Joe Donahue

Vice President, 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

  We never know what will happen next in Florida. We know only that, any minute now, something will.

Every few months, Dave Barry gets a call from some media person wanting to know, “What the hell is wrong with Florida?” Somehow, the state’s acquired an image as a subtropical festival of stupid, and as a loyal Floridian, Dave begs to differ. Sure, there was the 2000 election.

  Richard Michelson has had a wonderful friendship with actor and artist Leonard Nimoy. After Nimoy’s passing, Michelson has written a new picture book, Fascinating: The Life of Leonard Nimoy.

He is also presenting a beautiful exhibit: UNSEEN: Fifty never before exhibited photographs by Leonard Nimoy which is now open and runs through October 25th.

Michelson will be speaking in Great Barrington on September 9th from 10:30 to noon presented by The Jewish Federation of the Berkshires and will have a publication party. Later that night will be the official opening of UNSEEN at the R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, MA.

To celebrate the September 8th - 50th anniversary of the first Trek episode – we welcome Richard Michelson to The Roundtable.

  Scott Woolley's new book, The Network: The Battle for the Airwaves and the Birth of the Communications Age is the origin story of the airwaves - the foundational technology of the communications age - as told through the forty-year friendship of an entrepreneurial industrialist and a brilliant inventor.

   This week's Book Picks come to us from Joan Grenier at The Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA.

List:
Barkskins by Annie Proulx
A Great Reckoning by Louise Penny
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks by Terry Tempest Williams
The Making of Donald Trump by David Cay Johnston

9/6/16 Panel

Sep 6, 2016

     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 Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao.

Chesterwood in Stockbridge, MA is a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and was the summer home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French.

Its 38th annual outdoor sculpture exhibition, The Nature of Glass: Contemporary Sculpture at Chesterwood 2016, featuring 24 works by 12 internationally recognized glass artists. The exhibition, curated by Jim Schantz of Schantz Galleries Contemporary Glass, will be on view daily until September 18.

We are joined by Donna Hassler, the Executive Director of Chesterwood, Jim Schantz from Schantz Galleries Contemporary Glass, and artist Tom Patti.  

LightField is a new visual arts nonprofit founded by NYC-based cultural producer Anna Van Lenten that launched its inaugural exhibition at the Hudson Opera House on Saturday, August 20th.

Running through September 25th, MAKING A SCENE presents the work of nine international artists who explore the boundaries of storytelling through photography, film, video, and cross-platform installations. The exhibition is accompanied by feature film screenings, public talks, and a youth photo workshop.

Anna Van Lenten joins us along with Keith Miller whose film Five Star will screen in Hudson on Saturday.

The fiction-meets-reality feature casts a real-life member of the Bloods in a story about gang life in Brooklyn. Keith Miller is an award winning filmmaker and artist based in Brooklyn and was named a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow. As part of the development and production of Five Star, he was awarded a Jerome Film and Video grant and a Rooftop Production grant. He is a professor and curator at NYU’s Gallatin School.

Today in our Ideas Matter segment we check in with Mass Humanities and learn about the Earthcare Festival at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, Massachusetts. The Festival—on September 9th, 10th, and 11th—marks the beginning of the newly created Hilltown Chautauqua of Western Massachusetts.

Events during the Festival weekend will explore the human relationship to nature and will feature a series of in-depth talks by nationally known figures in forest ecology, sustainability, and environmental writing, as well as poetry readings, music, and a one-woman play.

We are joined by David Perkins, founder of the Hilltown Chautaqua, and by Lauret Savoy, Professor of Environmental Studies, who will be participating in the Earthcare Festival.

  Once, war was a temporary state of affairs—a violent but brief interlude between times of peace. Today, America’s wars are everywhere and forever: our enemies change constantly and rarely wear uniforms, and virtually anything can become a weapon. As war expands, so does the role of the US military.

Rosa Brooks traces this seismic shift in how America wages war from an unconventional perspective—that of a former top Pentagon official who is the daughter of two anti-war protesters and a human rights activist married to an Army Green Beret.

By turns a memoir, a work of journalism, a scholarly exploration into history, anthropology and law, and a rallying cry, How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everythingtransforms the familiar into the alien, showing us that the culture we inhabit is reshaping us in ways we may suspect, but don’t really understand.

9/2/16 Panel

Sep 2, 2016

 

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

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao, and author and activist Barbara Smith. 

  One of the biggest fears of parents with children with autism is looming adulthood and all that it entails.

