“Grandma” Cora’s Sweet Potato Pies

Down a couple of old Maryland country roads that barely show up on state maps you’ll find Grandma Cora, an elderly African American lady who is known throughout those parts for her delicious sweet potato pies, which she lovingly backs on her old stove and sells to make ends meet nicely. I spent an afternoon with Grandma Cora for this “Women in Business” story, and got both happier and fatter as a result.


Posted in Americana, Profile, Women Tags: , , , , , ,

Black “Born Again” Christian Hair Salons

The Bible says that a woman’s hair is a glory to her, and they take that quite literally at several African American beauty salons that are springing up in the Washington DC and other urban areas.  Come with me on my visit to a salon where being “born again,” amazing hair-dos and “prayerful” and joyous sisterhood intertwine in a sacred (often musical) weave.


Posted in Americana, Immigrants and Ethnic Life, Religion, Spirituality, Women

Kay Ryan, US Poet Laureate (2008-present)

Since October 2008, Kay Ryan has been serving as America’s 16th poet laureate, tapped by the librarian of Congress to be ambassador for American poetry. She has published more than half a dozen books of collected poems. and is cherished for her  compact, vivid and accessible verse.  This profile is based on my interview with her at the Academy of American Poetry in New York City.

Here is a link to the VOA story I did about her and includes audio links to an extended excerpt from our interview and sound files of Ryan reading several of her poems.

See also my profiles of US Poet Laureates Charles Simic and Donald Hall.


Posted in Americana, Books, Poetry, Profile, Women

Mother’s Day: Mothering in the Non-Human World

Mother’s Day in America is a special day set aside for honoring mothers, and celebrating all those qualities and actions that make mother “Mom.” But animals and even plants have also evolved their own dizzyingly diverse maternal styles over the millennia, all of which serve to make sure the next generation thrives. Adam interviewed a leading evolutionary biologist and a zoologist about some of those strategies.


Posted in Holidays-Season Specific, Science, Women

Profile of the Poet Annie Finch

Annie Finch is one of the most intelligent, sensitive and prescient poets writing about poetry and women’s poetry in particular.  Here is a story I did about her when a new collection of her poems had been published. What a voice!


Posted in Arts, Poetry, Profile, Women

Profile: Maxine Greene – Educator, Philosopher, Humanist (VOA 2009)

Professor Maxine Greene of Teachers College, Columbia University, 91, has spent her educating and inspiring educators, artists and children in humanistic “wide-awakedness” and the social imagination.  Now 91, Maxine  has also been Philosopher-in-Residence at the Lincoln Center Institute for the Arts in Education since 1975. She just received a Gold Medal from Barnarnd College.  Maxine grew up with my mother in Brooklyn, and was a frequent dinner guest at our home on East 70th Street.


Posted in Arts, Books, Profile, Science, Women Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Kitchen Sisters: Audio Maestre

The Kitchen Sisters are famous in the radio world, and to National Public Radio listeners, for the wonderful way they combine the sounds and sentiments of real people according to themes and make their lives come alive for all of us. In this profile, I talk to them in a cozy San Francisco locale and learn more about what makes them tick, and how they find their inspirations.


Posted in Americana, Oral History-oid, Profile, Women

The Pentacle and the Wand: Contemporary Witchcraft in America

The witch has come in for some pretty hard knocks in previous centuries, but lately there has been a resurgence of interest in what she has to offer both as a way of seeing, and a way of being that is female, strong, earthy, connected and wise. This is a half hour documentary that explores witchcraft in all its wholesomeness and mystery.  Appearances by Z. Budapest, Starhawk, Gina Banghart, Matthew Fox, Joseph Campbell and many others.  Come on in!  The magick’s fine!

(Also of interest: my NPR long form documentary “The Goddess in the USA” )


Posted in Americana, History, Long form docs (15" and up), Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Women

The Status of Women in Israel

Due to religion, socialism, the Zionist ideal, the militarization of the society, Western feminism, Arab culture and many other factors, Israeli women have complex competing factors that inform their self-image and their social roles.  This is a half hour documentary I did for National Public Radio back in the 1990s that is still relevant today.


Posted in History, Immigrants and Ethnic Life, Long form docs (15" and up), Religion, Spirituality, Travel outside the USA, Women

The Status of Women in Israel (NPR 1990)

Between Zionism, Socialsim,  Feminism, Judaism, the Holocaust, and all the American, Eastern European, Middle Eastern and Asian cultural influences that compete for primacy as models for women in Israel, their status and self-image is deeply multi-layered and complex. This half hour documentary, which I completed for National Public Radio back in the early 1990s, offers a sound-rich and varied sampling through the eyes of real women living, working and raising families in that amazing place.


Posted in History, Long form docs (15" and up), Religion, Spirituality, Travel outside the USA, Women Tags: , , , , , , ,
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