“Who do we become when we’ve lost the things that define us ?” asks today’s guest Linda Durham, renowned former Santa Fe art gallery owner. Linda teases out some answers to this question in this candid interview about her beautifully written memoir and travel journal, Still Moving. A must listen for all of us who have lost or who are lost and an encouragement to harvest the threads of past successes and seeming failures and to keep moving. www.lindadurham.us
A caring interview with Santa Fe’s Debra Rosenman, author of the multi-award winning The Chimpanzee Chronicles: Stories of Heartbreak and Hope from Behind The Bars.
This week, Debra’s collection of essays and richly-photographed book has won its twelfth award, an extraordinary honor for a self-published book. We discuss the wisdom and joy that chimpanzees bring to our world, and the pain and suffering they’ve endured over centuries in captivity despite sharing more than 98 percent of their DNA with humans. For listeners who are writers themselves we also delve into the unique challenges of self publishing from the seed of an idea to the first keystroke to marketing the beautiful finished product. Wild Soul Press. www.debrarosenman.com
One of Santa Fe’s most loved and respected authors, Elaine Pinkerton joins me today with news of her eagerly awaited forthcoming novel Hand of Ganesh to be published in February by Pocol Press. Threading themes of a search for their birth parents amidst ancient mysteries, spiritual trial and the gorgeous landscape of India two women meet adventure and misadventure in a way only Elaine Pinkerton can tell. Weaving elements of her own life story, we discuss her decades of writing, with Santa Fe on Foot now in its 30th year of publication and her own parents’ World War II love letters From Calcutta with Love also about to be re-released. Connect with Elaine and follow her blog at www.elainepinkerton.wordpress.com
Part memoir, part real-life mystery page-turner Love’s Legacy: Viscount Chateaubriand and The Irish Girl is as absorbing and confounding as our very own ancestry quest. Professor Emeritus Daniel Fallon turns his distinguished scholarly mind to his family’s stories handed down with wit and flourish over many generations. Dan, born in Columbia, South America knows that his heritage is Spanish and Irish, but is he also descended from the French romantic writer and legendary lover Chateaubriand? His research for Love’s Legacy began in the early 1990’s two decades before ancestral DNA tests became widely available making his quest one of travel and impeccable research to find century old records and documents. Most mysteriously, why did Chateaubriand, a man who kept legions of letters, never mention his apparent depth of friendship with Mary, the Irish girl at the heart of this mystery? www.loveslegacybook.com
Performance poet, creativity coach, and screenwriter Cari Griffo reads from her newest poetry collection Sheltered and Before The Contagious, written during the heart of 2020’s pandemic lockdown. Perceptive and very relatable, Cari sought inspiration and encouragement from the minutest changes in nature that we normally miss when rushing about our normal lives. As she and her family sheltered inwardly she took the opportunity to craft and hone her innate creativity discovering ways to become “unstuck” even as doors and outdoors were still closed. Cari’s books Ripening and Sheltered can be ordered from your local bookstore. carigriffo.com
A delightful return visit to the KSFR studios from intrepid travel journalists, award-winning author Judie Fein and gifted photographer husband Paul Ross. Halloween is here and the veil between the living and dead is said to be at its “thinnest.” How to Communicate with The Dead and How Cultures Do It Around The World tells real-life stories from Paul and Judie’s conversations and experiences from South Africa to Ukraine, from Israel to Japan and beyond. In this interview we explore death traditions and ceremonies near and far, from the hair raising to the heart opening and life affirming, encouraging you, the listener, to reach out to your own departed loved ones if you wish and to listen wisely if they reach out to you. How to Communicate with The Dead is available everywhere or order from your local bookstore. www.globaladventure.us
A podcast treat for horse lovers from Judy Beil Vaughan who reads from her delightful and poignant memoir, Strawberry Roan: Growing Up in The Shadow of Hermit’s Peak. A collection of short stories set in Northern New Mexico’s beautiful mountain wilderness and her childhood in Montezuma. Judy was training horses on her family’s horse ranch by the time she was 11 years old and became a skilled rider and aspiring rodeo queen until the promise of medical school took her into a new direction. Memoir writers will particularly enjoy the way in which Judy has designed her beautiful book around the horses she has known and loved. www.judybeilvaughan.com
A sensitive, in-depth interview with Santa Fe poet, Wayne Lee, who reads from The Underside of Light as well as several evocative septets written during the closing months of his wife’s life and after her passing. Listeners who are the primary caregivers for a loved one will particularly resonate with Wayne’s words and experience. His wife, Alice Morse Lee, was also a gifted published poet and of particular note is their intimate collaborative collection, Twenty Poems from The Blue House. Wayne is currently offering poetry workshops and writing a memoir. www.wayneleepoet.com
International journalist, filmmaker, and author Debra Denker brings us back to Afghanistan with the new edition of her debut novel Love and War in The Land of Cain, chronicling the hardships under the Soviet occupation of the 1980s through the eyes of a fictional character she calls Elizabeth. We discuss the lifelong friendships she made during her months in Afghanistan and the real concerns she has now for her friends who she is unable to contact directly. At that time her insightful story was published in National Geographic, but the rest of the world was looking away. Until now. Debra is the author of Sisters on The Bridge of Fire and 2019’s prophetic climate change novel, Weather Menders.
