ASP 19, Stories of Healing and Connection with Hank Lentfer
Alaska Story Project
Award-winning author and naturalist Hank Lentfer returns to the Alaska Story Project with an audio piece, “10 Sounds That Make You Feel More Alive”.Hank reads from his book, Ravens Witness, the Alaska life of Richard K. Nelson, a passage from his earliest memories living with the Iñupiaq in the Arctic. “We yearn to pull together with neighbors and celebrate our collective success. So why do we find ourselves living in such rancorous times? How did stories of unity get buried by the din of voices tearing us apart? When did caring for our country become a partisan issue? And by country I don't mean a flag, song or pledge but our actual home ground the soil, rivers, forest, tundra, air and climate that make life possible.”Reflecting on what makes a good story, “I'm drawn to stories that blur boundaries, stories that work against our tendency to cut the fabric of life into neat squares and organize it— to label people as Democrats or Republicans or evangelicals or atheist, or the world as natural or unnatural. So any story that helps stitch those squares back into their proper orientation. And a good story in my mind reveals the pain, the folly and darkness of isolation. A good story can illuminate and celebrate the restorative powers of connection. And the best stories do both.”From a published essay, “if I were imprisoned in a windowless cell and allowed out for just one week a year, I choose seven days centered in September. I come home to my Alaska cabin in the woods and clean a few pounds of spruce needles out of my neglected kayak, oil up a fishing reel, pack a three day lunch and paddle up river.”And finally, “Pay attention, hone in on any story that blurs boundaries or awakens us from the delusion of separateness. Retell the story at the dinner table, at church, the grocery store. And remember this you don't have to write a book or produce a podcast to be a storyteller. Our lives are stories, every decision, each interaction, the choice between generosity and greed, between gratitude agreements, kindness or callousness, tells a story. And our stories are not finished. We get to write a little each day. I try and remember that when I wake up, that the hours in front of me are a blank page and I get to choose the story I tell before I go to bed.ASP host Dan Kowalski, “We're recording this in a time of increasing darkness for the human condition. We're in the midst of a historic shift, as a despot has unleashed mind-bending brutality and suffering on the souls of Ukrainians and also hapless Russians. The Alaska Story Project is dedicated to offer stories that have the power to connect and heal as something of a counterpoint or antidote to what's all over the news right now.”Show notes: www.alaskastoryproject.com/podcasts
~Co-presented with Spring Creek Project~Follow along with the videos shown and discussed in this conversation: Common Murre - https://youtu.be/AuGTNgjhW1MWestern Sage Grouse - https://youtu.be/RzyoI0r9ddcHow can we attune ourselves to the music that surrounds us? How can we bear the sorrow of its silencing? Join author Kathleen Dean Moore and Naturalist Hank Lentfer in virtual conversation with TNS Host Kyra Epstein to celebrate the earth’s wild music and creatures. We hear about Kathleen’s new book—Earth’s Wild Music: Celebrating and Defending the Songs of the Natural World (Counterpoint Press). We hear animal recordings from Hank and learn about how he has crafted a life listening to nature’s music. We watch two “tiny concerts,” videos inspired by Kathleen’s book and put together by the Spring Creek Project at Oregon State University.
The Art of Listening Stunning recordings from the natural world of Alaska Hank's story of his "acoustic awakening" An iconic recording of a Loon with Richard Nelson Several of Hank's favorite recordings and the stories behind them Hearing, Listening and the Art of Listening Robin song: getting to know individuals A wolf howl and a Malamute's response The Art of Listening and being human Recording a whale trumpeting with perfect amphitheater acoustics
Stories of Connection: Barry Lopez; Faith of Cranes & Sandhill Cranes; Raven's Witness & the life and work of Richard Nelson; sound recording. Barry Lopez and the importance of story. A childhood memory from the Arctic & reflecting on our times now. Building a home in Gustavus and considering Sandhill Cranes. Raven's Witness: Friendship naturalist & author Richard Nelson. Nels' time in the Arctic with the Inupiaq. Nels' time with the Koyukon; interconnectedness. Writing and Island Years. Hank and Nels' collaboration with sound recording. A shattered and healed deer bone. Barry Lopez: Isumataq.
In this initial Active Voice podcast, 49 Writers board member Katie Bausler interviews Alaskan writer and Faith of Cranes author Hank Lentfer. The Gutavus, Alaska resident discusses his upcoming biography of fellow Southeast writer Richard Nelson, and a light outlook in dark times. Original music by Liz Snyder and Alex Kotlasrz.