“As a black man and a white man, both writers and educators, we came together to cowrite a book about how systemic racism and police brutality affect the lives of young people in America, in order to create an important, unique, and honest work that would give young people and the people and the people who educate them a tool for talking about these difficult but abolutely vital conversations," said Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely.
Both Jason and Brendan are successful young adult novelists. Jason's "When I was the Greatest" received the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe award for new talent, while Brendan's debut novel, "The Gospel of Winter" was named one of the Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults in 2015 by the American Library Association.'
Join us this week on Writers' Voices to learn more about how the inspiration behind this book, and the authors' cowriting process.
Gloria Dixon is a Cedar Rapids-based CPA. When her husband died in early 2014 after a long illness, she thought she was prepared. But as she went through the process of arranging the service and wrapping up his affairs, she realized that there was a lot she didn't know, and no books available that spelled it all out in detail.
Gloria made it her mission to make this necessary information available to everyone, and the result is her book, "After Death: When You Lose a Loved One, Do You Know What To Do?"
Join us on Writers' Voices today to learn more, and also about Gloria's upcoming book, "The Wedding Ring Phenomenon."
"The Angel in My Pocket: A Story of Love, Loss, and Life After Death" is a memoir written by a woman whose classic "stiff-upper-lip" New England heritage left her with no idea how to grieve when her six year old daughter died suddenly and unexpectedly as a result of a rare genetic disorder.
Sukey Forbes turned to the example set by her great, great, great grandfather Ralph Waldo Emerson, whose young son also died of a high fever, and came to realize that her family history, which included Presidential advisers, Ambassadors and tycoons as well as the famous transcendentalist, also included many ghosts who still prowled the family residences and whose presence were taken for granted. Thus, it was natural that she would seek a way to connect with Charlotte on the other side.
When historical fiction is done well, the reader gets the opportunity to live in a different time and place; to be absorbed in the sights, the sounds, and the smells; to feel what it might be like to life a completely different life.
Join us this week on Writers' Voices to learn how Victoria Shorr painted the backlands of Brazil in her novel, "Backlands." Based on the legendary bandits, Lampiao and Maria Bonita, who ruled the desolate outback known as the Sertao in the early 1900's, Shorr evokes the romance and mystique, and foregone conclusion, of an era.
Writers' Voices is pleased to welcome award-winning author, filmmaker, and mixed media producer William Joyce back to the air with his latest book for children, "Billy's Booger: A Memoir." Based on William's own first experience with writing a book, this delightful volume incorporates a true-to-life version of Billy's original manuscript about his booger with amazing math super-powers.
William won an Academy Award for his animated short film, "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore." He won three Emmy's for "Rolie Polie Olie" on the Disney Channel and has another show, "George Shrinks" on PBS. He, with help from the team at Moonbot Studios, has written and illustrated over 50 children's books, many of which have related video games and mobile apps.
In this interview, William talks about how he got his start and the many opportunities in creative media today.
Join us this week on Writers' Voices for a preview of this evening's ecstatic poetry reading by Paul Goldman at Revelations Cafe. Paul talks about the inspiration for this, his third book of poetry, where he combines efforts with painter Natosha Keefer. Paul who has over 45,000 Twitter and Facebook followers, also talks about the importance for writers of building a platform with social media.
Writes' Voices is pleased to once again welcome Steve Semken, founder of Ice Cube Press in North Liberty, Iowa, and author of "Soul External: Rediscovering the Great Blue Heron." This book is a new breed, and difficult to describe. The Ice Cube Press web site promises a "realm full of lore, hearsay, myth, and spirt." The late environmental book reviewer from Orion magazine, Peter Sauer, called it mythological natural history, and although apt, that is only a partial description. Semken mixes in memoir, philosophical meanderings, inspirational quotes, poetry, graphic design, experimental typography, and fine artworks from Andrew Driscoll. The result? Well, you'll have to see it for yourself.
Tune in this week for another journey into the world of books.
"The Hormone Reset Diet: Heal Your Metabolism to Lose Up to 15 Pounds in 21 Days" by Sara Gottfried, MD is based on three-day "resets" of seven key hormones to help release excess weight, improve energy and jump-start your metabolism in just three weeks. Dr. Gottfried is a Harvard and MIT-educated physician and author of the New York Times best-seller"The Hormone Cure."
As an integrative gynecologist, Dr. Gottfried believes in treating the root cause of problems, not just the symptoms. "The Hormone Reset Diet" includes the science behind the plan, case studies, her personal history, plus plenty of motivation and recipes.
Join us this week on Writers' Voices for another intriguing conversation about books and writing, and check out Dr. Gottfried's top recommended books for women here.
What do you know about George Washington Carver? Not much, I'm willing to bet. You might recognize the name. Peanuts - he had something to do with peanuts didn't he?
You may not know that he was born into slavery and studied at Simpson College in Indianola Iowa and Iowa State University in Ames in the 1890's, or what it took for him to accomplish that. Carver was one of the most renowned scientists this country has ever known, and Xavier Cavazos brings this man to life using poetry that incorporates jazz improvisational techniques.
Cavazos is also an ISU alumnus. He has been part of three national poetry slam teams, was selected by the Poetry Society America as a 2013 national Chapbook Fellow, and teaches writing and other subjects at Central Washington University. ""Diamond Grove Slave Tree" was selected as the inaugural Ice Cube Press Prairie Seed Poetry Prize. Join us this week on Writers' Voices for a conversation on history, poetry, and more.
How does one go from working on a fish farm in rural Scotland to running a world-wide non-profit organization that feeds over a million children a day at a place of education, meeting the Pope, lunching with the Queen in Buckingham Palace and being named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2015?
Magnus MacFarlane Barrow shares the story behind the founding and amazing growth of Mary's Meals in his memoir, "The Shed That Fed a Million Children." Many people want to make the world a better place, but not everyone is able to take the huge leap a faith and devote their entire life to that vision like Magnus and his wife, Julie, along with many other family members and friends. Even while talking about war-torn Bosnia, orphans with HIV, and hungry children, Magnus writes with warmth and humor.
All of the profits from the book will go to Mary's Meals, whose mission is that every child deserves an education and enough to eat. By working with local volunteers, purchasing food from local farmers, and providing meals at children's place of education, Mary's Meals has found a formula to fulfill that mission that is extremely replicable.
Magnus will be speaking in Iowa this weekend, at 6:30 Pm on Friday May 29 at St Mary's Church in Solon, Saturday May 30 at 8:30 - 10:30 am at Smith Chapel at Simpson College in Indianola, and at 5:30 at St. Francis Church in West Des Moines.
For more information about Mary's Meals, go to www.marysmealsusa.org/en/.