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Sound Focus

Verbal Acrobatics, Songs of the Lonely and Making a New Life

Megan Sukys
02/02/2009

In a down economy, refugees in America struggle to find jobs and housing. We'll follow an Iraqi family struggling to resettle in America. Also, Seattle poet Rebecca Hoogs says verbal acrobatics can reinvigorate poetry. And we'll listen to music of the lonely, courtesy of author Bill Friskics–Warren.

At 2:05 p.m. – Reinvigorating the Language

For poet Rebecca Hoogs, playing with words is more than a diversion; her verbal acrobatics aim to re–invigorate our common language. Today, Hoogs reads four poems that reveal another intention underneath the playfulness: To find a way to cope with the inevitable losses that come with romantic love. Hoogs is the author of a chapbook, "Grenade." She is the director of education for Seattle Arts and Lectures, and curator and host for the annual poetry series. Her reading was recorded May 29, 2008 as part of the 2008 Jack Straw Writers Series. This program originally aired on September 8, 2008.

At 2:20 p.m. – Alone Time

Nashville music critic Bill Friskics–Warren is the author of the book "I'll Take You There." He takes Jim Fleming on a quick trip through some classic songs of loneliness, from the Stanley Brothers, Roy Orbison and others. Also, Thomas Dumm tells Anne Strainchamps why he thinks a lonely society can be a dangerous one and he's worried about America. His book is "Loneliness As a Way of Life."

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

Our book reviewer Nancy Pearl is a fan of the entertaining, funny and informative travel adventures of Tony Horwitz. His latest book goes in search of the stories behind Columbus, Vespucci and others as they explored the new world. And in the novel "Pharmakon," a Yale psychopharmacologist experiments with a happiness drug.

At 2:50 p.m. – Starting Over: Part 1

When you have nothing, eight months isn't much time to get your financial house in order, but for refugees coming to the U.S., that's exactly the amount of time they have to find a job and get settled in a new country. In a down economy, resettlement agencies are finding it hard to help refugees find work. This week we're focusing on the struggles refugees face as the economy falters. Reporter Sadie Babits begins with this profile of an Iraqi family who's been in this country for only a few months.

At 2:55 p.m. – StoryCorps Seattle: Elmore Ferris

Eighty–eight–year–old Elmore Ferris is a retired electrician with plenty of stories for his grandkids, from days when he served in the navy and from when he worked out at sea on oil tankers. Elmore doesn't like coming up to Seattle. In fact, he avoids it as much as possible. But when his daughter and grandson asked him to come up to be interviewed at the StoryCorps Mobilebooth, he conceded. Wesley Dreiling picked his grandfather up in Cle Elum and brought him straight to the studio at Seattle Center.

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