In 'Journeying from one Germany to Another' Günter Grass' chronicles his feelings about the proposed reunification of Germany following the fall of the Berlin wall. Shortly after the wall fell in November 1989 Grass decided to spend a year travelling around East and West Germany to work out what these seismic events might mean for the peoples of both nations. He talks to Harriett Gilbert about his recently published diary written at the time of these travels.
New South African Poetry
The South African Poet Laureate, Keorapetse Kgositsile, and one of South Africa's most exciting young poets, Lebogang Mashile, tell the Strand how poetry in their country has changed since the end of apartheid, and how South Africa's many languages and cultures are inspiring the poetry of today.
American country music star Toby Keith is a massive-seller in the USA but relatively unknown around the rest of the world. His aggressive pro-military Bush-era foreign policy anthem "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue" was a controversial radio hit in the USA and the populist singer with the tremulous voice has never been politically correct. He tells Mark Coles about his new CD "american Ride", talks about the solidarity he feels for veteran soliders and performs an acoustic song.
The Strand in Chicago
Mark Coles explores the cultural riches of the city of Chicago, one year on from Barack Obama's election as US President. We hear from local musician Jeff Tweedy - from the double-Grammy award-winning band Wilco, and Brian Johnson, the celebrated African-American comedian, tours the comedy clubs of the Windy City and examines the satirists' response to Obama one year on from his election victory.
Alan Lomax Haiti Recordings
Rare recordings of Haitian music from the 1930's have been rediscovered in America. The Strand has a first listen to these extraordinary cultural documents and learns about the man who recorded them.
The box set, Alan Lomax In Haiti, will be released by Harte Recordings November 17th 2009. For more information about the New York based RaRa band visit www.othersideofthewater.org
With price tags hitting £9.9million the British artist Damien Hirst is punching the art market hard with his new collection of paintings- Nothing Matters- unveiled today. Despite a badly reviewed show last month, Hirst has revealed 18 new paintings touching on ideas of life and death at the White Cube Gallery in London. We sent art critic Louisa Buck along to see them.
Since the release of his debut alum in 2005, Senegalese Daby Balde has been internationally garlanded with praise, His new album Le Marigot Club brought him into The Strand studios where we took the opportunity to talk to him about his own music and his unexpected influences.
From Alice Walker to Chinua Achebe, the world's greatest authors discuss their best known novel.…