In Japan, insects are pets, medicine, and even vehicles for spirits. Mary Knighton (Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, William & Mary) researches Japan’s special relationship with insects. And: One of the most unpopular insects in the U.S. is the tick, which can be a carrier of Lyme disease. David Livingston, Jay Sullivan, and Jim Squire (Virginia Military Institute) have invented a tick-removal robot that rolls over a lawn, attracting and killing these unwanted insects. Tick expert Holly Gaff (Old Dominion University) has tested the “tick rover” with surprising results. Plus: Between errands and dishes and kids, it sometimes feels like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Luisa Igloria (Old Dominion University) has managed to make time to write one poem every day—for 1,270 days!
Later in the show: Poetry has long been used to celebrate love and family, but it has also always documented the dark times in human life. Bob Hicok (Virginia Tech) worked for 20 years in the automotive industry. His poems explore the lives of family and friends coping with economic devastation in Michigan. Also: Many scholars have believed that nonsense literature in the vein of Lewis Carroll or Edward Gorey is a strictly English language innovation. But Kevin Shortsleeve’s (Christopher Newport University) book documents nonsense literature from all over the world. And: Lisa Russ Spaar (University of Virginia) explores how a familiar place changes through time in her poem Empty Nest.