Rattlecast #52 features longtime friend of Rattle and issue #12 interviewee James Ragan, and his new book, The Chanter's Reed.
James Ragan is an internationally recognized poet, playwright, screenwriter, and essayist. He has a Ph.D. from Ohio University and two Honorary Ph.D’s (London’s Richmond U. and St. Vincent College). He served for three years as Poet-in Residence at Cal Tech and for 25 years as Director of the Professional Writing Program at the U. of Southern California. He currently serves for 26 summers as Distinguished Professor of Poetry and Film at Charles U. in Prague. Published in 15 languages and 30 anthologies, world-wide, he has authored 10 books of poetry including The Hunger Wall, Too Long a Solitude, and co-edited Yevgeny Yevtushenko: Collected Poetry.
Honors include three Fulbright Professorships, the Emerson Poetry Prize, ten Pushcart nominations, an NEA Grant, a Poetry Society of America Citation, London’s Troubadour Int. Poetry Prize finalist, and the Swan Foundation Humanitarian Award, etc. He has read for seven Heads of State and for the U.N, Carnegie Hall, CNN, C-SPAN, PBS, NPR and audiences in China, Japan, India, England, France, Sweden, Spain, Brazil, etc.
In 1985 he was one of four poets from the West, including Seamus Heaney, Bob Dylan, and Robert Bly, invited to read for Mikhail Gorbachev at the 1st International Poetry Festival in Moscow. Ragan’s plays The Landlord and Commedia have been staged in the U.S., Moscow, Beijing, Athens, Prague, etc. In 1997 his poetry was recorded as lyrics by Kimiko Kasai for the jazz album “Tokyo Special” (CBS/Sony). He worked on staff during the making of The Godfather, in production on the Oscar winner The Deer Hunter, as co-writer on The Rising (2020) and collaborator on “Dom” (The House) winner of the Kieslowski Award for Best Screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival. He is the subject of the documentary, Flowers and Roots, (Arina Films, 2016), winner of 18 Int. Festival award recognitions, including the Remi Platinum Prize at the 49th Houston Int. Film Festival. In 1996 Buzz Magazine named Ragan one of the “100 Coolest People in Los Angeles: Those Who Make a Difference.”
Order The Chanter's Reed here:
As always, we'll also include live open mic for responses to our weekly prompt. For details on how to participate, either pre-recorded, via Skype, or by phone, go to: https://www.rattle.com/rattlecast/
This Week's Prompt:
Write a poem about a Greek god or goddess.
Next Week's Prompt:
Write a poem for which the title is a line from your favorite song.
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