George Bilgere at Ohioana 2022

Cleveland poet George Bilgere’s latest collection is Central Air, which was released March 2022. He hosts “Wordplay” on Cleveland Public Radio, which has been described as the car talk of poetry. He joins the Ohioana virtual Book Festival on April 29 through May 4.

Bilgere writes poems about his life and locations from Berlin to Cleveland Heights and all stops in between.

The last time we spoke, 10 years ago, he “was gloriously free.” Listen in to find out what’s happened since then and why it’s never funny when ribs are involved.

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Tempest hoists the Jolly Roger at Burns’ Pub on April 8

Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay

Celtic Folk rock group Tempest has a history of playing pirate songs and playing at WCBE. They will be in town on April 8 at Byrne’s Pub. I spoke with founding member and lead singer/electric mandolinist, Lief Sorbye, about how the band writes. music, especially during downtimes like the pandemic.

[Trying out new music live] is fun because the songs come alive in a different way… it’s a lot fresher, too… because you don’t really know what the song is going to sound like until you have it mixed and mastered.

Lief Sorbye

So listen to the interview and then get to Byrne’s Pub where you can do your imitation of a pirate.

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Who is in that car tailgating you? Lisa Scottoline says to be afraid; be very afraid

On her way to selling over 30 million books, Lisa Scottoline has had plenty of time to imagine what’s the worst that could happen in any situation. And fortunately, she’s written about it.

This time, it’s tailgating that turns into carjacking that sends a family into hiding. Her latest novel What Happened to the Bennetts looks at what happens to a family under pressure. She’ll be in Columbus virtually on Tuesday, April 5 at 7 pm with Gramercy Books in Bexley.

Honestly, I hate tailgaters. And so I’m driving around and I drive the speed limit. I don’t drive slow; I drive the speed limit. And if someone gets behind me, I go in the slow lane. But what could go horribly wrong now?

Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is a pleasure to talk to and I recommend her books. Listen in to the podcast and then get her latest, What Happened to the Bennetts.

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WCBE is putting the FUN in fund drive

It’s that time again: time to reach into your wallets and purses and neighbor’s couch cushions and help support central Ohio’s NPR station, WCBE!

In today’s show, I talk with Greg Moebius, General Manager at WCBE. We discuss the theme of the spring fund drive–community–and how WCBE supports a myriad of community programs. In Greg’s words:

We are a voice for local organizations and nonprofits, promoting events, goods and services that our community partners have to offer. I’ll give you a good example of WCBE being a strong community partner. Every December, we invite people to donate to the radio station, and for every donation that we receive during that month, we will donate three pounds of fresh produce to the middle Ohio food collective. And we tie in DNO Produce here in Columbus as a partner for the fresh cut food drive program. This year, we collected 1600 pounds of fresh produce to donate to the middle Ohio food collective and we just fulfill that within the past couple of weeks. And that’s because of the generosity on the part of WCBE members and listeners.

Greg Moebius

So donate what you can at WCBE.org!

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The ‘Bot

You ever look at something and think, “Yeah, that’s hiding a terrible secret?” Tonight’s story is just that kind of event, a moment that made me shiver with fear when I saw a deadly contraption roaming the sidewalks and streets of a local institute of higher education.

Enjoy this warm little celebration of the increasing mechanization of our daily lives. I’ll continue being the old curmudgeon in the corner, wondering why we have to replace people with machines and when it will end.

A professor in my graduate school was fond of saying that technology offered constraints and affordances meaning pluses and minuses in academese. Sometimes, all it affords is constraints, like it did for poor Karen.

Thanks to Freesound.org user Unfa for the soundtrack to tonight’s show.

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Multitalented: The Accidentals visit Columbus

​Violinist Savannah Buist, cellist Katie Larson, and percussionist Michael Dause make up The Accidentals, who will perform in Columbus on March 12 with Six String Concerts. I spoke with Sav and Katie about their time as musicians, how the pandemic changed their musical abilities (think: engineering), and how they got to cowrite with some of their musical heroes on the Timeout Project.

“The timeout project is actually kind of a side project …[and] a bunch of cowrites that we do with people who inspire us to become writers, such as … Beth Nielsen Chapman, Maia Sharp, Tom Paxton, Gretchen Peters, Gary Burr, and Georgia Middlemen.”

-Sav Buist
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Can contact with the earth heal you? Cardiologist Stephen Sinatra thinks so.

Withered Ground – James Frid, Pexels

Cardiologist and author of Heartbreak and Heart Disease Dr. Stephen Sinatra believes that some habits could unexpectedly impact your heart health. During our conversation, we discussed the many ways that how much not getting enough sleeping at night can negatively impact your cardiac health before covering his interest in grounding, aka earthing, the idea that electric currents in the earth can be access by direct physical contact. Listen in for Dr. Sinatra’s health advice.

The sweet spot for getting to sleep [is] between 10 and 11 o’clock at night

Stephen Sinatra, MD
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Christmas with Capriccio: A time to reflect

Larry Griffin co-founded Capriccio Columbus 13 years ago and still serves as its artistic director. He’ll present this year’s Christmas with Capriccio concert on December 19 at Worthington United Methodist Church. Listen in as he describes the songs they’ll play, which ones make Larry cry, and the involvement of his musically gifted family. If you like Vivaldi, this one’s for you.

[This concert will remind you of] “when you were a kid, what Christmas meant to you”

Larry Griffin, Capriccio Columbus artistic director

Note: COVID safety protocols will be used for this concert.

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Red Herring Theater: The Thanksgiving Play

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

By Romi Azulay

Every year, Americans celebrate Thanksgiving with turkey and stuffing, with perhaps a thought of Native Americans briefly glancing their minds. Perhaps. Mark Mann and Michael Herring of Red Herring theater acknowledge these two separate angles of the holiday in their rendition of The Thanksgiving Play. The two creators joined Craft and guest host Elizabeth Falter to discuss their process. 

You think about eating and watching football.

Guest host Elizabeth Falter

The story by Larissa Fasthorse, a Native American playwright, centers around four white Americans trying to create a Thanksgiving play that is inclusive and politically correct, but are stalled by the fact that they do not know any Native Americans. Mann, the director of the play, explains Fasthorse granted him a strong message to build off. “All I had to do was help guide the performances toward the end zone,” Mann explained. “You let the human characters in the play create a situation in which the themes kind of sneak up on an audience member.”

Michael Herring described their journey and goals in trying to portray a message through theater. “Our mission is to produce plays that are profound- we like to make people think; provocative- we like to stimulate dialogue and debate,;professional- our production values are top notch.”

While they are serious about their work, they know how to have fun as well. Much of the play’s humor  “derives from these very earnest people trying to create something that’s over their heads,” Mann explained. “I don’t think there was a night in rehearsal that we all didn’t burst into laughter.”

You can find more information and purchase tickets to the play at www.redherringtheater.org. The play runs through November 21.

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2021 Ohioana Book Awards: Be there (virtually) on October 14

The 2021 Ohioana Book Awards will be presented on October 14 at the Ohio Statehouse. Listen in to find out who received an award and how you can get tickets to the free, open to the public virtual event.

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