Joe Donahue

Senior Director of News and Programming

Joe talks to people on the radio for a living. In addition to countless impressive human "gets" - he has talked to a lot of Muppets. Joe grew up in Philadelphia, has been on the area airwaves for more than 25 years and currently lives in Washington County, NY with his wife, Kelly, and their dog, Brady. And yes, he reads every single book. 

Ways to Connect

4/16/18 Panel

Apr 16, 2018

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Communications Consultants Theresa Bourgeois and Joe Bonilla, and Political Consultant Libby Post.

Scientists such as Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, and Sam Harris tell us that our most intimate actions, thoughts, and values are mere byproducts of thousands of generations of mindless adaptation. We are just one species among multitudes, and therefore no more significant than any other living creature.

Now comes Brown University biologist Kenneth R. Miller to make the case that this view betrays a gross misunderstanding of evolution. Natural selection surely explains how our bodies and brains were shaped, but Miller argues that it’s not a social or cultural theory of everything. In "The Human Instinct," he rejects the idea that our biological heritage means that human thought, action, and imagination are pre-determined, describing instead the trajectory that ultimately gave us reason, consciousness and free will.

Dr. Menhaz Afridi is an Associate Professor of Religious studies and Director of Holocaust, Genocide, and Interfaith Education Center at Manhattan College. She is committed to interfaith, and the Holocaust education. She teaches contemporary Islam, Holocaust, Genocide and issues of gender within Islam. 

She will join the Sidney and Beatrice Albert Inter-Faith Lectureship Program at The College of St. Rose next Tuesday, April 17 to present a lecture entitled “The Rise of Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia: Solutions and Challenges.”

Salman Rushdie
Wall Street Journal

The New York State Writers Institute and the UAlbany Speaker Series presents Salman Rushdie in an afternoon craft talk and evening presentation on Thursday, April 19.

Rushdie's new novel is The New York Times bestseller, "The Golden House," a parable of contemporary America set against the backdrop of current American culture and politics. We spoke with Rushdie on The Book Show when the book was published and this is an encore presentation of that interview.

4/13/18 Panel

Apr 13, 2018

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain, Counter-Terrorism Expert Malcolm Nance, and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti.

No writer plunged more wholeheartedly into the chaotic energies of the 1960s than Norman Mailer, as he fearlessly revolutionized literary norms and genres to capture the political, social, and sexual explosions of an unsettled era.

Library of America has released a new boxed set of Mailer's work from that decade. There are two novels, two booklength masterpieces of new journalism, and thirty-three essays.

J. Michael Lennon emeritus professor of English at Wilkes University, is Norman Mailer's editor and biographer, and president of the Mailer Society. His books include "Norman Mailer: A Double Life" and "Selected Letters of Norman Mailer."

Across the pond, Brits have scoffed that Americans are ruining the English language. Here in the U.S., Americans fawn over British accents and giggle at the preposterous syllables in gobsmacked and kerfuffle.

As an American linguist teaching in England, Professor Lynne Murphy is on the linguistic front line. In her new book, "The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English," she explores the fiction and reality of the special relationship between British and American English.

Book Cover - My Adventures With God
Amazon

From legendary character actor Stephen Tobolowsky, who currently appears on "The Goldbergs" and HBO’s "Silicon Valley," and Norman Lear’s new "One Day at a Time," author of "The Dangerous Animals Club" and The Tobolowsky Files podcast; "My Adventures with God" is a funny, introspective collection about love, catastrophe, and triumph, all told through the lens of his evolving relationship with the mystery that is “God.”

As Tobolowsky explains, “It’s hard to believe in nothing. Even cats believe in suppertime. As much as we love certainty, we are often shaped by the invisible, the unexplainable—something we call faith. We are inclined to acknowledge the holy. Even if it is only a paper heart we find in an old suitcase.”

4/12/18 Panel

Apr 12, 2018

   The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois, Siena College Professor of Comparative Politics, Vera Eccarius Kelly, and Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Francine Berman.

