Conversations from the Pointed Firs 9/2/22: Gibson Fay-LeBlanc

Host:Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger
Music by Casey Neill

Conversations from the Pointed Firs is a monthly audio series with Maine-connected authors and artists discussing new books and creative projects that invoke the spirit of Maine, its history, its ecology, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Our guest this month on Conversations from the Pointed Firs is Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, poet, fiction writer, teacher and non-profit leader. Gibson’s first collection of poems, “Death of a Ventriloquist”, won the Vassar Miller Prize and was featured by Poets & Writers as one of a dozen debut collections to watch. His second book, “Deke Dangle Dive” was published by CavanKerry Press in 2021. Gibson’s poems have appeared in magazines including The New Republic, Tin House, Narrative, Poetry Northwest, and Orion, and his prose in Kenyon Review online, Portland Magazine, and Slice. He has taught writing at conferences, schools and universities including Fordham, Haystack, and University of Southern Maine, and helped lead community arts organizations including The Telling Room, SPACE Gallery, and Hewnoaks Artist Colony. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance and lives in Portland with his family.

Guest/s:
Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, poet, fiction writer, teacher and non-profit leader
Maine Writers & Publishers AllianceGibson Fay-LeBlance
Maine Lit Fest 2022

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 8/5/22: A talk with author Kimberly Ridley

Host:Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger
Music by Casey Neill

Conversations from the Pointed Firs is a monthly interview-style podcast wherein Peter Neill talks with authors and artists who live in Maine, work in Maine, or otherwise derive their creativity from the essence of Maine.

Host Peter Neill’s guest this month is Kimberly Ridley, science writer, essayist, and award-winning author, and resident of Brooklin, Maine. Her books for children include The Secret Pool and The Secret Bay, both illustrated by Rebekah Raye, Extreme Survivors: Animals That Time Forgot, and published this year, a new book of essays and historical renderings of natural things: Wild Designs: Nature’s Architects. Kim is an elegant writer, teacher and communicator of her affinity and sense of wonder of things observed in her own backyard in Maine. In this episode Kim and Peter discuss Kim’s many books, nature writing in general, the power of unstructured time for children, and the power present in close observations of our natural world.

-Nature Writing
-Children’s books
-Biomimicry
-Maine plants and animals
-Science

Guest:
Kimberly Ridley is a science writer, essayist, editor and children’s book author who has been writing about nature, science, health and the environment for more than 25 years. Her passion is “inciting wonder” by sharing her love of nature and science with children and adults. She does numerous author visits and has taught nonfiction-writing workshops in dozens of elementary schools in Maine and the northeast based on her books. In addition, she teaches nature writing workshops for families and adults and presents special talks and programs at libraries and other public venues around Maine.

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 7/1/22: An Interview with Rob McCall (Originally aired July 2021)

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger
Music by Casey Neill

Conversations from the Pointed Firs is a monthly interview-style podcast wherein Peter Neill talks with authors and artists who live in Maine, work in Maine, or otherwise derive their creativity from the essence of Maine.

The guest for Friday, July 1st is Rob McCall, minister and musician and creator of the Awandajo Almanac heard here on WERU and circulated across Maine in various publications and through his most recent book, Some Glad Morning, Holding Hope in Apocalyptic Times. Rob and Peter will be discussing the tradition of Nature writing in Maine, the characteristics of the genre, and the various methodologies and principles that underlie this special means by which to evoke and understand the natural world that surrounds us. This episode is a rebroadcast from July 2, 2021—the third episode of our then-new podcast.

-Nature Writing
-Poetry
-Spirit of Place
-Exploring and Enjoying the Outdoors

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 6/3/22: Kerri Arsenault, author of “Milltown: Reckoning with What Remains”

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger
Music by Casey Neill

Conversations from the Pointed Firs: A monthly series with Maine-connected authors and artists about new books and creative projects that invoke the spirit of Maine, its history, its ecology, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Our guest for this month is Kerri Arsenault, author of “Milltown: Reckoning with What Remains”, published in 2020 by St. Martins Press. Kerri is winner of many distinguished literary prizes such as the 2021 Rachel Carson Environmental Book Award and the Maine Literary Award for Non-Fiction. “Milltown” is a book of narrative non-fiction, investigative memoir and cultural criticism that illuminates the rise and collapse of the working class, the hazards of loving and leaving home, and the ambiguous nature of toxins and disease with the central question, “Who or what are we willing to sacrifice for our own survival?”

