The Literature and Fiction Department of the Los Angeles Public Library presents
WPRS is a new talk show dedicated to the working lives of creative people. Host Joseph Lapin and Executive Producer J. David Gonzalez are interested in the poetry that powers everyone from novelists to graphic designers to nanotechnologists.
The first podcast features an inaugural poet, Richard Blanco, who was chosen to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States. Blanco performed “One Today,” an original poem he wrote for the occasion. Blanco was the first Latino and first openly gay writer to hold the honor.
WPRS caught up with him to discuss how his life has changed since he became an inaugural poet. He also talks about how his job as an engineer influenced his writing. Listen to the podcast for more from one of America’s great literary and cultural figures.
Richard Blanco was born in Madrid and immigrated to the United States as an infant with his Cuban-exile family. He was raised in Miami and earned a BS in civil engineering and MFA in creative writing from Florida International University. Blanco has been a practicing engineer, writer, and poet since 1991.
The next guest, poet T. Zachary Cotler, talks about his transition from poetry to writing novels. His new book, Ghost at the Loom, is his first novel. Colter also discusses poetry’s place in the world today and the visionary experience of poets like William Blake and Allen Ginsberg.
T. Zachary Cotler is the author of House with a Dark Sky Roof (Salt, 2011) and Sonnets to the Humans (Ahsanta, 2013), which won the Sawtooth Prize. In 2011, he received the Ruth Lilly Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He's a founding editor of The Winter Anthology.
Denise Duhamel is a hilarious poet who knows how to make tragedy feel light and heavy at the same time. This year, she was nominated for the National Book Award for her book Blowout. Listen to the podcast recorded at the Los Angeles Public Library and sponsored by the Los Angels Public Library Literature & Fiction Department.
Also included is the podcast of first live episode:
On Wednesday, April 9, The Working Poet Radio Show premiered their first live show, The Working Poet at the Los Angeles Public Library. Joe Lapin interviewed Chiwan Choi, Editor of Writ Large Press and the "Jay-Z of Poetry"; Michelle Meyering, Director of Programs and Events at PEN Center USA and founding editor of The Rattling Wall; and poet, novelist, journalist, activist, gubernatorial candidate and LA Legend Luis J. Rodriguez.
The Working Poet Radio Show Live: Thursday May 8 at 7 p.m.
(WPRS) is on a roll -- the next theme is called "What is Reality?", which will be filmed live at the Mark Taper Auditorium on Thursday, May 8, at 7:00 p.m. and recorded for podcast. Guests will be Mark Haskell Smith (Grove Atlantic) (his new book, Raw, satirizes reality television), Michael Semanchik, an attorney from the California Innocence Project who represented wrongfully accused athlete Brian Banks, and a surprise guest to discuss how they "work" with reality. We also have a live band, Das Tapes.