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

John Nichols, THE FIGHT FOR THE SOUL OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY & Chuck Rocha, TÍO BERNIE

In this episode of Writer’s Voice, we continue our Election 2020 series with two looks back—one way back and the other more recent—to derive important lessons for this election season.

First, we talk with John Nichols about his new book, The Fight For The Soul Of The Democratic Party: The Enduring Legacy of Henry Wallace’s Anti-Fascist, Anti-Racist Politics.

Then Bernie2020 campaign strategist Chuck Rocha talks about his new book Tío Bernie: The Inside Story of How Bernie Sanders Brought Latinos Into the Political Revolution.

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

Ted Rall POLITICAL SUICIDE & Max Elbaum on the Left & Biden

A great debate is raging on the Left between those whose first priority is defeating Trump and those who say supporting Joe Biden means selling out to corrupt corporate Democrats.

Today, we bring that debate to Writer’s Voice. First we talk with political cartoonist Ted Rall about his book, POLITICAL SUICIDE: The Fight for the Soul of the Democratic Party. Then, author and long-term socialist activist Max Elbaum asks “Should Anti-Capitalists Urge a Vote for Joe Biden to Defeat Donald Trump in 2020?” We talk with him about his article by that title in the second half of the show.

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

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Podcast

Pawan Dhingra, HYPEREDUCATION & J. Chester Johnson, DAMAGED HERITAGE

We talk with Pawan Dhingra about his book Hyper Education: Why Good Schools, Good Grades, and Good Behavior Are Not Enough. It’s an up-close look at the education arms race of after-school learning and academic competitions.

Then, a remarkable journey to racial truth and reconciliation undertaken by two Americans—one black and one white. We talk with J. Chester Johnson about his book, Damaged Heritage: The Elaine Race Massacre and A Story of Reconciliation.

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

Margot Livesy, THE BOY IN THE FIELD & Frank Huyler, WHITE HOT LIGHT

We talk with Margot Livesy. Her new novel, The Boy In The Field, explores the limits of free will and how we respond to what happens to us.

Then, an emergency room doctor evaluates the lessons of 25 years in emergency medicine and their relevance to life and writing. We talk with Frank Huyler about his memoir, White Hot Light: Twenty-Five Years in Emergency Medicine. We also ask him what it’s like to be an ER doc in the midst of covid.

Finally, we talk with writer and English professor K.L. Cook about opening up the campus to in-person learning in the midst of the covid19 pandemic.

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

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Web Extras

Max Elbaum: What’s At Stake for the Left in the 2020 Election?

We talk with Max Elbaum about the debate over whether the Left should support Joe Biden. He wrote a recent post, Should Anti-Capitalists Urge a Vote for Joe Biden to Defeat Donald Trump in 2020?.

On the Left a great debate is raging between Progressives whose first priority is defeating Trump and those in the Never Biden camp.

Writer’s Voice — in depth 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.

The former say that defeating fascist or white supremacist authoritarian control of the executive branch and the Supreme Court are necessary to protect the growing progressive movement.

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Podcast

Phillip A. Neel, HINTERLAND

We spend the hour with Phillip A. Neel talking about his book Hinterland: America’s New Landscape Of Class And Conflict. It’s about how America’s class structure is recomposing itself in new geographies of race, poverty, and production.

Writer’s Voice — in depth 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

Greg Palast, HOW TRUMP STOLE 2020

Is the 2020 Presidential election being rigged, like Donald Trump claims? Yes, says investigative reporter Greg Palastit’s being rigged by Trump himself, in collusion with the GOP.

We talk with Palast about his new book on protecting the vote, How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America’s Vanished Voters. It’s about how Trump and the GOP are disenfranchising millions of voters and how to make sure your vote is counted. The book contains a 64-page graphic version, How To Steal An Election: Vote Thieves–The Art of the Steal, by cartoonist Ted Rall. (We’ll be talking with Rall about his new book Political Suicide later in the season.)

Then we hear from election security attorney Robert Fitrakis and a poem by Maya Angelou.

Writer’s Voice — in depth 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

Shaun King, MAKE CHANGE & Greg Palast, HOW TRUMP STOLE 2020

Shaun King tells us about his life as a Black Lives Matter activist, what he’s learned about making change happen and how you can make change happen too. His book is Make Change: How to Fight Injustice, Dismantle Systemic Oppression, and Own Our Future.