S. Trevellyan / http://ps21chatham.org/ps21-new-theater/

PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century in Chatham, New York is opening a new state-of-the-art black box theater this Saturday, April 14.

The black-box is the all-weather portion of the new Pavilion Theater which will open this summer.

The festive evening celebrating the future of PS21 will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony, champagne toast and a dance concert with the delightful Caleb Teicher and Nic Gareiss!  There will be a post-performance reception with the artists and tours of the new theater.

PS21 was founded under the leadership of PS21’s Board President Judy Grunberg in 1999 to bring world-class performances to New York’s Columbia County and adjacent counties. Judy joins us to tell us more about the new space and their upcoming season.

Eileen Schuyler, Yvonne Perry, and Brenny Rabine in "Blithe Spirit" at TheRep
Capital Repertory Theatre Facebook page

The classic Noël Coward comedy, Blithe Spirit, is being produced at The REP, through May 6th, directed by Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, and featuring three of the region's best known Equity actresses: Yvonne Perry, Brenny Rabine and Eileen Schuyler, together on stage for the first time.

In the play, we meet cantankerous novelist Charles Condomine, re-married to Ruth but haunted (literally) by the ghost of his late first wife, the clever and insistent Elvira who has been conjured up by a visiting “happy medium.”

To tell us more – we welcome actors Yvonne Perry (Elvira) and Eileen Schuyler (Madame Arcati).

New York Times columnist John Schwartz wrote his new book, "This Is The Year I Put My Financial Life In Order," for people willing to learn new money skills before it's too late.

Sharing both harrowing and hilarious personal stories, from his brush with financial ruin and bankruptcy in his thirties to his budgeted diet of cafeteria French fries and gravy, Schwartz discusses his journey to financial literacy, which he admittedly started a bit late.

4/11/18 Panel

Apr 11, 2018

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Communications Consultant Theresa Bourgeois, Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, and Albany County District Attorney David Soares.

It's been more than two decades since award-winning author Charles Frazier had wild success with his debut novel, "Cold Mountain."

Frazier’s 4th novel, "Varina," returns to that era with the story of Varina Howell - the second wife of Jefferson Davis.

This is an Off The Shelf edition of The Book Show, presented by Northshire Bookstore and taped live in front of an audience.

"High Wire" By Jules Feiffer
rmichelson.com

This morning we meet cartoonist and illustrator Jules Feiffer whose new exhibit, "A Dance to Spring, Astaire, and Getting Old: New Works by Jules Feiffer at 89," is on display at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts through May 31st.

Feiffer’s revolutionary political cartoons were a fixture in the Village Voice from 1956 until 1997. He has also illustrated children’s books including "The Phantom Tollbooth" and "Bark George," wrote plays and screenplays, novels, graphic novels, and animated film shorts. He has received an Oscar, Obie, and a Pulitzer.

There will be an Artist Reception Friday, April 13th 6-8PM in conjunction with Arts Night Out at the galleries.

On July 31, 2011, Jennifer Pharr Davis set the FKT (fastest known time) record on the Appalachian Trail, completing the trail in just 46 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes, a feat that takes most hikers six months. Hiking an average of 47 miles per day, Davis was the first woman to claim the overall title on the Appalachian Trail.

Since her thru-hike record, which she held for four years, Davis has set out on a new quest: the quest to find out what exactly defines endurance, where it comes from, if gender plays a role, and how we can we harness it to achieve our dreams.

Her new book, "The Pursuit Of Endurance: Harnessing the Record-Breaking Power of Strength and Resilience," aims to answer those questions, and more, through interviews with renowned endurance athletes, fellow record setters, an exercise physiology expert, and through her own accomplishments in the world of endurance hiking, backpacking, and trail running.

Suzanna Hermans from Oblong Books and Music joins us with this week's Book Picks list.

