Bits and Pieces of a Psychiatrist’s Life: A Poetic Memoir

The cover of Dr. Barry Blackwell’s Memoir: Bits and Pieces of a Psychiatrist’s Life. Photo courtesy of Barnes & Noble.

Dr. Barry Blackwell has spent half a century working as a psychiatrist. But since moving from Britain to Milwaukee decades ago, he’s explored something quite unexpected for a medical practitioner: poetry.

For Blackwell, this wasn’t a midlife change-of-heart. Throughout his self-published memoir, Bits and Pieces of a Psychiatrist’s Life, Blackwell makes reference to his lifelong interest in writing. He recently sat down with WUWM’s Lake Effect to discuss his 600-page magnum opus.

Listen to the story and read the full article here.

From Bubblers to Brats, Exploring Wisconsin’s Unique Language Landscape

Image credit joshme17, Flickr.

Pickle patch. Bubbler. Tavern belly. Brats.

Wisconsinites have regularly employed a colorful and unique vocabulary thanks to multiple waves of immigration from the 1800s through the present.

But there is also incredible diversity in language use in different areas of the state and even within single cities.

A new book written by a collection of linguistic scholars expounds on our state’s history, policy, and culture towards language use. Eric Raimy, professor of English Language and Linguistics at UW Madison, and Thomas Purnell, professor of English at UW Madison, are the co-editors and contributors of Wisconsin Talk: Linguistic Diversity in the Badger State.

Listen to the story and read more here.

‘Cold War University’: Protests, Policies Divided Madison Community

Image credit: Phil Roeder, Flickr.


During the Cold War, large universities across the country served as a breeding ground for protest movements and student activism at large. Combined with dramatic changes in education funding and increased technological emphasis, they came to be known as “Cold War Universities.”

Close to home, the University of Wisconsin-Madison was an example of this concept, says Matthew Levin. He’s the author of Cold War University: Madison and the New Left in the 1960s.

Click here to listen to the interview and read more.


Biotechnology In Our Food

Image credit to UWM.

Over the past 15 years, agricultural biotechnology has taken hold in North America. Increased crop yields, improved food quality, and reduced use of pesticides by genetically modifying or manipulating existing plant species are seen as the benefits of such technology. But according to a new book, Resistance is Fertile: Canadian Struggles on the BioCommons, biotechnology is dominated by corporate interests and does not in fact benefit farmers or consumers.

Click here to listen to the interview with author Wilhelm Peekhaus and read the full article.

Freshman-Senior Senator Ron Johnson Makes his Mark on Capitol Hill

Sen. Ron Johnson, speaking with reporters in Dec. 2012. Image credit: Chip Somodevilla, Getty Images

Halfway through his first term in office, Republican Ron Johnson is now the senior senator from Wisconsin. When Sen.  Ron Johnson defeated longtime Democratic Senator Russ Feingold in 2010, little did he know he would soon become the senior senator from the state.  Last year, the long-tenured Herb Kohl retired, and was succeeded by Democrat Tammy Baldwin. Read the full article here.

’30 Americans’ Showcases Black Artists’ Experiences

Hank Willis Thomas’ “Branded Head, 2003” is on display at the “30 Americans” exhibit at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Credit: Milwaukee Art Museum.

The Milwaukee Art Museum’s latest exhibition, 30 Americans, opened last month to the public. Gathered from the Rubell Family Collection, 30 Americans features the works of 31 contemporary African American artists in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, prints, photographs, collages, and assemblages. Featured artist Hank Willis Thomas spoke about his work on Lake Effect. Read more and listen to the interview here.