In an interview with Studs Terkel, Buddhist monk, peace activist, and poet Thich Nhat Hanh. The conversation focuses on the devastating effects of the Vietnam War; they discuss the loss of culture and poetry in Vietnam, the anti-war protestors in America and Vietnam, and the sadness and resignation of the Vietnamese. Thich Nhat Hanh talks about America’s role in the war, and his experiences campaigning for peace in the United States and speaking with U.S. anti-war veterans.
Discussing the books "Moon Crossing Bridge: Poetry" (published by Graywolf Press) and "Portable Kisses" (published by Capra Press) with poet Tess Gallagher. Program includes an excerpt of a 1986 interview with Gallagher and Raymond Carver.
Studs Terkel discusses life in the Vietnam era with children from Father Charles Pond's St. Timothy Episcopal Church Parish in Chicago. Rose is the featured speaker at 16 years of age she is no longer in school but is very well spoken. Acknowledging that people with mental illnesses are not always able to make sound decisions which are needed for individuals to make group decisions. She sees one of the problems in the world being that people are losing their individuality to a group mentality.
Studs discusses writing and acting with John Schultz, Paul Pekin, and six of their students: Alex Wayne, Linda Gilbert, Will Jackson, Dan Michalski, Bill Johnson, and Fred Game. The main topic of conversation is the "Story Workshop" method of teaching writing, which Schultz had recently developed and were leading at CAM (Christian Action Ministries) Academy in Chicago. The group discuss their history as teachers and writers, and they demonstrate some of the techniques they employ in their methodology. Some of the students also express the successes they have had in developing their writ
Studs Terkel discusses poetry with writer and poet Ed English. Topics include race, history, religion, English's biography, and his creative process. Ed reads from his work throughout the interview.
Studs discusses poetry and mass media with American writer Norman Corwin, who was visiting Chicago to receive an honorary award from Columbia College. Works discussed include Corwin's radio address, "On A Note of Triumph," which the author delivered on May 8, 1945 to mark the end of World War II in Europe, and "Ballad for Americans", a cantata produced by Corwin on CBS radio in 1939. Topics include Corwin's personal and professional history, the process of writing "for the ear", World War II, the dawn of the nuclear age, and the television's role in eclipsing radio in popularity.
Judy Collins converses with Studs about her early life and her career as a singer of folk music. The following songs are played throughout the interview: "Lark in the Morning;" "The Great Silkie of Sule Skerry;" "Pretty Saro;" "Song of the Wandering Aengus," Yeats, W.B. read by Cyril Cusak; "Golden Apples of the Sun," Yeats, W.B./Edmonson, Travis; "The Bold Fenian Men," Kearney, Paedar; "The Ballad of the Carpenter," MacColl, Ewan; and "The dove." Traditional/MacColl, Ewan.
Discussing the book "Archibald MacLeish: An American Life" (published by Houghton Mifflin) with the author Scott Donaldson.
Interviewing Scharmel Iris reading excerpts from his "Spanish earth"
Studs interviews Rita Streich, and they discuss the meaning of some of her operas and lieds. Streich names Erna Berger and Maria Ivogun as her best teachers, and she speaks a little about her family. Studs and Streich read part of the poem, "The Nut Tree" by Robert Schuman. Streich reads a part of "Brahms Lullaby" and "Shepherd On the Rock" by Franz Schubert. She also discusses the difference between opera in her day compared to opera at the time of the interview. The musical pieces are removed from this edited version of the original recording.