February 28, 2014 @ 9:46 pm
hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Joy White was recorded 2/26/14 and airs 2/28/14.
March 1 is Nuclear Remembrance Day, a national holiday in the Republic of the Marshall Islands. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the detonation of the 15 megaton Bravo nuclear weapon at Bikini Atoll. One thousand times the force of the Hiroshima bomb, this blast exposed thousands of Marshall Islanders to radiation fallout. This day of commemoration draws attention to the U.S. nuclear legacy of radiation related diseases and other damages generated by environmental degradation, loss of land use, cultural upheaval, and physical dislocation, as well as the ongoing struggle for social justice ---- not only by Marshall Islanders, but also by advocates in Guam and the Northern Marianas, exposed to radiation fallout as “downwinders”.
In this episode, we commemorate Nuclear Remembrance Day by featuring two poets, a native of the Appalachia mountains in Kentucky and a native daughter of the Marshall Islands, whose love for these islands and her people inspire their creative work.
Program guest in the first half is P.K. Harmon, a poet and writing professor at the University of Guam. Harmon is Founding Editor of Al in Aelon Kein: the Marshall Islands Literary Review and former theatre director and humanities professor of the College of the Marshall Islands. A graduate of Ohio University’s Program in Creative Writing, he was recently Visiting Professor of Creative Writing for the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He has had individual poems published in Riverwind, The Marshall Islands Journal, and the Laurel Review. He shares three poems from his book What Island? (Serving House Books, 2011): What Island? What Bikini? What I Say?. Harmon is married to Lucy Likilimej Anni of the Marshall Islands and they have three children.
In the second half, our guest is Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (firstname.lastname@example.org) a poet, writer, journalist, and spoken word artist born in the Marshall Islands and raised in Hawaii. Her poetry is a blend of storytelling and activism. She has performed her poetry in the Marshall Islands, Hawai'i, California, New York, Taiwan, and England. Currently she is at University of Hawai'i at Manoa pursuing her Master's degree in Pacific Island Studies, researching Marshallese oral traditions and the history of Marshallese writing. This interview includes her performance of two poems The History Project and Tell Them as well as commentary on her essay “Reflections on Nuclear Survivors Day”. For these and other works, see Iep Jeltok, a basket of poetry and writing from Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner [http://jkijiner.wordpress.com
This episode includes a clip from a video (in English and Marshallese) produced by Marshallese Education Initiative, Inc. (MEIC) promoting the commemoration of Nuclear Remembrance Day 2014. They are sponsoring an international event, the first of is kind in the continental United States, in Little Rock, Arkansas, a hub of the Marshall Island diaspora, to “reflect on our shared nuclear legacy, honor survivors and victims, and educate the public about the global consequences of the use of nuclear weaponry’ [http://www.youtube.com/watch?
For related episodes, go to Ep. 10 (4/9/10) Environmental Justice and Radiation Exposure, Ep. 16 (5/7/10) Environmental Justice and Radiation Exposure on Guam, Ep. 29 (8/6/10) Remembering Hiroshima and Tinian, Ep. 66 (5/6/11) All Things Nuclear, Ep. 88 (10/7/11) Guam’s Participation in the World Conference Against A and H Bombs , Ep. 129 (10/5/12) For the Good of All Mankind and to End All World Wars, Ep. 153 (7/5/13) Guam ‘Downwinders’ and RECA: Another Push for Social Justice, and Ep. 157 (8/2/13) Darlene Keju -- Pacific Health Pioneeer, Champion for Nuclear Survivors.