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

Thelma Adams is an established figure in the entertainment industry. For two decades, she has penned celebrity features and film criticism for high-profile publications. She writes a weekly column for the New York Observer.

She joins us to discuss the 89th Academy Awards which will take place this Sunday.

  In Identity Unknown, Donna Seaman brings to life seven forgotten female artists, among the best of their day: Gertrude Abercrombie, with her dark, surreal paintings and friendships with Dizzy Gillespie and Sonny Rollins; Bay Area self-portraitist Joan Brown; Ree Morton, with her witty, oddly beautiful constructions; Loïs Mailou Jones of the Harlem Renaissance; Lenore Tawney, who combined weaving and sculpture when art and craft were considered mutually exclusive; Christina Ramberg, whose unsettling works drew on pop culture and advertising; and Louise Nevelson, an art-world superstar in her heyday but omitted from recent surveys of her era.

Donna Seaman is Editor, Adult Books, Booklist, a member of the advisory council for the American Writers Museum, and a recipient of the James Friend Memorial Award for Literary Criticism and the Studs Terkel Humanities Service Award. 

She will be at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck on Saturday, February 25.

In Josh Barkan’s Mexico: Stories  the characters - chef, architect, nurse, high school teacher, painter, beauty queen, classical bass player, plastic surgeon, businessman, mime - are simply trying to lead their lives and steer clear of violence. Yet, inevitably, crime has a way of intruding on their lives all the same.

A surgeon finds himself forced into performing a risky procedure on a narco killer. A teacher struggles to protect lovestruck students whose forbidden romance has put them in mortal peril. A painter’s freewheeling ways land him in the back of a kidnapper’s car. Again and again, the walls between “ordinary life” and cartel violence are shown to be paper thin, and when they collapse the consequences are life-changing.

In ancient, pre-literate cultures across the globe, tribal elders had encyclopedic memories. They could name all the animals and plants across a landscape, identify the stars in the sky, and recite the history of their people. Yet today, most of us struggle to memorize more than a short poem.

Using traditional Aboriginal Australian song lines as a starting point, Dr. Lynne Kelly has identified the powerful memory technique used by our ancestors and indigenous people around the world. In turn, she has then discovered that this ancient memory technique is the secret purpose behind the great prehistoric monuments like Stonehenge, which have puzzled archaeologists for so long.

Her book is The Memory Code: The Secrets of Stonehenge, Easter Island and Other Ancient Monuments.

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction – including his classics The Sandman and American Gods.

Now he turns his attention back to the source in his new book: Norse Mythology, where he fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc.

Throughout its history America has been torn in two by debates over ideals and beliefs. In The Book That Changed America​, Randall Fuller takes us back to one of those turning points, in 1860, with the story of the influence of Charles Darwin’s just-published On the Origin of Species on five American intellectuals, including Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, the child welfare reformer Charles Loring Brace, and the abolitionist Franklin Sanborn.  

Each of these figures seized on the book’s assertion of a common ancestry for all creatures as a powerful argument against slavery, one that helped provide scientific credibility to the cause of abolition.

Sophie Sabbage was forty-eight years old, happily married, and mother to a four-year-old daughter when she was diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer. Since that shocking diagnosis, she has been on a remarkable journey of healing and renewal that has reshaped her life—for the better. 

The Cancer Whisperer chronicles Sophie’s extraordinary relationship with cancer and the very effective methods she has used for dealing with her fear, anger, denial, and grief.

Kevin R. C. Gutzman is the New York Times best-selling author of five books, including his latest, Thomas Jefferson—Revolutionary: A Radical’s Struggle to Remake America.

Although remembered as the third president of the United States and chief author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson was also something more: the most successful constructive statesman in American history.

Thomas Jefferson—Revolutionary: A Radical's Struggle to Remake Americashows him formulating his radical plans to republicanize America and then working, with remarkable success, to implement them. Born into a monarchical society, Jefferson turned his great intellect and energy to making it highly egalitarian. Much of what we take for granted about America now was originally Jefferson's idea. It is a fascinating story.

Julie Otsuka’s novel, When the Emperor Was Divine , is about the internment of a Japanese-American family during World War II, as a result of FDR’s Executive Order 9066. 

The book is based on Otsuka’s own family history: her grandfather was arrested by the FBI as a suspected spy for Japan the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, and her mother, uncle, and grandmother spent three years in an internment camp in Topaz, Utah. 

Otsuka will be speaking about the book at a Poughkeepsie Public Library event held at the FDR Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park on Sunday, February 26th @ 2PM .

