Talk of Iowa

Vintage Books

For more than 25 years, U.S. TV viewers have been captivated by "reality television," watching "real people" in supposedly unscripted events.  Author Lucas Mann is not immune to this guilty pleasure.

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Artiom Ponkratenko

The intersection of art and agriculture is important to Mary Swander. She says art has been a part of ag for a long time with concepts like folk art. Now she has helped start a new non-profit called AgArts.

She says that we are in a dilemma with issues involving pollution, erosion, decline of the family farm, decline of small towns, and the arts have a role in addressing those issues in a way that people can embrace and that helps with revitalization.

Zenith Bookstore

North Dakota is home to fewer than a million people but boasts a billion dollar budget surplus thanks to the Bakken oil fields, which contain the largest oil deposit in the United States. The 2006 discovery of these oil reserves coupled with the rapid development of fracking technology meant that this sparsely populated state suddenly became a land of great opportunity.

Black Violin / Wikimedia Commons

The genre bending classical hip-hop duo Black Violin is playing a show at the Gallagher Bluedorn Performing Arts Center in Cedar Falls on Wednesday, May 2. During this Talk of Iowa interview, Wil Baptiste, who plays viola for the duo, joins Charity Nebbe. 

Francis Benjamin Johnston / Library of Congress

George Washington Carver's journey from slavery to scientific accomplishment has inspired millions. But over time, many of his greatest accomplishments have been overshadowed by his reputation as "that peanut man."

David Whelan

A butterfly garden is easy to plant and the results are beautiful on a number of levels. From asters to nettles, from fennel to prickly ash, a butterfly garden is easier to cultivate than you might think. 

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe chats with Donald Lewis, Entomologist from Iowa State University. They go beyond milkweed and monarchs to explore garden options for colorful pollinators. 

Barry Phipps

Multimedia artist Barry Phipps has been traveling the state and taking photographs for the last six years. Now we can see Iowa through his lens in the new book Between Gravity and What Cheer: Iowa Photographs.

On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe sits down with Phipps to learn what attracted him about Iowa small towns and how his work offers a counter-narrative about rural America.

Iowa Public Radio

During graduation season, many parents will be looking back and thinking about all the milestones their children have achieved on their way to this major rite of passage. The new picture book Sometimes You Fly captures this moment.

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe is joined by Newbery Award-winning author Katherine Applegate, best known for her book The One and Only Ivan. Sometimes You Fly is illustrated by Iowa City-based artist Jennifer Black Reinhardt, who also joins the conversation. 

Emily Woodbury

When Leigh Ann Erickson taught in Chicago and New York, she witnessed the effects of social injustice every day.

But the view from small town Iowa can be very different. That’s why Erickson founded a social justice course, an African American literature course, and the CARE Conference at Mount Vernon High School. Through this curriculum, Erickson hopes to broaden her students' perspectives about income inequality, race, and the criminal justice system. 

Ryan Riley, College of Human Sciences / Iowa State University

Ashley Nashleanas has been blind since birth, but that hasn’t stopped her from accomplishing remarkable things. This spring, she’ll receive her PhD in Educational Psychology from Iowa State University.

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe chats with Nashleanas about how her blindness informed her studies of math and science, and how she hopes to help other students who are visually impaired learn these subjects. For her part, Nashleanas had the confidence to request help when visual representations were omitted from her textbooks.

Elizabeth Bingham / World Prospect Press

If you're traveling to Europe and need some advice, Elizabeth Bingham can help. Her travel guides are designed to help you learn what you need about language and culture to travel with confidence.

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Bingham about turning her love of language and travel into a popular series of survival guides and memoirs. Teaching students who were preparing to travel abroad and finding a lack of material appropriate for soon-to-be travelers inspired Bingham to write her own.

Rooy Media

David James "DJ" Savarese is a poet, prose writer, and recent alumni of Oberlin College, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a double major in Anthropology and Creative Writing. He is also autistic and nonspeaking.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

This is not a drill. Our long awaited spring has finally arrived. As we anticipate and enjoy the emergence of green, it's also time for the emergence of insects.

On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by Laura Iles, Director of the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic at Iowa State University, who acts as our guide to some of Iowa's most recent invasive insects.

Photo Courtesy of Rosenna Bakari

Imagine the scene at drop-off at an elementary school, all those children smiling laughing. Statistics tell us that one in every 10 of those children in the United States will be sexually abused before they turn 18. 

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

From pick-up games to organized leagues, every hometown team has its heroes. Hometown sports continue to shape and unite us in towns, cities, and states across the country.

In Mount Vernon, a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian’s "Museum on Main Street Program" is working to celebrate local sports heroes and the broader impact of athletics on our communities. “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” will be on display at the First Street Community Center from March 18 to April 29, 2018.

Fifth Ward Saints

When Carlos Honore moved to Iowa City from Baton Rouge in 1989, the move was something of a culture shock. By his eighth grade year, facing problems at home, Honore wound up in juvenile court.

But instead of being sent to a juvenile detention center, Honore was put on probation and found sports. He played football and wrestling and later competed in track and soccer. In the mid-90s, he was instrumental in getting the football team at Iowa City's West High School to the 1995 4A championship.  

