Charlotte Rogan, Now And Again & Monique Morris, Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools


Charlotte Rogan talks about her new novel, Now And Again. It’s about an ordinary woman who becomes inspired to take on the fight against the social ills she sees around her — and what that means for the people she loves.

Then, Monique Morris talks about her groundbreaking book Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.

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Mary Costello, ACADEMY STREET & Katha Pollitt, PRO

Sheep beneath Croagh Patrick, Mayo, Ireland

Mary Costello talks about her wonderful debut novel, Academy Street. Then, in light of the Supreme Court decision June 27 declaring Texas’s restrictive law on abortion clinics unconstitutional, we re-air our 2015 interview with Katha Pollitt about her book, Pro.  Continue reading


Catie Marron, City Squares & David Kishik, The Manhattan Project


We talk with Catie Marron about her celebration of the essential urban space, the city square. Her new book is titled City Squares: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World.

Then we re-air our 2015 interview with urban philosopher David Kishik about his book, The Manhattan Project. It imagines what Walter Benjamin might have written about New York, had he survived World War II. Continue reading


Richard Zacks: Chasing the Last Laugh & Island of Vice


Richard Zacks talks about his new book about Mark Twain’s world lecture tour to get himself out of debt. It’s called Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain’s Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour.

Then we re-air the 2012 interview Zacks gave Writers Voice in 2012 about his book Island of Vice. It’s about Teddy Roosevelt’s stint as New York City’s crusading anti-vice Police Commissioner. Continue reading


John Muir Laws, The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling & Corinne Smith, Henry David Thoreau for Kids

crashing wave laws

Naturalist and environmental educator John Muir Laws talks about his book The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling. Then we talk with author Corinne Smith about another great lover of nature, Henry David Thoreau. Her latest book about the great 19th century writer is Henry David Thoreau For Kids, His Life And Ideas, with 21 Activities

John Muir Laws

For John Muir Laws paying attention is an act of love — love for the plants, animals and insects with whom we share our beautiful and terribly endangered home. Perhaps — no, surely — if we all paid the kind of attention that Laws does to the world that sustains us, we would be incapable of inflicting the monstrous harm on it that we do.

Laws GuideThe instrument of his love is his nature journal. John Muir Laws has been keeping nature journals since he was a child roaming the California wilderness. His first published book is an illustrated guide to part of that wilderness,  The Laws Field Guide to the Sierra Nevada. He went on to write more books — guides to birds, guides to drawing birds, and now The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling.

It’s filled with stunning drawings and practical exercises for developing your eye, hand and mind for a deeper understanding of the natural world — whether that be in a spectacular national park or just in your own backyard. But the book is also more than a guide to drawing, it’s a guide to living with more attention, appreciation and love for what surrounds us.

Corinne Smith

As the spring ripens and the days grow warmer, families turn their thoughts to outdoor adventures. Research shows that bringing kids into nature creates a lifelong sense of wonder — the foundation of learning.

thoreauforkidsWhat better way to do that than to involve kids in hands-on activities that foster their inner naturalist. Combine that with a lively biography of America’s most famous nature lover, Henry David Thoreau, and you have a book that delights and instructs in nature and history at the same time.

That’s just what Corinne Smith has done with her book Henry David Thoreau For Kids. Whether it’s building a model of Thoreau’s cabin, planting a garden, keeping a journal or creating a sound map of a forest, the 21 activities in the book bring Thoreau and his ideas to life in a vivid an engaging way.

Corinne Smith is a writer, speaker and outdoor educator. Henry David Thoreau For Kids is her second book about the great American thinker. Her first was Westward I Go Free: Tracing Thoreau’s Last Journey.


Are American Elections Being Hacked? Jonathan Simon: Code Red & Commissioner Virginia Martin

Jonathan Simon talks about the shocking vulnerability of our electronic voting machines and the evidence that that vulnerability is and has been exploited to flip elections. His book is Code Red: Computerized Election Theft and The New American Century.

