Radio Interviews

KCUR, Kansas City's local NPR station, hosts on its programs many of the authors and speakers that visit the Library. This page lists these interviews and provides links for you to listen to the programs.

  • In his new memoir playwright/novelist/poet Zakes Mda recalls his coming of age under South African apartheid and his love of jazz, comic books, political discourse and writing.
    Zakes Mda: Sometimes There Is A Void
    Thursday, February 16, 2012
    Central Library

    In his memoir Sometimes There Is A Void award-winning South African author Zakes Mda chronicles his youth from boyhood in Soweto to his exile and coming of age in Basutoland (now Lesotho).

  • Just in time for Valentine’s Day: UMKC’s Jennifer Phegley provides insights into Victorian “dating” and wedding practices that continue to be embraced by modern brides and grooms…and asks if the Victorians’ ideas about romantic have left us with unhealthy expectations.
    Jennifer Phegley - Courtship and Marriage in Victorian England
    Thursday, February 9, 2012
    Central Library

    Jennifer Phegley, chair of the Department of English at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, examines how many of our modern marriage traditions – including wedding dresses and honeymoons – have their roots in the Victorian era.

  • Lee Ward, owner of the Museum of Funeral History in Independence, discusses 150 years of African American funeral homes and the black community’s historic emphasis on end-of-life rituals.
    Lee Ward - The Final Sendoff: African-American Funeral Homes
    Tuesday, February 7, 2012
    Central Library

    Lee Ward, owner of the Museum of Funeral History in Independence, discusses 150 years of African-American funeral homes, which in the decades of segregation provided the black community with end-of-life services denied by white businesses. Among the names of these enterprises were those of T.B. Watkins, Adkins, Kerford, and H.B. Moore.

  • Robert Litan discusses the life and art of his father, David Israel Litan, whose lithographs portraying scenes of Kansas and aspects of Jewish life and faith sold widely throughout the Sunflower State during his lifetime, most of which was spent in Wichita.
    Robert Litan - From Wichita to the Wailing Wall: The Art of David Israel Litan
    Tuesday, January 31, 2012
    Central Library

    David Israel Litan made his living in the oil business, but art was his passion and his gift. His lithographs portraying scenes of Kansas and aspects of Jewish life and faith sold widely throughout the Sunflower State during his lifetime, most of which was spent in Wichita.

    The artist’s son, Robert Litan, noted economist and senior executive at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, discusses his father’s art and faith.

  • The retired Special Agent tells the real stories behind the headlines of some of the highest profile FBI cases investigated in Kansas City.
    Jeff Lanza - Federal Cases: Inside the Kansas City FBI
    Thursday, January 12, 2012
    Plaza Branch

    A newborn baby is kidnapped from a Kansas City hospital. A New Year’s Eve bank robber takes hostages in a stand-off. A pharmacist dilutes the medication of 4,000 patients. Over the past 20 years, some of the highest profile FBI cases were investigated in Kansas City.

    Retired Special Agent Jeff Lanza, who served as the FBI’s Kansas City spokesman, tells the real stories behind the headlines and reveals how he learned to interact with local and national media. Lanza is author of the recently released Pistols to Press.

  • Former VP of CIGNA Wendell Potter explains how insurance companies make promises they have no intention of keeping, flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and skew political debate with multibillion-dollar  PR campaigns.
    Wendell Potter: Deadly Spin
    Wednesday, January 11, 2012
    Central Library

    Wendell Potter, a former VP of CIGNA, argues that health insurers make promises they have no intention of keeping, flout regulations designed to protect consumers, and skew political debate with multibillion-dollar PR campaigns to mislead the press and public.

  • Author Isaac Getz uses real world examples to show that innovation rises as often from the factory floor as from the corner office and explains how companies can ensure that no good idea goes unnoticed.
    Isaac Getz: Freedom, Inc.
    Monday, December 5, 2011
    Central Library

    Isaac Getz – a professor at the highly touted ESCP Europe international business school – discusses his new book Freedom, Inc. and explains his belief that if people can be free to act in the best interest of their company, the results will be tremendous. Citing real world examples from companies such as Harley-Davidson and Sun Hydraulics, Getz explains how innovation rises as often from the factory floor as it emerges from the corner office.

  • Barron H. Lerner – professor of medicine and public health at Columbia University – discusses his new book One for the Road and explains why, after decades of warning, people continue to drink and drive.
    Barron H. Lerner - One for the Road: Drunk Driving Since 1900
    Thursday, December 1, 2011
    Plaza Branch

    Barron H. Lerner – professor of medicine and public health at Columbia University – discusses his new book One for the Road and explains why, after decades of warning, people continue to drink and drive.

    Lerner examines drunk driving in the context of American beliefs about alcoholism, driving, individualism, and civil liberties and narrates the debate between two factions: those vehemently against drunk driving and those who say the problem is exaggerated.

  • The Bach Aria Soloists bring to life the drama of the cherished children’s classic Ferdinand the Bull with music by English composer Alan Ridout, performed by violinist Elizabeth Suh Lane and further interpreted by actor Stuart Rider.
    Bach Aria Soloists: Musical Tales featuring Ferdinand the Bull
    Saturday, November 19, 2011
    Central Library

    The Bach Aria Soloists bring to life the humor and drama of the cherished children’s classic Ferdinand the Bull with music by English composer Alan Ridout, performed by violinist Elizabeth Suh Lane and further interpreted by actor Stuart Rider.

    This performance includes musical and theatrical interpretations of Roger Quilter compositions based on Shakespeare's "As You Like It," as well as Franz Schubert's "Die Spinnrade," based on Goethe poems.

  • The Writers at Work series returns with Winter’s Bone author Daniel Woodrell discussing his new collection of short stories, The Outlaw Album, in a public conversation with Kansas City author Whitney Terrell.
    Daniel Woodrell: The Outlaw Album
    Thursday, November 17, 2011
    Central Library

    Author Daniel Woodrell discusses his new collection of short stories, The Outlaw Album, in a discussion led by Kansas City’s own Whitney Terrell.

    The Outlaw Album includes the stories of a husband who cruelly avenges the killing of his wife’s pet, and an injured rapist who is cared for by a young girl until she reaches her breaking point.

    Organized by Whitney Terrell and co-sponsored by the Writers at Work Round Table.