Cheryl Fusco Johnson's blog

"Bartending proved instrumental in how the magazine formed...." Sarah Dodson, Executive Director of Make Literary Productions, reveals the backstory behind the 2005 founding of Make: A Literary Magazine. She also discusses how Make, which she cofounded with writing friends, forges connections among writers and artists spread across the globe. Containing work from writers in the U.S., Mexico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, the latest issue, Exchange/Intercambio, features work translated from Spanish to English and others translated from English to Spanish. Join us for an fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of a literary journal and the minds of the volunteers whose devotion keeps it relevant and fresh. Sarah and other Make writers will be in Iowa City next week for the Mission Creek Festival.

Violinist Nancy McFarland GaubAt 7:30 PM on Sunday, April 7th the McFarland Gaub Violin and Piano Duo will perform three Johann Brahms sonatas at the Sondheim Center for the Performing Arts. Tune in to hear bits of each sonata and Nancy and Gene's discussion of how each one is unique. They'll also give us their predictions about the future of classical music.

Gene and Nancy, husband and wife, are both faculty members in Grinnell College's Music Department. As a pianist, Gene made his New York debut performing Bartok's First Piano Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center. He's given solo piano recitals at Carnegie Hall and many other venues. He's also performed with orchestras in Vienna and Salzburg. A specialist in chamber music, he's performed with many ensembles throughout the U.S. 

  • Mon
    Mar 18
    2:00 pm -
    3:00 pm
  • Wed
    Mar 20
    8:00 am -
    9:00 am

Bobbi Miller: Folklore Is Endangered: Should You Care?

Big River Daughter CoverFolklore is endangered: should you care? Yes! says author Bobbi Miller, and she explains why during this behind-the-scenes look at tales that reflect the unique history of the United States. An author, a story collector, a storyteller, and a writer who teaches writing, Bobbi's earned five college degrees, including an MA in chilldren's literature from Simmons College and an MFA in children's writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She teaches undergraduate and graduate level college composition classes and, occasionally, a folklore survey course.

In 2010 the Bank Street College of Education included Bobbi's first two picture books, One Fine Trade and Davy Crockett Gits Hitched in its List of the Best Children's Books of the Year. The National Council for Social Studies and the Children's Book Council have selected her third picture book, Miss Sallly Ann and the Panther, for inclusion in the 2013 List of Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People. Holiday House will release Bobbi's rambunctious middle-grade novel, Big River's Daughter, in April 2013.

Why do folktales matter? Tune in to find out!

 

Do dogs think? Do rats laugh?

All over the world, scientists are making new discoveries about how and what animals think and feel. Acclaimed science writer Virginia Morell visited these researchers, and she reports their discoveries on animal cognition in her new book, Animal Wise: the Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures.

Virginia's three previous celebrated nonfiction books are Ancestral Passions, Blue Nile, and Wildlife Wars (coauthored with Richard Leakey). Her work appears regularly in Science, National Geographic, and Conde Nast Traveler. Want to know what your dog has in mind? Tune in to this show to find out!

Photo courtesy of Michael McRae

  • Mon
    Mar 04
    2:00 pm -
    3:00 pm
  • Wed
    Mar 06
    8:00 am -
    9:00 am

B.K. Loren: How to Write Like a Wolf

B. K. LorenWhy did the editor of B.K. Loren's first book of essays accuse her of writing like a wolf? How does B.K. strive daily to live up to that accusation? B.K. answers these questions during an in-depth discussion of the creative process that helped her produce her novel, Theft;her first essay collection, The Way of the River: Adventures and Meditations of a Woman Martial Artist; and her newest book, Animal, Mineral, Radical: Essays on Wildlife, Family, and Food.

B.K.'s writing has garnered Pushcart nominations, fellowships, and inclusion among Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies. Tune in to learn how B.K. crafts prose that reviewers deem visceral, lyrical, and incandescent. 

