Ethan Carr

The Cape Cod National Seashore – Ep 60 with Ethan Carr

In the mid-nineteenth century, Thoreau recognized the importance of preserving the complex and fragile landscape of Cape Cod, with its weathered windmills, expansive beaches, dunes, wetlands, harbors, and the lives that flourished here, supported by the maritime industries and saltworks. One hundred years later, the National Park Service―working with a group of concerned locals, then-senator John F. Kennedy, and other supporters―took on the challenge of meeting the needs of a burgeoning public in this region of unique natural beauty and cultural heritage.

To those who were settled in the remote wilds of the Cape, the impending development was threatening, and as the award-winning historian Ethan Carr explains, the visionary plan to create a national seashore came very close to failure. Success was achieved through unprecedented public outreach, as the National Park Service and like-minded Cape Codders worked to convince entire communities of the long-term value of a park that could accommodate millions of tourists. Years of contentious negotiations resulted in the innovative compromise between private and public interests now known as the “Cape Cod model.”

The Greatest Beach is essential reading for all who are concerned with protecting the nation’s gradually diminishing cultural landscapes. In his final analysis of Cape Cod National Seashore, Carr poses provocative questions about how to balance the conservation of natural and cultural resources in regions threatened by increasing visitation and development.

Ethan Carr, PhD, FASLA, is a professor of landscape architecture at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the director of the MLA program. He is a landscape historian and preservationist specializing in public landscapes, particularly municipal and national park planning and design. He has written two award-winning books, Wilderness by Design (1998) and Mission 66: Modernism and the National Park Dilemma (2007) that describe the twentieth-century history of planning and design in the U.S. national park system as the context for considering its future management. His career in the fields of landscape architecture and historic preservation began in the professional world, where he worked for New York City Parks and the National Park Service, where he was the lead historical landscape architect at the Denver Service Center. He also worked for non-profit organizations and private design offices. He has taught at the Harvard GSD, the University of Virginia, and at the University of Massachusetts.

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Caitlin Grace McDonnell

Dauntless Women – Ep 59 with Caitlin Grace McDonnell

Introducing “Fierce”, thirteen powerful, entwined biographies and memoirs that describe a staunchly Feminist approach: “To thine own self be true.” Historical documentation of human affairs informs the past, but what of the understated and overlooked herstories of half of the world’s population? Fierce explores the lives of “masterless women” in education, entrepreneurship, religion, the armed forces, the arts, adventuring, and activism, celebrating their strengths and achievements while questioning the systems that erased the significance of their influence and importance. The writers range in age from their 20s to their 60s, and they hail from diverse heritages and orientations. By sharing the rich context of their unique life experiences, the authors emphasize their connection to each of their herstorical subjects, whose various provenances span continents and centuries. These essays shine a light on the shadowy, lesser-known impact that women have had on global history through the importance of each of these herstories.

Caitlin Grace McDonnell was a New York Times Fellow in poetry at NYU and has received fellowships from Yaddo, Blue Mountain Center and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her poems and essays have been published widely, most recently in FIERCE, Essays for and about Dauntless Women from Nauset Press. She published a chapbook of poems “Dreaming the Tree” (Belladonna 2003) and a book “Looking for Small Animals” (2012). Currently, she teaches English at CUNY, lives in Brooklyn with her ten-year-old daughter, and is at work on a novel. 

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David Wolman

Aloha Rodeo – Ep 58 with David Wolman

In the spirit of The Boys in the Boat comes the captivating true story of the native Hawaiian cowboys who traveled to Wyoming in 1908 to compete at the “world championships” of rodeo, overcoming prejudice to beat the greatest white cowboys at their own game and return home American legends.

David Wolman is a Contributing Editor at Outside and a longtime contributor at Wired. He has written for the New York Times, New Yorker, Nature, BusinessWeek, and many other publications, and his work has been anthologized in the Best American Science and Nature Writing series. David is the author of The End of Money, Righting the Mother Tongue, and A Left-Hand Turn Around the World. Aloha Rodeo is his newest book. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his family.