In her new book, Autism Adulthood: Strategies and Insights for a Fulfilling Life, Susan Senator takes the mystery out of adult life on the autism spectrum and conveys the positive message that even though autism adulthood is complicated and challenging, there are many ways to make it manageable and enjoyable.

  Francine Jay pioneered the simple living movement with her self-published bestseller, The Joy of Less. 

Her easy-to-follow STREAMLINE method works in any space—from a single drawer to a closet, room, or entire house. What's more, it can be called upon during clutter-inducing life events such as moving, getting married, having kids, or downsizing.

  In 1979, Liz Pryor was a seventeen-year-old girl from a good family in the wealthy Chicago suburbs. Halfway through her senior year of high school, she discovered she was pregnant—a fact her parents are determined to keep a secret from her friends, siblings, and community forever.

One snowy January day, after driving across three states, her mother dropped her off at what Liz thinks is a Catholic home for unwed mothers—but which is, in truth, a locked government-run facility for delinquent and impoverished pregnant teenage girls.

Liz Pryor has written her story in the new book, Look at You Now. Pryor has written a deeply moving story and she share with us this morning. Liz Pryor is an author, speaker, parenting columnist, and life advice expert. She currently serves as ABC’s Good Morning America on-air life advice guru. 

  The movies you watch, the TV shows you adore, the concerts and sporting events you attend — behind the curtain of nearly all of these is an immensely powerful and secretive corporation known as Creative Artists Agency. Started in 1975, when five bright and brash employees of a creaky William Morris office left to open their own, strikingly innovative talent agency, CAA would come to revolutionize the entertainment industry, and over the next several decades its tentacles would spread aggressively throughout the worlds of movies, television, music, advertising, and investment banking.

In Powerhouse, James Andrew Miller draws on unprecedented and exclusive access to the men and women who built and battled with CAA, as well as financial information never before made public.

9/1/16 Panel

Sep 1, 2016

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

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao and Poughkeepsie Journal Executive Editor Stu Shinske.

  In 1961, a thief broke into the National Gallery in London and committed the most sensational art heist in British history. He stole the museum’s much prized painting, The Duke of Wellington by Francisco Goya. Despite unprecedented international attention and an unflagging investigation, the case was not solved for four years, and even then, only because the culprit came forward voluntarily. 

Alan Hirch's book is The Duke of Wellington, Kidnapped!: The Incredible True Story of the Art Heist That Shocked a Nation.

  NPR's oddly informative weekly hour-long news quiz program, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me! returns to Tanglewood in Lenox, MA on September 1.

The Peabody Award-winning series offers a fast-paced, irreverent look at the week's news, hosted by Peter Sagal along with judge and score-keeper Bill Kurtis. 

Bill Kurtis joins us. 

Parsons Dance
Krista Bonura

  Parsons Dance returns to PS21's Chatham Dance Festival with its stunning ensemble work and virtuosic technique.

Last summer PS21’s audiences saw Almah, Kate Skarpetowksa’s new work, in development during open rehearsals. This year they will now have an opportunity to see the completed work, which has an original score by Ljova and premiered at the Joyce Theater in January 2016.

It explores the connection of an eastern European childhood juxtaposed with the urban folklore of adolescence in NYC. Also on the program will be David Parsons Union and his stroboscopic masterwork Caught.

Artistic Director David Parsons founded Parsons Dance in 1985 and the company returns for its eleventh season performing at PS21 in Chatham for performances of September 2nd and 3rd. David Parsons joins us along with Judy Grunberg from PS 21.

  It is well known that the B-52s are The World's Greatest Party Band. And 35 years and over 20 million albums into their career, there can be no doubt as to why they remain one of rock music's most beloved and enduring bands.

The B-52's will join The Boston Pops at Tanglewood on Friday, September 2nd. Friend of the show, Kate Pierson, join us.

8/31/16 Panel

Aug 31, 2016

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

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, and Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao.

  Caleb Carr, bestselling author of The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, has created a contemporary psychological thriller haunted by the shadowy hands of established power.

Surrender, New York features an outcast pair - secretly called in to consult on a case where adolescent boys and girls are found murdered, their corpses left hanging in gruesome, ritualistic fashion.

  Gene Wilder, who regularly stole the show in such comedic gems as “The Producers,” “Blazing Saddles,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Stir Crazy,” died Monday at his home in Stamford, Conn. He was 83 years old.

