Critical Mass

Winter Listening: “Told and Retold,” Gioia Timpanelli with Robert Bly


Master story teller Gioia Timpanelli, author of “Sometimes the Soul: Two Novellas of Sicily,” has a new radio program on PRX called “Told and Retold.” The first installment, an hour-long winter special, is great listening during a winter afternoon. She describes seeing bobcats in the woods near her home, tells a couple of traditional Indian and Japanese stories, reads a section of Thomas Hardy’s magical glimpse of English country life, Mellstock Lane.

“It shall be told and retold” is a traditional Italian saying that points up the way in which the form moves from generation to generation. There also are readings by Kate Barnes, the poet laureate of Maine, and experimental fiction writer Eric Darton of Woodstock, NY, and a conversation with poet Robert Bly, a long-time Timpanelli collaborator. Bly reads a batch of winter poems, and the two discuss creativity and the classic story “The Shoe Maker and the Elves.”