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.
August 28, 2015 — Tom Scheck talks politics, Mark Seeley talks weather and Kevin Kling tells a Minnesota State Fair story.
June 3, 2014 — For more than 20 years Bemidji writer Kent Nerburn has walked a fine line. He's tried to respectfully explore Native American culture as a white author.His books "Neither Wolf nor Dog" and "Wolf at Twilight," tell of his complex relationship with a Lakota elder named Dan. He's now completed the trilogy with "The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo" which delves into Native spirituality. Nerburn says it was also the most difficult of the trilogy to write. "In my own way, with such talents or such spiritual capabilities as I had, I prayed for guidance on this."As in the others in the series the new book tells of a road trip Nerburn takes with his friend Dan. Dan is a real person, a Lakota elder approaching the end of his life. Like all the characters in Nerburn's trilogy, though, Dan is not his real name. Nerburn has renamed everyone except himself.Dan is surrounded by a group of very protective friends and relatives. They regularly warn off Nerburn if they think he is getting too close, telling him he has no place in the native community. "The Girl Who Sang to the Buffalo" Courtesy New World LibraryHowever, for reasons Nerburn doesn't understand, Dan keeps pulling him back. The man needs to resolve some questions before he dies -- most importantly, what happened to his sister. She was taken to a boarding school and never returned. Dan wants Nerburn's help to find out what happened.In the first half of the 20th century the U.S. government placed thousands of native children in such schools. They were often far from their homes and families, and the experience scarred entire generations. In the new book, Nerburn writes about a place that may have been worse.
January 24, 2014 — It's a Friday in Minnesota, and that means tonight's a good time for a meat raffle.It may be a part of Minnesota culture, but to newcomers and out-of-towners, the meat raffle baffles. As "Eat, Pray, Love" author Elizabeth Gilbert observed in the New York Times after visiting a Brainerd meat raffle in 2006, "You know you're an outsider when something that seems perfectly normal to everyone else is impenetrably bizarre to you."Meat raffles are considered a form of legal gambling, and they're regulated in this state by the Minnesota Gambling Control Board. They are common in Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as in Canada and England.
August 30, 2013 — The Minnesota State Fair is one of the few places where fish and falcons, lambs and llamas are all within a short stroll of each other. That inspired a reflection on the ancient relationships between humans and animals from playwright and storyteller Kevin Kling.
April 26, 2013 — Minnesota writer Patricia Hampl presents a staged performance of "The Big Time: F. Scott Fitzgerald." Commissioned by MPR in 2010 for the 100th anniversary of the Fitzgerald Theater, Patricia Hampl and Dan Chouinard perform a literary and musical story about Fitzgerald's version of making it big.
March 12, 2013 —
November 13, 2012 — We continue our look at titles from the Library of Congress' 88 Books that Shaped America list with Dee Brown's "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee."
September 6, 2012 —
August 1, 2012 — Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen reads her poem "Someone Just Like You" for the fifth anniversary of the 35W bridge collapse.