Over the past 50 years, MPR has been a conduit for regional authors to connect with their readers. This past year, with a grant from the National Historical Publications & Records Commission, the Archive team has been actively identifying and digitizing the best of these interviews, essays and public appearances. In this collection you will hear the essential voice of Minnesota in authors like Sigurd Olson, Tim O'Brien, Robert Bly, Louise Erdrich and many others. Also included are recordings of visiting authors--non-Minnesotans, but part of our literary pantheon.
This project has been funded by the National Historical Publications & Records Commission.
December 23, 2016 — When Minneota, Minn., poet, author and musician Bill Holm sat down to write a Christmas letter, he sorted through a lifetime of memories. He was born in 1943 and died in 2009 at the age of 65.Holm put some of these memories in a book he wrote in 1997 called "Faces of Christmas Past."That same year Minnesota Public Radio produced the "Voices of Minnesota" special, with Bill Holm reading from his own book.It also included some music, a Christmas ghost story from Iceland and a little holiday philosophy from Bill Holm.Holm is perhaps best known for "Faces of Christmas Past," "The Music of Failure," "Windows of Brimnes," and "The Heart Can Be Filled Anywhere on Earth." Though he also wrote many other books."Faces of Christmas Past" was published by the Afton Historical Society Press. The "Voices of Minnesota" series was produced by Dan Olson. Gary Eichten's voice is also heard.
December 22, 2016 — Andrew Carnegie, the 19th century Pittsburgh industrialist, was one of the richest Americans ever, and also a benevolent civic patron. Nasaw, a self-described "lunatic researcher," wrote a biography simply titled "Andrew Carnegie." Early in December he shared what he learned at the Minnesota Historical Society's History Forum in St. Paul.Carnegie is credited with leading the steel industry expansion in the United States, persuading manufacturing companies to switch from iron to steel, which was more expensive but more durable. Carnegie operated the companies that built new infrastructure as well as the companies that provided the supplies, Nasaw said, and "that's why Mark Twain calls this a gilded age of corruption." In 1900, Carnegie sold his steel manufacturing company to turn to philanthropy full time, announcing he would give away all of his wealth. "And he gives it away in huge quantities," Nasaw said. "Now the question is, why?" Some historians say it was because he felt guilty for contributing to the harsh working conditions for steel workers."And then I read his prenuptial," Nasaw said. Written long before working conditions deteriorated at Carnegie's steel plants, the prenuptial agreement stated that his wife, Louise Whitfield Carnegie, would get an allowance” but would receive nothing when he died, because he had already decided to give it away."Why did he do it? Because Andrew Carnegie above everything else was a thinker, a social philosopher, an observer of the world around him, and it was his self-assigned task in life to figure out what it meant," Nasaw said. "It" being the great deal of wealth he had accumulated in his life. Carnegie concluded it was because he was best suited to give it back to the workers, in the form of things he thought they needed” like building a library instead of raising their pay” something he openly admitted to during a speech at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.
October 3, 2016 —
August 9, 2016 — Gerald Vizenor helped draft the White Earth Constitution approved in 2013. Now the poet, novelist and academic has written a satirical novel examining the impact of the document in the future. "Treaty Shirts" blends Ojibwe history, tradition, and dream narratives with popular culture and science technology to create a surreal but pointed view of modern native life.
August 4, 2016 — Ojibwe author, poet, playwright Jim Northrup died Monday night due to complications from cancer. He was 73. A traditional fire has been started at his residence in Sawyer. All are welcome to visit in order to pay their respects. Jim's son, Matthew Northrup, joined us to talk about his father. And, what it was like being raised by Jim, who was known and quoted as being a tough man.
August 2, 2016 —
July 21, 2016 — Tomorrow night marks the opening of the play "Disgraced" at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. The play deals with racial politics, and reflects the Guthrie's effort to stage more diverse stories, with more diverse casts. Marianne Combs reports that there's another diversity push getting underway - backstage.
July 19, 2016 — Ojibwe writer Jim Northrup is dying, but he's OK with it. The author of the popular Fond du Lac Follies, several books, plays and TV shows says he's helped by his traditional life style on the Fond du Lac Reservation - and his sense of humor.
July 19, 2016 — Ojibwe writer Jim Northrup is dying, but he's okay with it. The author of the popular Fond du Lac Follies, several books, plays, and TV shows says he's helped by his traditional life style on the Fond du Lac Reservation - and his sense of humor. Broadcast on All Things Considered.
July 14, 2016 —