Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

This week on Valley Writers Read, we hear a story by local author Michael Bowler, titled "Dump Truck." Hal Bolen reads the story about an attorney who leaves the rat race and realizes his dream of becoming a public defender. 

In Charlotte Abrams' story "The Watcher", a woman named Maddie develops a relationship with her 90-year-old neighbor named Bernard, on this edition of Valley Writers Read.

This week on Valley Writers Read, Howard Hendrix brings us a science fiction story, "A Bridge Across the Lethe". The story is about a character who is cured from a concussion through the miracles of modern medicine.

Last week the Library of Congress named Fresno poet Philip Levine the nation’s 18th Poet Laureate. A native of Detroit, Levine moved to Fresno in the 1950’s to teach English at Fresno State, where he founded the university’s creative writing program, and helped foster the San Joaquin Valley’s rich poetry community. In 1991 his collection "What Work Is" won the National Book Award, and in 1995, his book "The Simple Truth" was the recipient of the Pulitzer Prize.

This week, on Valley Writers Read, Janet Nichols Lynch brings us a story called "The Favorite", about a man named Ronnie who abandons his family after receiving an inheritance. 

There are three stories by Howell Hurst on this week's edition of Valley Writers Read. The first story, "I Can't Hear the Drums Anymore" is about a son's blocked love for his mother. "Beating Towards Monterey" is about a man's failed love for his wife. And the third story, "The Fog", is about a couple who had been football players in college.

Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

For some, the closing of Borders bookstores seemed to signal another nail in the coffin for book lovers. Another reminder of the fragile state of an industry being taken over by technology, e-readers and But in Fresno and other San Joaquin Valley towns, some independent bookstores are not only doing okay, some are actually thriving. Valley Public Radio's Juanita Stevenson reports.

There are two stories on this edition of Valley Writers Read. Our first story, by Marilyn Larson, is entitled "Getting Out" and it is about a woman named Marta, who's been dating a guy with a secret named Ben. Deborah Hamilton's story, "Section B, Page 5", is about a recluse who finds joy reading the obituary column.

Today on Valley Writers Read, Nelson Varon brings us a story called, "Fixing Things", about a writer who secures a book deal only to lose it when he loses his cool with his boss.

Sept. 29 marks the beginning of the American Library Association's annual "Banned Books Week," a commemoration of all the books that have ever been removed from library shelves and classrooms. Politics, religion, sex, witchcraft — people give a lot of reasons for wanting to ban books, says Judith Krug of the ALA, but most often the bannings are about fear.

"They're not afraid of the book; they're afraid of the ideas," says Krug. "The materials that are challenged and banned say something about the human condition."