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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:
ASP 18, with Ray Troll

ASP 18, with Ray Troll


Ray Troll's Ichthyomuse, Art and Rock & RollFormative years, early influencesArt as Ray’s childhood superpowerKansas to Seattle, art scene, grad school, up to KetchikanKetchikan, art scene, native culture, studio above a fish plantObsessing, drawing and painting fish; First T-shirt project, “Let’s spawn”Growing his T-shirt empire;  “Spawn ’til you Die”;  “Humpies from Hell”A description of Ray’s work by Brad Matsen; book projects togetherCollaboration on Planet OceanWe ARE fish;  all vertebrates are descendants of fish“How I became a Scientific Surrealist”, keynote at the Academy of Natural SciencesRay’s artistic process;  phrase or pun first?Sketch to finished piece;  depth and complexity; adding colorRock & Roll & being part of a bandRatfish:  300 million year old living fossilsDeep time;  perspectives on our time nowFossil record tells us of enduring life
A thought and theme from Wendell Berry, “coming into the peace of wild things.”A story from the Alaskan cabin with an astonishing encounter with a large, magnificent buck.Reading liner notes from a collaborative DVD project with Kurt Hoelting, ASP podcast #5.“Wildness is a process and not a place.  Nothing stands alone.  The environment is inside as well as outside.  The human mind is wild habitat.  Poetry is the wild edge of language.”An excerpt from ASP #4 with writer, editor, fisher-poet, Holly J. Hughes.Holly reflects on our times, her recent book, Hold Fast and reads her poem, “Credo.”A shout-out to contributing musician, Christian ArthurGratitude for connection, health care workers, and a full embrace of this time of year.
Jonathan White is a writer, surfer, sailor and educator.  His work has been published in Orion, The Sun, Fine Homebuilding, and Natural History.  His first book, Talking on the Water, (Sierra Club, 1993),  explores creativity and the natural world.  It grew out of "Seminars Afloat" with writers Gretel Ehrlich, Ursula Le Guin, and Peter Matthiessen, along with other visionaries, activists and artists, such as poet Gary Snyder, whale biologist Roger Payne, and Gaia hypothesis co-founder Lynn Margulis.His most recent book, Tides, The Science and Spirit of the Ocean, (Trinity University Press, 2017), takes the reader around the world to where the tide is most dramatically at play.  He goes to the arctic, Panama, Chile, Europe, China, and Alaska, among other far corners, to explore the cultural and scientific stories of the tide.  “White goes deep beneath the surface with the grace of a poet,” writes Susan Casey, author of The Wave.  “Be prepared for some serious magic when you read these pages.”Dan and Jonathan discuss:Building a sloop and sailing it offshore in the Atlantic. Surviving a hurricane. Working with innovative theatre director and theorist, Jerzy Grotowski. Founding the “Seminars Afloat” on the schooner Crusader. Aground in Kalinin Bay north of Sitka. Saving the boat, and returning Crusader to ship shape in three days. Beginning research for Tides. Discussing the science, complexity, and intrigue of tidal forces. Stories from visiting the most dramatic tides. Modern tidal theory:  harmonic analysis, tidal basins, resonanceHis current project in the Sea of Cortez, retracing the 1940 voyage of Ed Ricketts and John Steinbeck, from which came The Log from the Sea of Cortez.
Spring Patterns and Surviving a Glacial Tsunami. Dan & Joe reflect on seasonal patternsPreparations for an upcoming season in AlaskaJohn Muir's quest to experience a living glacierA  story of  near-death from a calving tsunami at the Dawes GlacierComing close to the Big Black WingsDeep appreciation and motivations for sharing stories
ASP 14, with Hank Lentfer

ASP 14, with Hank Lentfer


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  
ASP 13, Author Hank Lentfer

