Joseph Bathanti was born and raised in Pittsburgh. He even went to college and graduate school there. So it's a testament to his passion for North Carolina that he was just announced as the Tar Heel state's newest poet laureate. Bathanti came to North Carolina in the late 1970s to be a VISTA volunteer.
Nathan Kotecki's first young adult novel is haunted by the moody alternative rock of the 1980s which haunted his own youth. Even though the Durham writer's book is set in the present, it's heavy on nostalgia. Kotecki says that for high school kids trying to find their identity as serious, creative types, looking backwards is the easiest way to reject the status quo. Courting the supernatural also helps. Nathan Kotecki joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his book, "The Suburban Strange" (Houghton Mifflin/2012).
Wage theft has been called "America's silent crime wave." It’s when businesses steal from their employees through a variety of unconscionable methods. Twenty-six percent of low wage workers don't get paid the minimum wage they are entitled to by law. Seventy-six percent of the country's work force doesn't get paid for the over time they work.
More than 85 people were murdered in the Triangle and Triad regions of North Carolina last year. You may have heard about the crimes in the news, but you probably don’t know much more than that. The National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children aims to raise awareness about these losses of life.
The Carolina Chocolate Drops famously reclaimed traditional mountain music for African-Americans. Their efforts were celebrated from Nashville to Hollywood and by the folks who give out the Grammy Awards. That legacy took on some poignancy this past year when their mentor, master fiddler Joe Thompson, passed away.
Michael Chabon famously constructs whole worlds in his novels. From the superhero invented by Cavalier and Clay to the Yiddish State of Alaska. His new novel, “Telegraph Avenue” (Harper Collins/2012) is no exception. It conjures a Bay Area struggling with chain stores and its countercultural past. It also comes with a playlist. Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon joins host Frank Stasio to talk about art, culture and the consolation of music.
Even though Wayne Holden wasn’t a natural athlete, being 6 feet, 6 inches meant that he had to play basketball in high school. That sent him to college, which led him into psychology and working with disturbed kids. It was a career he loved, but since 2005, Holden has worked at RTI International, a global research organization. Now he serves as RTI's CEO. So, how did he go from the clinic to the boardroom? Holden joins host Frank Stasio to discuss his fascinating journey.
The North Carolina delegation has a prime spot on the floor at the Democratic National Convention arena. Hosting the party's party is a big deal, and for delegates it's fun, and fascinating. We'll meet several North Carolina delegates today. Frank Stasio is joined by Andy Ball, Nick Carpenter, Margaret Katherine Alexander and Sam Spencer.
Young people helped Barak Obama secure the presidency in 2008. The question is: will they do it again? At Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, they hosted a cyber summit called U-FUTURE directly aimed at empowering young people to participate in the electoral process. Host Frank Stasio is joined by JCS President Ronald Carter, North Carolina State Senator Malcolm Graham and students Michael Jordan and Lauren Simmons.