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

We all do this: Stand in the greeting card aisle, staring at the mass of manufactured sentiments, trying to decide which will suffice because we can't write something original.

With Mother's Day approaching, there's a good chance you're doing it right now -- or will later today.

Carl Nelson

Remember when we launched our Mother's Day Poetry Contest? Our judge, Susan Porterfield, picked five winning poems out of the 85 we received.

The authors get to read their work on WNIJ this week during Morning Edition. Porterfield also picked a runner-up which we'll tell you more about on Friday.

Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger is facing challenges in the 16th Illinois Congressional District from a local Democrat and his own party.

Rockford-based Nathan Arroyave has said he plans to run a “very progressive” campaign. Like Bernie Sanders, Arroyave wants a single-payer health-care system and a $15 minimum hourly wage.  

Jeff VanderMeer is that rare author who's about to become a household name.

One of his books, Annihilation, was made into a movie which Paramount Pictures scheduled for release this September. The film stars Natalie Portman.

VanderMeer's best-selling novel is an NIU "STEM Read" selection; that group held an event with the author Monday at the DeKalb Public Library.

Mike Doyle wasn't in Belvidere on April 21, 1967. The Rockford native was a freshman at UW-Whitewater when an F4 tornado ripped through Boone County.

But Doyle's been living with that twister for years.

His book, The Belvidere Tornado, was first published in 2008. It tells the stories of people who survived the storm, and the 24 who didn't.

When Doyle finished the manuscript, he got up from his desk and walked into the living room.

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