The concept behind Randy Cohen’s public radio series Person Place Thing is simple: he invites notable figures from all genres and backgrounds to discuss one person, one place and one thing about which they feel passionately.
Since people often reveal themselves most intimately when they speak not directly about themselves but about something important to them, PPT goes a step further than the traditional one-on-one interview. Person Place Thing Live! at 92YTribeca will be recorded for later broadcast, so bring your most mellifluous voice.
For this installment, Randy Cohen will be joined by noted journalist, humorist, food writer, poet, memoirist and novelist Calvin Trillin. Audience Q&A to follow.
Also part of the PPT series, Person Place Thing Live! Randy Cohen with Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan.
The first season of Person Place Thing aired on WAMC Northeast Public Radio and its 23 affiliated stations earlier this year, and are available online here. The second season is a co-production of 92Y, and podcasts can be found here. Podcast guests include Dick Cavett, Jane Smiley, John Hodgman, Michael Pollan, Dan Savage and more.
Support for Person Place Thing comes from the New York Council for the Humanities.
Randy Cohen’s first professional work was writing humor pieces, essays, and stories for newspapers and magazines (The New Yorker, Harpers, the Atlantic, Young Love Comics). His first television work was writing for Late Night with David Letterman for which he won three Emmy awards. His fourth Emmy was for his work on Michael Moore’s TV Nation. He received a fifth Emmy as a result of a clerical error and he kept it. For twelve years he wrote "The Ethicist," a weekly column for the The New York Times Magazine. His new book is Be Good: How to Navigate the Ethics of Everything. You can follow him on Facebook here.
Calvin Trillin, author of Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse, has been acclaimed in fields of writing that are remarkably diverse. As someone who has published solidly reported pieces in The New Yorker for nearly fifty years, he has been called, "perhaps the finest reporter in America." His wry commentary on the American scene and his books chronicling his adventures as a "happy eater" have earned him renown as "a classic American humorist." His About Alice -- a 2007 New York Times best seller that was hailed as, “a miniature masterpiece” -- followed two other best-selling memoirs, Remembering Denny and Messages From My Father.
Trillin was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo., and now lives in New York. He graduated from Yale in 1957, did a hitch in the army, and then joined Time. After a year covering the South from the Atlanta bureau, he became a writer for Time in New York.
In 1963, he became a staff writer for The New Yorker. From 1967 to 1982, he produced a highly praised series of articles for The New Yorker called "U. S. Journal" 3,000 word pieces every three weeks from somewhere in the United States, on subjects that ranged from the murder of a farmer's wife in Iowa to the author's effort to write the definitive history of a Louisiana restaurant called Didee's "or to eat an awful lot of baked duck and dirty rice trying." Some of the murder stories from that series were published in 1984 as Killings, a book that was described by William Geist in the New York Times Book Review as "that rarity, reportage as art."
From 1978 through 1985, Trillin was a columnist for The Nation, writing what USA Today called "simply the funniest regular column in journalism." From 1986 through 1995, the column was syndicated to newspapers. From 1996 to 2001, Trillin did a column for Time. His columns have been collected in five books. His Quite Enough of Calvin Trillin was awarded the Thurber Prize for American Humor in 2011.
Since 1990, Trillin has written a piece of comic verse weekly for The Nation. His books of what he calls deadline poetry have all been New York Times best sellers.
Trillin's books have included three comic novels (most recently the national best-seller Tepper Isn't Going Out) and a collection of short stories and a travel book and an account of the desegregation of the University of Georgia. Three of his antic books on eating; American Fried Alice, Let's Eat and Third Helpings were compiled in 1994 into a single volume called The Tummy Trilogy.
He lectures widely, and has appeared often as a guest on television. He has written and presented two one man shows at the American Place Theater in New York both of them critically acclaimed and both sell outs. In reviewing "Words, No Music," in 1990, New York Times theater critic Mel Gussow called Trillin "the Buster Keaton of performance humorists."
Calvin has been a trustee of the New York Public Library and of Yale. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.