The River Is Wide

Series produced by Susan J. Cook

Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Image by: Susan Cook 
...wide river as ever... 

The River Is Wide is one listener's complement to public radio as media that has always made room for thoughtful, humane human discourse. These essays and poems are commentaries written by a political activist, psychologist and play therapist about the many provocative events in our state, country and world that remind us that the river is wide and each and everyone one of us is needed to cross it. We have much to lose- all of us- when our ideas and actions are premised on the belief that we never need any help getting across. Public radio that stirs the public conscience- free of personal influence peddling- that values thoughtful voice and speaks truth above partisan rhetoric - helps us all get across. The River Is Wide presents a series of Citizen's Guides, the occasional Congressional Guide when necessary, sonnets when no other format seems appropriate, an ode here and there In the Department of Poetic Justice, Sixty-second Moral Inquiries and brief commentaries . Public radio is a muse and PRX has become the pen and paper, yes, for many former and current letter-to-the-editor writers, including this one.

The series began rowing when a local editor refused to publish a letter criticizing a political candidate for a failure to acknowledge human rights violations by the Chinese government calling it "uncivil". Another inspiration has been the censorship of "The humble Farmer" from Maine Public Broadcasting (see The commentaries and entries in the Citizen's Guide, sonnets and odes In the Department of Poetic Justice, Sixty Second Moral Inquiries and the 'new' Two and One Half Minute Conspiracy Theory section speak to issues that stir the public conscience (and mine) and speak truth to power (everyone else's) especially surrounding freedom of speech in the media, injustice and harm.

327 Pieces

Order by: Newest First | Oldest First
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
A Town Clerk in Kentucky has refused to give out a marriage license to a gay couple, risking jail time, because the two of them marrying “does not...

  • Added: Sep 06, 2015
  • Length: 04:13
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
In my state the Governor has decided that any childless adult who owns more than $5000 in cash or leisure vehicle assets cannot receive food stamps...

  • Added: Sep 24, 2015
  • Length: 04:32
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against two psychologists who developed a program to pair torture with interrogation of “s...

Bought by KBCS 91.3 FM Community Radio

  • Added: Oct 18, 2015
  • Length: 04:10
  • Purchases: 1
Caption: What Clean Elections Won't Clean, Credit: Susan Cook
Clean elections protect constituent rights so wealthy individuals or self-serving personal interests or six-figure job candidates don’t exploit the...

  • Added: Oct 31, 2015
  • Length: 05:44
Caption: Handing off..., Credit: Susan Cook
Over 100 people have died from heroin and fentanyl-laced drug overdoses this year, in Maine. Maine’s governor says he will call in the National Gua...

  • Added: Nov 21, 2015
  • Length: 04:47
Caption: To an itsy bitsy spider...., Credit: Susan Cook
In the Department of Poetic Justice (and Reckoning), The River Is Wide offers a poem that could be sung to the tune from a tune in the public domai...

  • Added: Nov 28, 2015
  • Length: 02:50
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
This civil liberty loving country listens with astonishment to Donald Trump, ignore religious freedom and propose that no Muslims be allowed into t...

  • Added: Dec 08, 2015
  • Length: 01:22
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, Tolstoi wrote as the first sentence in Anna Karenina. The epitaph he c...

  • Added: Dec 15, 2015
  • Length: 04:45
Caption: Breathing: American Sonnets in the Gulf of Maine Bookstore, Credit: Susan Cook
First published on the eve of Martin Luther King Day , we turn to our preferred form of political expression, the sonnet, to acknowledge the compas...

  • Added: Jan 15, 2016
  • Length: 01:11
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
In Today's Department of Poetic Justice, The River Is Wide offers a musical tribute to 'Donald J. Trump' to the tune of 'Seventy Six Trombones'. fr...

  • Added: Jan 21, 2016
  • Length: 02:46
Caption: ...including the mouse., Credit: Susan Cook
Sometimes, there is an ineffable quality to the offensiveness of negative campaign ads. We turn here to the sonnet to express deep concern about n...

  • Added: Nov 01, 2014
  • Length: :57
Caption: An old clutch replaced might work better..., Credit: Susan Cook
In politics, arrogance can be hired, purchased or -in volunteer organizations- a gratuity that comes with volunteer labor.- or elected. In Maine ...

  • Added: Nov 08, 2014
  • Length: 05:14
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
With the election season over, the next phase of elected politics has settled on our plates like a bowl of jello. How can you tell when the age-old...

  • Added: Nov 16, 2014
  • Length: 01:04
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Political amnesia comes on when political polarization begins as it has with President Obama’s recent executive order about immigration. So, Presi...

  • Added: Nov 23, 2014
  • Length: 04:30
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
The ethical challenge for Facebook has been to re-create the ethics of community where there are real consequences for using information in a destr...

  • Added: Nov 28, 2014
  • Length: 05:49
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
There is a demand in this country that corporations acknowledge that they are not people. Until corporations wake up one morning, and say, “I‘m r...

  • Added: Dec 02, 2014
  • Length: 03:50
Caption: ...wide river as ever..., Credit: Susan Cook
Well, we have an enigmatic scandal brewing in my state. Twenty-one ballots- all for a state Senate Republican candidate surfaced inside a sealed ba...

  • Added: Dec 10, 2014
  • Length: 05:22
Piece image
In many parts of the world, torture, harassment and persecution are used to target individuals who criticize , believe, have secrets or religion...

  • Added: Dec 19, 2014
  • Length: 01:40
Caption: Fourth grade girls know the truth's power., Credit: Susan Cook
I heard Jill Abramson , the former executive editor of the New York Times say recently that since the George W. Bush administration, there have be...

  • Added: Feb 05, 2015
  • Length: 04:51
Caption:  Species: Corruptjodchuckcasaliz Newjerseyish, Credit: Susan Cook
Coming through the transom today, a letter from New Jersey to share. Civil Liberties: New Jersey-style!! How are they taken? Oh, I guess they mean ...

  • Added: Mar 04, 2014
  • Length: 03:50