Dennis Reese

Mid-Day Host and Talk Show Producer

Dennis Reese is the mid-day host for Iowa Public Radio.  He is also a producer for the talk shows Talk of Iowa and River to River.  He is based in Iowa City. Dennis began his career in public radio at the University of Iowa’s WSUI in 1981 as its Program Director, after several stints as News Director at a number of commercial radio stations in Iowa and after working his way through college as a disc jockey in formats including Top 40, Easy Listening and country & western.  

Dennis has a master’s degree in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa and a  B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Northern Iowa.

Dennis’ favorite public radio program is Car Talk.

Ways to Connect

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

'Tis the season for giving. What better gift than a book? During this hour of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with Barb Stein and Sarah Prineas of Prairie Lights Books, and Jerri Heid of the Ames Public Library about the best new books to give this year. Sarah and Barb's List POETRY, SONGS AND MOTHER GOOSE: My Very First Mother Goose by Iona Opie - “People ask us for good baby book presents, and a lot of times, we suggest a good mother goose. The new edition Iona Opie, who is the...

New Rivers Press

Who says poetry has to be monotonous and sentimental? Definitely not the case with Debra Marquart's third poetry collection, "Small Buried Things" (New Rivers Press). The Iowa State University English professor, who teaches in the M.F.A. program in creative writing, keeps you guessing throughout what her next topic will be. One poem in Marquart's new book might be (and is) about the agony of finding a whisker on her chin and the next poem is about the environmental degradation caused by ...

Environmental journalist, educator and author, Simran Sethi, says she has written a book about food, but it's really a book about love. And make no mistake: she loves bread, wine, chocolate, beer and coffee--enough to travel to remote locations in six continents to learn about their origins. For example, if you want to find out about how the coffee crops are faring, you should go to the capital of coffee, Ethiopia. Sethi did just that, spending hours making her way down one of the world's...

Lee Wright / Flickr

In January, the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs announced a plan to renovate and modernize the state historical building of Iowa. That comes after the department scaled back hours and made staffing changes at the historical building in Iowa City. The new plan has some Iowa historians very worried. Tyler Priest is an associate professor of history at the University of Iowa. He started a petition at raising concerns that the plans to renovate the building in Des Moines endanger...

Carl Wycoff

Water quality is certainly an important topic in Iowa, but can it also be sexy and funny? Jennifer Wilson thinks so, and she set out to prove it in her first novel, Water . The book takes on water quality and politics in Iowa, and it takes place against the familiar backdrop of Des Moines and Northeast Iowa. On this Talk of Iowa interview, Charity Nebbe talks with Wilson about the book and its u nconventional path to publication with t-shirt company RAYGUN . RAYGUN owner Mike Draper also...

Courtesy of Robert John Ford, creator and producer of Caucus! The Musical

Zachary Michael Jack, a farmer and teacher, is a seventh-generation Iowan who still lives in rural Jones County. He has followed Iowa’s caucuses his entire life. In fact, he’s followed them closely enough to write a novel based on the quadrennial political gatherings, Corn Poll: A Novel of the Iowa Caucuses . On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with Jack about his inspiration for the book. Jack says he wrote the novel because the caucuses “have become a bona fide Iowa folkway...

Iowa Digital Library / Flickr

From one room country schools to high tech multi-million dollar facilities, schools in Iowa have changed a lot. What goes on inside the schools has changed a lot too. “Every decade or two we see these large transformations in what the school is asked to do." On this edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe kicks off " Iowa Week: Then and Now " with a look at education in Iowa over the years.

Courtesy of Live Like Line's Facebook page /

In August of 2011, 17-year-old Caroline Found of Iowa City died in a moped accident. Two weeks later her mother, Ellyn, succumbed to pancreatic cancer. In the weeks and months that followed, the community came together, grieved, and became stronger. "You can't get around your grief, you can't get over it, you can't get under it," says Bill Hoeft, author of Live Like Line, Love Like Ellyn; One Community’s Journey from Tragedy to Triumph. "But you can move forward and honor the people that you...

This hour, we'll look at why at least a couple of million people have paid $99 (and often lots more) to have their DNA tested to find out about their ancestry and in some cases, their family's health traits. Leading web sites and have had more than a million people each pay the fee to receive long and detailed reports on their ancestry going back usually five generations. Guests include two Iowans who ordered the tests and learned more than they expected. Charity...

Kamyar Adl / Flickr

The age of 65 was a milestone that many workers used to look forward to—the promise of retirement, leisure time, and a guaranteed pension. But the last couple of decades have brought change: most companies don’t provide pensions, employees must make their own investment choices concerning their 401K (if they are lucky enough to even have one), and simply dropping out of the work force at 65 isn’t an option. This hour, in our summer “Iowa At Work” series, we look at the choice, and often...

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

Mary Roach’s first book proposal was the product of a dare on New Year’s Eve. She says she never envisioned herself as the author of several New York Times best-selling books. “I’d been writing for magazines for 10-15 years. Writing a book seemed daunting, but I worked in an office with a lot of writers. We would make predictions for what we would all do in the coming year. Someone said I would get a book contract, and then it was October, and I figured I needed to get started.” From then on,...

