Latest Stories

Awash in a sea of Trumpian conservativism
Articles

Charlie Sykes spent more than two decades hosting a popular conservative talk-radio show, railing against Obama and pushing Paul Ryan and Scott Walker onto the national stage. Today, he’s a Trump critic who's disillusioned with the Republican Party.

Length: 
15:10
Odysseus und Penelope
Audio

Classicist Emily Wilson is the first woman ever to publish an English translation of Homer’s epic. "In some ways, it should be a story that's less about me than about why it has taken the English speaking world so long before there's been a complete published translation of "The Odyssey" by a woman."

Length: 
10:18
Circe
Audio

In Homer's "The Odyssey," Circe was a Greek goddess who turned Odysseus’ men into pigs. Today, Circe finally gets to tell her side of the story, thanks to novelist Madeline Miller.

Length: 
11:28
Anthony Bourdain
Articles

The chef, storyteller and world-traveler has died at age 61. We revisit Steve Paulson's interview with him in 2004.

office
Audio

Do you dread going to work because your office is filled with people who are rude and treat you badly? Christine Porath is trying to do something about it with her book, “Mastering Civility: A Manifesto for the Workplace.”

Under the dome
Articles

Imagine eight scientists, four men and four women, volunteer for a grand experiment focusing on the future of humanity: living for two years inside of a prototype of a possible off-earth colony. That’s the premise behind acclaimed novelist T.C. Boyle’s new book, "The Terranauts." 

Coney Island
Audio

Writer Leslie Parry describes what Coney Island would have sounded like during its heyday 100 years ago.

Length: 
1:40
Philip Roth, on his fiction and memory
Articles

In his final years, the novelist came to terms with how his own story might influence the future interpretation of his fiction.

plant
Audio

Sabrina Frey has metastatic ocular cancer, but she's already lived longer than her doctors expected. What can we learn from how she looks at life? For one, she lives in the moment.

Length: 
12:47
Tom Wolfe
Articles

Tom Wolfe had a shocking lack of hubris when it came to his journalism. He said what he did as a reporter took no special skills, requiring only the willingness to leave the building and take notes. He also found that to be the best way to craft naturalistic fiction, which he only began writing at 54. He was 88 when he died Monday.

an aging world structure
Audio

The future feels unpredictable in so many places today. If you look around the world right now, seems like everyone wants their own independent nation. Are the old nation-states...toast? That’s what John Feffer worries about.

Length: 
13:22
Catalons
Articles

Catalans have a different language, flag and anthem from Spain. Some in the region are fighting for independence. Catalonia is a nation divided in cultural identity, but should it separate from Spain?

Length: 
4:21
Deep Tracks

We told Milwaukee DJ Tarik Moody we were doing a whole show about water. He created the perfect playlist to complement our interviews. He shares a few secrets on how to find a track by mood, reference, or feel.

Length: 
3:13
Karl Marx
Articles

Is it time to reassess the revolutionary ideas of Karl Marx? May 5th marks the 200th birthday of the thinker, and to mark the bicentennial, we dug into our archives to feature my 2014 interview with Terry Eagleton, who says we never really understood Marx.

Articles

We have hands that can do things like knit, draw, throw pots, and build houses. In fact, there’s a philosopher, Colin McGinn, who thinks hands are what made us human.

Typewriter
Articles

A few years ago, Tyler Knott Gregson challenged himself to write a poem a day on a vintage typewriter. Today, he's a daily Instagram poet.

Audio

Betsan Corkhill founded Britain's therapeutic knitting movement — the clinical application of knitting to treat a variety of mental and physical ailments. 

water
Articles

WisContext — a reporting collaboration between Wisconsin Public Radio, Wisconsin Public Television and the University of Wisconsin's Cooperative Extension —has done some exceptional reporting on water rights and the economics of water diversion in our home state of Wisconsin. We're sharing some of it here.

Kerepunu women at the marketplace of Kalo, British New Guinea, 1885
Articles

A conversation with renowned biologist Jared Diamond, best known for his Pulitzer Prize-winning book “Guns, Germs and Steel.” His new book is “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?”

Length: 
11:00
Gorilla
Articles

Elena Passarello created “Koko” from the one-thousand word vocabulary of a gorilla who uses sign language. Her book is "Animals Strike Curious Poses."

Man alone in a tunnel
Audio

David Morris spent three years reporting in Iraq before an improvised explosive device forced him to return home. The attack haunted him, and kicked off a bout with PTSD that would take years to recover from. 

vinyl player
Articles

Novelist Hari Kunzru talks about listening through the scratch and hiss of old 78’s for the voice of the past.

Books and books
Articles

The complexity of mental health makes it challenging to boil down to a single hour of radio. So here's a reading list to open up a bigger conversation.

sleeping woman having manic episode
Audio

It can be difficult for those who've never experienced a manic episode to know what it feels like. What can set one off. For Jaime Lowe, it was a fire that triggered a manic episode so severe completely lost touch with reality.

Angie Jiang goes to Washington
Audio

Have you ever tried to lobby a US Senator? How about when you were 17? Angie Jiang did. She’s a high school senior. She’s on the swim team. She loves Beyonce. And she’s an advisor to the UN.

Length: 
7:11
Audio

Ben Marcus talks about another one of the stories he chose for the "New American Stories" anthology — "Going for a Beer" by Robert Coover.

“Refugees didn’t live in town. The overwhelming majority were stuck in a camp with layers of razor-wire-topped fences that evoked comparisons to Guantánamo from some of its residents. Meant for 600, its population had, during my late-October visit, swelle
Video

Molly Crabapple's art — her drawings, paintings and posters — have ignited various political causes, from the Occupy Movement to protests against the treatment of prisoners in Guantanamo. She tells Anne how art can be a political tool.

Craig Taborn
Audio

In the pantheon of contemporary jazz pianists — from Keith Jarrett to Herbie Hancock — Craig Taborn is not widely known.  But among fellow jazz musicians, he’s revered. Vijay Iyer calls him “one of the greatest living pianists.

Vera Sung, Jill Sung, and Thomas Sung from ABACUS.
Video

Only one bank faced criminal charges in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. Somewhat surprisingly, it was a small, family-owned bank run by Chinese immigrants. Documentary filmmaker Steve James tells the story in his new film "Abacus: Small Enough to Jail," now nominated for an Academy Award.

Length: 
10:37
Arches National Park landscape. NPS Photo by Jacob W. Frank
Photo Gallery

Steve presents a profile of Edward Abbey, whose book "Desert Solitaire" changed the way people thought about the desert. Abbey inspired many of today's environmental activists. We hear excerpts from Abbey's work and his admirers.

Length: 
11:20

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