Saturday MegaSpecial with Cokie Roberts, Larry Smith, Erin Foley, and Ali Wentworth


Saturday, July 11, tune into WCBE, 90.5FM, to hear NPR and ABC correspondent Cokie Roberts, 6-word memoirist Larry Smith, comedian Erin Foley, and writer/actor Ali Wentworth.

Listen in to my talk with all of these fine people at the top of their Craft.


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The Speakeasy Saturday afternoon Special

Speakeasy in studio

Tune into WCBE on Saturday, June 27, to hear my talk with the fine folks from Columbus Speakeasy.


Jillian Corron, Barbara Allen, Karl Boettcher, Pam Cummings, and Sarah Fulmer tell me about their stories, what being storytellers means to them, and how others can get involved.

Here’s a sneak peak

That’s Saturday at 3pm only on WCBE

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The Complex Legacy of Franklin Delano Roosevelt

FDR_in_1933“‘That’s what presidents do these days,’ we think nowadays, ‘They cover things up.’”

James Tobin, professor of Media, Journalism and Film at Miami University and speaker of the above quotation, offers The Man He Became: How FDR Defied Polio to Win the Presidency, a fascinating look into the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, one that seeks to discover why a belief has arisen in the past few decades that there was a conspiracy to keep quiet about Roosevelt’s polio.

Tobin’s research into the changing legacy of FDR leads him to hypothesize that scandals and cover-ups by presidents from JFK onwards have jaded our views towards presidents, making the American public all too ready to believe that conspiracies exist at all levels, now and in the past.

Tobin will speak at the Thurber House on June 17.

Listen in to learn more about FDR and how he learned to live with polio.

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Jeff Shaara’s History of Writing

Jeff Shaara web

All fourteen of Jeff Shaara’s novels have been New York Times bestsellers, starting with his first, Gods and Generals, in 1996.

It’s an impressive track record and he’s got an impressive family history, too. His father, Michael Shaara, won a Pulitzer Prize for Killer Angels, the source material for the film Gettysburg and the impetus for Jeff writing  Gods and Generals, a prequel to Killer Angels.

Listen in to hear Shaara describe

  • The difficulty researching the Civil War without being overwhelmed by the amount of information on it.
  • Accurately portraying different time periods in novels.
  • Writing a novel about the Korean War, under the shadow of MASH

Shaara will appear as part of the Thurber House’s Evenings with Authors on June 3.

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Journalist makes the supernatural personal

-Tyler Clementi

Do you believe in ghosts? First time and Thurber House guest author Janis Heaphy Durham does. Listen to our interview with her, and you might too.

Durham is the author ofJanis Heaphy Durham web the story of her husband’s passing, the seemingly impossible events that took place in the aftermath, and Durham’s journey to make sense of it all.

In May 2004, Durham’s husband Max died from esophageal cancer. Soon after his passing, a series of mysterious events occurred. Clocks stopped on his time of death, Durham heard her husband’s voice, and finally, a powdery hand print appeared on their bathroom mirror on the anniversary of Max’s death.

Durham was curious, but skeptical. Having spent her career in the heavily scrutinized newspaper industry, she approached these seeming attempts at supernatural communication with caution. To investigate the events that had occurred in her life, Durham began research into the afterlife.

Durham’s research visited upon several scientific fields and interests, ranging from consciousness studies to quantum physics. Her book attempts not only to share her story, but also to use her research to open up a larger conversation into the difficult subject of life after death.

Listen in to our interview with Janis Heaphy Durham to hear all about her adventure in detail.

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Columbus Unscripted, part 3

And here’s part three of my talk with improv performers from Columbus Unscripted.


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Columbus Unscripted, Part 2

And here’s part two of my talk with improv performers from Columbus UnscriptedaBTYLeft

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Columbus Unscripted, Part 1

aBU7CQuick, give me three words:
With input as limited as that, Columbus Unscripted improv performers can create a scene that will make you laugh. A few weeks ago, Barbara, Bill, Lamont, Lorinda and Kayla from Columbus Unscripted stopped by the WCBE studio to record an hour-long special for Craft, which was broadcast on May 2 at 3pm on the Mighty WCBE.

These performers are part of a weekly improv group called See You Thursday, and they have many events which are all highlighted on their website.

If you haven’t been to one of the shows, I recommend you give it a try and experience the fast-moving minds that spun my suggestion about hair loss into a story about a man shopping for a toupee being bedeviled by his back hair angel during his graduation from college.

Enjoy part one of our talk.

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John Lescroart: I’m Sorry But I Have to Kill You

John Lescroart

He’s killed 70+ people across 25 books, but that doesn’t mean he enjoys it.

“I’m going through what’s on that page. Even if someone is getting killed, maybe I’m getting killed, or maybe I’m feeling what occurs before I’m going to have to kill this person,” said John Lescroart.

Lescroart knows of what he speaks: he’s published 26 novels, which have collectively sold more than 10 million copies in 75 countries, and his legal thrillers frequently top New York Times bestseller lists. He’ll bring all of this experience and emotional investment to the Thurber House on May 11.

Listen in to our talk about the craft of writing and what surprising areas fans have been asking more about recently.

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Authors Ng, Logsdon, and Umrigar Bring Practical, Tough, Ohioan Writing to Ohioana Book Festival

Tyler Clementi

What makes an Ohio writer? What style do Ohio writers use? Broad questions like these invite generalizations, generalizations which might be wildly different from one another. However, authors Celeste Ng, Gene Logsdon, and Thrity Umrigar, all visiting Columbus on April 25 for the Ohioana Book Festival, have some very similar ideas.

Ohioana is an annual celebration of Ohio’s strong history of literature, journalism, and all other forms of writing. Among the festival’s featured authors is Celeste Ng, the author of several short stories and one novel, Everything I Never Told You, which won Amazon’s best book award in 2014.

Ng comes from Cleveland, and she’s much attuned to what people think of when she says that.

“I feel like Cleveland has the sort of status of the—I was going to say ‘lovable loser,’ but maybe not even lovable.”

Although Ng says, “I love Cleveland, and I think of it very fondly, ” she thinks that Clevelanders have to deal with others’ perceptions of the city and Ohio at large. She describes her Ohio writing colleagues as “dealing with expectations versus reality.”

Author Gene Logsdon, whose career writing about food and agriculture has spanned 40 years, also asserts the value of his home state. “Your part of the world is just as important as anybody else’s,” says Logsdon.

“If you can understand Wyandotte County, you can understand the world.”

Logsdon has picked up on the sorts of qualities that might define the style or genre of Ohio writers: “I think that writers in Ohio are—how shall I say it—more practical.”

“They write with a plainness that I find invigorating.”

Thrity Umrigar, a novelist, journalist, and professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, identified something akin to the Logsdon’s practicality in her fellow Ohio writers. “There’s a kind of rust belt toughness, a sense of having survived something.”

Along with toughness, Umrigar straightforwardly identifies Ohio writers as good. “It’s an embarrassment of riches,” said Umrigar when reflecting on the various writers that have come out of northeast Ohio’s Akron Beacon Journal and Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“It really is astounding, actually, when you think of it in terms of demographics and, sort of, regional size.”

Umrigar thinks that one of the virtues of Ohio writing is the supportive community of Ohio writers: “We really are there for each other. We encourage each other in our careers. That is a gift.”

The author finds that community to be a necessity because of the outside perspectives Ng also referenced. “We can’t look to the outside for affirmation. If there is affirmation to be had, we have to find it within ourselves and within our own communities,” said Umrigar.

When the Ohioana Book Festival arrives, that community of affirmation will be out in force.

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