#MaineRivers
#PointSourcePollution
#PaperMills
#Rumford
#CancerClusters
#Dioxins
#Forever Chemicals

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 5/6/22: Julia Bouwsma- Poet Laureate of Maine and author of “Midden”

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger
Music by Casey Neill

Conversations from the Pointed Firs: A monthly series with Maine-connected authors and artists about new books and creative projects that invoke the spirit of Maine, its history, its ecology, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

The guest for this month is Julia Bouwsma, poet laureate of Maine and author of “Midden”, an award-winning collection of poems published by Fordham University Press in 2018, an intimate and raw set of poems addressing a dark and important piece of Maine history that transpired on Malaga Island in Casco Bay in 1912.

Key Discussion Points:
-racism
-forcible eviction
-Maine islands
-Casco Bay
-Maine poetry
-poet laureate
-collection of poems

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 4/1/22: A talk with author Gretchen Legler

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger

Host Peter Neill’s guest this month is Gretchen Legler, author of Woodsqueer: Crafting a Sustainable Rural Life published by Trinity University Press, an evocative examination of the back-to-the-land experience in Maine with her partner, Ruth Hill. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of Maine Farmington where she lives. She and Peter discuss her most recent book, an intimate portrait of life in Maine, as well as the power of observation for creative writers, and her Master’s of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, where her interests focused on exploring human connections to the sacred in the natural world.

Key Discussion Points:
-Maine Writing
-Back to the land
-LGBTQ
-Creative writing
-Personal memoir

Guests by name and affiliation:
Gretchen Legler is a farmer, gardener, teacher, writer, lover of the natural world and the author of three book-length works of nonfiction. Her writing has garnered two Pushcart Prizes, a Notable Essay designation in Best American Essays, the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment creative writing award, a starred review in Kirkus Reviews, and was a finalist for the Steinberg Essay Prize, and the Publishing Triangle Judy Grahn Award for Lesbian Nonfiction. She teaches creative writing and English at the University of Maine Farmington, where she is also the Director of the Campus and Community Garden.
?She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Journalism from Macalester College, a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and Ph.D. in English and Feminist Studies from the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School, where her interests focused on exploring human connections to the sacred in the natural world.

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 3/4/22: A talk with author Kimberly Ridley

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger

Host Peter Neill’s guest this month is Kimberly Ridley, science writer, essayist, and award-winning author, and resident of Brooklin, Maine. Her books for children include The Secret Pool and The Secret Bay, both illustrated by Rebekah Raye, Extreme Survivors: Animals That Time Forgot, and published this year, a new book of essays and historical renderings of natural things: Wild Designs: Nature’s Architects. Kim is an elegant writer, teacher and communicator of her affinity and sense of wonder of things observed in her own backyard in Maine. In this episode Kim and Peter discuss Kim’s many books, nature writing in general, the power of unstructured time for children, and the power present in close observations of our natural world.

-Nature Writing
-Children’s books
-Biomimicry
-Maine plants and animals
-Science

Guest:
Kimberly Ridley is a science writer, essayist, editor and children’s book author who has been writing about nature, science, health and the environment for more than 25 years.
Her passion is “inciting wonder” by sharing her love of nature and science with children and adults. She does numerous author visits and has taught nonfiction-writing workshops in dozens of elementary schools in Maine and the northeast based on her books. In addition, she teaches nature writing workshops for families and adults and presents special talks and programs at libraries and other public venues around Maine.

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.

Conversations from the Pointed Firs 2/4/22: A Talk with William Carpenter

Host: Peter Neill
Producer: Trisha Badger

Host Peter Neill’s guest this month on Conversations from the Pointed Firs is William Carpenter. Bill is the author of “Silence”, published by Islandport Press in 2021, as well as other works of poetry and fiction. He is the co-founder of the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor where he taught in the English department for 48 years until his retirement in 2019. He and Peter discuss his new book; the traumas and the scars of war; the past and future of human ecology and the importance of better understanding and living within our natural systems; the complexities of social stratification of island communities; inheritance versus native belonging; and the nature of conflict and loss.

#Maine fiction
#Coastal and island living
#War
#Trauma, Stress and Mental Health
#Human Ecology

Guests:
William (Bill) Carpenter grew up in Waterville, Maine, graduated from Dartmouth College and got a PhD at the University of Minnesota, taught at the University of Chicago, and returned to Maine to help found the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor where he taught English for 48 years. He is the recipient of the Pablo Neruda award, the Black Warrior award, and the AWP award in poetry. His previous novels are “A Keeper of Sheep” and “The Wooden Nickel”. He and the writer Donna Gold live in an old coastal inn and spend summers exploring Maine islands aboard their family sloop Northern Light.

About the host:
Peter Neill is founder and director of the World Ocean Observatory, a web-based place of exchange for information and educational services about the health of the ocean. In 1972, he founded Leete’s Island Books, a small publishing house specializing in literary reprints, the essay, photography, the environment, and profiles of indigenous healers and practitioners of complimentary medicine around the world. He holds a profound interest in Maine, its history, its people, its culture, and its contribution to community and quality of life.