc.

Tuesday, we’re talking to global gourmand Andrew Zimmern. As the host of the TV program Bizarre Foods, he’s explored the culture and foods of more than 150 countries. The gimmick of his show, as he’s said, is a fat, white Jew from New York going around the world eating weird stuff. But he hopes that the strange stories he tells inspire people to “stop practicing contempt prior to investigation.” Zimmern is in Utah this week, and he’ll join us to discuss his life, travels, and love of food.

Public domain

One hundred years ago, America entered the First World War. It was sparked by one of history’s most notorious wrong turns. That single blunder ignited a conflict that would claim more than 37 million casualties and sow the seeds of geopolitical strife for generations to come. This week, the PBS program American Experience is airing a three-part examination of WWI. Podcast host Dan Carlin appears in the program, and he joins us Monday to discuss the war’s outbreak and its place in history.

When Larry Cesspooch returned from the Vietnam War, his family told him to “go into the Sundance and wipe yourself off.” Cesspooch is a member of the Ute Indian Tribe, and cleansing ceremonies are a deep part of Native American warrior traditions. Now, with suicides accounting for more US military deaths than combat, people are looking for ways to deal with the horrors of PTSD. Friday, our conversation with director Taki Telonidis about his film exploring how these traditions could help our veterans. (Rebroadcast)

A production of Shakespeare’s The Two Noble Kinsmen is opening this weekend in Salt Lake, and if you’re intimidated by the Bard’s language, here’s the good news: it’s in modern English. Oregon Shakespeare Festival hired 36 playwrights to rework Shakespeare, among them the University of Utah’s Tim Slover. But here’s the question: after 400 years, should we be messing with William Shakespeare? Doug talks to scholars Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, James Shapiro, and to Slover about “translating” a classic.

Being a Beast

Apr 5, 2017
Henry Holt & Co.

 

Charles Foster wanted to know what it was like to be a beast. What it was really like. So he tried it out. He slept in a dirt hole and ate earthworms like a badger. He chased shrimp like an otter. He spent hours rooting in trash cans like an urban fox. A passionate naturalist, Foster came to realize that every creature creates a different world in its brain and lives in that world. He joins us to talk about his experiment and the values of wildness, both outside us and within us. (Rebroadcast)

God Knows Where I Am

In 2012, Linda Bishop was found dead in an abandoned house in New Hampshire after a brutal winter. She’d been living on apples and rainwater, and she’d kept a journal. She was a well-educated mother diagnosed with severe mental illness. Drawing from her journal, filmmakers Jedd and Todd Wider made a touching portrait of Bishop’s life and its challenges. Their documentary God Knows Where I Am is the next film in our Through the Lens series, and the Widers join us Tuesday to talk about it.

North Star International, Voices of Hope Project, http://bit.ly/2o08ydI

Monday, we’re talking about the delicate balance of being religiously conservative and attracted to the same sex. Ty Mansfield is a family therapist and he’s attracted to men. He’s also married to a woman, has kids, and is a faithful Mormon. Mansfield believes that human sexuality is fluid enough for some gay people - not all - but some to be perfectly happy married to someone of the opposite sex. Mansfield joins us to share his own story, and to talk about what he’s learning about sexuality and happiness.

Ghostland

Mar 31, 2017
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado is said to be haunted, and inspired Stephen King's novel "The Shining." William Andrus, CC via Flickr, http://bit.ly/2e8rrFw

 

Friday, we’re taking a haunted tour of America with writer Colin Dickey. Don’t worry though, we won’t try to convince you that ghosts or the paranormal are necessarily real. Dickey’s new book explores the bigger cultural questions behind these tales. Traveling to haunted mansions, brothels, industrial ruins, parks, and more, he asks why we tell these stories and how they help us make sense of our world. Dickey joins us to talk about what he calls “an American history in haunted places.” (Rebroadcast)

The Long Walk

Mar 30, 2017
GARY DAVID GOLD FOR OPERA SARATOGA

In his memoir, Brian Castner comes right out and tells you he’s crazy. Castner was the leader of a bomb disposal team in Iraq, a gory, dangerous job. But he never considered what life would be like when he got home. So to try to figure out who that crazy person was, he started writing. His 2012 book is the basis for an opera that’s being performed in Salt Lake City. Thursday, Castner and others join us to talk about the costs of war, and how you make art out of an experience like that.

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Friday's Show

The Story of Pain

What is pain? You know it when you feel it, but it’s almost impossible to properly describe. And it turns out, our idea of what that suffering is and means has changed significantly over the centuries. Friday, Doug’s guest is British historian Joanna Bourke, who has written a book that investigates “The Story of Pain.” We’ll explore how knowing the history of pain helps us acknowledge our own sorrows and the suffering of others. (Rebroadcast)

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Through the Lens Free Screening

Bending the Arc

Wed, May 3rd, join us for a free documentary screening. It’s the story of people on the front lines of the global health crisis who heal people with impossible afflictions in impossible conditions.

Utah Profiles

Conversations with passionate and thoughtful people that make Utah unique.

Calendar of Events

Heard it on RadioWest

A guide to the lectures, screenings and other happenings you've heard on the show.

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LDS Topics

Conversations on LDS faith, history and culture

About RadioWest

Listen weekdays at 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. MT on KUER 90.1