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Movers & Thinkers
28 minutes | 11 days ago
Stranger Than Fiction
Best-selling author Ruta Sepetys spends months or years researching for her novels, interviewing dozens of people in the process. Because she's doesn’t write about fictional dystopian worlds — she writes about dystopian reality. Spanish baby-stealing. A German shipwreck that's the largest in history. Soviet work camps. Historical fiction that reminds people about unbelievable stories largely forgotten to time. In this conversation, Emily Siner interviews Ruta about why some of these epically interesting stories have been left out of our collective remembrance, and how she approaches telling histories that are not her own. (And — we'll talk about what it's like to have your first best-seller confused with one of the most popular erotic novels of all time.) Movers & Thinkers is a production of Nashville Public Radio. This episode was hosted and produced by Emily Siner, edited by Chas Sisk and Anita Bugg, and mastered by Carl Pederson. Find more in-depth interviews with fascinating Nashvillians at wpln.org/movers.
21 minutes | 3 months ago
Music That Makes You Shake
It's been six years since composer Joel Thompson sat down to write music about the deaths of black men who'd been killed by police. The resulting piece for chorus and orchestra is called Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, a biblical reference to the last words uttered by Jesus. In this special crossover episode with the podcast Classically Speaking, producer Colleen Phelps talks to Joel and Nashville-based opera singer Patrick Dailey, both black men, as they explore the question: How can music be used to process tragedy, embody it and lead to change? "I could not stop shaking throughout the performance," Patrick says. "To this day, it haunts me … because it actually informs the work that we do in this community." Movers & Thinkers is a production of Nashville Public Radio. This episode was hosted and produced by Emily Siner, in conjunction with Colleen Phelps, edited by Chas Sisk and Anita Bugg, and mastered by Carl Pederson. Find more in-depth interviews with fascinating Nashvillians at wpln.org/movers.
19 minutes | 10 months ago
The Funniest One In The Room
DJ Pryor was catapulted to national fame after a video of him and his young son went viral in 2019. It showed off his natural humor — DJ is a standup comedian — as well as an example of genuine parental love. But DJ's own childhood was far less positive. And his experiences of abuse and pain, told as comedy, have connected with audiences just as much. "You'd be surprised how many people walk up to me at the end of shows that had that experience and they say, 'I went through the same thing,' " DJ says.
20 minutes | a year ago
I'll Have What Dolly's Having
Dolly Parton has long been an icon in Tennessee, her home state, where she's beloved for her philanthropy and raunchy wit. And in a moment when celebrities are almost expected to take political stances, Dolly is noticeable for her lack of controversy. How does she manage to charm everyone? What does that say about her as a person? No, this is not an interview with Dolly Parton. But it is an interview with Jad Abumrad, another native Tennessean who has spent months interviewing Dolly fans, Dolly experts and Dolly herself for his new podcast Dolly Parton's America. "For me, what's fascinating about Dolly is not that she's liberal or conservative but that she defies all those categories," he says. Movers & Thinkers is a production of Nashville Public Radio. It's hosted and produced by Emily Siner, edited by Blake Farmer and Anita Bugg, and mastered by Carl Pederson. Find more in-depth interviews with fascinating Nashvillians at wpln.org/movers.
33 minutes | a year ago
The Butcher, The Vegan Baker, The Potions Maker
When we decide what to eat or drink, we're making choices that go beyond flavor. What we consume can be a tool for social change, a connection with generations past, and a major influence on our well-being. In this lively episode, WPLN's Emily Siner talks to Chris Carter of Porter Road Butcher, Tiffany Hancock of The Southern V, and Leah Larabell of High Garden Tea — three food entrepreneurs who are merging innovation and tradition. How did they start down the paths of local meat production, veganism and herbalism? And how do they navigate pushback from skeptical customers? Support our podcasts by donating at wpln.org/give and noting that you listen to Movers & Thinkers.
16 minutes | a year ago
Writing About Life, Death And Grief In The South
Margaret Renkl is a Nashville writer perhaps best known for her regular columns in the New York Times. "Late Migrations" is her debut book, and it's part-essay collection on coming of age and aging in the South, and part-observations of nature. Margaret began writing the book after the death of her mother, in an effort to process her grief. "If I forced myself to see this rat snake coming out of the chickadee nest box and the crow stealing the cardinal's babies … then I would stop feeling so singled out for suffering," she says. In this poignant and powerful episode, Margaret talks to WPLN's Emily Siner about documenting complicated families, grieving with animals, and writing a book in 15 minutes. Support our podcasts by donating at wpln.org/give and noting that you listen to Movers & Thinkers. Hear previous episodes of Movers & Thinkers on our website, Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music.
