Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Between the Lines: Eating Wild

by Zinta Aistars
for WMUK 102.1 FM
Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate



Between the Lines is my weekly radio show about books and writers with a Michigan connection. It airs every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. (or listen anytime online), on WMUK 102.1 FM, Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate. I am the host of Between the Lines.

This week's guest: Lisa Rose

Lisa Rose


What others mow over, pull up, and toss into the weed pile, Lisa Rose adds to her dinner plate. Dandelions, cow parsnip, jewelweed and milkweed, honeysuckle, goldenrod, nettle, field garlic — these are just a very few of the plants Rose covers in her new book, Midwest Foraging: 115 Wild and Flavorful Edibles from Burdock to Wild Peach (Timber Press, 2015).

The guide lists and illustrates plants of interest to foragers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Ontario.
Rose leads foraging plant walks and classes on edible and medicinal wild plants in the greater Grand Rapids area. With a background in anthropology and a professional focus on community health, she's made foraging a part of her lifestyle since childhood.
“Foraging and wild plants have been a part of my entire life,” says Rose. “I grew up just a few miles from the 'Big Lake,' and I had a family that was outside all four seasons. My mom kept a garden; she canned and preserved what we got out of the garden and farmers markets. But we also had wild Concord grapes, and I knew where the wild apples were. My first pie in college was mulberry pie. I’ve always had a really close relationship to the land around me.”
Rose is also the author of Grand Rapids Food: A Culinary Revolution (History Press, 2013). Rose says it's her call to take up a shovel, dig into the earth, and create change in our food system.
"We need to learn how to be better stewards of our resources. Gardening is empowering people. The book is a call to action to the people of Grand Rapids to do more, to sit down at the table to talk about the economic impact on our community when we connect to place, when we grow our own food."
Rose says she's traveled a "nonlinear path" to get where she is today. She started as a music major at Grand Valley State University but discovered she wanted to ...


Listen to WMUK's Between the Lines every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. 



Monday, August 24, 2015

Between the Lines: New Issues Press

by Zinta Aistars
for WMUK 102.1 FM
Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate



Between the Lines is my weekly radio show about books and writers with a Michigan connection. It airs every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. (or listen anytime online), on WMUK 102.1 FM, Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate. I am the host of Between the Lines.

This week's guest: William Olsen and Kimberly Kolbe 

Photo courtesy of New Issues Press


When William Olsen got a message from Herbert Scott while vacationing with his wife, Nancy Eimers, in Cornwall, England, he thought his friend and colleague had gone “daft.” It was 1995 and the three poets shared a love of the word. But Olsen thought Herb Scott was overreaching.

“We received a letter from Herb floating an idea that he wanted to start a small press,” Olsen recalls. “It takes so much to get something like that off the ground. But the press became Herb’s calling.”
Scott was undaunted and he charmed Olsen and Eimers, who helped him launch his dream, lining up donations and putting out calls for submissions. New Issues Press was born.
Scott, who was the Gwen Frostic Professor of Creative Writing at Western Michigan University, died in 2006. But he lived to see his dream come true with many new voices in poetry and prose going to press. On Sunday, August 30, New Issues Press celebrates its 20th anniversary at Bell’s Eccentric Café in Kalamazoo from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
“Twenty years for a small press, that’s something of an achievement,” Olsen says. “We always have an annual event, but we want this one to be extra special.” It will feature a 45-minute reading by several New Issues Press authors as well as music and an art sale. New Issues Press books will also be available. Suggested donations at the door are $10 ($5 for students).
“The reading will be introduced by (Kalamazoo) Mayor Bobby Hopewell, who will say a few words about our community and the arts,” Olsen says. “And there will be ..."
Listen to WMUK's Between the Lines every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. 





Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Between the Lines: The Forgotten War

by Zinta Aistars
for WMUK 102.1 FM
Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate



Between the Lines is my weekly radio show about books and writers with a Michigan connection. It airs every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. (or listen anytime online), on WMUK 102.1 FM, Southwest Michigan's NPR affiliate. I am the host of Between the Lines.

This week's guest: Steven Spruill

Steve Spruill (Photo by Nancy Spruill)


Steven Spruill wanted to write a story about war ever since he found his father’s military uniform hanging in their Battle Creek basement. “He was in the US Army Air Corps,” Spruill recalls. He was a young boy when he came across his father’s uniform. Spruill is a father now himself and the author of 16 books.

Spruill calls his most recent book, Ice Men: A Novel of the Korean War, his "magnum opus." While most of his earlier books were science fiction novels, Spruill says he decided to write about the Korean War after browsing a book store. 

“I was four years old when the Korean War started,” he says. “I thought nothing of it at the time because I heard nothing about it. The war went on until I was seven.” He would wonder later about that silence, “Why don’t I know more about this? I went into a book store and there were these walls of books on World War Two, and walls of books about the Vietnam War. And there were two bookshelves, less than the length of my arm span, about the Korean War.”
Spruill felt driven to make those shelves wider. He interviewed Korean War veterans, spent countless hours on research, and wrote Ice Men — only to find that his usual publishers, St. Martin’s Press and Doubleday, weren’t interested. Other ...