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
    • 4.5 • 16 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.

    Heinz Insu Fenkl, SKULL WATER & Stephanie Wear, EAT UGLY

    Heinz Insu Fenkl, SKULL WATER & Stephanie Wear, EAT UGLY

    We talk with Korean American writer Heinz Insu Fenkl about his autobiographical novel Skull Water. It’s about his youth in Korea as the son of a Korean mother and German-American father, the trauma of war and the dizzying transformation of Korea from the old ways to modern life.

    Then, jelly fish, bugs and garbage, oh my! We talk with marine scientist Dr. Stephanie Wear about the importance—and the joys — of “eating ugly.” She hosts the new documentary series Eating Ugly, on Discovery+.

    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.



    Heinz Insu Fenkl

    Growing up in a military family as the son of a Korean mother and German-American father, Heinz Insu Fenkl got both an insider’s and an outsider’s view of post-war South Korea.

    The insider part came from his closeness to his Korean family, especially his Big Uncle, a geomancer and failed scholar. From his uncle and other relatives, he imbibed the stories and legends of old Korea. He also heard tell of the terrible traumas of the Korean war. These stories form one thread of the book that takes place in 1950.

    The outsider part came from being a mixed race kid in high school, who found his only friends among a group of other mixed race kids like himself. Their adventures—and misadventures—form the coming-of-age story that forms the other thread of the book, that follows his character Insu in the year 1974.

    Heinz Insu Fenkl teaches creative writing and Asian studies at the State University of New York, New Paltz. His previous novel Memories of My Ghost Brother was named a PEN/Hemingway Award finalist.

    Read the New Yorker story Five Arrows based on an excerpt from Skull Water

    Dr. Stephanie Wear

    More that 30% of food is wasted globally—and as much as 50% in the US. That comes to about 1.4 billion tons of food worldwide, enough to feed 2 billion people. Each year, the food the US wastes emits as much greenhouse gases as 42 coal-fired power plants.

    So how to cut down on waste? One way, according to Dr. Stephanie Wear, is to “eat ugly.” That’s the title of a new Discovery + series she hosts.

    The series highlights groundbreaking food pioneers who are already making important and fascinating progress in changing the way we eat, from jelly fish to bugs and more.

    Dr. Stephanie Wear works for Conservation International. “Eat Ugly” is presented by The Nature Conservancy, and produced by Tandem Stills + Motion, Inc. in partnership with Passion Pictures. It streams on Discovery +.

    • 57 min
    Ray Nayler, THE MOUNTAIN AND THE SEA & Victor Navasky Remembered

    Ray Nayler, THE MOUNTAIN AND THE SEA & Victor Navasky Remembered

    We talk with Ray Nayler about his novel of speculative fiction, The Mountain In The Sea. It was named by Slate Book Review as one of the Best Books of 2022.

    Then, we remember Victor Navasky, the long time editor of the Nation magazine. He died January 24 at the age of 90. We listen back to my 2006 interview with him about his memoir, A Matter of Opinion.

    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.



    Ray Nayler

    We’ve all heard the classic question, is there other intelligent life in the Universe? But what about other intelligent life right here on Earth?

    Of course, we are already learning about the many forms of intelligence among the other animals we share our world with, from ants to whales. And some say plants also have consciousness and intelligence.

    But we’re really asking: is there any other species that matches us in complexity of thought and creativity? Could we be on the brink of inventing that species with the development of advanced Artificial Intelligence? And how would we respond to other intelligences, whether natural or human-made?

    Ray Nayler explores these questions In his brilliant and beautifully written novel of speculative fiction, The Mountain In The Sea.

    In a world where ocean life is under constant threat of extinction from human activity, a species of octopus with highly evolved intelligence— Octopus Sapiens, if you will — is discovered. One of the discoverers is the world’s only fully aware and self-conscious android, Evrim, a nonbinary being banished to an island marine refuge in the Con Dao peninsula of Vietnam after being rejected by the rest of humanity.

    Nayler’s novel questions society’s assumptions about human superiority and the right to dominate other species. It urges us to understand that we are connected to all the life around us, neither above or below, but in equal relationship to it.

    Ray Nayler’s critically acclaimed short fiction has appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including The Very Best of the Best: 35 Years of The Year’s Best Science Fiction. He has worked in the Foreign Service and the Peace Corps, including a stint as Environment, Science, Technology, and Health Officer at the U.S. consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. He currently serves as the international advisor to the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The Mountain and the Sea is his first full-length novel.

    Read more about Ray Nayler and his work

    Victor Navasky

    Long time Nation magazine editor Victor Navasky died January 24 at the age of 90. Navasky came to The Nation as editor in 1978, and was made publisher and general partner in 1995. He chaired the Columbia Journalism Review and was Director of the George Delacorte Center for Magazine Journalism.