Then, there is one way to make sure your voting machines aren’t being hacked and it’s being used by one county in New York State. We talk with Board of Elections Commissioner Virginia Martin. She’ll tell us how and why they hand count the vote in her county. Continue reading


Runaway Inequality & The Strip And Flip Selection of 2016

income inequality

Les Leopold talks about his new book, Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice. It’s about how wealth and income inequality are strip-mining our economy and destroying communities across America.

Then — with massive voter purges and hackable voting machines, are American elections really clean and fair? We hear a clip from a recent speech from election integrity expert Robert Fitrakis. He’s got a new book out, co-authored with Harvey Wasserman — The Strip And Flip Selection of 2016. Continue reading



George Hodgeman talks about his wonderful memoir of taking care of his mother in her declining years, Bettyville, first published in 2015 and now out in paperback. Then we re-air our 2011 interview with Dr. Allan Teel about his innovative approach to caring for seniors, called Full Circle. His book is Alone and Invisible No More. Continue reading


What Happens When Your Land Gets Fracked?


Novelist Jennifer Haigh talks about her powerful new book, Heat and Light. It’s about what happens to a small Pennsylvania community when the frackers come to town.

Then Andrew Nikiforuk tells the true story of Jessica Ernst, a Canadian oil patch consultant turned anti-fracking activist. We talk with him about his book, Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful IndustryContinue reading


Peter Blood and Annie Patterson Rise Again & more


Peter Blood and Annie Patterson, co-creators of Rise Up Singing, talk about the sequel, Rise Again (Hal Leonard Publishing June, 2015). We talk with them about both songbooks, their work with Pete Seeger and their long collaboration as a musical couple.

Then we talk with journalist and anti-fracking activist, Maura Stephens. Continue reading


Fixing Our Broken Election System


Can we get real democracy in the US? We talk with political scientist Patrick Barrett about his article, “Can We Change the Political System? Strategic Lessons of the Bernie Sanders Campaign”.

Then we re-air our 2008 interview with muckraking reporter Greg Palast about his book Steal Back Your Vote. We talk about how voters were disenfranchised by voter purging and other voter suppression methods in past elections — and what voters can do about it. Continue reading

Web Extras

Fighting Fracking’s “Corporate Marauders” In Pennsylvania & New York


Francesca Rheannon of Writer’s Voice speaks with journalist and fractivist Maura Stephens about:

  • Fracking’s environmental and public health impact in Pennsylvania and New York
  • Use of eminent domain to take private property for fracking operations
  • How the TPP could override local, state and national sovereignty on the issue
  • The fight against fracking
  • The precarious status of New York’s moratorium on fracking and
  • The Democratic candidates’ differing positions on the issue.

Maura Stephens is a founding member of the Coalition to Protect New York and FrackBustersNY.org.

Read the story of the Holleran Farm, whose maple trees were cut down to make way for a natural gas pipeline.

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Two Memoirs Celebrate Our Connection With The Earth & Its Creatures


We talk with Elizabeth Marshall Thomas about her memoir, Dreaming of Lions: My Life In The Wild Places. She writes about her life with the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert and other people of the Old Way.

And wildlife conservationist Dale Peterson discusses his latest book, Where Have All The Animals Gone? My Travels with Karl AmmannIt’s about his efforts to document the bushmeat trade and other human impacts threatening extinction for apes, elephants and giraffes. We also speak with him about another of his books, The Moral Lives of Animals. Continue reading

Web Extras

Historian Donna Murch on The Clintons’ War On Drugs, Mass Incarceration & The Black Vote

Professor Donna Murch

Rutgers University historian Donna Murch speaks with Francesca about the impact of the 1994 crime bill passed by President Clinton and its devastating impact on communities of color.

Murch’s essay, “The Clintons’ War on Drugs: When Black Lives Didn’t Matter” appeared in the New Republic and is re-printed in False Choices: The Faux Feminism of Hillary Rodham Clinton, a collection of essays by left feminists and edited by Liza Featherstone.  Continue reading