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‘Catalyst Sessions’ recap: Roy Peter Clark

Bill DeYoung



Author, deep thinker and Poynter Institute writing prof Roy Peter Clark returned to The Catalyst Sessions Friday, for a wide-ranging discussion of whatever happened to be on his mind.

“It seems as if we’ve entered this comic book bizarro world,” he mused, “in which all the things we took for granted no longer exist in the same way, and things which were of little importance are now of great importance. Things that we never saw before, we’re seeing all the time now.”

Clark talked about social distancing, mask-wearing and the kindness of strangers. A chance encounter with a large, bearded fellow resulted in a new original composition, “Santa Wore a Mask” – which Clark performed, a capella, on the program.

True to form, he brought it all back to good journalism, and the way it can somehow connect us all.

“I don’t know why, but I think the current circumstances lend themselves to both the most serious and empathetic kinds of writing,” he said. “But also to escape hatches. To relief valves. To providing a kind of creative medicine that, if we all take it, will help us muddle through, or survive.”

He then brought up a recently-published story by Mary Claire Molloy, a 19-year-old freshman at Indiana University, and the powerful effect it had on him.

As promised in the video interview, the link to “A Stubborn Stain” is here.

Monday on The Catalyst Sessions: Boogie woogie piano player, humorist and WMNF radio host Rev. Billy C. Wirtz.

Streaming weekdays at 7 p.m. on the Catalyst Facebook page. All episodes are archived on our YouTube channel.


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