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
11:30 am
Tue November 29, 2011

When She Woke

Book cover, ''When She Woke''

For writer Hillary Jordan, the lessons of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic, “The Scarlet Letter,” are relevant today. In her new book, “When She Woke” (Algonquin/2011), Jordan imagines that the skin tone of convicted criminals can be genetically altered to fit their misdeeds. Petty crimes are punished with yellow pigmentation, sex crimes with blue and criminals convicted of murder – like the book’s protagonist Hannah Payne – are turned bright red. Hannah, a devoutly religious young woman, is being punished for killing her unborn child. Her incarceration is also broadcast on reality TV.

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State of Things
11:24 am
Tue November 29, 2011

Freedom to Marry

Next May, North Carolina voters are scheduled to go to the polls to vote on a proposed amendment to the North Carolina state constitution that will ban same-sex marriage. Yet, according to recent polls, support for same-sex unions is on the rise. Nearly 53% of Americans favor the right to marry for everyone. That’s up from 42% five years ago.

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State of Things
8:00 am
Mon November 28, 2011

Meet Katy Munger

Katy Munger
Credit www.katymunger.com

Some fans know her as Gallagher Gray or Chaz McGhee, but those who grew up with mystery writer Katy Munger in Raleigh knew her as one of six children in a large, eccentric family that lived in Cameron Park. Her father was the longtime books editor at The News & Observer, her mother was a political activist who took her children with her to protests and marches. Munger's lively childhood has helped shaped the characters she creates in three sets of mystery series, The Hubbert and Lil books, the Casey Jones series and her latest, the Dead Detective series. Host Frank Stasio talks with Katy Munger, who now lives in Durham, about her life, her work and how her characters interact with the justice system.  This program originally aired on August 22, 2011.  For a link to the audio, click here.

State of Things
8:00 am
Wed November 23, 2011

American Graduate: Keeping Kids in School

An estimated 16,000 kids dropped out of school in North Carolina last year. That’s a slight improvement from the year before, but it’s clear that much more needs to be done to make school a welcoming and academically challenging place for many of the state’s students. Join host Frank Stasio and UNC-TV’s Heather Burgiss for a special conversation about how to keep kids in the classroom.

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State of Things
12:16 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

The Farm-to-Goodie Basket Food Chain

Turning a secret recipe for barbecue sauce or homemade pickles into a packaged product is a lot harder than it looks. But it's getting easier. That's thanks to the hard work of some food-loving entrepreneurs, and a growing sector in the middle of the local food chain. Host Frank Stasio talks with Nick Hawthorne-Johnson, co-owner of The Cookery in Durham, and with Jennifer Curtis, director of NC Choices and co-founder of Farmhand Foods. Both Hawthorne-Johnson and Curtis help fill the gap between the farmer and the food buyer.

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State of Things
12:04 pm
Tue November 22, 2011

The Gathering

The Gathering String Band
Credit The Gathering String Band

Laurelyn Dossett’s musical talent has led her to collaborate on shows for Triad Stage in Greensboro and with the North Carolina Symphony Orchestra. Dossett’s newest project is a song cycle called "The Gathering" about a journey home on a winter night. The composition will premiere as part of A Carolina Christmas at Meymandi Concert Hall in Raleigh this weekend. Dossett and performer Rhiannon Giddens of the Carolina Chocolate Drops stop by to sing and talk about the holiday concert with host Frank Stasio.

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State of Things
10:22 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Meet Jake Phelps

As a young man, Jake Phelps asked a lot of questions about things that, to an innocent mind, just didn’t make sense – like why his Black neighbors in Winston-Salem, NC were treated differently from the white people in his community. His curiosity led him to become an activist in the Civil Rights Movement, leading social battles against legalized segregation. Phelps later managed the construction of Duke University’s Bryan Center. He joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his involvement in the fight for racial equality and his career in Durham, NC.

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State of Things
11:36 am
Fri November 18, 2011

White Tiger

Rondy McKee

Rondy McKee began her professional life in advertising in downtown Detroit, MI. She decided to learn self defense after a few close calls with criminals. That training led her to become the first Westerner to ever join the Korean Tigers, a professional martial arts team. Today, she is also the owner of White Tiger martial arts school in Cary, NC. Host Frank Stasio talks to McKee about the sport of taekwondo.

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State of Things
11:31 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Kafkaesque

Book cover, ''Kafkaesque''

Writer Franz Kafka died relatively unknown in 1924, but today his name has been immortalized in the term “Kafkaesque.” It's a word used to describe the surreal realities of the modern world, so it’s no surprise that Kafka is more popular now than he ever was in his lifetime. Writers John Kessel and James Patrick Kelly have put together a new anthology of stories called "Kafkaesque" (Tachyon/2011). It includes stories written by Kafka, inspired by Kafka and reminiscent of his style. Host Frank Stasio talks to Kessel, a professor in the English Department at North Carolina State University about the creative writing collection and why today’s readers can relate to Kafka’s works.

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State of Things
11:26 am
Fri November 18, 2011

Archbishops of Blount Street

Archbishops of Blount Street
Credit www.archbishopsofblountstreet.com

The last couple of years have been one big dance party for Archbishops of Blount Street. The 10-member, Triangle-based band specializes in ska music, a Jamaican-born blend of upbeat calypso, jazz and R&B that predates reggae. They join host Frank Stasio in the studio to play live and discuss the origins of ska and how it has inspired musicians around the world for generations.

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