All posts by Francesca Rheannon

About Francesca Rheannon

Francesca Rheannon is an award-winning independent radio producer. In addition to hosting Writer's Voice, she's a freelance reporter for National Public Radio and its affiliates. Recipient of the prestigious Nancy Dickerson Whitehead Award for reporting on substance abuse issues for her news series, VOICES OF HIV, produced for 88.5 WFCR public radio in western Massachusetts. She is also finishing a book on Provence (PROVINCE OF THE HEART) and working on a memoir of her father, THE ARGONAUTS.

Podcast

Tamara Payne on Les Payne’s THE DEAD ARE ARISING

We spend the hour talking with Tamara Payne about her late father Les Payne’s acclaimed biography of Malcolm X, The Dead Are Arising. It just won the National Book Award.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004.

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Podcast

Victoria Bond, ZORA AND ME & Irene Butter, SHORES BEYOND SHORES

We talk with Victoria Bond, co-author of Zora and Me, a terrific middle grades trilogy of novels about Zora Neale Hurston, about the last in the series, Zora and Me: The Summoner.

Then, we talk with ninety year-old Irene Butter about her spellbinding memoir of living through the Nazi Holocaust, Shores Beyond Shores.

Finally, we recommend a novel by Ellen Cooney as a gift for the Holidays or for reading any time.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on your favorite podcast platform! It really helps others find our show. And like us on Facebook at Writers Voice Radio or find us on Twitter @WritersVoice.

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Podcast

Tim Wise, DISPATCHES FROM THE RACE WAR & Mehrdad Azemun

We talk with social justice advocate and author Tim Wise about his new book Dispatches From The Race War.

Then we talk with Mehrdad Azemun of People’s Action about a “weapon of mass connection” the organization is using to bridge the political divide.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on your favorite podcast platform! It really helps others find our show. And like us on Facebook at Writers Voice Radio or find us on Twitter @WritersVoice.

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Web Extras

Could A “Weapon of Mass Connection” win Georgia for the Dems?

Mehrdad Azemun on Deep Canvassing
Is America hopelessly divided between those who voted for Donald Trump and those who voted for Joe Biden? Or can a “weapon of mass connection” be used to bridge the divide?

Mehrdad Azemun

That’s a bet being made by a national economic and racial justice organization called People’s Action. It’s a coalition of grassroots groups operating in 30 different states on issues like climate justice, student debt, mass incarceration, health care, and housing—and on mobilizing voters to turn out for those issues.

The “weapon of mass connection” People’s Action uses (maybe a better word is “tool”) is something called “deep canvassing”.

Francesca spoke with Mehrdad Azemun, national political strategist with People’s Action, about deep canvassing and more for this episode of our online series, What You Need To Know.

Podcast

Jess Walter, THE COLD MILLIONS & Lara Vapnek, REBEL GIRL

We talk with Jess Walter about his novel The Cold Millions. It’s about the first Gilded Age with striking parallels to the Gilded Age 2.0 we’re living in right now.

Then, we revisit our 2015 interview with Lara Vapnek about her biography of one of the historical characters who appears in Walter’s novel: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. It’s called Rebel Girl.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004.

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Podcast

Bryan Washington, MEMORIAL & Nicole Krauss, TO BE A MAN

We talk with novelist Nicole Krauss about her acclaimed first collection of stories, To Be A Man.

But first, we talk with short story writer Bryan Washington about his first novel: Memorial. He calls it a “gay slacker dramedy” but it’s really much more than that.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on your favorite podcast platform! It really helps others find our show. And like us on Facebook at Writers Voice Radio or find us on Twitter @WritersVoice.

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Podcast

Elisa Gabbert, THE UNREALITY OF MEMORY

We spend the hour talking with Elisa Gabbert about her terrific collection of essays, THE UNREALITY OF MEMORY. It’s a contemplation of life in the pre-apocalypse, with profound and prophetic essays on the Internet age’s media-saturated disaster coverage and our addiction to viewing and discussing the world’s ills.

Then we end with the poem “Memory” by poet Lucille Clifton and remember her work.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on your favorite podcast platform! It really helps others find our show. And like us on Facebook at Writers Voice Radio or find us on Twitter @WritersVoice.

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Podcast

Les Leopold, DEFIANT GERMAN—DEFIANT JEW & Anthony Horowitz, MOONFLOWER MURDERS

We talk with Les Leopold about his Uncle Walter’s remarkable diary of life as Jew in Nazi Germany, Defiant German—Defiant Jew: A Holocaust Memoir from Inside the Third Reich. Les Leopold had the diary translated and has added much context and commentary to the book.

