Since 1980, City Arts & Lectures has presented onstage conversations with outstanding figures in literature, politics, criticism, science, and the performing arts, offering the most diverse perspectives about ideas and values. City Arts & Lectures programs can be heard on more than 130 public radio stations across the country and wherever you get your podcasts. The broadcasts are co-produced with KQED 88.5 FM in San Francisco. Visit CITYARTS.NET for more info.
Bobby Berk is the interior designer on the hit Netflix series Queer Eye. It’s a reality makeover show in which Berk and 4 other hosts, each an expert in a different category, transform peoples homes, wardrobes, and cultural tastes. The series has won two Emmys. On September 16th, 2023, Berk came to one of the San Francisco locations of independent bookstore Books Inc., to talk to writer Rebecca Handler*,* author of the novel “Edie Richter is Not Alone.” The two discussed Berk’s role on Queer Eye, and his new book “Right at Home: How Good Design Is Good for the Mind.”
Our guest is writer, bookstore owner, and literary evangelist Ann Patchett. She’s the author of several novels including the best-selling Bel Canto, about a hostage situation at a lavish opera-themed birthday party. Patchett’s other books include The Patron Saint of Liars, and Commonwealth; and her newest novel, Tom Lake. It’s the story of three sisters in their 20s as they return home to Michigan during the pandemic, and the lives their parents lived before they were born. .On September 8th, 2023, Ann Patchett came to The Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco to talk to Steven Winn about the new book, her early experiences as a budding writer, and her book recommendations.
Natalie Diaz and Hilton Als Encore
This week, our guest is poet Natalie Diaz in conversation with essayist and author Hilton Als. Natalie Diaz is an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian community and is the director of the Fort Mojave Language Recovery Program, where she works with the last remaining speakers of the Mojave language. Language and loss are explored throughout Diaz’s poetry, in collections including When My Brother Was an Aztec and Postcolonial Love Poem, which won her the Pulitzer Prize.
Hilton Als is another writer whose work explores American identity, in theater reviews, articles, and essays for The New Yorker, where he’s contributed since 1989. Als received the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Criticism, “for bold and original reviews that strove to put stage dramas within a real-world cultural context.” His writing explores race, sexuality, class, art, and American identity provocatively, exploding the boundaries of the genre in which it is contained. His most recent book is a memoir, My Pinup.
On February 9, 2023, Natalie Diaz and Hilton Als came to the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco for an onstage conversation, during which Diaz read from her work.
Carmela Ciuraru and Paul Madonna
In the first half of this program, literary critic Carmela Ciuraru talks about her new book, Lives of the Wives, which shines a light on the lesser-known partners of historic literary giants. Weaving together themes of marriage, power, ego, and equity, this riveting deep dive explores relationship dynamics that are still relevant today.
Then, artist and author Paul Madonna, who’s known for combining drawing and stories in a wide range of genres - from his enigmatic art series All Over Coffee which ran for twelve years in the San Francisco Chronicle, to his large-scale public murals, to his entertaining and sharply-plotted mystery novels. Madonna’s new book, The Commissions, is a riveting mystery set between San Francisco and Amsterdam.
Simone Stolzoff and Wendy MacNaughton
This week, we talk to the authors of two new books – one about our relationship to work, and another one about hospice and art. In the first half of this program, we talk to Simone Stolzoff. He’s the author of a new book, “The Good Enough Job: Reclaiming life from Work”. It takes a critical look at the way work has become so central to our identities - oftentimes at the expense of family, community and health.
For artist Wendy MacNaughton, drawing is a vehicle for connection. Her subjects are often people and places typically over-looked. That’s certainly the case with her new book, “How to Say Goodbye.” It’s a collection of portraits she drew during her time as artist in residence at a hospice center in San Francisco. MacNaughton was joined in this interview by her colleague Ladybird Morgan - a nurse, social worker, and palliative care consultant.
Both interviews were conducted in the studios of KQED in San Francisco on August 14, 2023, by neuroscientist, musician, and podcaster Indre Viskontas.
Justice Stephen Breyer and Judge Charles Breyer
This week, a conversation with two brothers, both distinguished members of the federal judiciary, Justice Stephen Breyer and his brother, Judge Charles Breyer. Stephen Breyer retired in summer 2022 after nearly 28 years as a member of the Supreme Court. Prior to that, he served nearly 14 years as a Court of Appeals Judge. He is especially appreciated for his pragmatism, issuing decisions most often informed by their real life consequences, and his firm belief that judges are loyal to the law, not to a political party. Born in San Francisco, both he and brother Judge Charles Breyer attended Lowell High School. Their father served as legal counsel to the San Francisco Board of Education, and their mother focused on public service. Senior United States District Judge Charles Breyer has served on the bench for 25 years. He was an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force from 1973 to 1974, and then entered private practice 1974 to 1997, interrupted by a brief stint as chief assistant district attorney of San Francisco in 1979. On January 7, 2023, the Breyer brothers appeared on stage at the Sydney Goldstein Theater in San Francisco for an on-stage conversation with Judge Vince Chhabria, who served as a law clerk for both Breyers. This is an encore presentation of a program which originally aired in January 2023.
I have loved City Arts since the 1990s, but the show with Jill Soloway et al ... my god. Sarah Palin introduces blatantly racist language in public? And you wonder why people of color are not eager to align with you. I can’t believe that nobody in your group reminded the idiot who made that statement of the violent language we’ve been employing to keep black people marginalized for centuries.
Liked this interview a lot. Look forward to A. Davis, R. Reich and (fingers crossed) Patti Smith interviews…..so far enjoyable and timely.
Thiebaud - Lesser 2005 replay
Splendid interview, a wide roaming, good personal insights on painters and painting.