Poetry From The Atomic City

Jul 11, 2013

Kathleen Flenniken at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation
Credit Alexander Flenniken

Poet Kathleen Flenniken grew up near the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in eastern Washington state. At the height of the Cold War, people in her town believed they were helping protect America - and that they were safe, too.

But Flenniken says that when a family friend who worked at the site died from radiation exposure, she realized she had to reexamine her past. She tells host Dick Gordon her book of poetry "Plume" is an attempt to make sense of the pride and betrayal she feels when it comes to her childhood in the center of the atomic age.

Hear the full conversation at The Story's website. Also in this show: After World War II, Warsaw wasn’t restored. It was re-imagined.