G. Morel

Who does the dishes in your household? The answer to that question may reveal quite a lot about your relationships and level of happiness. 

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe chats with Dan Carlson, assistant professor of family and consumer studies at the University of Utah. A report he co-authored for the Council on Contemporary Families was recently featured in The Atlantic

Univ. of Iowa Arborist Andrew Dahl

Cool temperatures, plentiful moisture and a long growing season ahead make spring the best time to plant trees. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with ISU Professor and Horticulture Department Chair Jeff Iles and Richard Jauron of Iowa State University Extension about the best methods and timing for planting trees. They also answer listener questions. 

Energia

Windows might be drafty, impossible to open, impossible to close, or constantly covered in condensation. Figuring out what to do with faulty windows is a challenge that many homeowners face, especially as the seasons change.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe tackles your window-related questions with home improvement expert Bill McAnally.

Charity Nebbe / Iowa Public Radio

When poet Stephen Kuusisto was 38 years old, he found himself unemployed, legally blind, and lonely. He made a decision that would radically change his life: he got a seeing eye dog.

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Kuusisto about how his dog, Corky, opened up the world to him. His latest memoir, Have Dog, Will Travel, details Kuusisto's transformative decision to work with a guide dog after 38 years of downplaying his limited vision. 

Serres Fortier

Purple foliage is striking against a landscape of green, pops against neutral-colored siding, and can add color to a garden year-round. For Cindy Haynes, associate professor of horticulture at Iowa State University, a plum tree planted her passion for the purple pigment, and her garden hasn't been the same since.

"You don't want an all purple foliage garden because then nothing stands out," Haynes says. "I've tried it, I know."

Alessio Maffeis

There comes a time when every new generation has to learn about one of the greatest atrocities in world history: the Holocaust. This year's Holocaust Remembrance Day is on April 12, and how we learn about and remember the Holocaust as survivors pass away is evolving.

On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe is joined by Jeremy Best, assistant professor of history at Iowa State University, and Dan Reynolds, Seth Richards professor at Grinnell and author of Postcards from Auschwitz: Holocaust Tourism and the Meaning of Remembrance.

Ryan Clemens / IowaWatch

Have you ever felt like you have an alter ego? A version of yourself that is most authentic, but also most often hidden? On Thursday, March 29, an audience gathered in Iowa City for "Fringe: True Stories from Outsiders," an IowaWatch storytelling event, to explore what it means to share one's authentic self.

VALERIE MACON/GETTY IMAGES + ANONYMOUS/AP IMAGES

Just over sixty years ago in September of 1957, Terrence Roberts and eight other young people became the first African American students at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. These nine students, known as the Little Rock Nine, faced mobs of angry protesters as they tried to enter the school.

After several weeks of resistance from both the state and the community, President Dwight D. Eisenhower sent U.S. Army troops to accompany the students to school for protection. However, the Little Rock Nine continued to face violence and discrimination once inside Central High.

For the last 8 years, Kyle Munson has been telling Iowa's stories as the Iowa Columnist for The Des Moines Register. He's uncovered true gems, introduced us to fascinating characters, shown us at our best, and started conversations when we've been at our worst. Now, he's moving on. 

On this Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Munson as he prepares to leave The Des Moines Register after 24 years. They chat about Munson's career in journalism, including his years spent as a music critic. 

Andy Miccone

As April showers kick off spring weather across the state, flowers are beginning to bloom, and grasses are starting to grow. Iowa State University Extension turfgrass specialist, Adam Thoms, shares some advice for how to establish and maintain healthy lawns.

“Never apply more than ¾ of a pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet," Thoms says. If you're applying corn gluten meal, make sure not to exceed 20 pounds of meal per 1000 square feet, Thoms adds.

Photo Courtesy of Tahera Rahman

Tahera Rahman is an Illinois native who has been making headlines for the last few months by becoming the first Muslim woman to wear her hijab on live television reporting for the Fox affiliate in the Quad Cities.

She says she started wearing her hijab full-time when she was 11.

"I wore it on and off as a kid. When you were a little kid, you want to be just like your mom, so that's why I wanted to wear it. I started wearing it all the time after fifth grade," she says.

photo submitted

Borderline personality disorder is an often misunderstood mental disorder. People who struggle with BPD might receive a misdiagnosis or none at all. It is a disorder characterized by instability in mood, behavior, and self-image. During this hour of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Ross Trowbridge, who lives with BPD about his new project #Iamnotashamed.

Katherine Perkins/IPR

This program originally aired 9-19-16.

Just off of 2nd Avenue in Cedar Rapids sits an unassuming little carriage house. In a tiny studio apartment that used to be the hayloft, is where the most iconic American painting was created. Artist Grant Wood lived as well as worked in the space from 1924 - 1935, and he created all of his masterpieces there, including "American Gothic," "Young Corn," and "Woman with Plants."

Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe toured the studio with Katherine Kunau, associate curator of the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art.

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The woman who taught Amelia Earhart how to fly was from Iowa. 

If you just read that and thought, "what?! I didn't know that!" you're not alone.

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