The Sonosopher

Sep 20, 2012

Alex Caldiero is a poet and a performance artist, but he has very different ways of describing himself. He's called himself a "word shaker" and more recently a "sonosopher." Caldiero is the focus of a documentary film released in 2009 called The Sonosopher. It's about his life's journey from Italy to Brooklyn to Orem, Utah, and also about words and sounds as only Caldiero can express them.

A Thousand Voices

Sep 19, 2012

Thursday, Doug is joined by Utah author Jeri Parker for a conversation about her memoir "A Thousand Voices." Parker taught high school and university for many years, but Carlos Louis Salazar is the student she says haunted her dreams. He was 10 when she met him: wild-hearted, a bit of a hellion and without language. Salazar was born deaf, but Parker says he was the one who taught her to hear. We'll talk to her about the compassion she learned from the adventure, confusion and sorrow of his short life.

The writer David Foster Wallace is regarded by many as the most important novelist of his generation. His door-stopper tome Infinite Jest made him a literary rock star, and his writing probed the very nature of what it means to be human. Sadly, he took his own life in 2008. New Yorker staff writer D.T. Max has written a biography of Wallace, revealing him as a restless soul who dealt with agonizing depression and addiction even as he created work of immense artistic import. Max joins us on Tuesday to examine Wallace’s life and work.

<i><a href="" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a></i>

Wednesday, Doug is joined in studio by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mohamed ElBaradei. ElBaradei served three terms as the general director of the International Atomic Energy Agency. During that time, he addressed Iran’s pursuit of a nuclear program, worked to keep nuclear arms out of terrorists’ hands and disputed the U.S.’s claim that Saddam Hussein was producing nuclear weapons. ElBaradei is in Utah this week to speak about global security and the need for an alternative to nuclear weapons, a new system that can bring lasting peace to a changing world.

Jean-Christophe BENOIST

Some call the Colorado River the “American Nile,” but unlike the Colorado, the Nile actually reaches the sea. In a new documentary film, the filmmakers Jamie Redford and Mark Decena trace the path and history of the West’s most iconic waterway, capturing, along the way, the Colorado’s importance to both the landscape and the millions of people who depend on it. The photographer Peter McBride has also extensively documented the river, and he’ll join Redford, Decena and of course Doug on Monday to profile the Colorado River.

Book of Love

Aug 24, 2012
<i>Image by <a href="">Dennis Jarvis</a>/<a href="" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

When the Hindu philosopher Vatsayana wrote the Kamasutra some 2000 years ago, he said that he did so in a spirit of chastity and meditation – not for the sake of passion. So how is it that the treatise has become synonymous with sexual ecstasy and acrobatic positions? Friday, we're rebroadcasting our conversation with the writer James McConnachie. He joined us earlier this year to tell the story of the Kamasutra’s journey from India to Victorian England and the role it has played in the West’s ongoing wars over sexuality and morality.

A few years ago, David Finch’s marriage was on the skids. Moments of joy and affection between he and his wife, Kristen, had become rare. One day, Kristen sprung a 150-question quiz on David. It was an informal test for Asperger syndrome, and David aced it. The diagnosis explained David’s long list of quirks and compulsions, and set him on a quest to better understand himself and to become a better husband. His book is called The Journal of Best Practices and he’ll talk with Doug about it.

Elna Baker

Aug 6, 2012

Three years ago, the comedienne and storyteller Elna Baker published her memoir, The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance. It’s about being a twenty-something Mormon virgin in a town – New York City – that doesn’t take kindly to that type. A lot has changed for Elna Baker since 2009: now she’s an ex-28-year-old virgin and ex-Mormon comedienne. Elna joins Doug to talk about leaving the church, her journey to Siberia and the challenges of honest storytelling. (Rebroadcast)

Frank Sinatra called Spencer Tracy “The Gray Fox.” Some actors called him “The Pope.” The biographer James Curtis calls Tracy the greatest actor of his generation. Through the years, Tracy’s legacy has faded, eclipsed by that of Katharine Hepburn, one of his great loves. Curtis has written a biography of Tracy that refurbishes his story, detailing his relationship with his wife, Louise, his love affair with Hepburn, his drinking problem and his inimitable acting chops. (Rebroadcast)

Thursday, we're profiling a new KUED documentary that explores the life of a remarkable woman, Martha Hughes Cannon. Women in 19th-century Utah enjoyed rights unprecedented in other states: they could divorce their husbands, own their own property and vote. Cannon made the most of these opportunities. She was a practicing physician and in 1896 she became the first woman in the US to serve as a state senator. She was also a polygamist wife though, a role that would eventually destroy her public career.