Then, we talk with acclaimed crime novelist Anthony Horowitz about his newest murder mystery confection, Moonflower Murders. It’s the second in the Susan Ryeland series, following Magpie Murders.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on your favorite podcast platform! It really helps others find our show. And like us on Facebook at Writers Voice Radio or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.

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Podcast

Stephen Snyder THE MEMORY POLICE & Marian Lindberg SCANDAL ON PLUM ISLAND

We talk with translator Stephen Snyder about his translation of Yoko Ozawa’s acclaimed novel The Memory Police. It’s an allegory for our age.

Then we hear from Marian Lindberg about her book, Scandal On Plum Island: A Commander Becomes The Accused. It tells the neglected story of Major Benjamin Koehler, a distinguished Army officer who was blind-sided by charges of homoerotic behavior in 1914.

We also preview our post-Election Day interview with legal scholar Lawrence Douglas, author of Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020. (Listen to the full interview here.)

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on your favorite podcast platform! It really helps others find our show. And like us on Facebook at Writers Voice Radio or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.

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Web Extras

Will Trump Go? A Post-Election Day Reaction from Lawrence Douglas

Lawrence Douglas

The US is facing a constitutional crisis as Donald Trump tries to stop the counting of millions of mail-in ballots that could tip the presidency to Joe Biden.

One person who predicted this very outcome is Amherst College legal scholar Lawrence Douglas. He’s the author of the recent book, Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Election Meltdown in 2020.

Writers Voice spoke with Douglas in September and Francesca called him up the day after Election Day for his reaction to the situation we find ourselves in, the very situation that was the topic of his book—and of an article he published November 4 in the Guardian, Don’t be fooled: the delays in the US election result mean our system is working.

Podcast

Thomas Frank, THE PEOPLE, NO

We spend the hour talking with political historian Thomas Frank about his ground-breaking book about Populism and anti-Populism, The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism.

It’s about the long history of elite distrust of pro-democracy working class/farmer political activism in the U.S. As Frank explains:

The People, No is the story of how much of our modern world we owe to our home-grown democratic movements for reform. It is also a cautionary note for our time, a warning against the pundits who tell us to fear the plain people, to keep to the path of centrist complacency, to let the experts handle our lives and our future.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes,  Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts! It really helps others find our show.

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Podcast

Jane Kleeb, HARVEST THE VOTE & Eric Holthaus, THE FUTURE EARTH

Is the Democratic Party doing enough to reach out to rural voters? We talk with Jane Kleeb, chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party about her book, Harvest the Vote: How Democrats Can Win Again in Rural America. (Harper Collins, 2020).

Then, a powerful vision of creating a livable and just world for everyone. We talk with climate journalist Eric Holthaus about his book The Future Earth: A Radical Vision for What’s Possible in the Age of Warming.
(Harper Collins, 2020).

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes,  Amazon Music or wherever you get your podcasts! It really helps others find our show.

Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.

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Podcast

Katherine Kinzler, HOW YOU SAY IT & David Graeber, DEBT

We talk with psychologist Katherine Kinzler about her book How You Say It: Why You Talk the Way You Do—And What It Says About You.

Then, we remember anthropologist and anarchist activist David Graeber. We play excerpts from our 2011 interview with him about his book Debt: The First 5000 Years. He died September 2.

Writer’s Voice — in depth progressive conversation with writers of all genres. On the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes or whatever podcast app you use!

Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.

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Podcast

Matt Stoller, GOLIATH & Thomas Frank on Populism

We talk with Matt Stoller about his book GOLIATH: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy.

Then we replay an excerpt from our interview last year with Thomas Frank about populism-real and fake. He’s got a new book out about it, The People, No.

Writer’s Voice — in depth progressive conversation with writers of all genres. On the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes or whatever podcast app you use!

Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.

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Podcast

Douglas Boin, ALARIC THE GOTH & Jim Walsh on the Fracking Ban Bill

We talk with historian Douglas Boin about his fascinating biography, Alaric The Goth: An Outsider’s History of the Fall of Rome. It’s a cautionary tale about how xenophobia and anti-immigrant bigotry led to the Sack of Rome and the fall of the Roman Empire.

Then we hear from Jim Walsh of Food and Water Watch about legislation proposed by AOC to ban fracking.

Writer’s Voice — in depth progressive conversation with writers of all genres. On the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts! Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.

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