We spoke with Wilder around a decade ago about his memoir Kiss Me Like A Stranger: My Search for Love and Art. Today we share that interview in memoriam for the actor and comic genius. 

  Housed in a beautifully restored 1840s Greek-Revival schoolhouse at 790 State Route 203 in Spencertown, New York, Spencertown Academy Arts Center is a cultural center serving Columbia County, the Berkshires, and the Capital region. It offers a variety of free and low-cost community arts events, including concerts, readings, theater pieces, art exhibitions, and arts-related workshops and classes.

Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 11th annual Festival of Books takes place over Labor Day weekend, September 3 through 5.

The festival features a giant used book sale, two days of discussions with and readings by esteemed authors, and a children’s program. Featured authors this year include Christopher Breiseth, Elizabeth Brundage, Michelle Hoover, Courtney Maum, David Pietrusza, Ruth Reichl, Russell Shorto, Will Swift, Mark Wunderlich, and Steve Yarbrough.

Here to tell us more about the festival is Spencertown Academy Arts Center board member and co-chair of the festival, David Highfill.

  James Conrad from The Golden Notebook in Woodstock, NY joins us with this week's Book Picks.

List:
Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Nine Island by Jane Alison
Christodora by Tim Murphy
The History of the Hudson Valley from the Civil War to Modern Times by Vernon Benjamin
The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life by Anu Partanen
String Theory: David Foster Wallace on Tennis
Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry

Upcoming events:

Talking Walls: Casting out the Post Contact Stone-Wall Building Myth by Matt Bua - Saturday, September 3, 2016 - 2:00pm

Her Again: Becoming Meryl Streep by Michael Schulman - Saturday, September 3, 2016 - 4:00pm

8/30/16 Panel

Aug 30, 2016

   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 Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao.

  Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of twenty-seven novels. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the United States, she has been published in thirty-five countries, and her thrillers have been optioned for television and film.

In her latest, Damaged, ten-year-old Patrick O'Brien is a natural target at school. Shy, dyslexic, and small for his age, he tries to hide his first-grade reading level from everyone: from his classmates, from the grandfather who cares for him, and from the teachers who are supposed to help him. But the real trouble begins when Patrick is accused of attacking a school aide. The aide promptly quits and sues the boy, his family, and the school district. Patrick's grandfather turns to the law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio for help and Mary DiNunzio is on the case. Soon Mary becomes Patrick's true champion and his only hope for security and justice.

  From the domestication of the bird nearly ten thousand years ago to its current status as our go-to meat, the history of this seemingly commonplace bird is anything but ordinary.

How did chicken achieve the culinary ubiquity it enjoys today? It’s hard to imagine, but there was a point in history, not terribly long ago, that individual people each consumed less than ten pounds of chicken per year. Today, those numbers are strikingly different: we consumer nearly twenty-five times as much chicken as our great-grandparents did.

Collectively, Americans devour 73.1 million pounds of chicken in a day, close to 8.6 billion birds per year. How did chicken rise from near-invisibility to being in seemingly "every pot," as per Herbert Hoover's famous promise?

Emelyn Rude explores this phenomenon in Tastes Like Chicken.

  On sabbatical from teaching literature to undergraduates, and wanting to educate a different kind of student, Mikita Brottman starts a book club with a group of convicts from the Jessup Correctional Institution in Maryland.

She assigns them ten dark, challenging classics—including Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Poe’s story “The Black Cat,” and Nabokov’s Lolita—books that don’t flinch from evoking the isolation of the human struggle, the pain of conflict, and the cost of transgression. Although Brottman is already familiar with these works, the convicts open them up in completely new ways. Their discussions may “only” be about literature, but for the prisoners, everything is at stake.

Gradually, the inmates open up about their lives and families, their disastrous choices, their guilt and loss. Brottman's book is The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in a Men's Prison.

Caleb Carr, bestselling author of The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, has created a contemporary psychological thriller haunted by the shadowy hands of established power. His new novel is Surrender, New York.

Carr is an American novelist and military historian. He has worked at the Council on Foreign Relations, Foreign Affairs Quarterly, MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History, and taught military history, including World Military History, the History of American Intelligence, and Insurgency/Counterinsurgency, at Bard College. We talk with him about his new novel on The Book Show this week and discuss current affairs with him in this interview.

8/29/16 Panel

Aug 29, 2016

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

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, Political Consultant Libby Post, and Director of the Journalism Program at the University at Albany Rosemary Armao.

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