Steven Semken / Ice Cube Press

Iowa City still has the mark of Howard Moffitt all over. His hobbit-like houses sit intermingled with more traditional houses in many Iowa City neighborhoods to this day. On this edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with Dr. Richard DeGowin, author of “House of Moffitt, The First 20 Years – a Memoir”. One characteristic of the Moffitt houses is that Moffitt built them on the premise that they were to be rented out and bought by low-income tenants. “They were small houses, and...

Lindsey Moon / Iowa Public Radio

Hilda Rupp lived a tough life. She lost her own mother when she was only 17 and helped raised her 10 brothers and sisters through the Great Depression after her mother died. She went on to raise eight children of her own. Hilda’s daughter, Joyce Rupp, writes about her mother and the lessons she learned from watching her resiliency in her new book Fly While You Still Have Wings and Other Lessons My Resilient Mother Taught Me. Rupp reminisces about the diaper bucket her mother kept dirty...

Wikimedia Commons

Many of us have a clear idea about how we would like to be cared for at the end of our lives, but communicating those wishes to family members can be difficult. A new campaign called, “Honoring Your Wishes” is designed to help people start important conversations about end of life care. On this Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Jane Dohrmann of Iowa City Hospice, the director of the “Honoring Your Wishes,” and Dr. David Clark, Clinical Associate Professor of Family Medicine at the...

Bob Goodfellow / Riverside Theatre

In her new one-woman show, Housebroken, actress and playwright Megan Gogerty uses sarcasm and humor to describe the process of buying a new house. On this segment of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with Gogerty about the show, as well as her career as a solo performer. “What I love about solo work is I get to experience the show with [the audience], and we can create something together,” Gogerty said. “It’s fresh, and it happens right now, and if you don’t come you miss it. It’s live...

LollyKnit / Flickr

The local foods movement is gaining strength. Farmers, grocers and chefs are all trying to meet the growing demand for high quality, locally sourced ingredients, but Chef Dan Barber thinks that the movement is missing a very important element - sustainability. “I do think that farm to table cooking can really fall into the category of elitism because of the way it’s practiced. It’s cherry picking ingredients that we most covet." Barber is the executive chef at Blue Hill in Manhattan and Blue...

Wan Mohd / Flickr

Katie Roche is no stranger to the stage. She's in both the all-female folk band The Awful Purdies and the swing band The Dandelion Stompers. But one of her recent efforts is with a special band member--her six-year-old daughter Stella Roux. Roche and Roux have a song featured on "For Kids & By Kids: Songs from Iowa Rock City Volume One." This Saturday, March 28, the release party for the CD will happen at the Englert Theater in Iowa City. On this edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity...

Okki via Wikimedia Commons

Over his writing career spanning more than 30 years, W.P. Kinsella has become one of the finest storytellers in baseball’s history. He is also an acclaimed satirical author. On this edition of Talk of Iowa , host Charity Nebbe talks with Kinsella about his writing and his new book, "The Essential W.P. Kinsella" , a collection of some of his best short stories over the years. The book includes his finest work, including his notorious First Nation narratives, the “Real” legend of Roberto...

Brock Builders / Flickr

If you’re looking for ways to use less energy in your home, getting your house deep energy retrofitted may an option. Home improvement expert Bill McAnally describes the process as a remodel from the outside. It involves an energy audit and remediation that can reduce energy consumption by 30 percent in some cases, as well as improve the value of a home. He cautions that it can be a costly process. “Look at your budget. If you have a home that was built in the 1940s that is worth maybe $45...

Julia Davis / Iowa Public Radio

The annual Russian Guitar Festiva l in Iowa City will focus on Ukrainian music this year in light of the recent turmoil in the country.

Couresty of Robin Lillie

In July of 2007 construction was beginning for a new housing development in Dubuque. That's when someone found human remains.

Jason Mrachina via Flickr

One of the famous Decorah eagles, a juvenile known as Four, died as a result of electrocution last week.

Clare Roth / Iowa Public Radio

In her latest book , Vivian Gornick explores New York City through the lens of her friendship with 'Len.'

courtesy of Dr. Beasley

There's two sports that are about as different from each other as you can get, but who have dedicated participants for life: bicycling and archery.

Joel Dinda via Flickr

What was Margaret Thatcher's response to being asked to sign a baseball?

Courtesy of UI Athletics

Many in Iowa know Dan Gable’s name as a part of wrestling legend. How much do we know about the man himself?

Courtesy of Robert Waggoner

In his new book, author Robert Waggoner argues that lucid dreaming is not only useful, but also simple to learn.

The U.S. Military lost more than 400,000 troops fighting in World War II. Frank Sandoval was one of them.

During this interview, an Oelwein author talks about her family's fight for survival in Nazi-run Austria during World War II.

Set up the lead, stew in yr sugar and flower, and add two spoonfuls of sack.