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Blue Dot 199: POETS In THE PARKS: A Conversation With Karla K. Morton And Alan Birkelbach



Dave visits with two dear friends, both Poets Laureate of Texas: Karla K. Morton and Alan Birkelbach. When we last visited with the pair of traveling poets in 2018, they were about half way through their quest to visit every U.S. National Park. 


Beginning with Yellowstone and ending with their 62nd park, White Sands in New Mexico, karla and Alan documented their journeys with poems and photographs that were just published by TCU Press, The National Parks A Century of Grace. It's a lush and epic volume filled with anecdotes, stunning pictures and of course, poems! 



Little did Dave know when he was serving as their guide to Lassen Volcanic National Park, that he would wind up being a part of the book. After finishing their project, they asked him to write the Afterword -- and he did! Join Dave, karla and Alan for a conversation filled with adventures through some of the most spectacular places on the planet.


Dave Schlom has taught the physical sciences at Corning Union High School since 1991. A lifelong amateur astronomer and astronomy educator, he has a passion for both the earth and the space sciences, which are the principal areas of focus for guests on Blue Dot. He started doing radio interviews on space and astronomy topics for local stations like KFM and KPAY in the 1980s and into the 90s, where he was a popular go-to guest for local radio personalities. He is also an expert on the history and geology of Lassen Volcanic National Park, where he has served as a volunteer for decades. Dave enjoys a quiet life at home with his partner in life, Cheryl, and their two dogs, Elvis and Pearl, at their Red Bluff residence.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.