literature | KCUR

literature

Segment 1: Missouri does not enforce a 2008 federal law on mental health parity.

When President George W. Bush signed the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addictions Equity Act in 2008, it established that health insurers must cover mental health the same as other medical conditions. Missouri remains one of only two states to not enforce that law with a state statute.

Segment 1: Some institutions of higher education use tracking software to assess prospective applicants.

Enjoy this guide to the best books read by our Bibliofiles and KCUR staffers in 2019.

Segment 1: New paintings by a Kansas City artist examine the 'brash volume' of public discourse.

Rodeo clowns, talkshow hosts, preachers. To Michael Schliefke, they're symbols for what public discourse has become. 

Segment 2: A Kansas-born author creates literary buzz with 'halal fiction.'

courtesy of Natasha Ria El-Scari

When it comes to talking about sex, the accepted wisdom is that parents and kids alike would just rather not. But Kansas City poet Natasha Ria El-Scari doesn't think that's healthy.

Neither does her college-age son, who says he's benefited from his mother's openness and candor in a way his peers are missing out on.

"You need to write a book and call it the 'Mama Sutra'," he once told her. "You can thank me later."

Natasha El-Scari is out with a new book, Mama Sutra: Love and Lovemaking Advice to My Son.  She wrote it for anyone who needs understanding going into intimate relationships that they did not receive, with a focus on respect for oneself and others. In this conversation, El-Scari shares the experiences with intellect, womanhood, motherhood and community that led her to this project, and others to come.

Segment 1: How a fractured school system contributes to problems with transportation.

Kansas City, Missouri, public school kids travel to school on dated buses that crisscross the city inefficiently. That cuts into school budgets, as well as time spent in class and on extra-curriculars. Big thinkers are taking on the issue and envisioning new models for getting kids to and from school.

Author releases her second novel featuring her teenage black female superhero.

L. L. McKinney's experience as a woman of color in the publishing industry has required patience and persistence, but it has resulted in two young adult novels. Both revolve around the heroine Alice, caught up in a Wonderland very different from the Lewis Carroll original. McKinney talked about the importance of representation in fantasy fiction and said, when it comes to writing for teens, "you have to come at them with respect, with understanding."

Segment 1: XP-1, a possible future mode of high-speed transportation, will be on display in Kansas City.

The Hyperloop test pod known as XP-1 is leaving its test site in Nevada and making a stop Kansas City. One expert said, rather than investing in additional lanes for I-70, the multi-billion-dollar hyperloop project could be a more effective use of land, money, and time for travelers between St. Louis and Kansas City. Learn more about the feasibility and funding of the future of transportation. 

Bibliofiles: Back-To-School

Sep 3, 2019

Segment 1: Books in school, according to a librarian.

A retired Shawnee Mission school librarian reflects on the change she's witnessed in school libraries over the decades, particularly given the role of online searches in student research. 

  • Jan Bombeck, retired librarian, Shawnee Mission School District and Johnson County Public Library

Segment 2: Books about school, according to the Bibliofiles.

Segment 1: Why the cost of bras that fit is an issue for teens.

Talking to grownups about wearing a bra is hard for pre-teens and teens in any income bracket, but getting bras that fit is that much harder when the social barrier is compounded by a financial one. How a lack of access to bras affects girls in school, and what one local activist is doing about it.

Segment 1: The Kansas City Public Library has joined a movement toward eliminating late fees.

Following the announcement that the Kansas City Public Library is no longer charging late fees, we dig into the reasoning behind the decision, as well as the larger movement it's a part of.

Segment 1: Post-election wrap-up with new Kansas City mayor.

Voters selected a new mayor for Kansas City, as well as some new council members. We spoke with mayor-elect Quinton Lucas then analyzed Tuesday's election results. 

Segment 1: Why we don't fix things any more, and why that matters.

There's a national movement encouraging people to learn how to fix things as an antidote to consumer waste and excess spending. But fix-it-yourself workshops happening around the country are having trouble getting off the ground in Kansas City. Our guests give the spiels they'd deliver at such workshops, if they did exist here.

Segment 1: Councilman Dan Fowler and his challenger Kevin McEvoy talk plans for one of Kansas City's two Northland council districts.

Before the June 18 municipal election, we asked the 2nd District candidates about funding for the new KCI terminal, violent crime and why each would be the best fit for a seat on the council.

Segment 1: Local lawyer finds a niche in space law

Space is an exciting new frontier, challenging humanity to advance in math, science, and engineering. But what about law? We hear from a Kansas City lawyer who has made a name for himself in dealing with the ownership of objects originating from space.

  • Chris McHugh, lawyer

Segment 2, beginning at 15:35: Mark Twain's love letter to American cuisine

Segment 1: Kansas City mourns the death of philanthropist Henry Bloch.

