Dan Klefstad

Manager of Content Strategy & Morning Edition Host

As Content Manager, I oversee everything broadcast on NPR WNIJ and Classical WNIU. I'm also responsible for everything that appears on this website and social media pages. If you have a comment or question about what you hear or see on any of our platforms, email me at dklefstad@niu.edu or call 815-753-0081. I look forward to hearing your ideas about how we can better serve the community. I also look forward to waking you up each morning with the latest news and other information during Morning Edition.




2013 Winter Book Series
6:27 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Poems Recount Love, Death in Modern Troy

In the late 14th Century, poet Geoffrey Chaucer mined Greek mythology to retell the story of two lovers from ancient Troy. His book, Troilus and Criseyde, is considered by scholars to be his best work.

You'll find a synopsis below, but the first thing you should know is this: On his deathbed, Chaucer renounced the poem.

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6:25 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Trust The Snakewoman? Novelist Defends His Narrator

Sunny is a woman just released from prison for attempting to kill her husband, a snake-handling preacher. Jackson is an anthropologist who falls in love with Sunny, but then joins her estranged husband to research religious snake handling.

This is the basic premise of Snakewoman of Little Egypt, a novel by Robert Hellenga.

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6:44 am
Wed September 4, 2013

Poem Recalls Syrian Family

Susan Porterfield reading her new poem "By Heart" for WNIJ
Credit Dan Klefstad

Poet Susan Azar Porterfield remembers meeting a Syrian family in Beirut. She was visiting Lebanon during a period of peace, in 2003.

The Syrians were brand new parents and allowed Porterfield to hold their infant.

"They were very sweet," she says. "And the baby was adorable."

She doesn't know where the family is today; they were from Aleppo, the site of intense fighting between government troops and rebels.

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Mindset List 2017
6:25 am
Thu August 29, 2013

How Not To Alienate The Class of 2017

Ron Nief and Tom McBride, co-authors of the annual Mindset List
Credit Beloit College

Remember this movie quote?

I've got their disciplinary files right here. Who dropped a whole truckload of fizzies into the varsity swim meet? Who delivered the medical school cadavers to the alumni dinner? Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode.

If you do, you're part of a shrinking population that remembers Vernon Wormer, the sinister Dean of Faber College in National Lampoon's Animal House.

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Lincoln Highway Centenary
6:24 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Rollin' Down That Lincoln Highway

Shadric Smith
Credit www.shadric.com

While doing research for a documentary about the Lincoln Highway Centennial, I found a song called "Rollin' Down That Lincoln Highway" by Shadric Smith. I thought it would make a good theme for the program so I called Smith at his home in Fort Dodge, Iowa, and talked with him about it.

After the interview, I realized I also had a nice story for Morning Edition.

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Lincoln Highway
6:54 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Composer Premieres Lincoln Highway Suite

Composer Nolan Stolz
Credit nolanstolz.com

This summer, some people will celebrate the centenary of Lincoln Highway with a road trip. Nolan Stolz will also travel the highway, trying to get orchestras to perform his Lincoln Highway Suite.

Stolz wrote the five-movement symphonic suite inspired by America's first transnational highway. One orchestra, the Dubuque Symphony, will give the world premiere of the Suite's middle movement -- "Prairie View" -- this Sunday.

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Gay Marriage
6:19 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Sorting Out The Impact Of The Gay Marriage Rulings

Rep. Bob Pritchard (left) Geoffrey Decker (right)
Credit ilga.gov, LinkedIn

Supporters of same-sex marriage in Illinois say Wednesday’s Supreme Court rulings bolster their cause. But the court’s action doesn’t appear to be an immediate impact on the state.

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2013 Summer Book Series
6:24 am
Wed June 26, 2013

NIU Author's`Obsession': What Makes Memories True?

Rock 'n roll author Joe Bonomo has written books about AC/DC, Jerry Lee Lewis and The Fleshtones. His latest book, however, is a collection of essays about his childhood in Wheaton, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C.

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6:41 am
Fri June 21, 2013

A Way To Show Intelligence, Have Fun And Win Money

Tim Anderson (right) with Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek

What is: Jeopardy!

Rockford resident Tim Anderson has a Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and Master's degrees in Philosophy and Spanish. A modern language instructor at Kishwaukee College, Anderson is finishing his dissertation in Hispanic Linguistics. Soon, he'll be Dr. Timothy Anderson, so it's safe to call him a really smart guy.

But a collection of degrees isn't enough to win on Jeopardy!, the smartest quiz show on TV. You have to answer questions like:

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2013 Summer Book Series
6:25 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Novel Highlights Small-Town Boosters And Naysayers

"If you're from a small town," Chris Fink says, "one of the things that's required of you is that you have an opinion about that town."

Fink's debut novel, Farmer's Almanac, is full of characters who criticize or defend the Wisconsin villages of Bergamot Pond and Shady Valley -- fictional communities that struggle with the very real challenge of low milk prices.

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