ASP 13, Author Hank Lentfer


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. 
Growing up with salmon, fishing for salmon, and transboundary mining issues. Early memories & running north through the Inside Passage in the family seine boat. Fishing for sockeye salmon off of Noyes Island in SE Alaska. Alarmed by the Mt. Polley mine disaster, and implications for the major transboundary, Alaska—B.C. rivers with vital salmon runs. Embarking on a documentary film project:  "Sisters and Rivers" concerning transboundary mining issues. First nation peoples of B.C.— their perspectives on mining issues. Stories of their long resistance and struggle with multi-national corporate development in the Sacred Waters area of northern B.C.  Implications of running a power line up the Stewart-Cassiar Highway, 37, into NW B.C.  The Red Chris mine in the headwaters of the Stikine River;  the KSM mine development in the headwaters of the Unuk River. The complexities of transboundary mining issues:  perspectives. Aliveness, storytelling, and the documentary. 
In conversation writer Holly Hughes:  Early years on the waters of Alaska as a fisher and operating a salmon tender. As a mariner, the necessity of paying full attention and its influence on writing.  Holly reads from Sailing by Ravens. A reading from Passings, which was recently awarded the American Book Award.   Choosing full engagement with both the challenge and beauty of our circumstances. Reading from Holly’s newly released book, Hold Fast. 
More on Alaska's Humpback Whales. Whale spouting and breathing, lung capacity. Breathing in rough seas; sleeping whales. Diving:  depths and prey. Lunge feeding;  cooperative behavior & bubble net feeding. Rescuing whales, disentanglement tools and techniques. The Alaska Whale Foundation. What continues to intrigue and surprise whale researchers. 
33 years of behavioral research with Alaska's Humpback Whales. Formative years as a whale biologist. The remarkable characteristics of Humpback Whales. Songs of the Humpback Whale. Whale brains, four times as large as a human brain. Spindle neurons and social behavior. Whale communication, ocean acoustics.    "Whale internet". Concerns:  Ocean noise, ships, military, seismic testing, entanglements. Warm water anomaly:  "the blob".    Whales and humans:  similarities in social behaviors, cooperation, altruism. Whale health vigilance:  promising research tools and practices. Whale vocalizations, structure & implications for what constitutes intelligence. 
Treadwell Gold, An Alaskan Saga of Riches and Ruin.   Approaching Juneau, Treadwell on Douglas Island. The Treadwell Mining complex and Sheila's personal connection to its history. The Alaskan Gold Rush;  placer mining, hard rock mining, and the Klondike. A timeline, beginning with the Tlingits to the decline of Treadwell. A description of life in Treadwell during it's heyday. The business of a successful mine; labor and management. Willy Kelly, machinist;  Gus Anderson, hoist operator. The 1918 catastrophic flooding and cave in at Treadwell.  The aftermath;  Fire, Taku winds, the Spanish Flu. Reflections on both the Titanic and Treadwell;  industrial romance and facts of nature. 
Alaska Writer Laureate 2008-10, Nancy Lord. Coming to Homer, Alaska and early years as a set netter on Cook Inlet. Reading from Fishcamp: Life on an Alaskan Shore. Beluga Whales. The Harriman Expedition and Green Alaska. Early Warming:  Crisis and Response in the Climate-Changed North;  feedback loops and permafrost melting. Ph:  A Novel;  pteropods, ocean acidification. Reflections on Science and Art;  the FisherPoets gathering. 
Writer, Educator, FisherPoet Lara Messersmith-Glavin.  Reflections on growing up a Kodiak fisher. Reads a piece, "Spellbind", performed at FisherPoets, from her forthcoming book. How Alaska influences her life now as a creative writer and educator. Reflections upon wildness, bigness and relationship with work. Reads from her piece," Hiraeth". Reflections on a big picture question. 
The socio-political landscape of Alaska.    Bill relates his early journey from drug & alcohol counselor to serving as DEC commissioner.    Ownership of Alaskan lands and resources: history and implications. The Hammond era, the Alaska Permanent Fund, Exxon Valdez.   The socio-economic ramifications of Alaska's oil boom.    Present tense:  dwindling oil, severe state budgets cuts, and the impacts of Climate Change.  The push to open ANWAR, develop Pebble Mine, dramatically increase Tongass logging. 
Dan opens with Kurt relating his early years coming to Alaska.    The sinking of the classic halibut boat, the Lloyd. Kurt's harrowing survival story  Dan and Kurt discuss an important mentor, poet Gary Snyder.   Kurt reflects on how his Alaskan experiences deeply inform his current work as both a wilderness kayak guide and mindfulness teacher.      
The remote small communities—outposts in Southeast Alaska.    Meyers Chuck, Point Baker and Port Protection, Port Alexander.   Dan tells a Wayne Short story of man-overboard and being saved in huge seas.    Wending their way north, stories of  Tenakee Springs, and out Icy Straits to Elfin Cove.  
Dan and Joe explore the Inside Passage from Puget Sound to Southeast Alaska.    Joe reflects upon nautical charts, and navigation.    Stories of crossing big waters in a small boat. The vastness of the northern wilderness.     They discuss the indigenous native cultures of the Inside Passage. Living close to the land working with the seasons.    
Dan and Joe talk about Joe's award-winning book Alaska Blues.    They discuss early years of becoming a fisherman and tender operator. Heading north, early fishing stories, Point Baker, and building a cabin.    Dan and Joe discuss the tides, the forest, and a good bear story.  
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