Live Wire with Luke Burbank: Studio Session
Portland Book Festival Edition w/ Luis Alberto Urrea + Lauren Groff + Tommy Orange + Lucy Kaplansky
Sun, Nov 11 at 12pm
When you’re the best-selling author of 17 books, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for nonfiction, and a member of the Latino Literature Hall of Fame, it makes perfect sense for NPR to hail you as a “literary badass.” Said badass, Luis Alberto Urrea, uses his dual-culture life experiences to explore greater themes of love, loss and triumph. His latest book, The House of Broken Angels, explores the “final fiesta” for a family as Angel de la Cruz gathers his progeny for his last birthday. Urrea’s prolific work in poetry, fiction, and essays is widely acclaimed and frequently selected by cities and colleges as community reads – which is pretty badass to us!
For Lauren Groff, writing seems to be her fate. Her most recent novel, Fates and Furies, was a finalist for the National Book Award, won a slew of other awards, and was Amazon’s #1 book of 2015 (and, NBD, Barack Obama called it his favorite book of the year). Her newest collection of stories, Florida, has been dubbed “gorgeously weird and limber” by The New Yorker and “marvelous” by The Economist. The collection places the landscape, climate, history, and state of mind of Florida in its center as it spans characters, towns, and even centuries. Groff, a Florida resident herself, continues her date with fate in this startling, precise and affecting new collection.
The world of Tommy Orange’s debut novel sings with the voices and energies of the many characters who populate it. There, There, features twelve narrators from different parts of the urban Native American experience and has been hailed as “groundbreaking, extraordinary,” by The New York Times. A recent graduate of the MFA at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Orange is an enrolled member of the Cheyanne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma and currently lives in California. Bursting with poetry, rage, and big ideas, There, There marks the propulsive emergence of Orange as an important new voice – all his own.
For prolific performer Lucy Kaplansky, music was just what the doctor ordered. Kaplansky sang in Chicago folk music clubs as a teen before moving to New York City and teaming up with musicians like Shawn Colvin. She went on to earn a doctorate in Clinical Psychology and work with chronically mentally ill adults – while continuing to sing with friends. When she reunited with Shawn Colvin, her solo demo was discovered and she was back full-time in the music world. She’s performed in supergroup Cry, Cry, Cry for twenty years, sung songs written by her father (mathematician Irving Kaplansky), and released albums and songs with a wide range of collaborators. Her September 2018 album, "Everyday Street," is a stunning collection of new songs and covers that weave together stories of joy, friendship, family, loss and discovery. Lucy Kaplansky’s music is the medicine we need right now.