Episode #239

Stanley Kunitz, Michael Pollan, Gardens

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Saturday, September 29, 2001

Kurt Andersen and environmental journalist Michael Pollan ramble around the garden. America's former poet laureate Stanley Kunitz gathers meaning in his seaside garden. We navigate a maze made of corn in Pennsylvania. And we survey a sampling of the musical bounty inspired by gardens. Plus, a profile of New York City photographer Roy de Carava.


Michael Pollan

Roy DeCarava

WNYC's Sara Fishko talks to a photographer who for decades has been looking at the joys and sorrows of the human condition.


Commentary: Getting Back to Normal

Kurt wonders if earnestness is going to overwhelm the culture in the wake of 9/11.


Michael Pollan on Gardens

Kurt Andersen and environmental journalist Michael Pollan talk about the garden and the relationship artists have to the botanical world. 

Pollan is the author of The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s Eye View of the World. Pollan has been gardening since he was a boy and has been writing about ...


Poet Stanley Kunitz

Poet Stanley Kunitz has spent much of his 95 years working in gardens. We visit the former U.S. Poet Laureate on the tip of Cape Cod as he tends the lush green plot behind his home in Provincetown, Massachusetts.


Garden Music

WNYC's John Schaefer unearths a variety of musical garden motifs, from traditional folk songs to Bobby McFerrin.


Maize Maze

Jack and Donna Coleman have carved an elaborate maze into a small — and now musical — cornfield in Paradise, Pennsylvania. They, and dozens of families around the country are betting the farm on “agri-tainment,” hoping to lure in tourists who literally want to get lost. 


Sound Painting

Producer Jocelyn Gonzalez visits the Walter Thompson Orchestra that improvises sound paintings. Conductor and composer Walter Thompson has been developing a gesture-based conducting style since the 1970s that actually allows the orchestra — along with dancers and singers — to improvise entire compositions.