25 minutes | 2 years ago
The Scales Of Juvenile Justice
Judge Sheila Calloway sees children during some of the worst moments of their lives: right after they've been accused of committing a crime. * *But she holds fast to the philosophy that children are redeemable and should be given the opportunity to change. "We as a nation have to make a change from what we think about as justice," she says. "We use incarceration as the answer for almost everything, and it cannot be the answer." In this episode, she talks to WPLN's Emily Siner about the relationship between empathy and justice. Support our podcasts by donating at wpln.org/give and noting that you listen to Movers & Thinkers. Hear previous episodes of Movers & Thinkers on our website, Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music. Read the transcript of this episode here.
27 minutes | 2 years ago
What's Jesus Got To Do With It?
Unlike most New Testament experts, Vanderbilt Divinity School professor Amy-Jill Levine is Jewish. Her lessons are sprinkled with Yiddish phrases, and she attends an Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Nashville. That's given her a unique perspective on Judaism and Christianity — two religions that have diverged from the same source, took different interpretations of similar texts and collided repeatedly throughout history. "We are magnificent creatures in all our diversity," she says. "I want those differences to be celebrated, and I want people to have the ability of saying, 'That's not my tradition, but I see where you get it, and I see the beauty in it.' " Emily Siner interviewed Amy-Jill Levine in front of a live audience at Nashville Public Radio. Support our podcasts by donating at wpln.org/give and noting that you listen to Movers & Thinkers. Hear previous episodes of Movers & Thinkers on our website, Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music. Read the transcript of this episode here.
21 minutes | 2 years ago
Inside The Mind Of A Cold Case Detective
How does a cold case homicide detective maintain faith in humanity? What makes him so sure that he’s going after the right bad guy? And how can a case with no known suspects be solved? For more than 25 years, retired police detective Pat Postiglione solved some of the most gruesome murder cases in Nashville. This, he says, takes a toll: “If you stay in homicide long enough, it definitely has an effect on your personal life.”
28 minutes | 2 years ago
Thinking About The Brain
Every human is fortunate to have this organ inside our skull called the brain. It allows us to breathe, create art, develop new technology — and yet there's much that is undiscovered about how these masses of neurons work. Why is everyone's brain a different shape? When the brain starts to deteriorate, what's really happening? And what is thought? In this episode, we explore these provocative questions with three people who think about them often: Suzana Herculano-Houzel, a neuroscientist/biologist who has developed a method to count the number of neurons in the brain; Beverly Patnaik, a gerontologist who works with Alzheimer’s patients; and Karl Sillay, a neurosurgeon who specializes in deep brain stimulation. The show's host and producer is Emily Siner. Its editors are Mack Linebaugh, Anita Bugg and Blake Farmer, and its engineers are Carl Pederson and Cameron Adkins. Music by Blue Dot Sessions courtesy of the Free Music Archive. To find more Nashville Public Radio podcasts, go to podcasts.wpln.org.
24 minutes | 3 years ago
What Is Love?
Without a doubt, romantic love is a driving force in our culture — with countless movies, songs and books devoted to finding it, losing it or making it last. Falling in (or out of) love can feel so intense in our own lives, but our fundamental assumptions about what love really is are not always correct. In this episode of Movers & Thinkers, we talk to three guests who have seen a lot of love, heartbreak and romantic confusion: relationship therapist Jeannie Ingram, divorce attorney Siew-Ling Shea, and Alex Pollack, a writer who muses on modern dating culture. The show's host and producer is Emily Siner. Its editors are Mack Linebaugh, Anita Bugg and Blake Farmer, and its engineers are Carl Pederson and Cameron Adkins. Music by Blue Dot Sessions courtesy of the Free Music Archive. To find more Nashville Public Radio podcasts, go to podcasts.wpln.org.
