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The Last Word
Thursdays 5:30 pm - 6:00 pm

Email: thelastword@ksfr.org

Are you an aspiring author, do you hope to write your memoir one day? Do you have a story bursting to be told? Or do you just simply love to curl up with a good book, a beloved volume of poetry, or a thrilling page turner? What do writers think? What do writers really do? Find out – listen to THE LAST WORD: Conversations with Writers every Thursday at 5:30 pm with host, Carly Newfeld.

Carly is the 2022 recipient of the “Book In Hand Award" from the New Mexico Book Association for her work on The Last Word.

  • It has been 38 years since Natalie Goldberg’s beloved breakthrough book Writing Down The Bones inspired tens of thousands of hesitant writers and seasoned authors. So I am honored that Natalie can join me today in person with Writing on Empty: A Guide to Finding Your Voice. Yet, “Empty,” you ask? How could one of New Mexico’s and the whole country’s most gifted and prolific writers struggle to find her creative voice after publishing at least fifteen books of poetry, Haiku and personal stories and teaching writing practice around the world ? It wasn’t writer’s block, reveals Natalie early in our interview. Writers block is something solid, entrenched, yet really it is fluid and movement of any measure, body and mind, can begin to free the stuckness. Writing on Empty is part memoir, part travel journal, part teaching, storytelling at its best, yet to categorize this book in any genre is to succumb to the image of something set in stone. 160 pages of evocative imagery, Natalie takes us from our sweetest leafy park to Abiquiu Lake and blessed parts of our loved nation in between. Read it over a couple of evenings or savor slowly. Writing on Empty: A Guide to Finding Your Voice. Published by St. Martins and available everywhere, especially at your local bookstores.
  • An essential listen for all pet lovers in this uplifting return visit with animal rights activist, Carlyn Montes de Oca author of Dog as Your Doctor, Cat as Your Nurse and the multi-award winning Junkyard Girl. Last month, Carlyn’s beloved dog, Gracie, went missing in the Glorieta wilderness while on a hike with a trusted dog sitter friend. Her loss and return have become an inspiration. With the assistance of tracker Conrad Mahaffey of CMM Lost Pet Recovery and Humane Trapping, Grace and Carlyn were safely reunited in 24 hours. Listen and learn how that happened, it’s not what you’d expect. And learn more about Carlyn at animalhumanhealth.com
  • With me today is Christina Vo a Vietnamese American who has written an exquisitely crafted memoir with her father, Nghia M. Vo. My Vietnam, Your Vietnam: A Father Flees, A Daughter Returns. Nghia, risking death, torture or imprisonment was miraculously picked up by a small rescue boat a few days after the fall of Saigon in April, 1975 and eventually forged a new life in the United States. Yet like many refugees Christina’s parents never spoke to their children of the horrors of the war and their harrowing escape, even only speaking their native language when Christina and her sister were asleep or out of earshot. So it was after college in the Midwest that Christina began to feel a yearning to discover her rich ancestral roots and journeyed first to Hanoi. The theme of reconciliation runs like a precious gem through our vibrant conversation. My Vietnam, Your Vietnam published by Three Rooms Press.
  • A treat for me to unwind with poet and writing teacher, Miriam Sagan, stopping by the KSFR studios with her inspiring collection, Thanks for Stopping By. Always breaking new ground and breaking the rules, this time Miriam’s poems are untitled, adding an unexpected potency and triggering an unconscious sense of immediacy. Miriam discusses her sojourns as writer-in-residence in Japan a few years ago, as well as alone in four of our vast National Parks. Also, we take a peak into a new project she’s creating with her daughter Isabel. Look for Thanks for Stopping By at any of our treasured local bookstores.
  • Continuing poetry month here on The Last Word with Santa Fe’s much loved Wayne Lee here in the KSFR studios accompanied by his cat. Well, Buddha’s Cat to be specific, the title of his brand new chapbook published this week, a collection dedicated to furry four-legged creatures of all species, from beloved companion animals to the wildest and most revered and even feared here in New Mexico and across the country. Wayne’s evocative writing simultaneously cracks open your heart, tickles your funny bone, and sends shivers down your spine as he reads with honest and deeply personal emotion forged with astute awareness and great love of our natural world. Wayne will be the featured spoken word artist this Saturday morning May 23rd at 10:30 at Chatter North at the Center of Contemporary Art (CCA) on the Old Pecos Trail. More at wayneleepoet.com