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Andri Magnason

The Casket of Time – Ep 57 with Andri Magnason

The world, according to Grace, is under an ancient curse. There once was a princess named Obsidiana, who was trapped in time by the greedy king of Pangea. To protect Obsidiana from dark and gloomy days, the king put her in a crystal casket made of spider silk woven so tightly that time itself couldn’t penetrate. The king’s greed for power doomed his kingdom and the trapped princess. Sigrun sees eerie parallels between the tale of Obsidiana and the present-day crisis, and realizes it’s up to her and her friends to break the ancient curse and fix the world.

Andri Magnason is an Icelandic writer, poet and film maker. Author of poetry, fiction, non fiction and his newest: The Casket of Time. He is the winner of the Philip K. Dick special citation and has won the Icelandic Literary Award in all categories.

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Clark Strand

Waking Up To The Dark, Part 2 – Ep 56 with Clark Strand

Waking Up to the Dark is a book for those of us who awaken in the night and don’t know why we can’t get back to sleep, and a book for those of us who have grown uncomfortable in real darkness—which we so rarely experience these days, since our first impulse is always to turn on the light. Most of all, it is a book for those of us who wonder about our souls: When the lights are always on, when there is always noise around us, do our souls have the nourishment they need in which to grow?

Clark Strand is the author of WAKING UP TO THE DARK: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age and co-author, with his wife Perdita Finn, of THE WAY OF THE ROSE: The Radical Path of the Divine Feminine Hidden in the Rosary. Strand has written for Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Salon, and numerous other newspaper and online venues. He is the co-founder of Way of the Rose, an international eco-feminist rosary fellowship open to people of any spiritual background. He lives in the Catskill Mountains with his wife and family.

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Clark Strand

Waking Up To The Dark, Part 1 – Ep 55 with Clark Strand

Waking Up to the Dark is a book for those of us who awaken in the night and don’t know why we can’t get back to sleep, and a book for those of us who have grown uncomfortable in real darkness—which we so rarely experience these days, since our first impulse is always to turn on the light. Most of all, it is a book for those of us who wonder about our souls: When the lights are always on, when there is always noise around us, do our souls have the nourishment they need in which to grow?

Clark Strand is the author of WAKING UP TO THE DARK: Ancient Wisdom for a Sleepless Age and co-author, with his wife Perdita Finn, of THE WAY OF THE ROSE: The Radical Path of the Divine Feminine Hidden in the Rosary. Strand has written for Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Huffington Post, Salon, and numerous other newspaper and online venues. He is the co-founder of Way of the Rose, an international eco-feminist rosary fellowship open to people of any spiritual background. He lives in the Catskill Mountains with his wife and family.

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James T. Robilotta

Leading Imperfectly – Ep 54 with James T. Robilotta

In today’s episode, Jon interviews author James T. Robilotta about his book Leading Imperfectly: The value of being authentic for leaders, professionals and human beings.

There is a problem in today’s developing leaders-they think they need to be someone they are not to get what they want. In short, none of us is perfect, and when we pretend to be, people quit listening to us. Instead, we need to focus on trying to connect with others. Leading Imperfectly is full of examples for how to make those connections. The book is divided into a series of short, often humorous, and always-insightful essays filled with real-life stories from James’ own life. The through line for the book is the significance of practicing authentic leadership. James’ humor provides comic relief in the middle of some of the more serious stories, but the humor always makes his examples hit home and keeps his stories memorable.

James Robilotta is an author, professional speaker, coach, and entrepreneur. A few years ago James had his first book published, Leading Imperfectly: The value of being authentic for leaders, professionals, and human beings. He speaks internationally to willing and unwilling attendees about authentic leadership, giving courageous feedback and promoting memorability. His clients include American Express, General Electric (GE), and many others. His talks are infused with self-awareness and comedy stemming from his background as an improv comedian. James is also a coach. He loves helping people get out of their own way to live the lives they want.

You can also find James at LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Amazon, and Facebook.

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Grace Talusan

The Body Papers (Part 2) – Ep 53 with Grace Talusan

Jon speaks with author Grace Talusan about her book The Body Papers.

Born in the Philippines, young Grace Talusan moves with her family to a New England suburb in the 1970s. At school, she confronts racism as one of the few kids with a brown face. At home, the confusion is worse: her grandfather’s nightly visits to her room leave her hurt and terrified, and she learns to build a protective wall of silence that maps onto the larger silence practiced by her Catholic Filipino family. Talusan learns as a teenager that her family’s legal status in the country has always hung by a thread—for a time, they were “illegal.” Family, she’s told, must be put first.