Santa Fe songwriter, musician and explorer Bird Thompson introduces his delightful memoir Nine Lifetimes in One (The Last 300 Years). Readers may initially think this is a book about reincarnation, but far from it. It perhaps belongs in a History niche as Bird reveals little-known facts about people many of us have admired. Bird (his real name and that of his father and grandfather) reflects on the lives of the nine famous people who have most influenced him throughout his life and helped to guide his own journey which he sets in the context of more than 50 years practicing Tibetan Buddhism beginning during his days at MIT. We’ll “meet” Ludwig van Beethoven, Chief Cornplanter and John Lennon among others as we listen and learn. birdthompson.net
Travel from New Mexico to India and around the world with El Rito poet, Renée Gregorio reading from her new collection Abyss & Bridge. Her work asks us to make a leap of faith whether we know there is a safe path, or not. How does a poet find inspiration, and how can we all learn to pay attention observing the minute details that form the gentle heart of both a complex and simple poem? That form the minutia of our days and nights of self reflection and dream? A delicious interview with a gifted wordsmith. Abyss & Bridge is published by Three: A Taos Press www.3taospress.com
Forty years ago, as a college student feeling depressed and uncertain about her future, Carrie, with her parents’ help, found the perfect psychiatrist to guide her through her problems. She thought. What at first felt safe and positive became a nightmare so skewed, manipulative and subtly controlling that Carrie’s story was featured on one of national TV’s most watched shows.
Today, Carrie Ishee is a highly credentialed, gifted art therapist and author. Seduced into Darkness: Transcending My Psychiatrist’s Sexual Abuse is dark and real yet reads like a gripping novel you can’t put down. Don’t miss this intimate interview with Carrie offering unexpected lessons for all of us. Seduced into Darkness won first place for memoir with The National Federation of Press Women. Published by Terra Nova Books www.carrieishee.com
An in-depth follow-up interview with author and playwright Rosemary Zibart discussing her award-winning novels True Brit and Beatrice on Her Own set in wartime Santa Fe. Rosemary’s research and writing reveals different aspects of the Japanese Internment Camp here, drawing timely and important comparisons to current conflicts. How can a writer appear to live in the shoes, culture and even color of skin of different characters and historical figures? Or can they? www.rosemaryzibart.com
A fascinating glimpse into our brains with Albuquerque-based neuropsychologist Dr. Barbara Koltuska-Haskin author of How My Brain Works: A Guide to Understanding It Better and Keeping It Healthy. How does the work of a neuropsychologist differ from other mental health professionals and what happens during a cognitive evaluation ? How can a neuropsychologist help someone with traumatic brain injury, ADHD or apparent decline during aging ? Dr. Koltuska’s book is an International Book Awards finalist, a short, concise and easy-to-read volume packed with clear information. A delightful surprise in her book and during this interview is how Dr. Koltuska complements her years of clinical work with her joy of gardening and the wealth of knowledge she’s gleaned about herbs and nutrition that help to support brain health throughout our lives. www.drkoltuska.com
A former Catholic priest, Tom has always wished he could speak directly to Jesus about the deep, disturbing questions he has about faith, religion, guilt and sexuality. After leaving the Church and marrying a wonderful woman, he became friends with writer Mercedes Kirkel who has been blessed with a gift of inner listening and contact with the spirits of Jesus and Mary Magdalene. In this soul-searching interview for her new book, “Dialogues with Yeshua and Mary Magdalene : The Journey to Love,” Mercedes explains in a down-to-earth way what is meant by “channeling” and offers a glimpse of the conversation between Tom and Yeshua (Jesus’s Aramaic name) and his most devoted disciple Mary Magdalene, revealing simple wisdom. www.mercedeskirkel.com
A critical and timely interview with best-selling author Marianne Larned on her inspiring new book, Stone Soup for A Sustainable World: Life-Changing Stories of Young Heroes featuring the trailblazing work of 100 young, courageous pioneers all over the globe. Marianne, founder of The Stone Soup Leadership Institute, covers the initiatives of youth in environmental justice, climate change, green invention, education, sustainable business, politics and much more. This is a book that should be in every classroom ! We encourage listeners to order and buy books featured here from local, independent bookstores whenever possible. Sustainabilityisfun.org stonesoupleadership.org/book
Jessica O’Dwyer takes us to Guatemala in her heartwarming and heartrending novel, Mother Mother, to adopt an orphaned indigenous Ixil Maya baby. An adoptive mother herself of two teens born in Guatemala, Jessica unfolds a story that reveals the truth of the genocide that tore through Guatemala for decades, and a glimpse through the eyes of its beautiful Mayan people into the corruption behind the adoption system. A sensitive interview that by its nature helps us better understand and respect today’s immigrant families from Central America desperate to give their children a safer life. jessicaodwyer.com
Award-winning author, Judie Fein, and her husband, award-winning photo journalist, Paul Ross take us on a journey beyond their book, Life Is A Trip: The Transformative Magic of Travel. In this intriguing and often humorous interview the itinerant global travel journalists reveal their radical approach to travel as we emerge from the pandemic. Is there somewhere you’ve never been close to your very own back yard ? Judie and Paul literally stick pins in a map of New Mexico, pack a picnic lunch, double-tie their shoelaces and pull out of their driveway. Some days they don’t even need to buy gas !
