Thorne Dreyer :
PODCASTS | Gregg Barrios, Bruce Dancis, and Betsy Leondar-Wright on Rag Radio

A noted poet-playwright and critic, a Vietnam draft resister and pop culture journalist, and an economic justice advocate join us in three lively podcasts.

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Poet-playwright Gregg Barrios in the KOOP studios in Austin, Texas, April 25, 2014. Photo by Roger Baker / The Rag Blog.

Interviews by Thorne Dreyer | The Rag Blog | May 5, 2014

Gregg Barrios, the noted San Antonio-based writer, filmmaker, and critic;  Bruce Dancis, author of Resister: A Story of Protest and Prison during the Vietnam War; and economic justice advocate Betsy Leondar-Wright were our recent guests on Rag Radio.

Rag Radio is a weekly hour-long syndicated radio program produced and hosted by long-time alternative journalist and Rag Blog editor Thorne Dreyer. The show is produced at the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, a cooperatively-run all-volunteer community radio station in Austin, Texas. It is broadcast live on KOOP every Friday from 2-3 p.m. (CST) and streamed live on the web.

barrios and dreyer

Gregg Barrios, right, with Rag Radio host Thorne Dreyer. Photo by Roger Baker / The Rag Blog.

Gregg Barrios

Acclaimed San Antonio-based journalist, playwright, poet, filmmaker, and critic Gregg Barrios was our guest on Rag Radio, April 25, 2014.

Listen to or download the podcast here:


Gregg Barrios is a 2013 USC Annenberg Getty Fellow and serves on the board of directors of the National Book Critics Circle. Gregg, whose work has appeared in The New York Times and other major media outlets, was editorial page editor for the Spanish language daily Rumbo and during the Chicano movement, edited the Raza Unida newspaper, La Verdad. His work frequently appears on The Rag Blog.

A Chicano activist in the ’60s, Gregg Barrios was an original contributor to Austin’s underground newspaper, The Rag. He founded the student film society, Cinema 40, at UT-Austin in 1965, and he edited the UT film magazine Harbinger. His early film reviews appeared in The Rag, The Daily Texan, and Riata. Gregg co-founded the Gulf Coast Film-Makers and his films include the award-winning BONY, filmed at Andy Warhol’s Factory in 1966 with Gerard Malanga and Rene Ricard. A retrospective of his work was shown at the New American Filmmakers Coop in 1968.

Barrios’ critically-acclaimed play Rancho Pancho is about the short-lived but intense relationship between playwright Tennessee Williams and South Texan Pancho Rodriguez. Gregg has been commissioned to write a sequel to Rancho Pancho for the 2015 Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival. He is collaborating with actor and filmmaker James Franco on a book of his experimental work in poetry and film. He was in Austin for the 17th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival where he engaged in a public conversation with pioneering Mexican-American filmmaker Efrain Gutiérrez.

Bruce Dancis

Author, Vietnam-era draft resister, and long-time pop culture critic Bruce Dancis was our guest on Rag Radio, Friday, May 2, 2014.

Listen to or download the podcast here:


Bruce DancisBruce Dancis is author of the recently released Resister: A Story of Protest and Prison during the Vietnam War. Dancis recently retired after a long career as a pop culture critic, including 16 years as the arts and entertainment editor of the Sacramento Bee. He lives in Orangevale, California, and Putnam Valley, New York.

resisterDancis grew up in a radical household and took part in the 1963 March on Washington when he was 15. He was a principal organizer of the first mass draft card burning during the Vietnam War; was an activist in the Resistance, a nationwide organization against the draft; and was president of the active Cornell University chapter of SDS. Bruce turned down a student deferment and refused induction into the armed services. He spent 19 months in federal prison in Ashland, Kentucky, for his actions against the draft.

Michael Kazan wrote that “Resister is that rare memoir by a 1960s radical that teaches as it enthralls… It is one of the wisest books about this era of conflict I have ever read.” And Todd Gitlin said, “In his admirable memoir, Bruce Dancis, a hero of draft resistance, casts light from fresh angles on the movement’s inner life… and the imprisonment that was a price paid for honor.”

Betsy Leondar-Wright

Betsy Leondar-Wright, author of Missing Class: Strengthening Social Movement Groups by Seeing Class Cultures, is our guest on Rag Radio, Friday, April 11, 2014.

Listen to or download the podcast here:


betsy leondar-wrightBetsy Leondar-Wright is a scholar, author, and long-time activist for economic justice. Betsy’s latest book, Missing Class: Strengthening Social Movement Groups by Seeing Class Cultures, makes the case that recognizing class culture differences could enable activists to strengthen their own groups and build more durable cross-class alliances for social justice.

Bill Fletcher Jr. wrote that “Betsy Leondar-Wright can always be counted upon to raise class from the mist of myth in U.S. society. She reaffirms the critical need for a class framework in understanding the fundamental political, economic and social inequities of our time.”

missing classLeondar-Wright also is the author of Class Matters: Cross-Class Alliance Building for Middle-Class Activists and the co-author of The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide. She holds a PhD in sociology from Boston College and is currently Program Director at Class Action. She has led more than 100 workshops all over the U.S. on classism, cross-class alliance building, and economic inequality.

Betsy and her partner, Gail Leondar-Wright, were among the first same-sex couples to be legally married in the United States and were our guests on an earlier episode of Rag Radio.

853px-Rag_radio2Rag Radio is hosted and produced by Rag Blog editor Thorne Dreyer who was a founding editor of the original Rag, published in Austin from 1966-1977. Tracey Schulz is the show’s engineer and co-producer.

Rag Radio has aired more than 200 shows since September 2009 on KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas. Rag Radio is broadcast live every Friday from 2-3 p.m. (CST) on KOOP — and streamed live on the web — and is rebroadcast and streamed on Sundays at 10 a.m. (EST) on WFTE, 90.3-FM in Mt. Cobb, PA, and 105.7-FM in Scranton, PA. Rag Radio is also aired and streamed on KPFT-HD3 90.1 — Pacifica radio in Houston — on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. (CST).

After broadcast, all Rag Radio shows are posted as podcasts at the Internet Archive.

Rag Radio is produced in association with The Rag Blog, a progressive Internet newsmagazine, and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Rag Radio can be contacted at

Next week on Rag Radio:
FRIDAY,May 9, 2014: Environmental activists Paul Robbins and Dave Cortez and The Rag Blog‘s Roger Baker.

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1 Response to Thorne Dreyer :
PODCASTS | Gregg Barrios, Bruce Dancis, and Betsy Leondar-Wright on Rag Radio

  1. Douglas Baker says:

    5/13/2014 Thorne, One of the founder of “Notes From the Underground” in Dallas, Bartee Haile will be Austin this week to tout his new and only book “Texas Desperadoes” published by the History Press. Have him on your radio show. He now does a “This Week in Texas History” column for various TX weeklies. Should you miss this week’s Austin appearance, do a phone interview. LOL Doug

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