Frank Stasio

Host, "The State of Things"

Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.

From there he went to National Public Radio, where he rose from associate producer to newscaster for All Things Considered. He left that job in 1990 to help start an alternative school in Washington, DC. Frank returned to NPR as a freelance news anchor, guest host of Talk of The Nation and other national programs, and host of special news coverage.

He also presents audio theater workshops for children and teachers and conducts radio journalism workshops for broadcasters in former Soviet-bloc countries. He lives in Durham.

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State of Things
11:16 am
Tue January 24, 2012

J Timber

Vocalist J Timber

You can hear influences of some of the best soul artists in singer J Timber’s vocal style, but there was a time when the musician didn’t believe he was cut out for the spotlight. He was content as a drummer and backup singer until family, friends and fans persuaded him to open up and perform. He did and now the Greensboro vocalist is making a name for himself in North Carolina.

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State of Things
9:28 am
Mon January 23, 2012

NC Literary Lights: Meet Alan Shapiro

Book cover, ''Broadway Baby'' by Alan Shapiro

Poet and writer Alan Shapiro expected to be a basketball star, not a literary star, but an injury took him off the court and left him alone with his grief. He found his way into verse and never left. Shapiro is the author of ten books of poems, two memoirs, a collection of criticism and now the novel "Broadway Baby," which was just released by Algonquin Books. He also has a new collection of poetry out called "Night of the Republic" (Houghton Mifflin/2012).

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State of Things
12:24 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

¡Las Luchadoras de Durham!

¡Las Luchadoras de Durham!
Credit www.luchadoras.tumblr.com

Areli Barrera is a 26-year-old graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she still hosts a radio program on the campus station, WXYZ. But this weekend, she will be transformed into La Sirenita de Tiajuana (The Little Mermaid of Tiajuana), the nickname she’ll go by in the ring when she wrestles at Luchadoras 2. That’s an event designed in the tradition of lucha libre, Mexico’s popular freestyle wrestling matches. On Saturday in Durham, Barrera and other amateur female wrestlers will battle it out with breathtaking maneuvers to entertain the audience and to raise awareness about the NC Dream Team, an organization that advocates on behalf of undocumented immigrants.

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State of Things
12:20 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Reimagining Kenya's Future through Literature

Billy Kahora
Credit www.kwani.org

In 2007, Kenya experienced a violent backlash in response to politics surrounding the country’s presidential election. This year, Kenyans will go to the polls again, this time with a new constitution in place – a document many hope will eliminate some of the problems that led to bloodshed five years ago. Billy Kahora is a Kenyan writer and the managing editor of Kwani, a literary magazine that works to share the experience of East Africans and consider Kenya’s social and political future through writing.

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State of Things
11:43 am
Fri January 20, 2012

The Hot at Nights

Nice Talk by The Hot at Nights
Credit The Hot at Nights

Musician Chris Boerner traded his saxophone in to focus on playing the guitar at a young age. Back then, Boerner thought rock ‘n’ roll was his true calling, but after studying classical guitar at Duke University, he turned his attention to jazz. He founded a hip-hop jazz collective in 2004 and the next year, released “Incoming,” his first album as a bandleader. Boerner’s new ensemble is a jazz trio called The Hot at Nights. They recently released a new album called “Nice Talk” and an EP called “Shibuya Session.” The latter is a collaboration with Nicolay Rook, one half of the hip-hop/R&B duo The Foreign Exchange.

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State of Things
10:20 am
Thu January 19, 2012

The Future in Film and Literature

Book Cover of ''Metaplanetary'' by Tony Daniel

Futuristic films and literature of the 20th century imagined everything from space aliens to homicidal computers affecting - and sometimes eradicating - the human race. Although the reality of scientific and technological advancements is perhaps stranger than fiction, we can learn a lot about modern society by looking at how writers of the past viewed the future. Host Frank Stasio talks about conceptions of the future in literature and film, and our current understanding of science and space exploration with Devin Orgeron, associate professor in North Carolina State University’s film studies department; Tony Daniel, a science fiction writer and editor at Baen Books; Andre P. Mazzoleni, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at North Carolina State University; Warren Jasper, professor in the college of textiles at North Carolina State University; and Brent Carter, a student in the College of Textiles at North Carolina State University.

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State of Things
11:23 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Occupy the Courts

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case turned corporations into people in the eyes of the law. A group called Move to Amend is trying to change all that. They are hosting an Occupy the Courts protest at local federal courthouses across the country to raise awareness of their proposed amendment in opposition of the Citizens United decision.

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State of Things
11:20 am
Wed January 18, 2012

State History and Mystery

Musician Tommy Edwards combines the rich folklore of North Carolina with bluegrass song traditions on his new album, "North Carolina: History, Mystery, Lore and More." His melodic narratives include the stories of a ghostly light traveling along train tracks in Brunswick County where a gruesome accident occurred, the barren spot of ground in Chatham County where the Devil allegedly paced, and Edwards sings the praises of barbecue.

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State of Things
10:49 am
Wed January 18, 2012

Les Enfants Terribles

The North Carolina Opera is celebrating composer Philip Glass' 75th birthday with a presentation of his opera, “Les Enfants Terribles.” The opera has the trademark hypnotic sound of Glass' music and features a tragic storyline involving a brother and sister whose obsession with each other ends in a deadly fashion.

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State of Things
11:51 am
Tue January 17, 2012

Durham's Newest Museum

museumofdurhamhistory.org
Credit museumofdurhamhistory.org

Why is Durham, NC called the City of Medicine? What’s the first publicly supported liberal arts college for African-Americans in the nation? What was the original name of Duke University? What did explorer John Lawson call Durham when he chronicled the region in 1701? The answers to these and other questions about the Bull City will all be answered by the proposed Museum of Durham History, which is one step closer to existence with the recent hire of co-directors. One of them, Katie Spencer, joins host Frank Stasio, along with Tom Krakauer, the past chairman of the museum’s board and the current CEO, to talk about the city's big plans to archive and exhibit its history.

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