    He was an editor for the New York Times Magazine, and a columnist for the Times’ Book Review. His book Naming Names won the National Book Award in 1982.

    We spoke with him in 2006 about his book, A Matter of Opinion. It’s a passionate, funny look at his life in journalism and at the field of magazine journalism in general.

     

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Maya K. van Rossum, THE GREEN AMENDMENT & David Margolick on MLK, Jr.

    Maya K. van Rossum, THE GREEN AMENDMENT & David Margolick on MLK, Jr.

    A landmark win under Pennsylvania’s Green Amendment to its constitution led Maya van Rossum to imagine much, much more. We talk with her about her book The Green Amendment: The Peoples Fight For A Clean, Safe, And Healthy Environment.

    Then, in honor of Martin Luther King’s birthday this week, we re-air our 2018 interview with David Margolick about his book The Promise and the Dream. It’s about the connection between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy in the fight for civil 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, on Instagram @WritersVoicePodcast or find us on Twitter @WritersVoice. Find Francesca at

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



    Maya K. Van Rossum

    On November 2, 2021, New Yorkers voted to amend the State’s constitution to enshrine into law each person’s “right to clean air and water, and a healthful environment.”

    With the adoption of this Green amendment, New York became the third state in the nation to include environmental rights in its Bill of Rights, following Pennsylvania (1971) and Montana (1972.)

    The movement to get a Green Amendment into New York’s constitution was spearheaded by the grassroots organization, Green Amendments For the Generations, founded by Maya K. van Rossum. The group is working to secure constitutional recognition and protection of environmental rights in every state and ultimately at the federal level.

    Van Rossum writes about the Green Amendment movement in her book, The Green Amendment: The Peoples Fight For A Clean, Safe, And Healthy Environment.

    Learn more about Green Amendments For the Generations

    David Margolick on Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy

    We honor Dr. King’s birthday by re-playing a long segment from our 2018 interview with David Margolick about his book The Promise and the Dream.

    It’s about a story that lay hidden until Margolick uncovered it: the relationship between Martin Luther King, Jr. and Bobby Kennedy and the crucial role that relationship payed in the passage of civil rights legislation in the US.

    Listen to the the entire interview here

    • 57 min
    Danielle Klode, KOALA & Russell Banks, VOYAGER

    Danielle Klode, KOALA & Russell Banks, VOYAGER

    We remember Russell Banks, who passed away on January 7 at the age of 82. We last spoke with him in 2016, about his memoir Voyager, and re-air that interview today.

    But first, we talk with Danielle Clode, award-winning natural history writer, about her new book Koala: A Natural History and an Uncertain Future.

    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.



    Danielle Klode

    The years 2019 and 2020 saw perhaps the worse fire season in Australia yet. The mega fires were devastating not only for human communities but for Australia’s wildlife. The toll was unimaginable. Among its victims, were many members of that species of charismatic cuteness: the koala. The flames raged across their native eucalyptus forests, devastating their habitat.

    Yet koalas are also incredibly resilient. During their long presence on Planet Earth, they’ve come through previous eras of climate chaos, rebounding from population crashes to thrive again. It’s a fascinating story that holds lessons not only for the koala, but also for all the other species it shares the planet with — including us.

    Danielle Clode examines that story in her new book Koala: A Natural History and an Uncertain Future. She’s an award winning author of numerous non-fiction books. Her writing includes natural history, essays, science-writing, historical fiction and best-selling children’s books as well as documentaries.

    Francesca Remembers Russell Banks

    I was saddened to hear that Russell Banks passed away on January 7. When I first came upon his novels—I think The Sweet Hereafter was the first — I was struck that he delved so sensitively into the lives of the working class — a demographic that is all too often overlooked in the catalogs of the major publishing houses.

    Later, I had the privilege to interview him about his novels Reserve and Lost Memory of Skin, his collection of short stories, A Permanent Member of the Family, and finally his memoir Voyager.

    In memory of his passing, we re-play my conversation with Russell Banks about that memoir.

     

     

    • 58 min
    Dr. Ann-Christine Duhaine, MINDING THE CLIMATE & Darr Reilly, The Carbon C.R.E.W. Project

    Dr. Ann-Christine Duhaine, MINDING THE CLIMATE & Darr Reilly, The Carbon C.R.E.W. Project

    Why is it so hard to get the hair-on-fire action on climate we need to deal with the crisis? Could it have something to do with our brains? We talk with Dr. Ann-Christine Duhaime about her book, Minding The Climate: How Neuroscience Can Help Solve Our Environmental Crisis.

