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Sound Focus

A Life Shaped by Walt Whitman and Lessons From Vietnam

Megan Sukys

Has the war in Iraq been a waste of lives on both sides? We'll seek answers to those questions in a documentary about a Marine Corps cameraman who was killed in Vietnam. Also, how Walt Whitman shaped the life of Seattle Poet Populist Cody Walker and Nancy Pearl's book reviews.

At 2:05 p.m. – Cody Walker

For many people, organized religion fills a primal need for spiritual direction and community. But those who find themselves outside the bounds of traditional religion must look elsewhere to fill those needs. For poet Cody Walker, Walt Whitman — the 19th century poet and author of "Leaves of Grass" — serves as a kind of spiritual and literary grandfather. Elizabeth Austen talks with Cody about how reading Whitman's poetry prompted him to drop out of college and reimagine his life.

Cody Walker is Seattle's Poet Populist for 2008. He taught for seven years in the Writers in the Schools program and at the University of Washington, where he received in PhD in literature and a distinguished teaching award. His poetry collection, "Shuffle and Breakdown," was published by The Waywiser Press in 2008.

At 2:20 p.m. – Remembering Vietnam

As the Bush administration enters its last week, we're already questioning America's involvement in Iraq: what was accomplished? Has it been a waste of lives on both sides? These are the same questions still being asked about Vietnam. A few years ago, Craig Ingram decided to search out some answers of his own. He made a documentary about his close friend Bill Perkins. Perkins was a corporal when he was killed in Vietnam. He had been trained to work as a motion picture cameraman with the Marines.

At 2:40 p.m. – Nancy Pearl's Book Reviews

Our weekly visit with public radio librarian and author of "More Book Lust," Nancy Pearl.

At 2:50 p.m. – A Village Away from Home

Imagine what would happen if you picked up a village in rural Mexico and transplanted it in Seattle's suburbs. Something similar is underway in South Seattle, a village within the city is emerging. The Seattle area has recently become a top destination for the indigenous Purepecha people from the rural hill–towns of central Mexico. Their native language, culture and traditional lifestyle are vanishing in parts of Mexico, but reappearing here. Our five–part series, "A Village Away From Home," traces this migration trend from the Mexican sierra to Seattle's fast–paced suburbs. We'll hear these stories from KUOW reporter Liz Jones.

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