It's happened to all of us: our cheeks flush red when we say the wrong thing, or our hearts skip a beat when a certain someone walks by. But few of us realize how much more dramatic and extreme our bodies' reactions to emotions can be. Many people who see their doctor have medically unexplained symptoms, and in the vast majority of these cases, a psychosomatic cause is suspected. And yet, the diagnosis of a psychosomatic disorder can make a patient feel dismissed as a hypochondriac, a faker, or just plain crazy.
 
In Is It All in Your Head?: True Stories of Imaginary Illness, Suzanne O'Sullivan, MD, takes us on a journey through the world of psychosomatic illness.

Hugh Hewitt interviewed candidate Trump fifteen times on his nationally syndicated show during the 2016 campaign and participated as a panelist in four primary debates. What he learned from those news-making moments, along with his service for two Republican Presidents and his knowledge of Washington, puts him in a unique position to spell out what is happening in these early days of the Trump Presidency.

From defense to immigration, from entitlements to health care, Hewitt outlines how the new President, with the top leaders in Congress and with allies in fifty statehouses, can use November’s stunning result to find a Fourth Way out of the gridlock and the destructive showdowns that have marked the past quarter century of American politics.

Hugh Hewitt is a lawyer, professor, and broadcast journalist whose nationally syndicated radio show is heard in more than 120 cities across the United States every weekday morning. He is also an analyst for NBC News and MSNBC. 

The African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region, Inc., (AACCCR) is proud to present, for the third year in a row, The African American History Month Celebration at the Palace Theatre on Friday, February 24th at 7:00pm.

The annual celebration features the best and brightest talent in the region. This year’s theme is “Where Do We Go From Here?” focusing on participating in grass roots activism for social change. Bervin Harris, co-founder and CEO of the Renaissance Youth Group, will be the keynote speaker.

To give us a preview, we welcome Angela O’Neal – Executive Director of the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region and Holly Brown – Executive Director of the Palace Theatre. 

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

Seen: The LEGO Batman Movie, John Wick Chapter 2

2/16/17 Panel

Feb 16, 2017

  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 Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus Ira Fusfeld.

The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at UAlbany is an initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center, and University Art Museum, all of which are housed and function on the main campus of the University at Albany. Guests in this inaugural year of the series have included author Joyce Carol Oates and dancer/choreographer Savion Glover who appeared in September and October 2016, respectively.

Erika Christakis is an early childhood educator and school consultant. She has written a new book, The Importance of Being Little.

In it, she explains the challenges of being a little kid trying to navigate a system designed by and for adults, with high-stakes academic curricula and stringent schedules. 

The good news is that young children are hard-wired to learn in any setting, and tools to improve preschools are within reach of any parent and educator. The book offers a road map to giving children what they really need. 

Jay Rogoff is the author of six books of poetry. His latest full-length collection, Enamel Eyes, A Fantasia On Paris, 1870, a lyrical sequence with the breadth and depth of a historical novel, considers the events of "the terrible year" through multiple perspectives.

The Franco-Prussian War, the siege of Paris, and the Commune come alive through the eyes and voices of a variety of historical figures who witnessed and participated in the events.

Jay Rogoff will have a poetry reading on Friday night at the Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga to celebrate his new collection, Enamel Eyes, A Fantasia on Paris, 1870. 

2/15/17 Panel

Feb 15, 2017

       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 corporate attorney Rich Honen.

Sebastian Barry is one of the most prominent Irish writers of his generation. In his latest novel, Days without End, he explores America through the eyes of a young Irish immigrant fighting in the great wars of the mid-19th century.

It’s about war, immigration, and the violent making of America, but also a moving love story between two gay men. 

The Small Business Revolution is a movement created to shine a spotlight on the vital impact that small businesses have on our economy, our communities and our daily lives.

The organization traveled the country, capturing the inspiring stories of 100 small businesses and recognized that nowhere in America are small businesses more critical, and more under siege, than in our small towns. They created the Small Business Revolution – Main Street to help those small businesses, and in turn, those small towns, reignite the spark that drives them and keeps people coming back.

Each season, The Small Business Revolution seeks out America’s most inspiring small towns, and award the winner with a $500,000 revitalization. The season 1 winner was Wabash, Indiana and voting is open now for the finalists in Season 2. The 5 finalists are Bristol Borough, PA; Georgetown, SC; Kingsburg, CA; Red Wing, MN; and North Adams, MA!