On The Studio, Director Darryl Pitts will discuss Reel Black Love, his documentary film that explores cinematic depictions of African American romance. Narrated by acclaimed actress Sheryl Lee Ralph, Pitts' documentary highlights powerful (but rare) romantic moments of African Americans in movies. During candid interviews, Pitts captured industry elites (including Lynn Whitfield, Regina King, Vanessa Williams, Ernie Hudson, Nia Long, Diahann Carroll, and Keenan Ivory Wayans) sharing favorite on-screen couples and the movies that changed their perceptions of themselves and blacks in Hollywood. In a free program co-sponsored by Cedar Rapids' African American Museum of Iowa, Pitts will screen Reel Black Love and engage in a panel discussion about it Thursday, Feb. 21st from 6-9 PM at the Figge Art Museum in Davenport. 

  • Wed
    Feb 20
    8:00 am -
    9:00 am
  • Mon
    Feb 25
    2:00 pm -
    3:00 pm

Lynn Koos: What's New at the African American Museum of Iowa?

Curator Drumming

 

Lynn Koos, curator of Cedar Rapids' African American Museum of Iowa shows off drums that are part of the new Western Africa Before the Boats exhiibit. Featuring vibrant murals, beautiful artifacts, intriguing videos, and weaving-, music-making, and other hands-on opportunities, this exhibit runs through March 30, 2014.

Lynn reveals other great features of the museum, which embraces the mission of preserving, publicizing and educating the public on the African American heritage and culture of Iowa.

Don't miss this new exhibit or Lynn's inspiring talk. Tune in! 

Karen Grencik was working happily as a court reporter when she met Lu Chi Fa, a Chinese immigrant to the U.S. His story of overcoming terrible hardships without becoming bitter impressed her so much that she began using her court reporting skills to record it. Next she searched for a writer willing to shape his story for publication. Before long Karen found herself running her own literary agency, which was propelled to success largely by her sale of Double Luck: Memoirs of a Chinese Orphan by Lu Chi Fa with Becky White. Karen became a favorite presenter at writers' conferences and her clients won many awards. In 2011 she joined forces with Abigail Samoun to launch Red Fox Literary, a boutique agency specializing in picture books, middle grade novels, and young adult titles. Karen especially likes selling books with a strong voice, like the soon-to-be released novel, Big Rivers Daughter by Bobbi Miller. Tune in for an inspiring tale of how Karen forged a new career that's made her a hero to many writers, illustrators, parents, educators, and readers.

  • Mon
    Jan 28
    2:00 pm -
    3:00 pm
  • Wed
    Jan 30
    8:00 am -
    9:00 am

Inspirational Archer Matt Stutzman: Secrets to His Success

Matt Stutzman with station manager James MooreMatt Stutzman won a Silver Medal in the Paralympic Games in London in 2012 for Archery (Individual, Compound, Open). He holds two national records in archery and a Guinness World Record for the longest accurate shot--230 yards! Matt's accomplished all this despite being born without arms. Dubbed the Inspirational Archer by all who know him, Matt reveals how he overcame his disappointment at shooting less than what he considered his best during the 2011 Parapan Games in Mexico--he missed garnering a world record by only two points--and persisted in pursing his goal. Matt lives in Fairfield with his wife Amber and three young sons. He's developing a speaking career, plans to enter the 2016 Paralympics, and is slated to compete in many international archery events in 2013. He's got a great sense of humor, too. Don't miss this inspiring show! 

  • Mon
    Jan 21
    2:00 pm -
    3:00 pm
  • Wed
    Jan 23
    8:00 am -
    9:00 am

Phyllis Khare, Social Media Marketing for Entrepreneurs

Social Media Marketing expert Phyllis Khare, co-founder of an online learning center called the Social Media Manager School, has tons of advice for entreprenuers and others seeking to use online resources wisely. Phyllis authored Social Media Marketing eLearning Kit for Dummies and coauthored Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies. She's been a featured guest on Social Media Examiner, eMarketingVids, and many Twitter Chat Events. She's also an experienced entrepreneur. Don't miss this show--you're bound to learn something new!

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