globaladventures.us and livetoleave.com
An important conversation with Certified Dementia Practitioner and community educator, Ruth Dennis, on her book Mindful Dementia Care: Lost and Found in The Alzheimer’s Forest co-authored with Velma Arellano and Luke Nachtrab. Ruth has worked for over two decades in every aspect of dementia care and emphasizes perhaps the most needed element of care at every stage, kindness An essential interview for listeners caring for loved ones at home, for professional caregivers and anyone curious or concerned. vistalivingcare.com
How do we speak to and listen to our children ? Wade Bergner discovered a shocking statistic that children hear the word “Don’t” about 150,000 times by the time they’re 18 years old but only hear about 2,000 words of encouragement. Prompted by that, his own sons’ growing into young men, and his personal midlife reassessment, he wrote The Bird Ride, a sweet and literally eye opening beautifully illustrated children’s book. Listen and learn from this first-time writer on his first ever interview. He’s doing well ! The Bird Ride published by Winds of Change Press. bergnerbooks.com
We explore the art of screenwriting with filmmaker Arthur Kanegis, writer, editor and producer of The World is My Country currently airing on many PBS stations. Arthur discovered and chronicled the fascinating, almost-lost story of fearless “world citizen #1“ Garry Davis who gave up his American citizenship and passport after World War II to pursue a world without boundaries. Davis gained enormous support including from Albert Einstein and especially Eleanor Roosevelt who challenged him to help create The Universal Declaration of Human Rights theworldismycountry.com/trailer futurewave.org
A joy to interview past Kentucky poet laureate George Ella Lyon with her powerful new collection Back to The Light. Teacher and author of more than 40 books for adults and children, George Ella takes us back to her own childhood and the people, perceptions, insights and healing that has brought her safely and gently to this time of reconciliation and beauty in her life. Published by University of Kentucky Press. georgeellalyon.com
Religious Studies Professor Vanessa R. Sasson finally brings a feminine voice to the timeless story of The Buddha, first made famous to non Buddhists by Herman Hesse. Vanessa tells the story from the point of view and aching heart of Prince Siddhartha’s wife, Yasodhara, in her richly reimagined first novel Yasodhara and The Buddha, a beautiful telling steeped in the fragrance, tastes and colors of northern India. Published by Bloomsbury vanessarsasson.com
Financial wellness expert Jennifer Barrett is a contributor to Forbes, The New York Times and The Washington Post among other trusted forums, and brings her wisdom to The Last Word with her brand new book Think Like A Breadwinner: A Wealth-Building Manifesto for Women Who Want to Earn More and Worry Less. In this fast-paced interview Jennifer debunks common myths and habits that often sabotage our best efforts to earn more, save more and invest wisely. Why do we let emotions rule our financial well being and how can we once and for all put our financial fears to rest ? Think Like A Breadwinner published by G.P. Putnam jenniferbarrett.com
Santa Fe based writer, educator and former business administrator Kay Sellers reads from three collections of luminous prose poetry, Outlier, Constructions and Optics inspired by his sojourns in the Pacific Northwest and South America as well as the American Southwest. Kay shares with listeners how a writer can shift from the practical, day-to-day world of work to the creative, sometimes atmospheric consciousness that writing poetry calls forth. How does a poet turn visual perception and imagery into an award-winning piece of writing ? Sellers is a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Medal Provocateur Award for Outlier. His books are available at amazon.com and as always we encourage listeners to order books featured on The Last Word directly from local Santa Fe bookstores. Follow Kay at the blog kaysellers.org