Susan Davis

Producer, The State of Things

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The State of Things
11:39 am
Fri March 25, 2011

The Dry Grass Of August

Book cover, 'The Dry Grass of August'

Mayhew joins host Frank Stasio to talk about writing, race and perseverance.

Anna Jean Mayhew was born and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina where she also lived, worked, raised a family and enjoyed civic life. It wasn't until she moved to the Triangle region of the state that she understood how much she wanted to write about Charlotte. Mayhew had always written, but she had no formal education as a writer. Yet with the help of a dedicated writing group and many years of perseverance, she finished "The Dry Grass of August" (Kensington Books/2011), which was recently released.

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The State of Things
1:06 pm
Wed March 23, 2011

One Big Table

'One Big Table' by Molly O'Neill

O'Neill joins Frank Stasio to talk about how regional cooking is part of regional identity in America.

Molly O'Neill is a celebrated chef, cookbook author and restaurant reviewer. She spent years writing about food and the culture of food for the New York Times. Her new book, "One Big Table" (Simon and Schuster 2010) investigates the allegations that Americans no longer cook. She traveled all over the country and can happily report that Americans do, in fact cook, but even more importantly, Americans still love to eat.

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The State of Things
11:18 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Meet Samia Serageldin

Credit www.harpercollins.co.uk

Seragledin was in Egypt during the recent revolution and she joins host Frank Stasio today to talk about her home country's past, present and future.

Growing up in Egypt, Samia Serageldin didn't think about becoming a writer. She was more worried about the fate of her family whose political activity set them against the ruling parties under Nasser, then Sadat. She married and moved to London at age 20 with her husband. Except for two brief years of hopeful return to Egypt in the late 1970s, Serageldin has been an expatriate, living in Michigan, Massachusetts and North Carolina. Her autobiographical first novel, “The Cairo House,” was published in 2000 and chronicles the rise and fall of a class of Egyptians caught between Western and traditional influences. Her subsequent books, “The Naqib’s Daughter” and “Love is Like Water,” also focus on Egypt.

The State of Things
11:50 am
Fri March 18, 2011

"Butterfly's Child"

'Butterfly's Child' by Angela Davis-Gardner

Angela Davis-Gardner joins host Frank Stasio in the studio to talk about writing and loving Japan.

Raleigh writer Angela Davis-Gardner loves Japan. She went there to teach when she was a young woman fresh from her undergraduate studies at Duke University. The landscape and the people stayed in her imagination so profoundly that she has visited several times and set her most recent books there. “Plum Wine” examines the aftermath of World War II in Japan. And her new book, “Butterfly’s Child” (The Dial Press/2011) moves between Japan and America at the end of the 19th century.

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The State of Things
12:23 pm
Tue March 15, 2011

Morgan Writer-in-Residence

Credit http://englishcomplit.unc.edu/morgan

Hempel joins host Frank Stasio to talk about reading, writing, and teaching.

Amy Hempel is among America's most beloved short story writers. She's also a famous writing teacher – at Harvard University, Bennington College and the Sewanee Writer's Conference, to name a few placeAmy Hempel is among America's most beloved short story writers. She's also a famous writing teacher – at Harvard University, Bennington College and the Sewanee Writer's Conference, to name a few places where students have benefited from her tutelage.

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The State of Things
11:21 am
Tue March 8, 2011

Host Frank Stasio Talks With Marvin Malecha

Scott Huler
Credit piedmontlaureate.com

Writer Scott Huler's nonfiction books, investigative journalism, commentary and humor have made him a fixture on the local literary scene. Now he adds the title Piedmont Laureate to his already impressive resume. Huler joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his program as Piedmont Laureate -- story telling events and conversations among writers -- and his upcoming book projects about the South and Southerners

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The State of Things
9:35 am
Mon March 7, 2011

Meet Jeff Whetstone

John Marc Diptych
Credit Photograph by Jeff Whetstone

Late last month Jeff Whetstone premiered his newest artwork. It's a video depicting a turkey hunt. But it's not a documentary. The hunter uses the female turkey's call to lure a male turkey. Then, the hunter translates the call into English. None of what the female turkey says to the male turkey is suitable for public radio. But to hear a confident American man – muscle-bound, tough, armed and dressed for hunting – talk dirty in the voice of a female turkey is to have your sense of gender, species, nature and wildness ultimately confounded.

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The State of Things
10:49 am
Thu March 3, 2011

The Legacy Of Bob Sheldon

The Internationalist

Several friends of Sheldon's join host Frank Stasio to talk about his legacy, consider the legacy of The Internationalist and to remind us of what Chapel Hill used to be.

Bob Sheldon moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina from Colorado in the late 1970s and by 1981 he had opened The Internationalist Reading Room. By 1991, the Internationalist was a bookstore and Bob Sheldon was dead. His murder remains unsolved. But because of his politics, speculation as to who wanted to harm Bob Sheldon runs rampant. The Internationalist is now a thriving nonprofit and community flashpoint on Franklin Street in the heart of Chapel Hill. The store's journey from reading room to business mirrors Chapel Hills journey from a progressive, affordable college town, to a well-off, sophisticated southern city.

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The State of Things
11:37 am
Tue February 22, 2011

Radio Shangri-La

Book Cover - Radio Shangri-La

Journalist Lisa Napoli was burned out. Then she met a handsome stranger at a party who pointed her in the direction of Bhutan, the tiny Himalayan hamlet famous for being remote and blissful.

Journalist Lisa Napoli was burnt out. She was tired of living in Los Angeles, tired of working the overnight shift for Marketplace Radio and tired of feeling like she didn't have enough of what she wanted in life. Then she met a handsome stranger at a party who pointed her in the direction of Bhutan, the tiny Himalayan hamlet famous for being remote and blissful. There, success is measured, not in Gross National Product, but in Gross National Happiness. Napoli arrived in Bhutan to help set up the first non-government owned radio station when the king peacefully abdicated the throne and the country transitioned into a constitutional monarchy. Her new book, "Radio Shangri-La" (Crown/2011) documents her journey to Bhutan and happiness, Bhutan's journey to democracy and the journey of a friend who left Bhutan for America only to find out that happiness was back at home. Napoli joins host Frank Stasio to talk about her travels and being a reporter in a place with no bad news.

The State of Things
10:20 am
Fri February 18, 2011

NC Literary Lights: A.R. Ammons

A.R. Ammons

As part of the occasional series, “North Carolina Literary Lights,” host Frank Stasio examines the life and work of A.R. Ammons with Alex Albright and Roger Gilbert.

Archie Randolph Ammons, known as "A.R." to his legions of devoted readers, was an award-winning poet who would have celebrated his 85th birthday today. He was born in Whiteville, North Carolina to a large family who farmed for their subsistence, sang in church and took in oddballs and strays. Ammons went on to serve in the Navy, attend Wake Forest University, and teach elementary school before joining the faculty of Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. As a poet, he was honored for his work with two National Book Awards, a Library of Congress Prize for Poetry, a Frost Medal and a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, among many other prizes.

His poetic journey is actually many journeys from poems about rural North Carolina life to poems about science and engineering. And his story is actually many stories, from his early days on the farm to his later days in the rarefied world of poetic distinction.

As part of the occasional series, “North Carolina Literary Lights,” host Frank Stasio examines the life and work of A.R. Ammons with Alex Albright, a poet and an associate professor of English and Creative Writing at East Carolina University and the editor of several volumes of poetry including "The North Carolina Poems" by A.R. Ammons (Broadstone Press/2010). Also joining the conversation is Roger Gilbert, a professor of English at Cornell University who is currently working on a critical biography of Ammons.

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