Henry Bloch, co-founder of the tax preparation firm H&R Block and World War II veteran, has had an immense impact on Kansas City. His legacy will persist through the institutions he helped established and support. Today, a look at how his contributions were aimed to serve the community he loved. 

Segment 1: School boards matter. Here's why.

Even if you don't have kids, school board elections can have a profound impact on the community. We look at how schools are governed, what school board members actually do, and where to find information about candidates.

Segment 1: If laughter is the best medicine, can a doctor write a prescription for a joke? 

In this conversation, we break down what makes a successful joke, and invite listeners to share a few wisecracks.

  • Dan Margolies, pun enthusiast, KCUR's health and legal affairs editor
  • Ameerah Sanders, stand-up comedian

Segment 2, beginning at 18:49: Books that tickle the funny bone.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Crestview Elementary third grader Hana Ismail is reading two books she picked out from her classroom library that feature Pakistani protagonists.

“Four Feet, Two Sandals,” by Karen Lynn Williams and illustrated by Khadra Mohammed, tells the story of two girls who meet in a refugee camp. “Malala’s Magic Pencil,” by Malala Yousafzai, is about the young Nobel laureate, with illustrations by Kerascoët.

“I get to pick out all my favorite books,” Hana said. “They’re really fun to read for me, and they give me more information about everything.”

Segment 1: A KU sociology professor discovers a manifesto by George Orwell.  

A new book by David Smith, in collaboration with an artist, reveals there's more to Orwell than 1984. Much of the book is devoted to a manifesto Orwell wrote three years before that celebrated novel. It called for an international organization to prevent "psychological warfare." 

Segment 1: Mark Twain's love letter to American cuisine.

Samuel Clemens, AKA Mark Twain, was an avid writer and traveler. He was also a champion of America's regional foods. While homesick in Europe, he wrote an extensive list of the foods he missed, like prairie hen and peach cobbler. On this episode, we speak with the author who's been following in Twain's culinary footsteps, first for a book in 2011, and now for a podcast.

J.E. Milles Studio, LaBudde Special Collections, Miller Nichols Library / UMKC

Segment 1: Control of venerable jazz institution to be decided in court.  

Kansas City is home to three National Historic Landmarks, and an unassuming building near 18th and Vine is one of them. The Mutual Musicians Foundation has been a meeting place for jazz greats like Charlie Parker for more than a century and is known for its late-night jam sessions. We learned about its long musical history and what is behind the latest power struggle for the foundation.

USFWS Mountain Prairie / Flickr--Creative Commons

Segment 1: How rising temperatures and a changing climate will affect the tallgrass prairies. 

The consequences of climate change are usually pictured as melting ice caps and islands being swallowed by rising sea levels. In the Midwest, where unpredictable weather is a staple of life, biologists say climate change is also altering the landscape of the tallgrass prairie, "one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world."

Segment 1: Kansas City poet wins International Latino Book Award

A local poet has won two major awards this year, for her work in both English and Spanish. On this episode, we speak with Xánath Caraza about poetry as a way to break silence, the best way to produce a lot of art, and the women that have had significant influence on her life. 

Segment 1: Stan Lee's local impact on entertainment culture.

Stan Lee, the creator of the Marvel Comics Universe, passed away earlier this week. On this episode, we speak with local artists and collectors who were influenced by Lee's legacy.

Segment 2, beginning at 35:00: The Baker Street Irregulars.

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

The Writers Place is pulling up stakes from the Valentine neighborhood. 

Since 1992, a castle-like house at 3607 Pennsylvania has served as a "literary community center," home to countless poetry readings, workshops and art exhibitions. The non-profit organization headquartered there plans to relocate to a small office inside The Nonprofit Village, a co-working space at 31 W. 31st Street, in December.

Seg. 1: Election Words. Seg. 2: National Novel Writing Month.

Nov 6, 2018

Segment 1: Where does the word vote come from?

Voting and elections have their own vocabulary, with words like poll, tally, ballot, and candidate. We discuss with scholars to learn the origins of voting words and how they came to be associated with the election season. We also check in with a KCUR reporter out at the polls on this election day.

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

In the new young adult novel “A Blade So Black,” the main character, Alice, doesn't have long blonde hair, and the other side of the looking glass isn't a place full of innocently quirky tea parties.

Latrice "Elle" McKinney, a Kansas resident who writes under the name L. L. McKinney, has created a  fantasy world full of adventure and imagination but infused with real-world issues and black girl magic.

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

"A Blade So Black," a new young adult novel, is a modern twist on the children's classic, "Alice in Wonderland." This Alice faces the challenges of growing up a black teen in urban Atlanta while also fighting the nightmares in Wonderland. Author L. L. McKinney spoke with us about the novel and how she wrote the female protagonist so her niece could read books with characters that look like her. 

Pages