Episode #524

Fountains, Watercolor, Collins

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Saturday, June 12, 2004

Kurt Andersen and his guest, the poet Billy Collins, talk about the pleasures and dangers of making art out of water. Collins tells us how poets came to replace sex and violence in their writing with water and landscape. We visit a photographer who spent a year in a California town before it was inundated to create a new reservoir. And watercolor artists struggle to keep the color exactly where they want it.  


Billy Collins

Basil Twist and Billy Collins

Even though puppeteers usually control every little movement of their creations, puppeteer Basil Twist says water does what it wants. Twist created a puppet show called Symphonie Fantastique, swirling around in a 500-gallon water tank, and set to Hector Berlioz’s composition of the same name. Produced by Benjamin ...


Disciplining Water

How do you make sculpture out of water? The people at W.E.T. Design, a fountain design firm, have a pretty good handle on it. Produced by Jonathan Mitchell.


Death of a Valley

In 1956 Pirkle Jones got a call from Life Magazine for a photo assignment like no other. The farm town of Monticello California would soon be submerged under Lake Berryessa and vanish from the face of the earth. Jones joined his hero, the photojournalist Dorothea Lange, to document Monticello’s final ...



The artist Stephen Dolmatch paints urban industrial landscapes in gorgeous precise detail. He paints in watercolor, even though he finds it far less forgiving than oil or acrylic paints. Sarah Lilley talked to Dolmatch about the challenges and happy accidents of painting in this tricky medium.


A Work in Progress

Most of us don't have a clue how we'd begin to write a novel. In this story, the writer Richard Ford explains how he does it. Richard Ford is one of the best observers of middle-aged American male angst. He’s now in the middle of writing his third ...


Commentary: Beautiful Oddness/Odd Beauty

In our palm-piloted age of overplanning, we all still love moments of gorgeous serendipity, those chance encounters with something great. Studio 360’s Kurt Andersen had the good fortune to spot a few of those moments recently.


Special Guest: Billy Collins

Billy Collins served two terms as U.S. Poet Laureate from 2001 to 2003, and is now the New York State Poet Laureate. As U.S. Laureate he worked to raise the profile of poetry among readers, launching the Poetry 180 program to introduce high school students to the work ...


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