    Then, we talk with one climate activist who’s putting Duhaime’s lessons on how to change minds about the crisis to work: Darr Reilly, co-founder of the Carbon Crew Project.

    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. Find Francesca at mastodon.social[at]FRheannon.

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



    Ann-Christine Duhaime

    As we produce this show, a bomb cyclone is bearing down on the west coast—the second in two weeks. Buffalo New York is digging out of its most deadly blizzard, ever. Meanwhile carbon pollution in the atmosphere is spiking to record levels and Europe is basking in record January heat—climatologists say it’s an “extreme event” unlike anything in European history.

    The steady drumbeat of climate catastrophe is clamoring in our ears.

    But how many people are really listening? Listening in a way to make the changes we need to make in time to survive?

    Why aren’t they listening–and is there anything we can do to change that?

    Neuroscientist Dr. Ann-Christine Duhaime tackles this question in her book, Minding The Climate. She explores how our long evolution as a species has shaped our brains to respond to immediate threats, but to miss or discount ones that play out over the long term.

    But she also shows that the brain’s enormous capacity for change is reason for hope. By understanding both the barriers and the spurs to change, we can move the needle on climate action.

    Read an excerpt from Minding The Climate



    Darr Reilly, Carbon Crew Project

    When Francesca read Ann-Christine Duhaime’s book Minding the Climate, she immediately thought of her friend Darr Reilly. She’s an advocate and practitioner of Drawdown, the climate action movement developed by Paul Hawken. It promotes 100 solutions to the climate crisis that ordinary people can engage in.

    Growing out of her work with Drawdown, Reilly co-founded the Carbon Crew Project. It’s a program geared for small groups of friends and neighbors to lessen their carbon footprint, step by step.

    Resources mentioned by Darr Reilly:

    Carbon Crew Project

    Pachamama Alliance

    The True Cost movie

    2040 Regenerators

    • 55 min
    Jeff Lowenfels, TEAMING WITH BACTERIA & Best of 2022

    Jeff Lowenfels, TEAMING WITH BACTERIA & Best of 2022

    It’s the last week of December 2022. The days are already starting to get longer. A great time to start thinking about next year’s garden. And, with next year around the corner, a good time to look back at some of our favorite interviews of 2022.

    Today, we talk with garden columnist Jeff Lowenfells about his book, Teaming with Bacteria. It’s the fourth in his groundbreaking series about building the soil microbiome to create a flourishing soil food web.

    Then we hear excerpts from our 2022 interviews with Bill McKibben, Mohsin Hamid and Keri Blakinger.

    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.



    Jeff Lowenfells

    If we don’t do anything about it, some say, we have about sixty years left of soil. And without soil, we don’t have food, at least not enough to feed the world. The remedy? Regenerative agriculture that builds the soil by using nature’s own methods.

    Jeff Lowenfels has been writing about gardening for over 45 years. He writes the column Alaska Gardening and Growing for the Anchorage Daily News. But perhaps his greatest contribution to gardening is his series on the soil food web or soil microbiome.

    He began in 2010 with Teaming with Microbes, followed by Teaming With Nutrients. Teaming With Fungi, and now Teaming with Bacteria.

    Jeff Lowenfels is a former president of the Garden Writers Association; he was inducted into the organization’s Hall of Fame in 2005

    He Wrote a Gardening Column. He Ended Up Documenting Climate Change

    Best of 2022

    It’s that time of year to look back at 2022 before we leave to head to the New Year. This was one of our best years for interviews. We spoke with Nobel laureate for literature Abdulrazak Gurnah, NoViolet Bulawayo, whose novel Glory was shortlisted for the Booker prize, and presidential candidate Marianne Williamson, among many other terrific conversations.

    So it was tough to choose among them. Today we’ll hear excerpts from three of our favorite interviews. The full list with links to the interviews is below.

    Bill McKibben

    We spoke with world-renowned climate protector Bill McKibben about his wonderful memoir The Flag, The Cross And The Station Wagon: A Graying American Looks Back at His Suburban Boyhood and Wonders What The Hell Happened.

    Listen to the full episode

    Mohsin Hamid

    We talked with Hamid about his brilliant and thought-provoking novel, The Last White Man.

    Listen to the full episode

    Keri Blakinger

    Finally, we hear an excerpt from my interview with Keri Blakinger about her memoir, Corrections In Ink.

    Listen to the full episode

     

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

jolliechapz ,

The best interview podcast ten plus (?) years running

This podcast is loyal support, still here to help us all connect with our current shared reality.
Treat yourself to the wise and gentle interviewer presence of Francesca, who, without splashy fanfare, creates space for the important thinkers of our time.

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.

bullcbull ,

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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