Lena Dunham, creator of the HBO hit series Girls, recently signed 3.5 million dollar book contact for a memoir. When published, Dunham’s book will share shelf space with bestsellers like Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir and Heather McDonald’s My Inapropriate Life: Some Material Not Suitable For Small Children, Nuns Or Mature Adults. Part humor, part memoir, books in this category are almost always written by women and openly explore sex, drinking and even mental illness in a brazen and unrepentant manner. And readers, especially those that are not offended easily, are snapping them up.
Jean Railla, a writer and cultural observer is here to tell us more.
Related: Gawker's viral blog about Lena Dunham's book deal.
Throughout her career the poet Sharon Olds has been asked if her poems were true or autobiographical. There are poems about mothering and domesticity and eroticism filled with personal details and described with remarkable directness and insight. Sharon Olds has rejected the auto-biographical characterization and resisted talking about her life while her children were young, and her parents were alive. She even kept the disillusion of her 32 year marriage from the public; waiting more than a decade to publish Stag's Leap, a collection of poems that is being praised as the best book of her career, and earlier this month won the Pullitzer Prize for poetry.
For the past 25 years, New Hampshire’s Saint Anselm College has hosted a celebration of William Shakespeare’s birthday with period music, theatrical renditions, and public readings of all 154 of the bard's famously melancholic and romantic sonnets. Ryan Lessard brings us this audio postcard.
VIDEO: The New England based band Darlingside has long been a favorite here at Word of Mouth, so on their recent visit to a song writing and music business summit at the Concord Community Music School, we invited them to play a few tunes live in Studio D. Afterwards producer Zach Nugent sat down to chat with guitarist Don Mitchell and drummer and Concord area native son Sam Kapala.
Production help from Logan Shannon and Taylor Quimby
Tom Gauld's cartoon panels have been described as bleak, minimalist, sweet and funny. The London-based cartoonist and illustrator draws a weekly cartoon for The Guardian newspaper’s book review section, and has cracked the US market with comic strips in The New York Times Magazine. A new collection of those strips called, You’re All Just Jealous of My Jetpack, will be released in the US on April 30th.
Gabriel Kahane made his recital debut as a composer and performer at Carnegie Hall, played piano for Mark Morris Dance Company, premiered a song cycle with John Adams conducting the LA Philharmonic, and performed his “Craigslistlieder” at a number of New York City bars. It’s little wonder the NY Times called Gabriel Kahane a one-man cultural Cuisinart. He’ll be mixing it up Friday, April 19th at the HOP with the premiere of “Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States”. It’s the culmination of two years as composer-in-residence with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra.
Heather Maloney's music has been described as “adventurous folk", pushing the boundaries of the folk genre with lush, full-band arrangements and playful vocal runs. Heather visited the NHPR studios last week to play a few songs and chat with producer Zach Nugent about music, spirituality, and being partial to ramblers. She will be playing at The Big Room in Barrington New Hampshire on April 20th and at The Music Hall in Portsmouth on May 17th.
You may know the band cloud cult from an animated commercial that aired during the Super Bowl a few years ago. In exchange for the work, e-Surance helped fund some of the band's costs for greening the recording of album. The fact that Cloud Cult chooses deals like that--writes heart-warming songs, and travels across the country to perform for good causes--may have you wondering if they are for real. But doing good and staying positive are deeply embedded in the DNA of Cloud Cult. This evening the band will perform a live acoustic set during a yoga class at the At Om Yoga studio in Concord. It’s a benefit for a local child with pediatric cancer. I talked with Craig Minowa, singer, guitarist, and leader of Cloud Cult before they headed to New Hampshire and can say that the whole kind-hearted thing is not just PR. In fact, I told him that they are just about the least cynical indie band I can think of.
Throughout history, pieces of art – and their creators, have been hauled into the courtroom. They stood accused of obscenity, extramarital dalliances, societal intermingling, and blasphemy – among other equally verbose charges. Government agencies championed their prosecution as a righteous public service – but maybe they just needed to gain a little sense of humor. Regardless, these pieces of art fought the law. Here to discuss whether the law won is Clay Wirestone, arts editor for the Concord Monitor and author of an article in an upcoming issue of Mental Floss called, “Arts on trial.”
Central Park was New York City’s place of refuge and openness until April 19, 1989 when a woman was brutally assaulted and left for dead. Author Sarah Burns turned her research about the event into a documentary film detailing the racially charged convictions of five black and Latino youth. They were exonerated over a decade later when another man confessed to committing the crime.
You may have heard the news on the show today that our Arts & Culture Producer, Zach Nugent will be leaving our team to join the touring cast of Disney on Ice. We are so sad to be losing such a talented member of our team, but we fully support Zach and his quest to follow his dream.
Zach was scouted for the cast during a recent interview he did with a New Hampshire native, who is also a member of the cast. Unbeknownst to Zach, the producers were incredibly interested in his abilities and only agreed to the interview so they could witness his talent in person. Take a listen to a bit of audio Zach captured after Disney on Ice's Kaitlyn DeRoy saw one of his signature moves up close and personal.