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Photographer Duane Michals

Michals works as both an artistic and commercial photographer. He says he doesn't believe in the reality of photography, and instead tries to capture the essence of dreams on film. Michals' new book, a collection of portraits, is called Album.


Poet, Essayist and Activist Audre Lorde

Lorde is open about her identity as a black lesbian feminist; she hopes her visibility will help other women like her feel less alone. She joins Fresh Air to talk about her romantic relationships with men and women, and the tensions between African American and feminist communities. Her new collection of essays, A Burst of Light, deals with her experience with breast cancer.


Choreographer Bella Lewitzky

Lewitzky is based in Los Angeles where, early in her career, she danced in a number of motion pictures. Her choreography for the stage conveys simplicity of movement, divorced from any suggestion of narrative. Lewitzky performed until the age of 62.


Arthur Ashe: The Fresh Air Interview

Ashe was a boundary-breaking African American tennis player who won Wimbeldon, the U.S. Open, and the Australian open. He started playing the sport in the 1950s, when courts were still segregated. In 1979, heart bypass surgery cut his career short. Ashe now writes books about the history of the black athletes. His latest, a three volume series, is called A Hard Road to Glory.

Tennis player Arthur Ashe

AIDS and Questions of Medical Ethics

Public health expert Ronald Bayer says that the AIDS epidemic is forcing medical professionals to rethink issues of privacy and mandatory screening. Complicating the matter is the fact that the disease disproportionately affects vulnerable communities like homosexuals, people of color, and intravenous drug users. Bayer says one of best ways to deal with AIDS is to change the sexual climate of the country, wherein individuals become more forthright about communication and protection.


Ken Tucker's Search for Self-Actualization

The Fresh Air critic reviews a new home video called Incredible Self-Confidence, which claims it can inspire viewers through hypnotism. Tucker says it doesn't quite succeed, but is relaxing nonetheless.


New Terminology for Minority Groups

Linguist Geoff Nunberg considers how the ways communities describe themselves is changing. The emergence of the term "African American" is of particular interest; Nunberg thinks it suggests a shift away from appearance toward place of origin.


Susan Sontag on Disease and Metaphor

The essayist and novelist's new book, called AIDS and Its Metaphors, examines the discourse surrounding the disease. Sontag is a cancer survivor; a previous book about language and sickness is titled Illness as Metaphor. She joins Fresh Air to talk about how cancer changed her thinking and made her a more compassionate person.


John Updike Reveals His "Self-Consciousness"

The prolific and award-winning author is uncomfortable with fame, and has kept a low public profile. Now he opens up in a new collection of autobiographical essays. Updike uses his own body as a jumping-off point for his ruminations.


Feminism Versus the New Traditionalism

Critic-at-large Laurie Stone says that recent advertisements, TV shows, and theater betray a cultural shift toward a new traditionalism that debases feminism and expects women to return to conventionally feminine roles.


A Celebration of "Believe-It-or-Not Literature"

Ted Schultz edited a new book called The Fringes of Reason, which compiles conflicting opinions of supernatural, New Age, and cosmological world views. Schultz is now studying entomology, which he says is related to his curiosity about what is and isn't real.


Novelist David Shields on Written and Spoken Language

Shields went to speech therapy the same time he attended the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Like the author himself, the protagonist of his new novel, Dead Languages, has a stutter. Shields' writing explores the gap between his mastery of written language and his difficulties speaking.


Susie Bright Celebrates Women's Sexuality

Contrary to many other feminist activists, Bright believes that the anti-pornography movement discourages women from exploring their sexuality and developing what she calls an "erotic literacy." She edits the S&M-themed magazine On Our Backs, which revels in fantasies that are at once controlled and dangerous.


The Dead's Drummer Finds Inspiration in World Music

Mickey Hart says his travels around the globe with the Grateful Dead have given him the chance to meet several accomplished musicians from non-Western cultures. He's produced several recordings of their performance, many of which have been released on the Rykodisc label.


Former Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur

A new anthology of Wilbur's early and recent poetry has recently been published. He joins Fresh Air to talk about his writing, the effect of how reading in front of audiences has had on his work, and his relationship with his children. Wilbur was Poet Laureate from 1987 to 1988.


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