This is audio interview with Dr.Maya Angelou recorded in June 2008. Maya Angelou was a poet, educator, historian, best-selling writer, actress, playwright, Civil Rights activist, producer, director, musician and important figure in American literature known for her best-selling autobiographies (seven in all, the first and most well known being I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.) This interview focuses on her little known career as a Calypso singer and recording artist.
Special thanks to Kevin Hooper for audio mastering and production of the video version of the interview, featuring an on-screen transcription.
THE AUDIO VISUAL PRESENTATION:
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Listening to New Worlds, the debut album by Bill Murray, Jan Vogler and Friends has been an invigorating experience for me, it’s beautiful to hear the marriage of literature and melodies. Many people know American actor and comedian Bill Murray for his diverse film appearances, but lately he’s been honing another talent: reciting great excerpts of American literature and a little singing too. Alongside German cellist Jan Vogler, Venezuelan pianist Vanessa Perez and Chinese violinist Mira Wang, Bill Murray has been appearing internationally in concerts singing classic American songs from Stephen Foster to Stephen Sondheim and reading prose and poetry from the great American authors.
This week on The Paul Leslie Hour podcast, we’re presenting two of the great musicians from New Worlds. Listen for a chance to win a free copy of the album!
On the show for Monday, November 13th we present an interview with cellist Jan Vogler. Following that, on the show for Wednesday, November 15th we present an interview with Vanessa Perez. You can stream the show from thepaulleslie.com or get a free subscription on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, Google Play or Acast.
Listen to these episodes and you will learn everything you need to know to participate in this CD giveaway. No purchase necessary.
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The great poet Michael S. Harper is interviewed by Paul Leslie and performs some spoken word pieces of his poems.
Michael S. Harper was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1938. He earned a B.A. and M.A. from what is now known as California State University, and an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa. He has published more than ten books of poetry, most recently Selected Poems (ARC Publications, 2002); Songlines in Michaeltree: New and Collected Poems (2000); Honorable Amendments (1995); and Healing Song for the Inner Ear (1985). His other collections include: Images of Kin (1977), which won the Melville-Cane Award from the Poetry Society of America and was nominated for the National Book Award; Nightmare Begins Responsibility (1975); History is Your Heartbeat (1971), which won the Black Academy of Arts & Letters Award for poetry; and Dear John, Dear Coltrane (1970), which was nominated for the National Book Award. About Songlines in Michaeltree, a review in Publisher’s Weekly said: “Harper has eschewed neither the personal, political nor the lyrical, but consistently forged a middle road from the multiple intersections of memory and experience, music and language, oppression and achievement … His elegiac meditations on jazz legends such as John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, and Bud Powell are well known, and his use of repetition and lyric fragmentation displays the influence of not only that supercharged idiom, but the slower-paced traditions of African-American blues, gospel, and folk music. Harper’s writing, however, derives only in part from these traditions, and the many finely honed narratives in this collection display the influence of poets as diverse of Yeats, Gwendolyn Brooks, and Elizabeth Bishop.” Harper edited the Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown (1980); he is co-editor with Anthony Walton of The Vintage Book of African American Poetry (2000) and Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep: An Anthology of Poetry by African Americans Since 1945 (1994), and with Robert B. Stepto of Chant of Saints: A Gathering of Afro-American Literature, Art, and Scholarship (1979). He was the first Poet Laureate of the State of Rhode Island (1988-1993) and has received many other honors, including a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation and a National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Award. Michael S. Harper is University Professor and Professor of English at Brown University, where he has taught since 1970. He lives in Barrington, Rhode Island.