Winter Book Series

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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2013 Winter Book Series
9:23 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Authors Wanted For Winter Book Series

Credit Google Images

Are you a writer celebrating a book release? WNIJ seeks works by northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin authors for the 2013 Winter Book Series. During the past year, Morning Edition host and series editor Dan Klefstad interviewed more than a dozen authors from the region -- some already well-known, others just getting started.

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6:14 am
Wed December 26, 2012

When Robots Attack: Who's Responsible?

NIU professor David Gunkel, author of The Machine Question

Most of us don't think about computers and robots as conscious beings. NIU professor David J. Gunkel thinks we should, because the consequences of not doing so could be catastrophic.

The world of fiction provides many examples of hostile interactions between humans and artificially intelligent beings, or AIs. One of Gunkel's favorites is the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, especially the scene where astronaut David Bowman is locked outside the spaceship Discovery. The brain of the spacecraft, HAL, refuses to let him in:

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8:04 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Poems Bridge American, Lebanese Identities

Susan Azar Porterfield, author of the poetry collection Kibbe

Kibbe is a new book of poems by Susan Azar Porterfield, but it's also a traditional Arabic dish made of ground meat, bulgar, onions and spices. For Porterfield, of DeKalb, the dish recalls memories of her childhood in Chicago.

"My father was Lebanese," she says, "so he missed the food of his homeland. And he would make kibbe and we loved it, we grew up on it."

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Winter Book Series
6:15 am
Wed December 12, 2012

Part Autobiography, Part Method Acting

Cris Mazza, author of Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls

Cris Mazza's new novel, Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls, blends a true story of unrequited love with a fictional attempt by Mazza's alter ego, Hester Smith, to rescue a 14-year-old prostitute.

The first part is drawn from Mazza's experience. The second part is her attempt to explore — as one reviewer put it — the continuum from flirtation to abuse. The story is intricate, so let's begin with a synopsis:

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Winter Book Series
2:53 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Tube Socks And Kielbasa: Author Salutes Dairy State

Author Kyle White

Kyle L. White has lived in Sycamore, Ill., since 1991 but he grew up in Stevens Point, Wis. His humorous stories and illustrations, inspired by the Dairy State, have appeared in Peninsula Pulse newspaper, Christianity Today and PRISM Magazine.

His new book collects these stories, and pen-and-ink drawings, in a single volume called Wisconsin River of Grace, published by Cornerstone Press.

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Winter Book Series
6:28 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Four Prescriptions For Cabin Fever

If you suffer from cabin fever during cold weather, WNIJ offers something that's good for what ails you. We have invited four writers to be part of our Winter Book Series, which airs Wednesdays in December during Morning Edition. This is the second time this year we have introduced you to authors from northern Illinois. (You might remember our Summer Book Series from last June.)

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