Photo by Tom Thurston

Tuesday, Grammy-winning storyteller and musician Bill Harley is in studio. Harley specializes in "growing up stories," but he doesn't aim to tell kids what to do. He's more interested in describing the experiences and feelings of childhood. He says his job is to make kids laugh, but you'll often find his whole audience in stitches. Harley is in Utah as a guest of Writers@Work, and he joins Doug to talk about his craft and to remind us what the world looks like from a child's perspective.

First Position

May 29, 2012

On stage, ballet is an exemplar of human grace: beautiful women float like feathers and handsome men lift them overhead with ease. Behind the façade of effortlessness lay incredible pain, sacrifice, competition and countless hours of practice. In her film First Postion, Bess Kargman documents the worlds on either side of the stage curtain as she follows six dancers competing in a prestigious ballet competition. She joins Doug on Wednesday to discuss what it takes to transform the human body into kinetic poetry.

Edgar Allan Poe as a detective? It's not just a Hollywood movie. In 1842, the real Poe set out to solve the murder of Mary Rogers, known in New York as the "beautiful cigar girl." While her death captured the imagination of the press and the public, the crime remained unsolved. It was perfect fodder for Poe though, who once called the death of a beautiful woman "the most poetical topic in the world." Tuesday, we talk to writer Daniel Stashower about Poe's life and the birth of crime fiction.


May 15, 2012
Gavin Sheehan

We're cramming all six members of the Salt Lake City-based band L'anarchiste into the studio on Wednesday as part of our Local Music series. The music of L'anarchiste began as a one-man project in Rob LeCheminant's basement. As great as his solo-produced debut EP is, it's not much fun to go to a concert to see a guy hit the play button on his computer. So LeCheminant recruited five musicians to help perform his densely structured take on indie folk. We'll talk to L’anarchiste and survey new local bands and albums.

Richard Dutcher has been called the “father of Mormon cinema,” though he actually left the LDS church in 2007. Dutcher says he has always tried to make films that exhibit great personal integrity and appeal to viewers with every manner of belief. His film FALLING chronicles the devastating spiritual and emotional collapse of an ambitious videographer, and it mirrors his own personal and professional crises. The movie is currently showing in Salt Lake City, which gives us an opportunity to talk to Dutcher on Thursday.

Friday, Doug is joined by storyteller and humorist Kevin Kling. Kling is perhaps best known for his commentaries on NPR. His stories are autobiographical - funny, but deeply personal. Kling shares everything from holidays in Minnesota and performing his banned play in Czechoslovakia to living with a birth defect and surviving a near fatal motor cycle accident. He joins Doug to talk about the power of story to overcome tragedy. (Rebroadcast)

Desert Noises

Apr 4, 2012

Thursday, we've got the Provo-based band Desert Noises in studio as part of our local music series. A lot of musicians are dedicated to their music and try to make a splash - but Desert Noises has gone all-in. The four members quit their jobs and they spent six months last year playing around the country. They're hitting the road again at the end of the month for a 16-city-tour, but first they'll join us to talk about evolving as a band and to play some of their newest songs.

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>

Provo painter Jon McNaughton is getting attention for his latest work "One Nation Under Socialism." It depicts Barack Obama holding the Constitution as it burns. Art critics aren't impressed; it's been called "junk" and "visually dead as a doornail." McNaughton isn't worried about impressing the arts community though; he says his goal is to communicate a political opinion. Thursday, McNaughton and others will join us to talk about political imagery and the relationship between art and ideology.

Sherlock Holmes by British illustrator Sidney Paget, 1904

The iconic detective Sherlock Holmes has been portrayed on radio, television, comic books, board and video games and of course the silver screen. The scholar Leslie Klinger says that Holmes has been popular ever since Arthur Conan Doyle first introduced him in 1887. Friday, Klinger joins us to explain why Sherlock Holmes still works as a character. It’s because he’s the person we all want to be – smart, in complete command of the situation and always doing the right thing. (Rebroadcast)

The Third Crossing

Mar 6, 2012

Wednesday, we're talking with Utah playwright Debra Threedy about her latest work, "The Third Crossing." It's a term Thomas Jefferson used in calculating when an interracial child would be considered "white." By his math, the children he had with his slave Sally Hemings were white, yet he never freed them or their mother. Threedy's play explores their complicated relationship, but it also confronts the fascination and uneasiness that Americans still feel regarding race some two centuries later.