Interviewed by Michael Limnios, Athens, Greece: Life Lessons from Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Philip Whalen, January 2013

Editor’s note: This piece was adapted from an original interview of our wandering poet-in-residence Randy Roark conducted by Michael Limnios of Athens, Greece, for his Mixalis series of interviews with the Beats and students of the Beats, January 18, 2013; embellished and illustrated for Newtopia’s 2nd anniversary issue. PRELUDE In 2003, I met performance artist… Continue Reading »

How I Came to Work for Sounds True, for Many Voices

Last weekend I celebrated my fifteenth anniversary at Sounds True in the middle of our second annual Wake-Up Festival at the Rocky Mountain YMCA. The next morning I was sitting in the dining room with a couple from Nebraska who were attending the festival. They asked me how I came to work for Sounds True…. Continue Reading »

The Chinese Buddhist and the American Skeptic from “A Poet’s Progress,” Newtopia Magazine #27

Day Two: Beijing, Part II We are staying on an average concrete and stone street in Beijing, which means a torn-apart two-lane alleyway choked with tides of humanity flowing back and forth day and night, tangles of black electrical wiring hanging perilously low above their heads. The old and young ply their trades under floodlights… Continue Reading »

My Five Rules as a Producer, for Many Voices

Tonight at our company’s annual summer party, I got a chance to have my first conversation with one of our new employees. We began by asking each other what we did for the company. Once I understood what he was up to, he wanted to know more about how we produced our programs. He’d heard… Continue Reading »

Tianamen Square, Chinese Marriage Customs from “A Poet’s Progress,” Newtopia Magazine #26

Beijing, Day Two Mao is still revered in China as a god or demi-god. The life-dream of many Chinese is to visit the mausoleum in Tiananmen Square where Mao is encased in crystal, his body covered by the Chinese flag. For those in the most remote and poorest areas of China, this trip to Beijing… Continue Reading »

Arriving in Beijing from “A Poet’s Progress,” Newtopia Magazine #25

Day One: Arriving in Beijing When the sun stands at mid-day it begins to set; when the moon is full it begins to wane…. How much truer this is for men…. —Commentary on the 55th Hexagram of the Book of Changes The more cold gets into the river the slower it flows. In the moonlight… Continue Reading »

The Lotus Temple and Leaving India from “A Poet’s Progress,” Newtopia Magazine #24

The Lotus Temple in New Delhi (for Kristina, who insisted that I visit) While we wait in the temple courtyard, we are welcomed, first in Farsi, then in English. We will enter the Temple while the previous group is exiting through the front of the temple. It is important to move quickly because the faster… Continue Reading »

What exactly does a producer do?, for Many Voices

When I’m traveling, I always dread the question, “What do you for a living?” Because I’m a producer, and the second question is always, “What exactly does a producer do?” The best answer I’ve ever heard to that question was from Quincy Jones. He’s produced Frank Sinatra and Michael Jackson and Miles Davis. He said… Continue Reading »

Leaving Kathmandu from “A Poet’s Progress,” Newtopia Magazine #23

April 27 2011, Kathmandu I am drinking tea and sitting in a music store I’ve just discovered on my last day in Kathmandu. The owner and his brother play me selections from CDs of modern Nepalese music. A track begins and within 10 to 30 seconds I say “Yes” or “Not so much” or “Can… Continue Reading »

Varanasi, Night, and the Morning After from “A Poet’s Progress,” Newtopia Magazine #22

April 20, Varanasi, Walking to the Ganges Returning from the Ganges after the evening rituals, I work my way through the crowd and am accosted by a young boy selling postcards for 100 rupees. I assure him I have no money, which is true. Most thefts occur in the crowds on the way to the… Continue Reading »