List:
Tangerine” by Christine Mangan
The World Only Spins Forward: The Ascent of Angels in America” by Isaac Butler & Dan Kois
Shattered by Grief: Picking Up the Pieces to Become Whole Again” by Claudia Coenen (Event in Rhinebeck 4/10, 6pm)
Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice “Waters Changed Our World” by Andrea Barnet (Event at White Hart, Salisbury, CT, Thurs, 4/19 at 6pm)
Aru Shah and the End of Time” by Roshani Chokshi (Rick Riordan Presents)
For Every One” by Jason Reynolds
I Have Lost My Way” by Gayle Forman
The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo

Best-Selling author Barbara Ehrenreich, after her own battle with cancer, is now against the preventative care that is supposed to prolong life and guarantee health. It may sound suicidal, but Ehrenreich claims most of the medical tests she is urged to take fall short of the “evidence based” standard she requires to go to the hospital and undergo unpleasant and intrusive procedures.

In her new book, "Natural Causes: An Epidemic Of Wellness, The Certainty Of Dying, And Our Illusion Of Control," Barbara Ehrenreich tackles the politics of women’s health care, watching average Americans become fierce advocates for pointless diets, unnecessary procedures and checkups, and an unhealthy amount of exercise without the full knowledge of how flimsy the science behind those practices really is. Is control over our bodies even possible?

The feminist icon & author of "Nickel and Dimed" holds a degree in cellular immunology and uses it to great effect as she topples the institutions & customs that guide our attempts at living long, healthy lives.

4/10/18 Panel

Apr 10, 2018

   The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Associate Editor of the Times Union Mike Spain and the Empire Report’s J.P. Miller.

For decades now, American voters have been convinced to support public policies that only benefit those in power. But how do the powerful extract consent from citizens whose own self-interest and collective well-being are constantly denied? And why do so many Americans seem to have given up on quality public education, on safe food and safe streets, on living wages - even on democracy itself?

"Kill It to Save It" lays bare the hypocrisy of contemporary US political discourse, documenting the historical and theoretical trajectory of capitalism’s triumph over democracy.

Corey Dolgon is professor of sociology and director of community-based learning at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts.

The Theatre Institute at Sage presents "Tribes," Nina Raine’s award-winning play, directed by David Baecker. The production will run April 13 - 22 at the James Meader Little Theater in Troy, NY.

Billy was born deaf into a hearing family. He has adapted brilliantly to their unconventional ways, but they’ve never bothered to return the favor. It’s not until he meets Sylvia, a young woman on the brink of deafness, that he finally understands what it means to be heard.

Our guests for The Theatre Institute at Sage's production of "Tribes" are David Baecker professor at Sage who is directing, and Sage student Francesca Volpe who is playing Sylvia.

4/9/18 Panel

Apr 9, 2018

The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, communications consultants Theresa Bourgeois and Joe Bonilla, and political consultant Libby Post.

Garth Fagan and Joe Donahue at UAlbany PAC
© Anthony Tassarotti / www.tassarotti.com

Garth Fagan is the Tony and Olivier award-winning choreographer of "The Lion King" and founder, artistic director and president of Garth Fagan Dance.

On March 28 he visited the University at Albany for an evening of conversation with WAMC's Joe Donahue as part of "The Creative Life" at UAlbany, a collaborative series created and produced by the University Art Museum, Performing Art Center and New York State Writers Institute in collaboration with WAMC.

Celebrated and bestselling author of "The Imperfectionists," Tom Rachman has set his sights on a new subject - artists, in his new novel, "The Italian Teacher," about the son of a great painter striving to create his own legacy.

Pinch Bavinsky, son of the world-famous painter Bear Bavinksy, is an aspiring artist living in the shadow of his famous father, struggling to build a legacy of his own. Rachman explores the tension between the creative life and family life through Pinch’s most important relationships.

4/6/18 Panel

Apr 6, 2018

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck, and Siena College Economics Professor Aaron Pacitti.

