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

Paul Tough, THE YEARS THAT MATTER MOST & Kristina Rizga, MISSION HIGH

We talk with Paul Tough about his terrific new book, THE YEARS THAT MATTER MOST: How College Makes Or Breaks Us. It asks the question: Is the American system of higher education fair? Or is it designed to protect the privileged and leave everyone else behind?

Then we re-air our 2015 interview with Kristina Rizga about her book MISSION HIGH: One School, How Experts Tried to Fail It, and the Students and Teachers Who Made It Triumph. It’s about a high school in San Francisco with an impressive track record on educating poor, minority and immigrant youth.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts!

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Podcast

Cory Doctorow, RADICALIZED & MAKERS

We spend the hour with science fiction novelist, blogger and technology activist, Cory Doctorow. First, we talk with him about his terrific new book, Radicalized. It brings together four speculative fiction novellas connected by social, technological, and economic visions of today — and what America could be in the very near future.

Then we re-air an edited version of our 2010 interview with Doctorow about his novel, Makers, which is about a movement of open source tech creators and their battle with the Disney Corporation.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts!

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Podcast

Julie Orringer, THE FLIGHT PORTFOLIO & Robert Matzen, DUTCH GIRL

Eighty years ago on September 1, 1939 World War Two broke out. Today, we talk about a new novel and a surprising biography that illumine important but lesser known stories about that conflict: Julie Orringer’s acclaimed novel, The Flight Portfolio and Robert Matzen’s fascinating biography of the young Audrey Hepburn and her work with the Dutch Resistance against the Nazis, Dutch Girl.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts!

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Podcast

Jayson Greene, ONCE MORE WE SAW STARS & Mitchell S. Jackson, SURVIVAL MATH

We talk with Jayson Greene about his memoir of losing his two year old daughter to a freak accident, Once More We Saw Stars.

Then, we talk with writer Mitchell S. Jackson about his memoir of growing up in an African-American community in Portland Oregon, Survival Math.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts!

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Podcast

Octavio Solis, RETABLOS & Don Arbor, singer-songwriter

We talk with playwright and author Octavio Solis about growing up the son of Mexican migrants in El Paso Texas. His book of stories based on that history is Retablos: Stories from a Life Lived Along the Border. We also talk about the August 3 mass shooting in El Paso and the impact it has had on Solis’ hometown.

Then, we re-air our 2018 interview with singer-songwriter Don Arbor about his song honoring immigrants, “Everyone Comes From Somewhere”. Continue reading

Podcast

Rachel Louise Snyder, NO VISIBLE BRUISES & Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz, LOADED

We talk with Rachel Louise Snyder about her groundbreaking book, No Visible Bruises: What We Don’t Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us.

We also play an excerpt from our 2018 interview with historian Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz about her book about the Second Amendment, Loaded. Continue reading

Podcast

Thomas Lockley, AFRICAN SAMURAI & John Nichols on the Democratic Debate

We talk with Thomas Lockley about his book, African Samurai: The True Story of Yasuke, a Legendary Black Warrior in Feudal Japan. It’s about the first foreigner and the only African to ever become a samurai.

Then, who—or what—won at Tuesday’s Democratic debate? Political analyst John Nichols of the Nation magazine joins us with his take. His article for the Nation is “Last Night’s Debate Produced a Clear Winner: Medicare for All.”

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Podcast

Paul Kaplan, NEW YORK’S PENN STATION & Bram Presser THE BOOK OF DIRT

Why was the original Penn Station built, only to be torn down some 50 years later? We find out in the first half of today’s Writers Voice when we talk with Paul Kaplan about his book New York’s Penn Station: The Rise and Fall of an American Landmark.

Then, we talk with Bram Presser about The Book of Dirt, his novel/memoir about his grandparents’ remarkable history during the Holocaust.

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Podcast

Christian McEwen, LEGAL TENDER & Elie Mystal on Trump’s Court

We talk with Christian McEwen about her newest book, Legal Tender: Women and the Secret Life of Money (Bauhan Press 2019). Then, Nation contributor Elie Mystal discusses how Donald Trump and the GOP have reshaped the judiciary for a generation. His cover article for the Nation is “Donald Trump and the Plot to Take Over the Courts.”

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Podcast

Stephen Davis, TRUTHTELLER & Anthony Horowitz, THE SENTENCE IS DEATH

We talk with Stephen Davis about his book Truthteller: An Investigative Reporter’s Journey Through The World Of Truth Prevention, Fake News And Conspiracy Theories.

Then mystery maven Anthony Horowitz tells us about about his newest in his series of mystery metafiction about detective Daniel Hawthorne, The Sentence Is Death (Harper Collins.)

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes or other podcast app!

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Podcast

Thomas Frank on “populism” & Donna Murch on mass incarceration

Populism — what is it really? And when we condemn it, are we missing the point? We talk with political analyst Thomas Frank about populism, real and fake. He’s the author of such books as What’s the Matter With Kansas? and Listen, Liberal, among others.

Then, Joe Biden’s record in promoting policies that led to mass incarceration of black and brown Americans is coming under scrutiny. We play excerpts from a 2016 interview we did with historian Donna Murch about those policies and how centrist Democrats like Biden joined with racist Republicans to bring them about.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts!

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Podcast

Christina Proenza-Coles, AMERICAN FOUNDERS & Sara Collins, THE CONFESSIONS OF FRANNIE LANGTON

We talk with Christina Proenza-Coles about her groundbreaking new history, American Founders: How People of African Descent Established Freedom in the New World.

Then, we talk with Jamaican-English author Sara Collins about her breakout debut novel, The Confessions of Frannie Langton. It’s an historical thriller about a former slave who is accused of murdering her employer and his wife in Georgian London.

Writer’s Voice — in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004. Rate us on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts!

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Podcast

Eve Ensler, THE APOLOGY & INSECURE AT LAST

We spend the hour with playwright, author and activist Eve Ensler, first talking about her latest book, The Apology. It’s written in the voice of her father, who inflicted terrible emotional, sexual and physical abuse on her when she was a child.

Then we air an excerpt from our 2006 interview with her about Ensler’s book, Insecure at Last. Continue reading

Podcast

Fighting Ageism: Ashton Applewhite, THIS CHAIR ROCKS & Dr. Louise Aronson, ELDERHOOD

We talk with Ashton Applewhite about her manifesto against ageism, This Chair Rocks.

Then, writer and geriatrician Louise Aronson tells us about her book, Elderhood: Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Reimagining Life.

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Podcast

Gregory Pardlo, AIR TRAFFIC and Robert Pollin on NY’s Climate and Community Protection Act

We talk with Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and writer Gregory Pardlo about his searing family memoir, AIR TRAFFIC: A Memoir of Ambition & Manhood in America (Knopf, April 2019).

Then, is New York State poised to pass the most ambitious Green New Deal in the country? We talk with economist Robert Pollin about New York’s Climate and Community Protection Act.

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