  • Joined today by poet and musician Lee Underwood reading from his new, beautifully crafted volume, Riversong. Many poems are dedicated to his beloved wife of 50 years Sonia Crespi, his Lady of the Streams. Lee poignantly shares wisdom of their long relationship, how they forged and deepened their “marriage of opposites” through thick and thin. How loves endures and how the sweetness and power of the natural world soothes, comforts and inspired them both. A gentle interview with an octogenarian to sit beside and listen. Riversong published by Poetic Matrix Press poeticmatrix.com. Contact Lee for a signed copy at undrwd@sti.net
  • You may be familiar with Haiku yet perhaps not Tanka another poetry form originating in pre-Buddhist Japan traditionally written and exchanged by lovers after their first union. A sweet note that emerges during today’s interview with Albuquerque Poet Laureate Emeritus Mary Oishi. Mary’s new collection, Sidewalk Cruiseship, is arranged in Tanka form and delights our hearts and sears our minds with her vision and perception. Mary’s decades of activist work in justice, her mentorship of queer youth and her love and knowledge of original blues music all bring her poetry alive and relevant to real life, tough and beautiful. Come and meet Mary Oishi in conversation with poet Michelle Otero at Collected Works, Tuesday May 7th at 6:00 pm.
  • Truly a personal honor to interview celebrated author and National Medal of Arts Recipient, Julia Alvarez, here with her new novel, The Cemetery of Untold Stories. Can a writer ever bury her characters? What happens when they climb out of their graves and come alive, surprising the local barrio residents and even the author herself. Like all her books, our conversation weaves, braids and fades any separation between reality and what we call magic. Julia’s answers to my questions about storytelling in fiction and about our daily lives is inspiring and necessary. Julia will be discussing her body of work and The Cemetery of Untold Stories with acclaimed novelist Manuel Munoz at 6:00 pm on Saturday, May 18th at the Santa Fe International Literary Festival at the Convention Center. More at juliaalvarez.com and http://www.sfinternationallitfest.org/
  • Author, journalist and co-founder of The Santa Fe International Literary Festival,Carmella Padilla, explores the intersection of art, culture and history here in NewMexico. Her skills, lifelong knowledge and passion place her in the perfect position to support and nourish many loved and respected local arts organizations and special events. Right now Carmella is working with Santa Fe Reads on their final Big Read event at Santa Fe Convention Center celebrating author Madeline Miller and her book Circe which takes place at 5:00 on Thursday, May 16th and is free and open to the public. The following evening is the opening of this year’s International Literary Festival. During our interview we discuss how the seeds of the Festival were planted and why Santa Fe is such a rich choice and fertile ground for those seeds to thrive and flower. Complete info on the Festival at www.sfinternationallitfest.org and a reminder that students, teachers and librarians can request a free ticket to a presentation of their choice.
  • Finally here with their long-awaited new book, Slow Travel New Mexico: Unforgettable Personal Experiences in The Land of Enchantment, our beloved local travel journalists, Judith Fein and Paul Ross. A guide book like no other from world travelers like no other. What is Slow Travel and how can you carve your own adventurous path in your neighborhood? Begin with an old-fashioned map, stick in a pin and let your imagination and curiosity lead the way, says Judie. Spot something intriguing along the side of the road as you drive? Stop and take a closer look, says Paul. A big, black, hairy creature grazing among cows turned out to be a Yak, native to Nepal ! Slow down, way down, talk to local folks and listen to what they have to say. Want to really dance with wolves? They’re closer by than you think. Be prepared to discard your day’s agenda and discover beauty, deliciousness and new friends. Slow Travel New Mexico, filled with hundreds of Paul’s full color photographs and tales tall and true.unmpress.com and globaladventure.us