FROM David Kipen
Americans and the Booker Prize The long list was announced today for one of the world’s richest and most prestigious literary awards: the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Traditionally, only writers from the British Commonwealth were eligible for the Booker, but this year it’s open to all novels written originally in English and published in Britain. And plenty of Europeans are not happy about that.
The Passing of LA's Unofficial Poet Laureate, Wanda Coleman Wanda Coleman grew up in Watts in the 1950's. She described her own childhood as unhappy, and was outraged by racism and hatred. She went on to write 20 books, including novels and collections of other works. She won poetry prizes and was a finalist for the National Book Award. She died last Friday after a long illness at the age of 67. LA Times book critic David Ulin describes her as "a force of nature" and "the conscience of the LA literary scene." We hear an appreciation from Erin Aubry Kaplan, author of Black Talk, Blue Thoughts and Walking the Color Line : Dispatches from Black Journalist, and David Kipen, the founder of Libros Schmibros, the lending library and bookshop in Boyle Heights.
Will Budget Cuts Close Pomona Public Library? A few years ago, the City of Salinas threatened to close its libraries to save money, but it never happened. Now it might happen here in Southern California in the City of Pomona. David Kipen is former Director of Literature at the National Endowment for the Arts. He founded Libros Schmibros, a nonprofit lending library and used bookshop in downtown Los Angeles.
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?