Nelson DeMille's blistering new novel features an exciting new character—U.S. Army combat veteran Daniel “Mac” MacCormick, now a charter boat captain, who is about to set sail on his most dangerous cruise.

Daniel Graham MacCormick - Mac for short - seems to have a pretty good life. At age thirty-five he’s living in Key West, owner of a forty-two-foot charter fishing boat, The Maine. Mac served five years in the Army as an infantry officer with two tours in Afghanistan.

One day, Mac is sitting in the famous Green Parrot Bar in Key West, contemplating his life, and waiting for Carlos, a hotshot Miami lawyer heavily involved with anti-Castro groups. Carlos wants to hire Mac and The Maine for a ten-day fishing tournament to Cuba at the standard rate, but Mac suspects there is more to this and turns it down. The price then goes up to two million dollars, and Mac agrees to hear the deal, and meet Carlos’s clients—a beautiful Cuban-American woman named Sara Ortega, and a mysterious older Cuban exile, Eduardo Valazquez.

What Mac learns is that there is sixty million American dollars hidden in Cuba by Sara’s grandfather when he fled Castro’s revolution. Mac knows if he accepts this job, he’ll walk away rich…or not at all.

DeMille is a New York Times-bestselling author that has 15 best-selling novels, including Plum House and Night Fall. His newest novel is The Cuban Affair

Kim Brophey, CDBC, BA, is a nationally certified and award-winning canine behavior consultant and the owner of Dog Door Behavior Center in Asheville, North Carolina.

Using cutting-edge research, Brophey has developed a groundbreaking system that allows owners to identify what their dog is struggling with, why, and how they can fix it. Brophey's approach is unlike anything that has been published before and will give dog owners a new understanding of what motivates and affects their dog's behavior.

Her book is "Meet Your Dog: The Game-Changing Guide to Understanding Your Dog's Behavior."

a piglet
Hancock Shaker Village Facebook page

It may not feel like spring has sprung – but it is nearly time for a major regional spring event: Baby Animals at Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

On April 14, Hancock Shaker Village will begin welcoming visitors to visit their newly restored silos, Dairy Ell, and Round Stone Barn – which will be full of lambs, piglets, calves, chicks, and kids through May 6.

We are joined by Hancock Shaker Village’s Director of Facilities and Farm Billy Mangiardi and Director of Education Cindy Dickinson.

After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He's part of the secret resistance against the Third Reich, and he needs Sarah to hide in plain sight at a school for the daughters of top Nazi brass, posing as one of them.

If she can befriend the daughter of a key scientist and get invited to her house, she might be able to steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. Nothing could prepare Sarah for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she'd ever imagined. But anyone who underestimates this innocent-seeming girl does so at their peril. She may look sweet, but she's the Nazis' worst nightmare.

Matt Killeen's new novel is "Orphan Monster Spy."

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: "The Death of Stalin"

Upcoming:

  • "Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Thursday 4/5, 7 PM
  • "Little Shop of Horrors" - Park Playhouse production at Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, opens Thursday 4/5 at 8 PM, through April 15
  • An Evening with Buckethead - Upstate Concert Hall, Clifton Park, Thursday 4/5, 8 PM
  • "Blithe Spirit" - Capital Repertory Theatre, Albany, opens Friday 4/6 at 8 PM, through May 6
  • Daughtry - Palace Theatre, Albany, Saturday 4/7, 8 PM
  • Bettye Lavette - Helsinki Hudson, Hudson, Saturday 4/7, 9 PM
  • Rafal Blechacz, piano: Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Chopin - Union College Concert Series, Schenectady, Sunday 4/8, 3 PM
  • Joan Shelley - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 4/8, 7 PM
  • Cowboy Junkies - Academy of Music, Northampton, Mass., Sunday 4/8, 7 PM
  • New Worlds: Bill Murray, Jan Vogler, and Friends - Proctors, Mainstage, Schenectady, Monday 4/9, 7:30 PM

New movies: "The Leisure Seeker," "A Quiet Place," "Chappaquiddick," "Blockers"

Pages