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 listening area, which led me to adopt the "Book Beat" in 2012. Throughout the year, I immerse myself in works written by authors from northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin. Then I interview these writers for Morning Edition and record them reading excerpts. Interviews and excerpts are available as podcasts in our 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 a .doc or .pdf to dklefstad@niu.edu. I'm looking for novels, poems, short fiction, memoirs and creative nonfiction. While most of the books I feature come from established presses, I do accept self-published works. Just make sure your manuscript is well edited.

Thanks,

@danklefstad

#WNIJReadWithME

Ways To Connect

Click the link above to hear Matt Streb discuss the Democrats competing in the 14th and 18th Congressional Districts, and the Republicans seeking the nomination in the 8th District.

In the interview, Streb also explains why it's important for underfunded and even unpolished candidates to compete for the right to challenge well-funded and experienced incumbents.

Be sure to join us next Tuesday, March 18, for election night coverage. Streb will join Dan Klefstad live in the studio to discuss results as they come in. Special coverage begins at 7:00, after the polls close.

In 2010, political newcomer Adam Kinzinger defeated an incumbent Congresswoman, Debbie Halvorson, in the 11th Congressional District. Halvorson, a conservative Democrat, had high marks from the National Rifle Association. Kinzinger had the nascent Tea Party on his side.

What a difference four years makes.

Campaign websites

Whoever wins the Republican primary for U.S. Senate will have an uphill battle this fall, according to Matt Streb. The political scientist at Northern Illinois University says incumbent Democrat Dick Durbin has $5 million in the bank and is "very popular" in the state.

Durbin is unopposed in the March 18 primary. The men who would replace him are Jim Oberweis, a state Senator, and West Point graduate Doug Truax.

Six months ago, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's re-election campaign was in trouble. Attorney General Lisa Madigan was weighing a primary challenge and declared challenger Bill Daley blasted Quinn for failing to solve the state's pension problem.

Imagine your father pulling you out of school to tell you he killed a man. How would you react to this news?

Kelly Daniels was nine when his father announced he killed a cousin, a drug dealer. The elder Daniels was already a stranger, having left his family months earlier.

Driving away from the school, his father says, "You can cry if you want."

Daniels describes his reaction in Chapter 1 of Cloudbreak, California:

"Noctambulous" means of, pertaining to, or given to sleepwalking, according to Dictionary.com. It is also the first poem in a new collection by Ricardo Mario Amézquita:

Solid ground                        floating on sea

not lost                                  iceberg belief

isolated                                 suspended

to reoccur                            cyclic amnesia

From myself                         in vacuum

the picture of a flame/ reaching home

Well, it looks like Mr. Icicle got his hands on our main transmitter. The ice coating risks overheating sensitive equipment, so we must operate at reduced power. To get the full WNIJ and WNIU experience, stream us live on our new app. Visit Google Play or the Apple store to download your free mobile app.

Thanks for your patience!

In the 1850s, Henry David Thoreau spent two years at a cabin in the woods near Concord, Mass. The cabin, at Walden Pond, is where he wrote his most famous work, Walden; or, Life in the Woods. In it, he writes:

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately ... to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life ... to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion.

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.

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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