24 minutes | 3 years ago
More than 50 years ago, Rip Patton's world changed. He started attending nonviolence workshops in Nashville and learned how to endure abuse during the Civil Rights movement without fighting back. Rip became a Freedom Rider, part of the movement that ended an era of legalized segregation in the South. Now, five decades later, he looks back on his role as a "disrupter" — sitting, standing and singing to make major societal change. The show's host is Emily Siner. Its editors are Mack Linebaugh, Anita Bugg and Blake Farmer, and its engineers are Carl Pederson and Cameron Adkins. Music by Blue Dot Sessions. To find more Nashville Public Radio podcasts, go to podcasts.wpln.org.
28 minutes | 3 years ago
For something as ubiquitous as dying, most of us know surprisingly little about it — not just the big unanswerable questions, like what happens after we die. We also rarely think about how to deal with grief, or what to talk about with your family before you go. So on this episode of Movers & Thinkers, we're facing our fears (and fascination) by talking to three people who come face-to-face with mortality on a daily basis: hospice physician Sasha Bowers, cemetery historian Fred Zahn and Death & Dying professor Andrea Mills. The show's host is Emily Siner. Its editors are Mack Linebaugh, Anita Bugg and Blake Farmer, and its engineers are Carl Pederson and Cameron Adkins. Music by Blue Dot Sessions. To find more Nashville Public Radio podcasts, go to podcasts.wpln.org.
27 minutes | 3 years ago
Following The Family's Footsteps
Parents pass on their genes, their values — and sometimes, their careers. These guests have taken on the family business, which has connected them more to their parents but, at times, tested their relationships and created lofty expectations. Featuring third-generation luthier Manuel Delgado, second-generation pastor Amy Mears, and poet Caroline Randall Williams, who has written books with her mother. The show's host is Emily Siner. Its editors are Mack Linebaugh, Anita Bugg and Blake Farmer, and its engineers are Carl Pederson and Cameron Adkins. Music by Blue Dot Sessions. To find more Nashville Public Radio podcasts, go to podcasts.wpln.org.
23 minutes | 3 years ago
The Poet In The Family
We interview Tiana Clark, a poet from Nashville. Tiana has been tackling uncomfortable truths for years, ever since she wrote in her diary as a child that she hated her mom (who then discovered the writing). Now, she’s is a nationally lauded poet from Nashville who is the author of Equilibrium, a book of poetry published in 2016. She has a forthcoming poem in The New Yorker.
25 minutes | 3 years ago
What It's Really Like To Start Over
In our society, what we do often defines how we see ourselves: Our identity is tied up with careers and success. So what happens when we’re forced to start over? These people have grappled with reinvention, realizing that it’s possible to get out of situations that don’t feel right — and figure out how to move forward. Featuring musician Vanessa Carlton, journalist-turned-educator Chris Echegaray and former country music manager Chip Peay.
3 minutes | 4 years ago
2-Year Anniversary Update
In honor of #throwbackThursday, it seems fitting to share this Movers & Thinkers anniversary: The first live show of this podcast took place almost exactly two years ago.
27 minutes | 4 years ago
Embracing Your Inner Nerd
These people are unapologetic nerds — passionate about highly technical fields and not afraid to show it. How do they communicate that to people who don’t understand the thing they love? And in a broader culture where that word is not always seen as positive, how did they come to embrace their nerd status? Featuring astrophysicist Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Star Wars maker Chris Lee and computer programmer (and late nerd bloomer) Morley Bankston.
25 minutes | 4 years ago
How Crisis Responders Keep Calm Under Pressure
When there’s a crisis, these are the people who get called in the middle of the night to address it. They’ve learned how to jump into action at any time and make life-altering decisions on a moment’s notice. What kind of personality do they need for a job like that? And after they’ve handled an emergency, how do they handle the inevitable stress on themselves? Featuring trauma surgeon Timothy Nunez, police chaplain James Duke and crisis communications expert Rosemary Plorin.
26 minutes | 4 years ago
When Interpreters Can't Translate Everything
Interpreters live at the intersection of disparate languages and cultures, and sometimes they are the only people who can make communication happen. How does that affect their identity? And what happens when they encounter boundaries they simply cannot cross? Featuring banjo player Abigail Washburn, Spanish-English interpreter David Morales and sign language interpreter Scott Baker. This episode was produced from a live taping in WPLN’s Studio C in September 2016. It was hosted and produced by Emily Siner; engineered by Carl Peterson and Cameron Adkins; and edited by Mack Linebaugh and Anita Bugg.
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