The Middle Distance, 7.12.13: Words for Nostalgia
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

There is a joke about a young man entering heaven. As he approaches the pearly gates, he sees a group of angels bound in chains. The young man asks St. Peter why and St. Peter replies: “Oh, they’re […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 7.5.13: The Contract of Your Birth
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

For the past few years, I have been part of a monthly lunch group of women who write, read and love books. When we get together, we begin talking about our work, but the conversation quickly […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 6.28.13: Hey Yawwwwwwl!
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

A friend asked me yesterday what’s been in the news. She had not been paying attention. Let’s see, I said. More killing in Syria, more guns flowing in so even more will be killed. Edward Snowden is holed up […]

Continue Reading

The Midddle Distance 6.21.13: A Week in Summer
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

The week began with peonies. I counted 50 buds on the largest bush in the garden. They seemed to burst from their tight round buds all at once.

“Look at the girls in their ball gowns,” my […]

Continue Reading

 

The Middle Distance 6.14.13: When the Lights Come Up
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

For the last six weeks, I’ve been taking a crash course in documentary filmmaking. I thought I’d be learning some technical terminology, a little technique, and a bit about how funding, marketing and distribution […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 6.7.13: Songs Arise
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Call it whatever you want: sing-along, community sing, hootenanny. Singing together as humans has evolved as a tool of survival. Tribal histories were passed down in song. Urgent messages of pending invasions were delivered in the code language of […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 5.31.13: A Revelation
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

For several years now, out here in the middle distance, I have made regular pilgrimages to Louisville, Kentucky, where at age 50, I entered graduate school. Coming to Kentucky, the state of my birth, was a homecoming of sorts […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 5.24.13: At Their Own Hands
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

As Memorial Day approaches, far too many American families are not thinking about what they’ll cook on the grill, but how they will remember their military dead, particularly the growing number who died at their own […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 5.17.13: The Fitzgerald Swoon
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

When I was 17, someone made me read The Great Gatsby. I don’t remember the English teacher’s name, but I do remember the reverence and the slight hint of a romantic crush in her voice when she introduced […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 5.10.13: A Mother’s Day Letter to My Children
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Hey, y’all:

I’m writing because Sunday is Mother’s Day, and at this late date, out here in the middle distance, I am still as confounded by the holiday as I was when you were […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 5.3.13: Potluck Reunion

Here are the mothers, hands on hips, surveying the table for space, considering what, if anything, might be missing. Aunt Erma presides, my grandmother’s sister who still lives on these remaining acres of family land. Aunts and uncles and cousins have come from as far as the […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 4.26.13: April
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

If you could see the snow flowing down past the bedroom window, silencing the mid-April morning, you might not know where you are. Then you would remember: you are at home at the foot of the Colorado Rocky Mountains where […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 4.12.13: The Seed Underground
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

I bought this book on impulse. There was that charming cover with earthen bowls nestling beans and seeds and vegetables, with labels handwritten in pencil. It was April and the urge to put seeds in the ground had […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 4.5.13: She and I
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

She is up before dawn every day, no matter the season. While the rest of us grab a last few minutes of sleep, she pulls on her puffy blue robe, pads barefoot across the house to the front […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 3.29.13: Anthems of the Resurrection
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Last Sunday, Christian churches around the world remembered Jesus’ final entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. Revelers along the road spread palm fronds and, according to the New Testament, many laid their coats on the road to […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 3.22.13:

Over the last 13 years, there have been three brief moments when the world grew so quiet I could nearly hear my own heartbeat. The first was in 2000 when I read Colorado author Kent Haruf’s deceptively simple and deeply humane novel Plainsong. The second was in 2004, […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 3.15.13: An Old, Familiar Sleeplessness
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

On the road to the mountains, March clouds hang heavy with the promise of snow. Winding past Florissant and Lake George and across the flat expanse of South Park, columns of sunlight peek out then disappear. Hoosier Pass […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 2.24.12: Sweet Old Lady
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

I want to apologize for ever referring to someone as a “sweet old lady.” Forgive me, sisters. I wasn’t thinking when I did it, and I hadn’t yet reached the age where I could be described by that cloying […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 3.1.13: I Spy
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

When I was 9, I decided to be a spy. This was not what I wanted to be when I grew up, but right then and there, in my sleepy, southern Kentucky hometown where it seemed nothing ever […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 2.22.13:Age-Rage-Oholic
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

It is time to confess. I am an age-rage-oholic.

What’s that, you say? It’s the unreasonable creeping of heat up my spine and into my face when I see that someone young and bright and attractive has accomplished at, say, age 30, […]

Continue Reading


The Middle Distance 2.15.13: Perfect Day
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

I caught up with a friend, recently, who after many years of being single is remarrying this summer. Following a period of solitude and consideration of what she wanted in life, she decided to actively pursue a […]

Continue Reading

The Midddle Distance 2.8.13: Both Sides of the Octagon
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

I can only imagine the scene on Tuesday afternoon at the grand old Orpheum Theater in downtown Phoenix. Not a traveling Broadway show or a concert, but a memorial service for a local man, Mark Hummels, […]

Continue Reading

The Middle Distance 2.1.13
[Audio clip: view full post to listen]

Donald Anderson has done what most writers and would-be writers wish they had done: kept all the snippets and notes and observations of a lifetime — some funny, some profound, some more developed than others, some mere grace notes — and […]

Continue Reading

News

NPR
June 24, 2016 | NPR · The city has set up an assistance center and plans to begin distributing $9 million in donations to the victims of the Pulse shootings and their families. An LGBTQ group has raised nearly $6 million.
 

June 24, 2016 | NPR · Legislators, pressured by the state Supreme Court, passed a $38 million package for the state’s underfunded schools. Justices had threatened to close all public schools in Kansas after this month.
 

AP
June 24, 2016 | NPR · A fast-moving blaze in the central part of the state, whipped up by hot temperatures and dry vegetation, has burned more than 1,900 acres. Officials warn conditions are ripe for more wildfires.
 

Arts & Life

June 24, 2016 | NPR · Every answer in this final round contains a word that is also a feeling or emotion. If we said, “It’s an app where avians are flung across the screen at piggies,” you’d answer, “Angry Birds.”
 

June 24, 2016 | NPR · Jeff Goldblum and Maika Monroe from Independence Day: Resurgence discuss the challenges of acting with CGI aliens. Plus, they play a game based on an infamous speech from Independence Day.
 

June 24, 2016 | NPR · We’ve mashed up the names of famous people with common text messaging abbreviations.
 

Music

AFP/Getty Images
June 24, 2016 | WXPN · The genre-defining singer joined World Cafe in 2002 for a career-spanning conversation.
 

Courtesy of the artist
June 24, 2016 | WXPN · Join in a listening session for Young’s new live album, Earth, which also features field recordings of natural sounds.
 

WireImage
June 24, 2016 | NPR · The influential keyboardist and composer had been diagnosed with late-stage lung cancer. Worrell was a key member of Parliament-Funkadelic and played with the Talking Heads.
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab