10 episodes

A Public Affair is WORT's daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

A Public Affair Patty Peltekos, Carousel Bayrd, Ali Muldrow, Allen Ruff, & Esty Dinur

    • News
    • 5.0 • 11 Ratings

A Public Affair is WORT's daily hour-long talk program. It aims to engage listeners in a conversation on social, cultural, and political issues of importance. The guests range from local activists and scholars to notable national and international figures.

    The Conservative Movement, Five Years After Charlottesville

    The Conservative Movement, Five Years After Charlottesville

    “We need to stop calling the MAGA movement conservative,” says historian and education activist Alan Singer. “There is nothing conservative or traditional about [Trump’s followers]. Those labels just provide a veneer of legitimacy to people who deserve no intellectual or political legitimacy at all.”

    Today, he joins host Allen Ruff to discuss the latest in the conservative movement, including the GOP’s attacks on public education and this week’s FBI raid of Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, through the lens of his recent essay “Don’t Call Them Conservatives.”

    Alan Singer is a historian and professor in the Hofstra University Department of Teaching, Learning and Technology. He is the author of many books, most recently Teaching Climate History: There Is No Planet B (Routledge, 2022).

    Cover photo: A “Don’t Tread on Me” flag in Louisville, Kentucky by Gage Skidmore, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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    • 52 min
    What Madison’s Updated Rent Abatement Program Means for Tenants

    What Madison’s Updated Rent Abatement Program Means for Tenants

    Every August, the city of Madison has a big housing turnover, with many downtown leases starting on the 15th. This makes for hectic and crowded move-in/move-out days, to say the least, and raises a host of questions about why renting in Madison is so hard—and what it would take to fix it.

    Today, host Carousel Bayrd talks about a variety of tenant–landlord issues, including improvements to the city’s rent abatement program, with David “Rosebud” Sparer.

    David “Rosebud” Sparer is a housing attorney and chair of the City of Madison’s Landlord and Tenant Issues Committee.

    Cover photo: An apartment high rise in downtown Madison by Jordan Richmond, licensed under CC BY 2.0

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    • 53 min
    All Pregnancy Care Just Got Harder

    All Pregnancy Care Just Got Harder

    Even before this summer’s landmark Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, many pregnant patients were not receiving the care they need.

    Cultural, social, and economic environments shape how people get pregnant and what resources they have access to—and the American healthcare system has not succeeded in providing safe and accessible reproductive care to all who need it.

    “People were already living in a post-Roe world before the Dobbs decision dropped,” says population health scientist Dr. Tiffany Green.

    For today’s show, host Ali Muldrow discusses the complicated medical realities of pregnancy, miscarriage, and abortion in a post-Dobbs America with Dr. Tiffany Green and OBGYN Dr. Kristin Lyerly.

    Dr. Tiffany Green is an assistant professor in the Departments of Population Health Sciences and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

    Dr. Kristin Lyerly is a practicing OBGYN in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

    Cover photo: Pregnancy test by TipsTimesAdmin, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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    • 52 min
    The Changing Meaning of Being Single

    The Changing Meaning of Being Single

    When writer Melissa Faliveno went to fill out her tax forms one year, she paused at the marital status checkboxes. She wasn’t married, but as someone in a long-term partnership, it didn’t feel quite right to choose “Single.”

    More and more young adults find themselves occupying this liminal space between singlehood and marriage—and many are charting different paths for themselves and their relationships.

    For today’s show, Melissa Faliveno joins guest host Jade Iseri-Ramos to dig into this topic through the lens of her essay published in the new feminist anthology Sex and the Single Woman: 24 Writers Reimagine Helen Gurley Brown’s Cult Classic.

    Melissa Faliveno will read from Sex and the Single Woman and chat about 21st-century singlehood with poet K. Iver at A Room of One’s Own bookstore this Friday, August 12 at 6PM. More information about the event available here.

    Melissa Faliveno is a visiting professor of English at Kenyon College and author of the essay collection Tomboyland (Topple Books, 2020). Her essays and interviews have been featured in numerous outlets including Esquire, Paris Review, and Lit Hub.

    Cover photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

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    • 54 min
    Peace Activists Say No to Nukes on Hiroshima Day

    Peace Activists Say No to Nukes on Hiroshima Day

    As we approach the 77th anniversary of the U.S. nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, host Esty Dinur spends the first part of today’s show discussing the current and ongoing threat of nuclear war and the problem with nuclear power with John Steinbach.

    Then, Bruce Gagnon joins to talk about the increasing weaponization of space.

    Jon Steinbach is co-founder of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Peace Committee of the National Capital Area.

    Bruce Gagnon is coordinator and co-founder of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.

    Cover photo: “US nuclear weapons test in Nevada in 1951” by International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

     

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    • 52 min
    Martín Espada on Remembering the Mass Shooting in El Paso

    Martín Espada on Remembering the Mass Shooting in El Paso

    Yesterday was the third anniversary of the 2019 shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas that left 23 dead and 23 injured. The shooter was a far-right extremist and white nationalist who told police he was targeting Mexicans.

    For today’s show, Thursday host Allen Ruff reflects on this sobering moment in our history with poet Martín Espada, who also shares several poems, including “The Faces We Envision in the Scrapbook of the Dead,” published yesterday in the North American Review.

    Martín Espada is professor of English at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has published more than twenty books as a poet, essayist, and translator. His most recent collection is Floaters, which won the 2021 National Book Award for Poetry.

    Cover photo: El Paso shooting memorial by Ruperto Miller, shared under public domain

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    • 53 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
11 Ratings

11 Ratings

MurasakiFloof ,

I drive for a meager living

And this is the best radio.
Sometimes I forget to tune in punctually.
I got carried away listening to Danez Smith one day.
They were a guest on a podcast with other poets.
I had forgotten about my favorite radio hour.
Ten minutes in, I unplugged my phone-audio connection.
What happened?
The Poet was there, guesting all over the Madison waves like a professional, like a virtuoso, like a friend, like a mentor, like someone tired and caring and open and halfway home.
I thought I hadn’t unplugged my phone.
Thought the world’s logics had turned into bracelets of smoke.
I had to pick my brain up off the floor.
By the brake pedal.

Anyways yeah the guests are good, the topics salient, the voices earnest and damned smart, and it’s a wonderfully conceived and crafted show.

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