20 episodes

Writer's Voice features author interviews and readings, as well as news, commentary and tips related to writing and publishing. We also talk with editors, agents, publicists and others about issues of interest to writers. Francesca Rheannon is producer and host of Writer's Voice. She is a writer, an independent radio producer and a broadcast journalist.

Writer's Voice with Francesca Rheannon Francesca Rheannon

    • Arts
    • 4.4 • 14 Ratings

Writer's Voice features author interviews and readings, as well as news, commentary and tips related to writing and publishing. We also talk with editors, agents, publicists and others about issues of interest to writers. Francesca Rheannon is producer and host of Writer's Voice. She is a writer, an independent radio producer and a broadcast journalist.

    Mary Pipher, A LIFE IN LIGHT & Anita Barrows, THE LANGUAGE OF BIRDS

    Mary Pipher, A LIFE IN LIGHT & Anita Barrows, THE LANGUAGE OF BIRDS

    We talk to Mary Pipher about her new memoir, A Life In Light: Meditations On Impermanence.

    And poet, therapist and translator Anita Barrows talks with us about her stunning debut novel, The Language of Birds.

    Writers Voice— in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004.

    Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon, on Instagram @WritersVoicePodcast or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.

    Love Writer’s Voice? Please rate us on your podcast app. It really helps to get the word out about our show.



    Anita Barrows

    Anita Barrows is a poet, translator and therapist working with children with disabilities, including autism. She draws on all these vocations in her debut novel The Language of Birds.

    The novel is beautifully written—there’s the poet. It’s about two sisters, one autistic, the other socially isolated, and their struggle to connect with others and their own strengths—there’s the therapist. And, in exploring the world of an autistic character, Barrows translates that world for the reader with sensitivity and compassion.

    Both sisters carry the burden of loss. But coming to terms with that loss unlocks the resilience within each of them to open to the love and care of others, and return it.

    Anita Barrows has published three poetry volumes. Her translations with Joanna Macy of Rilke’s poetry and prose have been set to music, and nominated for national awards. She teaches at the Wright Institute in Berkeley, California, and maintains an active therapy practice specializing in trauma and developmental disabilities in children, adolescents and adults.

    Mary Pipher

    Mary Pipher has been exploring what sustains us as individuals, members of families and of society for well over twenty years. From her classic, Reviving Ophelia, to the last book we spoke with her about, Women Rowing North, Pipher put us in touch with ourselves, our challenges and our resilience.

    Her latest book, A Life In Light, is a memoir, where she draws on these challenges and strengths as they applied in her own life.

    Drawing from her own experiences and expertise as a psychologist specializing in women, trauma, and the effect of our culture on our mental health, she looks inward to what shaped her as a woman, one who has experienced darkness throughout her life but was always drawn to the light.

    Listen to our interview with Mary Pipher about Women Rowing North

    • 1 hr 2 min
    James Bridle, WAYS OF BEING & Sy Montgomery, THE HAWK’S WAY

    James Bridle, WAYS OF BEING & Sy Montgomery, THE HAWK’S WAY

    Artist, technologist, and philosopher James Bridle tells us about his book, Ways of Being: Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for A Planetary Intelligence.

    Then we talk with Sy Montgomery (Soul of the Octopus) about her new book, a memoir of falconry, The Hawk’s Way.

    Writers Voice— in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004.

    Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon, on Instagram @WritersVoicePodcast or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.



    James Bridle

    What does it mean to be intelligent? Is it something unique to humans or shared with other beings— beings of flesh, wood, stone, and silicon?

    Artist, technologist, and philosopher James Bridle seeks the answer in his book, Ways of Being: Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for A Planetary Intelligence. He explores the different kinds of intelligences that we have lived among since time immemorial — as well as the new intelligences we are creating through technology.

    What can we learn from them, and how can we change ourselves, our technologies, our societies, and our politics to live better and more equitably with one another and the nonhuman world?

    James Bridle draws on biology and physics, computation, literature, art, and philosophy to explore these questions.

    Listen to an excerpt from Ways of Being

    Sy Montgomery

    Sy Montgomery is noted for her friendships with animals. There are the octopuses she wrote about in her bestseller The Soul of An Octopus. The pig, Christopher Hogwood. And the myriad animals she lived with during both childhood and adulthood, whom she wrote about in How To Be A Good Creature.

    But her latest relationship can’t really be called a friendship—more like a vassalship to a noble being: a hawk.

    Montgomery writes about learning to be a hawk’s junior hunting partner in her new book The Hawk’s Way — and what that taught her about the heart of wildness.

    Listen to an audio excerpt from The Hawks Way and see photos of the magnificent birds Montgomery writes about.

    Next Week on Writer’s Voice

    We talk with Mary Pipher about her new book, A LIFE IN LIGHT. Then Anita Barrows tells us about her novel, THE LANGUAGE OF BIRDS.

