Podcasts

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Natasha Wimmer
Photo courtesy of Ms. Wimmer

NEA Literature Fellow for Translation

Natasha Wimmer was awarded an NEA Literature Fellowship in 2007 to translate Roberto Bolaño's epic novel 2666. In this interview, she discusses the complexities of translating Bolaño's work and other tribulations of working as a translator. [27:08]

Rudolfo Anaya
Photo by Marion Ettlinger

NEA Big Read Selection (Bless Me, Ultima)

Rudolfo Anaya talks about the writing of his acclaimed novel Bless Me, Ultima as well as in the influence of the oral tradition and folk tales on his writing and his life growing up in New Mexico.  [23:56]

Judy McCulloh
Photo by Mary E Yeomans

NEA National Heritage Fellow

Awarded the 2010 Bess Lomax Hawes Award for the preservation of cultural heritage, Judith McCulloh talks about her extensive work as a folklorist and editor at the University of Illinois Press.   [24:04]

Mike Rafferty
Photo courtesy of Mr. Rafferty

NEA National Heritage Fellow

Mike Rafferty talks about growing up in East Galway, Ireland, and learning flute playing from his father, as well as coming to America and eventually returning to Irish music in his 50s as both a performer and teacher. [26:37]

Del McCoury
Photo courtesy of McCoury Music

NEA National Heritage Fellow

Bluegrass legend Del McCoury discusses his 50-year career, from joining Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys in the 1960s to multiple appearances at the Bonnaroo music and arts festival in the 2000s. [26:32]

Julia Alvarez
Photo © Bill Eichner

NEA Literature Fellow and 2013 National Medal of Arts recipient

Writer Julia Alvarez discusses how her life as a reader led to her life as a writer and the rich source material she finds in her family's immigrant experience. [22:05]

Ed Herendeen
Photo: Contemporary American Theater Festival

Founder and Producing Director, Contemporary American Theater Festival Shepherdstown, West Virginia

Ed Herendeen talks about founding and sustaining a theater festival committed to supporting bold, daring new works for the stage. [18:27]

Unai Elorriaga
Photo by Debra Corrie

NEA International Literary Award (Plants Don't Drink Coffee)

Basque writer Unai Elorriaga and Amaia Gabantxo, translator of Elorriaga's novel Plants Don’t Drink Coffee, discuss the book as well as the art of translation and the Basque language. [25:50]

Joel Nelson
Photo courtesy of Joel Nelson

NEA National Heritage Fellow

Joel Nelson talks about how he grew to love poetry and how he writes and recites poetry, as well as growing up on a ranch and his love of horses, among other subjects. [27:00]

Ken Burns
Photo courtesy of Ken Burns

Documentary Filmmaker

Ken Burns talks about his most recent documentary series on the National Park system, as well as his approach to filmmaking and his attraction to iconic American subjects. [22:24]

Everett McCorvey
Photo courtesy of Mr. McCorvey

Founder/Musical Director, American Spiritual Ensemble

Operatic tenor Everett McCorvey talks about how he was drawn into the music, how he helped build the opera program at University of Kentucky, and the difference between spirituals and gospel, among other topics.  [26:17]

John Hickenlooper

Mayors' Institute on City Design participant

John Hickenlooper discusses his efforts to use the arts to revitalize Denver and promote economic development and increased livability. [23:37]

Duke Ellington
Photo William P. Gottlieb

Jazz Musician, Composer, Bandleader

A look at the Washington, DC roots of Duke Ellington and their impact on his development as a musician and composer.  [8:40]

U Street NW
Photo courtesy of Lincoln Theatre

Washington, DC

Josephine Reed talks with a collection of local experts about the history and revitalization of U Street, NW in Washington, DC. Once known as the "Black Broadway," U Street is again a vibrant cultural place in the city, as evidenced by Arena Stage's smash production of Sophisticated Ladies at the historic Lincoln Theatre. [25:57]

Amy Tan
Photo by Bob Shonbrun

NEA Big Read author (The Joy Luck Club)

Amy Tan talks about her first novel, The Joy Luck Club, her relationship with her mother, and the art of writing. [27:49]

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