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 I interview these writers for Morning Edition and record them reading excerpts. You can download these interviews and excerpts from WNIJ's "Read With Me" book series 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, memoirs and creative nonfiction. 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

Pick up WNIJ's book bag and turn it over. What falls out?

Two novels, one book of poems, and a story collection -- all by northern Illinois writers.

Each will share her insights into the craft of storytelling during interviews that air during Morning Edition on 89.5 FM and WNIJ.org.

WNIJ invites you to read the following selections before the series airs Feb. 20 - 23.

Like many people, poet Allison Joseph watched last Saturday's press conference with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Spicer shared statistics that questioned the news media’s reporting on the size of the president’s inaugural audience.

Spicer's numbers were easily debunked.

Then, on Sunday, White House senior adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared on Meet the Press to assert that Spicer’s falsehoods were simply “alternative facts.”

Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) keeps his job as Speaker after just one House Republican voted against him this week.

 

But Ryan’s victory turned sour after he and the Majority Leader defended an attempt to weaken the independent ethics office.

Gabe Bullard/WAMU

This January, WNIJ will introduce a new program called 1A, hosted by Joshua Johnson. This live, call-in talk show will air weekdays after Morning Edition.

Johnson says the program will take "an unflinching look at America," addressing race, gender, class and other issues that divide people.

But he says it will provide a safe place to do so. For Johnson, frank discussion of difficult topics requires a forum where all views are respected.

Tom Vilsack knows the life-altering effects of addiction. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary watched his mother battle drugs and alcohol and nearly die.

"She got introduced into this as a result of a surgery she had when I was a young boy," Vilsack says, "and that turned her on to pain medications."

Vilsack's mom spent the next five years in and out of hospitals, attempting suicide, quitting and using again.

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