    • 55 min
    Ari Rabin-Havt, THE FIGHTING SOUL & Chuck Rocha, TÍO BERNIE

    Ari Rabin-Havt, THE FIGHTING SOUL & Chuck Rocha, TÍO BERNIE

    We talk with Ari Rabin-Havt about his campaign memoir, The Fighting Soul: On The Road With Bernie Sanders.

    Then we play an excerpt from our 2020 interview with Chuck Rocha, Bernie’s campaign lead on Latino voters, about his book, Tío Bernie.

    Writers Voice— in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004.

    Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon, on Instagram @WritersVoicePodcast or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.

    Love Writer’s Voice? Please rate us on your podcast app. It really helps to get the word out about our show.



    Ari Rabin-Havt

    In 2017, a poll found that Bernie Sanders was the most popular politician in America. Yet he inspired some of the most vicious vitriol from the established press and the Twitterverse ever seen.

    Few people know who Bernie really is, as he deliberately keeps the focus on his policies, not himself.

    In his book, The Fighting Soul, Ari Rabin-Havt reveals the real Bernie Sanders. He was a close advisor and deputy campaign manager on Sanders’s 2020 campaign, spending more hours with the Vermont senator than anyone else.

    The book is a fascinating dive into a presidential campaign like no other—how it succeeded in building a massive following and how it ultimately failed to gain the nomination.

    In addition to serving as deputy campaign manager on Senator Bernie Sanders’s 2020 presidential campaign, Ari Rabin-Havt  was a Sanders aide from 2017 to 2021. His writing has appeared in the New Republic and the Washington Post, among other publications.

    Read An Excerpt

    Chuck Rocha

    Chuck Rocha was a chief strategist for Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign. While he worked broadly in the campaign, his special mission was to mobilize the Latino vote for the Senator.

    We spoke with him in 2020 about his memoir of the campaign Tío Bernie. We play an excerpt from that conversation.

    Listen to the entire interview

    • 59 min
    Jim Shepard, PHASE SIX & Cob Carlson, THE GREATEST RADIO STATION IN THE WORLD

    Jim Shepard, PHASE SIX & Cob Carlson, THE GREATEST RADIO STATION IN THE WORLD

    We talk with novelist Jim Shepard about his latest work of fiction, Phase Six. It’s about what happens when a mining operation in the thawing permafrost of Greenland releases a deadly virus into the world.

    Then, we talk with Cob Carlson about his new documentary, The Greatest Radio Station In The World. It’s about listener-supported WPKN 89.5 fm Bridgeport CT, which just happens to be the home station of Writer’s Voice.

    Writers Voice— in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004.

    Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon, on Instagram @WritersVoicePodcast or find us on twitter @WritersVoice



    Jim Shepard

    One of the least known but most terrifying consequences of global warming is the release of ancient pathogens from the melting permafrost. Lethal viruses and bacteria that have been locked up for many millennia—and against which humans have zero immunity—pose the threat of lethal pandemics that could take out millions, if not billions of humans and other animals.

    In his new novel Phase Six, Jim Shepard brings together two interrelated trends that increase the risk: the thawing Arctic is leading to more mining—and that mining threatens to release pathogens that are new to human immune systems.

    A mining operation in Greenland releases a virus that wipes out an Inuit community, save for the sole survivor, a young boy.

    As the deadly virus spreads, two young investigators from the CDC race to identify the pathogen and sequence its genome. The connections between the scientists and the young boy the CDC has taken charge of pose questions about the moral responsibilities we owe each other and how we carry them out.

    Jim Shepherd is the author of eight novels. Read an excerpt from Phase Six.

    Cob Carlson

    WPKN 89.5 FM in Bridgeport CT has been the radio home of Writer’s Voice for over a decade. We are proud to be part of this terrific station, home to some of the best music and public affairs programming you can find on the radio dial—and streaming on the Web.

    So when the New Yorker magazine published a piece calling WPKN “The Greatest Radio Station In The World,” we were thrilled that it was finally getting the national recognition it so richly deserved.

    Then, filmmaker and WPKN listener Cob Carlson came out with a documentary film about the station, taking its title from the Nw Yorker article. It premiered last month and will headline the Bridgeport Film Festival on July 23 in Bridgeport, CT.

    Cob Carlson has been a film editor and producer on numerous films, such as Farmageddon and on TV shows Frontline and Nova. In addition to The Greatest Radio Station in The World, he made the documentary, Donald Ross: Discovering The Legend.

    • 57 min
    Jonathan Lee, THE GREAT MISTAKE & Michael Mechanic, JACKPOT

    Jonathan Lee, THE GREAT MISTAKE & Michael Mechanic, JACKPOT

    We speak with Jonathan Lee about his historical novel The Great Mistake. It’s about the man who’s called “The Father of Greater New York,” Andrew Haswell Green.

