RAG RADIO / Thorne Dreyer : October Interviews with Poppy Northcutt, Maneesha James, Seth Holmes, and Thomas Zigal
|Frances "Poppy" Northcutt with Rag Radio's Thorne Dreyer in the studios of KPFT-FM in Houston, Friday, October 25, 2013. Photo by Guy Schwartz / The Rag Blog.|
Thorne Dreyer interviews Poppy Northcutt,
Maneesha James, Seth Holmes, and Tom Zigal
Our October guests address Texas feminist history, issues involved with death and dying, the plight of migrant farmworkers, and the post-Katrina craziness.By Rag Radio / The Rag Blog / November 11, 2013
Thorne Dreyer's guests on Rag Radio in October 2013 included pioneering Houston feminist Frances "Poppy" Northcutt, president of both the Houston and Texas chapters of the National Organization for Women (NOW) and a historic figure in the women's movement; psychotherapist, meditation facilitator, and death and dying counselor Maneesha James; anthropologist Seth Holmes, author of Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies about the plight of migrant farmworkers; and novelist Thomas Zigal, author of Many Rivers to Cross set in post-Katrina New Orleans.
Rag Radio is a weekly syndicated radio program produced and hosted by long-time alternative journalist Dreyer and recorded at the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, a cooperatively-run all-volunteer community radio station in Austin, Texas.
Frances "Poppy" Northcutt
Listen to or download the podcast of Rag Radio's interview with Houston feminist Frances "Poppy" Northcutt here:
Houston attorney Frances "Poppy" Northcutt is president of the Houston and Texas chapters of the National Organization for Women (NOW). Northcutt, who has played a central role in the women’s movement since the mid-Sixties, was the City of Houston’s first Women’s Advocate in 1974-75 under Mayor Fred Hofheinz. In that role she initiated legislative and executive proposals to eliminate sex discrimination in the police and fire departments and elsewhere in city government.
She was also the founding chair in 1974 of the Harris County Women’s Political Caucus. Northcutt was on-site coordinator for the historic National Womens Conference, sponsored by the U.S. State Department and held in Houston in November 1977, drawing 20,000 participants.
Northcutt first gained national attention during the Apollo missions in the mid-Sixties when, as a mathematician and engineer, she was the first woman to work in flight support at NASA’s Mission Control. In a September 1970 Life magazine cover story titled “Women Arise,” Northcutt was one of eight women profiled as "succeeding in a man’s world.”
She was singled out in a 1969 AP story about women playing key roles in the space program and was also featured in Mademoiselle, Ms. Magazine, and other publications. Northcutt won a number of awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom Team Award for work in the rescue of the Apollo 13 crew.
This episode of Rag Radio was produced in the studios of KPFT-FM in Houston with the assistance of KPFT news anchor Marlo Blue.
|Maneesha James with Rag Radio's Thorne Dreyer (left) and Tracey Schulz at the KOOP studios, October 18, 2013.|
Born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, in 1947, Maneesha James offers "psycho-spiritual support in living and dying." She has a background in nursing (general, midwifery, and psychiatric) and is a psychotherapist and meditation facilitator. Maneesha, who lives in London, is co-founder and co-director of the Sammasati Project, which offers a vision of living and dying based on awareness and celebration.
Through her years of meditation and living in the meditation resort of the contemporary mystic, Osho (she was his chief editor), Maneesha has developed and facilitated workshops worldwide on a meditative way of living. She works with people who wish to go through the process of dying with as much awareness as possible -- working on an individual basis with those who are facing imminent death and in workshops with those who want to explore their issues with dying while they are still relatively healthy.
|Anthropologist Seth Holmes in the studios of KOOP-FM in Austin, October 11, 2013. Photo by Roger Baker / The Rag Blog.|
Seth M. Holmes is a cultural and medical anthropologist and physician who teaches at the University of California at Berkeley where he is Martin Sisters Endowed Chair Assistant Professor of Public Health and Medical Anthropology. Holmes is the author of Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies: Migrant Farmworkers in the United States. The book, which “weds the theoretical analysis of the anthropologist with the intimacy of the journalist,” is an “ethnographic witness to the everyday lives and suffering of Mexican migrants.”
The book is based on five years of field research during which time Seth lived with indigenous Mexican families in the mountains of Oaxaca and in farm labor camps in the United States, planted and harvested corn, picked strawberries, accompanied sick workers to clinics and hospitals, participated in healing rituals, and mourned at funerals for friends.
Holmes traveled with migrants through the desert border into Arizona, where they were apprehended and jailed by the Border Patrol. After he was released from jail, and his companions were deported, Holmes interviewed Border Patrol agents, local residents, and armed vigilantes.
Tom Philpott wrote in Mother Jones about Holmes' book: “Here in the U.S., we both utterly rely on immigrants from south of the border to feed us, and erect walls and employ militias to keep them out. In this groundbreaking new book, Holmes goes underground to explore what this bizarre duality means for the people who live it. A brilliant combination of academic rigor and journalistic daring.”
|Novelist Thomas Zigal in the KOOP studios in Austin, Friday, October 4, 2013. Photo by Carlos Lowry / The Rag Blog.|
Listen to or download the podcast of Rag Radio's interview with novelist Thomas Zigal here:
According to Kirkus Reviews, Novelist Thomas Zigal writes “page-turners with a conscience.” His latest book, Many Rivers to Cross, is set in post-Katrina New Orleans. The White League was also set in New Orleans, as will be a third novel to come. His three popular crime novels, featuring hippie Sheriff Kurt Muller, take place in Aspen. Author Jan Reid wrote that Many Rivers to Cross "is awe-inspiring. Thomas Zigal has entered New Orleans' heart of darkness after Katrina. His story is brave, frightening, and so dramatic that at times you have to get up and walk around the room."
Zigal was born in Galveston and grew up in Texas City where his father worked in an oil refinery. He graduated from the University of Texas -- where he was “an anti-war hippie and an avid reader of The Rag.” He got his masters in creative writing at Stanford and “hung out with writers like Raymond Carver, James Crumley, and Scott Turow.”
He published a literary magazine, The Pawn Review, and was an editor at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Zigal has served as a speech writer for one UT-Austin chancellor and four of the university’s presidents. He is a member of the Authors Guild, the Mystery Writers of America, the Texas Institute of Letters (of which he is a former vice president), and the Writers League of Texas.
Rag Radio is hosted and produced by Rag Blog editor Thorne Dreyer, a pioneer of the Sixties underground press movement. Dreyer was a founding editor of the original Rag, published in Austin from 1966-1977. Tracey Schulz is the show's engineer and co-producer.
Rag Radio has aired since September 2009 on KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas. Rag Radio is broadcast live every Friday from 2-3 p.m. (CDT) on KOOP and is rebroadcast on Sundays at 10 a.m. (EDT) on WFTE, 90.3-FM in Mt. Cobb, PA, and 105.7-FM in Scranton, PA. Rag Radio is also aired on KPFT-HD3 90.1 -- Pacifica radio in Houston -- on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. (CDT).
The show is streamed live on the web and, after broadcast, all Rag Radio shows are posted as podcasts at the Internet Archive.
Rag Radio is produced in association with The Rag Blog, a progressive Internet newsmagazine, and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.
Rag Radio can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming up on Rag Radio:
THIS FRIDAY, November 15, 2013: Staffers from the original Rag in '60s Austin: Doyle Niemann, now a leader in the Maryland House of Delegates, and poet/activist Mariann Wizard.
Friday, November 22, 2013: Empowerment activist Sam Daley-Harris, author of Reclaiming our Democracy: Healing the Break Between People and Government.
The Rag Blog