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In this hour, David Rothenberg is a philosopher and musician who enjoys playing his clarinet with animals. His new book is Thousand Mile Song: Whale Music in a Sea of Sound which talks about the duets he played with whales: humpbacks, belugas and orcas. He talks with Steve Paulson about how and why he did what he did, and we hear lots of his (their) music.
Next, Jennifer Angus is an artist who finds insects so beautiful she uses them in her work. Anne Strainchamps visits with her in her studio.
Then, essayist Anne Fadiman reads from and talks with Steve Paulson about her essay "Collecting Nature." It comes from her latest collection, At Large and at Small and talks about the delight she and her brother took as children with collecting (and killing) butterflies.
After that, David Gessner is a nature writer who's sick of nature and most nature writing. In his essay "My Green Manifesto" and in this conversation with Steve Paulson, Gessner makes the case for wilder, messier, more eccentric writing. Gesner's books include Sick of Nature and Soaring with Fidel. He's the editor of Ecotone, an environmental literary magazine.
And finally, Christopher Benfey is the author of A Summer of Hummingbirds. He tells Anne Strainchamps why there was a hummingbird craze in 19th century Massachsetts, how artists and poets used them as symbols, and why they seem like winged jewels. Benfey teaches English at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. [Broadcast Date: October 1, 2010]