Dan Klefstad

Morning Edition Host & Book Series Editor

Good morning, Early Riser! Since 1997 I've been waking WNIJ listeners with the latest news, weather and other information, with the goal of seamlessly weaving this content into NPR's Morning Edition.

What do I do after the show ends at 9:00? I read. I'm especially interested in literature from the WNIJ area, which led me to adopt the "Book Beat" in 2012. Throughout the year, I immerse myself in works written by Illinois and Wisconsin authors. Then on the third Monday of each month I interview these writers for Morning Edition. You can access these interviews, plus author readings, at WNIJ's "Read With Me" archive.

If you're a writer from this area, or have a personal connection to this place, send your book to me at 801 N. 1st St., DeKalb, IL 60115. You can also email it to dklefstad@niu.edu. I'm looking for novels, poems, short fiction, essay collections, and memoirs. While many of the books I feature come from traditional presses, I do accept self-published works. Just make sure your book got a good edit.

Thanks,

@danklefstad

#WNIJReadWithMe

Ways to Connect

Carl Nelson

The judge for our Mother's Day Poetry Contest, Susan Porterfield, selected five poems that were broadcast during WNIJ's Morning Edition. However, among the 85 entries we received, Porterfield had a soft spot for one more, "Ode to Mother's Day," which we'll feature here.

Carl Nelson

NASCAR meets Mother's Day in today's featured poem. All week we're showcasing the winners of our Mother's Day Poetry Contest. Our judge, Susan Porterfield, picked "Hot Rod Mama!" for a variety of reasons:

Carl Nelson

Food -- the sight and smell of it -- is a powerful trigger for memory. The aroma of a freshly-baked pie, for example, can take us back decades to when we were children in our mother's kitchen.

Niala Boodhoo wants to give you a megaphone. Go ahead; take it.

Call her talk show The 21st and tell her your thoughts about the budget gridlock in Springfield. Air your environmental concerns. Or tell her about an artist you think the rest of the state should know about.

Starting Monday, WNIJ listeners will join audiences in Champaign-Urbana, Springfield, Peoria and Bloomington-Normal who've been hearing The 21st for a little more than a year.

When we launched our Mother's Day Poetry Contest, poet and judge Susan Porterfield suggested she might someday write a poem about her mother's ballet shoes.

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