It’s still Poetry Month! Award-winning poet J. Barrett Wolf, aside from a lifetime of writing, has been a street musician, salesman, laborer, computer technician, and a police officer. He has ridden motorcycles for most of the last forty years and is a proud member of The Highway Poets Motorcycle Club. His work has been published in Black Bear Review, Portland Review of the Arts, Amelia, Fireheart, Scarecrow, Cats Magazine, Rye Whiskey Review, and Carousel. Wolf speaks with Wendy Sheridan this week on The Leftscape, beginning with a heart-rending poem in tribute to one who was lost to the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting — much after the fact. He and Wendy then move into a chat between friends on the organized rise of conservative theocracy, the problems with progressive talking points and purity tests, looking toward coherent compromise for a better political movement, touring as an artist, and judging a biker poetry contest.
Mary McGinley shifts gears to tell us about her love of Shakespeare in the Why Is This Awesome? segment of the show. After tackling Macbeth in elementary school, Mary found herself on a journey to learn more and more about the Bard. During the 1990s, she completed her quest to see a production of each of his plays at least once and has seen some many times since. Mary leads an enthusiastic discussion with Wendy and Robin Renée that includes modern interpretations of the plays, the sonnets, how Shakespeare changed the English language, advice for those unfamiliar with Shakespeare, and speculations on the key to his success.
The news of the week includes Kirstjen Nielsen’s departure as United States Secretary of Homeland Security, all the “acting” members of the Trump cabinet, and William Barr’s congressional testimony. Wendy announces a time capsule blogging project coming up later this summer. Reasons to celebrate include Bat Appreciation Day, Haiku Poetry Day, 4/20 (if you partake), National Hanging Out Day, Easter, and Earth Day.
The Leftscape – the shape of progressive conversation: “The Biker and the Bard (Episode 44).”