Eric Kerns, co-Founder, Bright Ideas Brewing and Partner in Hotel Development in North Adams and Suzy Helme, Community Events Director of North Adams join us to tell us more. 

cifotart / 123RF Stock Photo

Our tech guru Jesse Feiler joins us this morning to discuss the ins and outs of dealing with social media – especially for non-profits.

Jesse Feiler helps people and organizations get to know and use new technologies. Projects have included building the page caching module for the Prodigy Web Browser for Mac in the very early days of the Web, location-based apps for iPhone and iOS, as well as books and classes on new technologies. His new book is iPad For Seniors for Dummies

Today's Book Picks come from Jim Havener of Green Toad Bookstore in Oneonta, NY.

List:
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
A House Full of Females by Laura Ulrich Thatcher
The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter by David Sax
4321: A Novel by Paul Aster
The You I've Never Known by Ellen Hopkins

In What Love Is, philosopher Carrie Jenkins offers a bold new theory on the nature of romantic love that reconciles its humanistic and scientific components. Love can be a social construct (the idea of a perfect fairy tale romance) and a physical manifestation (those anxiety- inducing heart palpitations); we must recognize its complexities and decide for ourselves how to love.

Motivated by her own polyamorous relationships, she examines the ways in which our parameters of love have recently changed-to be more accepting of homosexual, interracial, and non-monogamous relationships-and how they will continue to evolve in the future. 

2/14/17 Panel

Feb 14, 2017

  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.

Shakespeare & Company has announced its lineup for the 2017 summer season, which includes three Shakespeare plays: Cymbeline, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream; plus two Edith Wharton comedies, Roman Fever and the newly adapted The Fullness of Life.

Additional titles include the Obie Award winning 4,000 Miles by Amy Herzog; New York Drama Critics Circle and the Outer Critics Circle Recipient, Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage; and Tony Award Winner, God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza.

This year marks the 40th Season at Shakespeare & Company -represents an opportunity to celebrate the company’s legacy. To tell us more we welcome Artistic Director Allyn Burrows and Shakespeare & Co. Founder, Tina Packer. 

Nearly everyone swears—whether it’s over a few too many drinks, in reaction to a stubbed toe, or in flagrante delicto. And yet, we sit idly by as words are banned from television and censored in books. We insist that people excise profanity from their vocabularies and we punish children for yelling the very same dirty words that we’ll mutter in relief seconds after they fall asleep. Swearing, it seems, is an intimate part of us that we have decided to selectively deny.

That’s a damn shame. Swearing is useful. It can be funny, cathartic, or emotionally arousing. As linguist and cognitive scientist Benjamin K. Bergen shows in his book What the F: What Swearing Reveals About Our Language, Our Brains, and Ourselves, it also opens a new window onto how our brains process language and why languages vary around the world and over time.

To a dog, there is no such thing as “fresh air.” Every breath of air is loaded with information. In fact, what every dog—the tracking dog, of course, but also the dog lying next to you, snoring, on the couch—knows about the world comes mostly through his nose.

In Being a Dog, Alexandra Horowitz, a research scientist in the field of dog cognition and the author of the runaway bestseller Inside of a Dog, unpacks the mystery of a dog’s worldview as has never been done before. 

Our Falling into Place series spotlights the important work of -and fosters collaboration between- not-for-profit organizations in our communities; allowing us all to fall into place.

Falling Into Place is supported by The Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation, Providing a helping hand to turn inspiration into accomplishment. See more possibilities … see more promise… see more progress.

The Food Pantries for the Capital District is a coalition of 56 food pantries in Albany, Rensselaer, and Saratoga Counties. They provide funding, delivery, coordination of services and food drives, and education and training to their member food pantries.

To tell us more, we welcome the Executive Director of the Food Pantries for the Capital District, Natasha Pernicka. 

2/13/17 Panel

Feb 13, 2017

  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 Communications Specialist Theresa Bourgeois.

J.M.W. Turner is one of the most important figures in Western art, and his visionary work paved the way for a revolution in landscape painting. Over the course of his lifetime, Turner strove to liberate painting from an antiquated system of patronage. Bringing a new level of expression and color to his canvases, he paved the way for the modern artist.

Franny Moyle studied Art History at St John's College, Cambridge. She enjoyed a career in arts programming at the BBC that culminated in her becoming the corporation's first Commissioner for Arts and Culture. She is now a freelance executive producer and writer and lives in east London. Her new book is Turner: The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J.M.W. Turner.

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