The abuse and trauma Talusan suffers as a child affects all her relationships, her mental health, and her relationship with her own body. Later, she learns that her family history is threaded with violence and abuse. And she discovers another devastating family thread: cancer. In her thirties, Talusan must decide whether to undergo preventive surgeries to remove her breasts and ovaries. Despite all this, she finds love, and success as a teacher. On a fellowship, Talusan and her husband return to the Philippines, where she revisits her family’s ancestral home and tries to reclaim a lost piece of herself.

Not every family legacy is destructive. From her parents, Talusan has learned to tell stories in order to continue. The generosity of spirit and literary acuity of this debut memoir are a testament to her determination and resilience. In excavating such abuse and trauma, and supplementing her story with government documents, medical records, and family photos, Talusan gives voice to unspeakable experience, and shines a light of hope into the darkness.

Grace Talusan was born in the Philippines and raised in New England. A graduate of Tufts University and the MFA Program in Writing at UC Irvine, she is the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to the Philippines and an Artist Fellowship Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Talusan teaches the Essay Incubator at GrubStreet and at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts. She is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University for 2019–2021. The Body Papers, winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, is her first book.

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Grace Talusan

The Body Papers (Part 1) – Ep 52 with Grace Talusan

Jon speaks with author Grace Talusan about her book The Body Papers.

Born in the Philippines, young Grace Talusan moves with her family to a New England suburb in the 1970s. At school, she confronts racism as one of the few kids with a brown face. At home, the confusion is worse: her grandfather’s nightly visits to her room leave her hurt and terrified, and she learns to build a protective wall of silence that maps onto the larger silence practiced by her Catholic Filipino family. Talusan learns as a teenager that her family’s legal status in the country has always hung by a thread—for a time, they were “illegal.” Family, she’s told, must be put first.

The abuse and trauma Talusan suffers as a child affects all her relationships, her mental health, and her relationship with her own body. Later, she learns that her family history is threaded with violence and abuse. And she discovers another devastating family thread: cancer. In her thirties, Talusan must decide whether to undergo preventive surgeries to remove her breasts and ovaries. Despite all this, she finds love, and success as a teacher. On a fellowship, Talusan and her husband return to the Philippines, where she revisits her family’s ancestral home and tries to reclaim a lost piece of herself.

Not every family legacy is destructive. From her parents, Talusan has learned to tell stories in order to continue. The generosity of spirit and literary acuity of this debut memoir are a testament to her determination and resilience. In excavating such abuse and trauma, and supplementing her story with government documents, medical records, and family photos, Talusan gives voice to unspeakable experience, and shines a light of hope into the darkness.

Grace Talusan was born in the Philippines and raised in New England. A graduate of Tufts University and the MFA Program in Writing at UC Irvine, she is the recipient of a U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to the Philippines and an Artist Fellowship Award from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Talusan teaches the Essay Incubator at GrubStreet and at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts. She is the Fannie Hurst Writer-in-Residence at Brandeis University for 2019–2021. The Body Papers, winner of the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing, is her first book.

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Lisa Gornick

The Stories of Their Lives – Ep 51 with Lisa Gornick

Jon interviews author Lisa Gornick about her newest novel, The Peacock Feast. Spanning the twentieth century and three continents, The Peacock Feast ricochets from Manhattan to San Francisco, from the decadent mansions of the Tiffany family to the death row of a Texas prison, and from the London consultation room of Anna Freud to a Mendocino commune. With psychological acuity and aching eloquence, Lisa Gornick has written a sweeping family drama, an exploration of the meaning of art and the art of dying, and an illuminating portrait of how our decisions reverberate across time and space.

Lisa Gornick is the author of Louisa Meets Bear, Tinderbox, and A Private Sorcery. Her stories and essays have appeared widely, including in The New York Times, Prairie Schooner, Real Simple, Salon, Slate, and The Sun. She holds a BA from Princeton and a PhD in clinical psychology from Yale, and is on the faculty of the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research. A long-time New Yorker, she lives in Manhattan with her family.

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