Interviews By Topic

field hockey witch

The 1980s were a golden age for witches. Women everywhere started covens. Among them, the girls field hockey team at Danvers High School in Massachusetts. At least, that’s how Quan Barry imagines it in her recent novel, “We Ride Upon Sticks.”More

witches

Archaeologist Chris Gosden has written a global history of magic, from the Ice Age to the internet. He told Steve Paulson he’s come to believe our own culture would be healthier and happier if we took magic more seriously.More

Honey Rose

Honey Rose is part of the next generation of witches. They perform traditional magic on TikTok, do tarot readings via email, and seek to control social media algorithms with spells. Producer Angelo Bautista wanted to learn more.More

Doo Lough, Co Mayo

The Irish know how to talk about death — and also celebrate it. Even in difficult times. Gillian O'Brien is an Irish historian who went on a dark tour of her country's historic sites and memorials of death, going back to the Irish Potato Famine.More

Charles' tattoo in memory of his brother, Joe Kane.

An estimated 20-30% of inked skin consists of memorial tattoos. Charles Monroe-Kane has a lot of ink, but he just got his first memorial tattoo. He reflects on his beloved brother Joe Kane— a hard-living, Harley-Davidson biker who died too young.More

"The most important colour in alchemy was red. It was a symbol of life, blood and the Sun."

Alchemy left its mark on Prague — and on our producer, Charles Monroe-Kane, who lived there as a young man. He says the Czechs are still uncovering alchemical secrets.More

Barred owl

Heather Swan is a writer with a gift for listening to the natural world. Still, she didn't know what to make of the barred owl who came to visit her every day for three weeks. And then she realized, with a jolt, the owl had a message for her.More

Orwell among roses

George Orwell was the great writer on tyranny and authoritarianism. But as Rebecca Solnit shows in her book "Orwell’s Roses," he was also a gardener who loved flowers and trees. Beauty and the natural world sustained him through difficult times.More

Mural of ancient soldiers returning from battle

Why do humans still wage wars? Despite their terrible costs, they benefit certain groups, and thoughout history, they've also galvanized social movements and sparked scientific advancements. Margaret MacMillan explains how wars have shaped us.More

Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin

At the end of WWII, Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met in Yalta to forge a post-war settlement. Now, the war in Ukraine shows that we're living with their decisions. Historian Catherine Grace Katz tells the story of the three "daughters of Yalta."More

Stained glass in the chapel on Dog Mountain

If you are now or have ever been a dog lover, there’s a place you need to go — Dog Mountain in Northern Vermont. 150 acres of hills, trails, and ponds just for pups, plus a dog chapel for memorializing lost pets and an annual summer dog party.More

person and dog

Ecofeminist philosopher Donna Haraway has a reputation for tackling the big intellectual questions of our time. She’s also obsessed with dogs — their biological, cultural, political and personal history.More

Ruthie

Merle was smart, obedient, and always up for an adventure — the kind of dog you can take anywhere. But even the most cherished dogs grow old. A friend suggested that essayist Sarah Miller get a “bridge dog" — a young dog who might make Merle’s impending loss easier to bear.More

a dog on the trail howls

Dogsledders Blair Braverman and Quince Mountain have built an outdoor adventure life in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, where they train teams of dogs to race. But for the husband-and-wife team, the pack is also part of their family.More

"Junebug"

Nathaniel Mary Quinn was abandoned as a child. Today, he’s a celebrated painter, exhibiting around the world. He tells Charles his remarkable story about talent and perseverance in the face of enormous odds.More

The creative mind

Novelist Siri Hustvedt knows how the creative process feels. Neuroscientist Heather Berlin knows what it looks like in the brain. Together with Steve, they explore the emerging science of creativity.More

Prairie Fires of the Great West

Laura Ingalls Wilder insisted that every detail in her beloved "Little House" books was true. But Caroline Fraser, her biographer, says Wilder heavily edited the story of her family's life on the Great Plains. And in the process, created an American myth based on a lie or two.
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The Sandman. Writer Neil Gaiman on the set of The Sandman.

Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" graphic novel is now a Netflix series. Gaiman has made a career out of tapping into our unconscious dreams and fears. In 2003, Steve Paulson traveled to Gaiman's home in Wisconsin to talk about where his story ideas come from.More

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