Then we have a sneak preview of our interview with investigative reporter Greg Palast about his new book How Trump Stole 2020: The Hunt for America’s Vanished Voters. We’ll play the whole interview next week. Continue reading

Podcast

K.L. Cook, THE ART OF DISOBEDIENCE & A Quarantine Poem

We spend the hour with writing teacher K.L. Cook, talking about about the art and craft of writing and his book, The Art Of Disobedience: Essays on Form, Fiction, and Influence.

In the book’s essays, he explores why secrets are at the heart of every story; why point of view is perhaps the most important decision a fiction writer can make and why disobedience to the rules is the critical secret sauce to great writing.

We also read a poem by Jessica Salfia about quarantine in the age of Covid19.

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

Larry Tye, DEMAGOGUE & Ellen Meeropol, HER SISTER’S TATTOO

With Trump’s paramilitary goon squads assaulting peaceful protestors in American cities, things are looking pretty grim for democracy in America.

But Joe McCarthy biographer Larry Tye is optimistic. He says: “The lesson of Joe McCarthy and our other demagogues is that they fell even faster than they rose — once America saw through them and reclaimed its better self.“

We talk with Larry Tye about his acclaimed new book, Demagogue: The Life and Long Shadow of Senator Joe McCarthy.

Then, a novel that asks the question: how do we balance the risks of political protest with the consequences, especially when those protests turn violent? Ellen Meeropol tells us about her new novel, Her Sister’s Tattoo.

It’s about two sisters whose lives are marked by the choices they make during an antiwar demonstration in 1968. Meeropol uses history to explore the personal dimension of activism —and the thorny intersection of sibling loyalty and political beliefs.

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!

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

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Web Extras

The Fracking Ban Law

Jim Walsh

America’s small businesses are facing hardship because of a dramatic, unexpected loss of business due to the COVID19 pandemic. But it’s come to light that the Trump administration has pushed to allow billions in CARES Act funds to pay off the debt of the fossil fuel industry—debt incurred way before the current pandemic.

Some in Congress are working to prevent that, as well as other bailouts of Big Oil and Gas underway by the administration. It’s called the ReWind Act and those proposing it say it’s needed to keep the Trump administration from using the CARES Act to transfer enormous amounts of wealth from taxpayers to oil companies.

They hope to include the ReWind Act in the new CARES Act package being worked on now. The Act has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

Francesca spoke with Jim Walsh of Food and Water Watch about the proposed legislation. He’s a Senior Energy Policy Analyst for Food & Water Watch.

Podcast

Stephanie Kelton, THE DEFICIT MYTH, Books Picks & Poetry by Meg Fisher

We talk with Stephanie Kelton about her book, The Deficit Myth: Modern Monetary Theory and the Birth of the People’s Economy.

We also have some summer reading picks that you can enjoy at the beach or poolside. And Francesca reads some poems by western Massachusetts poet Meg Fisher. Continue reading

Podcast

Emma Copley Eisenberg, THE THIRD RAINBOW GIRL & Diane Gilliam Fisher, Kettle Bottom

Today, we hear two stories about Appalachia, a region that’s long been subject to exploitation and prejudice.

First, we talk with Emma Copley Eisenberg about her book The Third Rainbow Girl: The Long Life of a Double Murder in Appalachia. It’s about the killing of two young women in West Virginia in 1980, how cultural bigotry against the region kept the murders from being solved — and the trauma inflicted on the community as a result.

Then, we re-air our 2004 interview with Diane Gilliam Fisher about her wonderful poetry volume Kettle Bottom. It’s about the West Virginia Mine Wars of the 1920s. Continue reading

Podcast

Jennifer Steil, EXILE MUSIC & L. Annette Binder, THE VANISHING SKY

In today’s show, we discuss two novels about World War II, told from very differing perspectives.

First, Jennifer Steil tells us about her novel Exile Music. It’s the story of a young girl who flees to Bolivia with her family after the Nazis annex Austria in 1938.

Then, a rare depiction of the war from the point of view of an ordinary German family as their lives and society crumble around them: we talk with L. Annette Binder about her novel The Vanishing Sky.

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

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Podcast

Sue Monk Kidd , THE BOOK OF LONGINGS & Monique Morris, PUSHOUT

We talk with Sue Monk Kidd about her novel, The Book of Longings. It’s the story of a brilliant young woman who becomes the wife of Jesus Christ.

Then we re-air our 2016 interview with Monique Morris about her book Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools.

Writer’s Voice — in depth 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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