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Books Unbound – “Lost Borders” by Mary Hunter Austin, Part 2

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In the interconnected story cycle of “Lost Borders,” Mary Hunter Austin challenges the masculine myths of the American West through the perspective of a feminist and conservationist.

Austin was an ailing transplant from the Midwest who began to thrive personally and artistically in the desert landscape among the spiritual and expressive traditions of Native peoples. Although she published thirty-one books, most fell out of print soon after her death in 1934. In recent decades, there have been efforts to restore her to the literary canon, but she remains largely unknown compared to her contemporaries and friends Jack London, Ansel Adams, and Willa Cather.

The stories for the podcast are presented in the order in which they appear in the original book. (Listeners of the original broadcast may note differences.) Sarah Torbeck is the voice of the author that threads throughout.

In “The Return of Mr. Wills,” read by Shayne Laughter, a wife and mother gains confidence as an independent working woman, while her husband disappears into the desert on a quixotic quest for fabled gold and silver mines.

Early conservation laws and bounties on predator animals play a role in “The Last Antelope,” a heartbreaking exploration of the complex relationship between a shepherd and an aging buck in an over-hunted region. The homesteader armed with axe and gun is a twist on the western bad guy. Tony Brewer reads.

Also read by Shayne Laughter, the story “Agua Dulce” unfolds from an apparently racist remark made by a stagecoach driver, who struggles to overcome the taciturnity expected of a white male Westerner to tell about his love for a courageous and selfless Paiute woman.

Jack Hanek hosts. The poem that recurs as a refrain in the Books Unbound production appears as a prelude in the book. Berklea Going is the reader.

Special music for the episode comes from “The Light Guitar” by Patrick Zimmerli and “Graceful Ghost Rag” by William Bolcom, as performed by violinist Tim Fain and pianist Pei-Yao Wang on the album River of Light (Naxos, 2011).

This episode is produced, written and edited by Cynthia Wolfe with assistance from Sarah Torbeck.

Executive producer: Joe Crawford
Books Unbound theme music: The Impossible Shapes

Local Live – Chris Wolf

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Chris Wolf sits down with his guitar to play us some songs from his album, “The Wolfman” and a song inspired by one of his influences, John Prine. The stories underlying the songs vary in theme from dark to humorous to endearing.

1.) Beater with a Heater
2.) If I Was the Devil
3.) Crossroads to Nowhere
4.) My Favoritest
5.) Spotless (My Invisible Dog)
6.) When I Was a Kid

Hosted by Frankie Ferrell
Engineered by Jim Lang & Adam Reichle
Produced by Erin Tobey
Executive Producer is Jim Manion

Originally aired on March 11, 2015.

EcoReport – Jim Nelson: The Choral Reefs of Florida and the Caribbean, Part 2

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In today’s EcoReport, we bring you part two of an interview with Jim Nelson, in which he discusses the condition of coral reefs in Florida and the Caribbean.

Standing Room Only – Native American Church

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On February 27th, the Mathers Museum of World Culture hosted Daniel Swan, Curator of Ethnology at the Sam Noble Museum of Natural History at University of Oklahoma, to speak of the musical instruments used in Native American Church. Swan says that the musical instruments used in Peyotism provide an important opportunity to consider the role of material culture and music in the construction of religious identities in contemporary Native American communities.

Books Unbound – “Lost Borders” by Mary Hunter Austin, Part 1

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Mary Hunter Austin was born in Illinois in 1868 and died in Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1934. Her father encouraged her interest in writing, but died when she was only ten. Her mother considered fiction mere “storying” akin to lying, and found Mary too insistent about shaping her identity as an individual. Mary did attend college, and earned a degree in math and science—not typical of women at the time. But her physical and emotional health deteriorated, and the family moved to California partly in the hope that the climate would strengthen her. In the West she found a husband, who proved to be unenduring, and her true calling as a writer. She was inspired by the desert landscape of the Mojave, and by the spiritual and storytelling traditions of Native peoples.

Austin was a prolific writer publishing thirty-one books, and belonged to a creative community that included Jack London, Willa Cather, and Ansel Adams. Soon after her death, however, her work fell out of print, and she has been largely forgotten and omitted from the literary canon.

The interconnected story cycle of Lost Borders challenges myths of the West as a setting for masculine self-definition from an ironic feminist perspective. Her own myth-making sometimes leads her into essentialism—variously interpreted by critics as either challenging or merely perpetuating stereotypes. Her depictions of Shoshone and Paiute women are sympathetic, but raise similar questions.

Sarah Torbeck represents the voice of the author throughout, and reads the story “The Land.” Other voices of “Borderers,” as Austin called them, are represented by Renee Reed (“The Hoodoo of the Minnietta”), Shayne Laughter (“A Case of Conscience”), and Berklea Going (“The Ploughed Land,” and poem). Doug Storm hosts, and Jack Hanek is announcer.

Special music for the episode comes from “The Light Guitar” by Patrick Zimmerli, performed by violinist Tim Fain on his album River of Light (Naxos, 2011).

This episode is produced, written and edited by Cynthia Wolfe with assistance from Sarah Torbeck, Robert Shull, and Doug Storm.

Executive producer: Joe Crawford
Books Unbound theme music: The Impossible Shapes

EcoReport – Jim Nelson: The Choral Reefs of Florida and the Caribbean

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In today’s EcoReport, in Part One of an interview with Jim Nelson, he discusses the condition of coral reefs in Florida and the Caribbean.

Ins and Outs of Money – Level Up at the Library

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Kevin MacDowell, manager of Monroe County Public Library’s two new digital creativity centers, introduces us to Level Up, an all-ages productivity lab. All that’s needed to develop high-tech skills for saving AND earning money is a free library card—and a willingness to learn.

With Statehouse Fighting Over Education, Ritz Stuck in the Middle

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This year, Indiana Governor Mike Pence has called for the state’s legislative session to focus on education. Much of that focus has been directed toward Superintendent Glenda Ritz, with bills emerging to denounce her as chair of the State Board of Education. Some view the bills as partisan attacks, others see it as a necessary step for reform. WFHB news reporter Sarah Panfil brings you an overview.

Hola Bloomington – March 6, 2015

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Hola Bloomington’s hosts Israel Herrera and Carlos Bakota host a special segment “Un Cafecito con…” The hosts interview the real Latino athletes that inspired the nation hit film “McFarland, USA.” They will also interview musicians from the Latin American Music Center about upcoming events.

Los locutores de Hola Bloomington Israel Herrera y Carlos Bakota albergan un segmento de “Un Cafecito con…” Los locutores entrevistan los corredores que inspiraron la nueva película de Disney: McFarland, USA. Además, hablan con músicos del Latin American Music Center sobre sus proximos eventos.

Firehouse Sessions – Nora Jane Struthers

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In the studio today for a new Firehouse Session is Nora Jane Struthers accompanied by Joe Overton.  Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line are here from Nashville, TN playing at local venue The Bishop whilst touring their new album “Wake”. We get the chance to chat with Struthers day 2 of her next hectic three month tour schedule across the USA.  Struthers chats to us about her new autobiographical writing style, inspired by love and what was involved with getting this album ready and out on the road.

SONGS
1. “The Other Side”
2. “Mistake”
3. “The South”

Hosted by Angela Backstrom
Engineered by Jim Lang & Dan Withered
Produced by Katie Moulton
Executive Producer is Jim Manion

Originally aired on February 26th, 2015.

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