    Then, Michael Mechanic takes us on a tour into the lives of the super-rich and what their astronomic wealth says about America. His book is Jackpot: How the Super-Rich Really Live- and How their Wealth Harms Us All.

    Writers Voice— in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004.

    Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.

    Love Writer’s Voice? Please rate us on your podcast app. It really helps to get the word out about our show.



    Jonathan Lee

    Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the American Museum of Natural History and the New York Public Library: all of these great public institutions were the inspiration of one man: Andrew Haswell Green.

    He was also responsible for the borough system that makes up greater New York: Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Brooklyn and the Bronx.

    So how come so few people have ever heard of him? Did it have something to do with the horror and absurdity of his end? He was murdered in 1903 by someone who thought he was actually someone else. That mistake is one inspiration for Jonathan Lee’s novel about Andrew Green, The Great Mistake.

    Lee immerses the reader in the character of Green—a fictional imagining that fascinates both with the strangeness and the humanity of this remarkable historical person.

    Jonathan Lee is the author of three previous novels.

    Read an excerpt from The Great Mistake

    Michael Mechanic

    The rich are getting much, much richer while more Americans are falling into poverty. In 2018, the three richest men in America held combined fortunes worth more than the total wealth of the poorest half of Americans. The bottom 40% of Americans have no assets at all.

    Michael Mechanic wanted to know how the super-rich deal with all that astronomical wealth. Does it make them happy? How does it skew their perception of reality?

    His book Jackpot explores these questions and more. It’s an inquiry that begs the question: should billionaires exist?

    Michael Mechanic is an author and journalist for Mother Jones Magazine.

    • 57 min
    David Bollier THE COMMONER’S CATALOG & Katha Pollitt, PRO

    David Bollier THE COMMONER’S CATALOG & Katha Pollitt, PRO

    We talk with David Bollier about his latest book, The Commoners Catalog For Change Making: Tools For The Transitions Ahead.

    Then, in light of the Supreme Court ruling taking away the constitutional right of women to reproductive freedom, we listen back to our 2015 interview with Katha Pollitt about her book, PRO: Reclaiming Abortion Rights.

    Writers Voice— in depth conversation with writers of all genres, on the air since 2004.

    Like us on Facebook at Writers Voice with Francesca Rheannon or find us on twitter @WritersVoice.

    Love Writer’s Voice? Please rate us on your podcast app. It really helps to get the word out about our show.



    David Bollier

    It’s becoming pretty clear that our current economic system is leading us straight over the cliff. Whether you call it predatory capitalism or neoliberalism, the whole notion of subordinating all socio-economic and environmental needs to endlessly increasing short-term profit for a tiny elite is, well, nuts.

    But what’s a workable alternative? One that can promote wellbeing and democracy?David Bollier says the answer is both new and age-old: he calls it “commoning.”

    Commoners seek to prioritize people’s needs over market extraction, steward the Earth, relocalize the economy, and build new institutions of empowerment.

    And The Commoner’s Catalog for Changemaking Bollier has complied is a kind of Whole Earth Catalog for the 21st century. It explains the transformational power of social collaboration by showcasing dozens of pathbreaking projects, books, websites, and activist initiatives. It’s an indispensable tool for transition to a livable future.

    David Bollier is a global leader in the commoning movement. He’s the author of numerous books, including Fair, Free and Alive, Think Like a Commoner, and Brand Name Bullies. And we’ve talked with him about all those books and more.

    He is also the founder of the website OnThe Commons.org and the host of the podcast, Frontiers of Commoning.

    Read an Online Version of The Commoners Catalog

    Katha Pollitt

    The Supreme Court has now stripped away the constitutional right of women to make their own reproductive choices.

    Overturning Roe vs. Wade is just the beginning of an all-out assault on women’s rights, the rights of LGBTQ people, and other crucial rights, like the right to free and fair elections and the right to protect the environment.

    It’s a horrific shock but not unexpected. It’s been coming for years, as the right to reproductive freedom has been steadily chipped away.

    Back in 2015, we spoke with Katha Pollitt about her book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. It’s as relevant today as ever.

    • 1 hr 13 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

abt41253 ,

10 best titles

This episode is so interesting! I now have 10 new (to me) books to read. The host gets right to the point and elicits such fascinating responses from the authors. I'm a fan.

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SPECTACULAR

Francesca Rheannon has an amazing show and often has me wondering why she hasn't become the next Katie Couric or Barbara Walters with her impressive array of questions, continuing the conversation while keeping us the audience entranced and enticed and always wanting more My favorite author interview by far is John Elder Robinsons I have both of his books and am currently awaiting a third because I am personal touched by ASD and Francesca Rheanon's interview allows me a chance to let others listen into a bit of our world and understand because they are the ones who refuse the books and there's no way I'd ever get them to read it her interview has had a few willing that have either borrowed my book or bought them for themselves However even when the author or book has no personal interest to me this show has me entertained and delighted!!!!!

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