Guest: Renato Rosaldo
Anthropologist and poet RENATO ROSALDO bridges his worlds with a word he coined, “anthropoeta,” which describes the switching back and forth in the two idioms. He claims a stroke inspired his poetry, and his first collection of award-winning poems was a clear departure from his previous anthropological work, “Ilongot Headhunting, 1883-1974: A Study in Society and History” and “Culture and Truth.” Rosaldo is the author of several poetry collections including “Diego Luna’s Insider Tips,” and he comes in to discuss his latest book of poetry, “The Day of Shelly’s Death: The Poetry and Ethnography of Grief.” Shelly was his wife and fellow anthropologist who fell to her death off a cliff in the Philippines in 1981, as they were about to conduct field work. Rosaldo takes us back to the cliff, their children, and imagines the perspectives of the strangers who cared for them during their tragedy. Renato Rosaldo teaches anthropology at New York University.