Arts and Culture

Last weekend the Waterbury Arts Magnet School performed the Tony award-winning Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by the Pulitzer prize-winner August Wilson – a celebrated play that was first staged in1984 at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut.

The play almost didn’t happen, though.  A month ago, production was temporarily stopped, when questions were raised about the frequent use of a racially charged slang term…the so called “n-word.” 

Chion Wolf

Twenty years ago, Connecticut was held in thrall by the murder conspiracy trial of Karin Aparo in connection with the murder of Karin's mother Joyce. 

Chion Wolf

Connecticut, unique among all states, has both a state poet laureate and a state troubadour. The first state poet laureate was James Merrill, appointed in the mid-1980s. Merrill graciously accepted the honor but said it was unlikely he would be writing poems for state occasions like, he said, the governor's birthday. Boy, was that an understatement.

creative commons, kthread

Grilled Cheese


  • Bread – country white, seeded rye, potato bread or whole wheat

  • Cheese – sharp, Extra Sharp or your favorite cheese

  • Toppings – Caramelized onions, sautéed crimini mushrooms, sliced tomato, sliced pickles, sliced prosciutto, crispy bacon, truffle oil, or any of your favorite toppings.

  1. Two slices of your favorite bread open faced.

  2. Cover each slice with your favorite cheese.

Wikimedia Commons

As much as we romanticize the Leatherman, Connecticut's most famous vagabond, we should remember too that the post Civil War era -- his era -- was a time of tramp laws, meant to discourage exactly the sort of person he was.

How Pleasure Works

Feb 28, 2011

Yale psychologist Paul Bloom presents a striking and thought-provoking new understanding of pleasure, desire, and value.

Dance Music Remixes, Gloom, and Doom

Feb 28, 2011

This week on The Needle Drop, we explore new albums from PJ Harvey and Toro Y Moi. We've also got a nice handful of remixes, and an introduction to the band Balkans.

Petticoats Revealed and Concealed: 1740 to 1840

Feb 26, 2011

In 1758, Sarah Halsey spent countless hours quilting a beautiful petticoat.  But why spend so much time on a garment that no one will see?  The term petticoat has evolved over time and began by referring to a skirt when separate from the bodice.  As a result, there are two types of petticoats: under petticoats (unseen) and petticoats (seen).  Sarah Halsey’s petticoat fits into the second category, those meant to be seen.  Everyone she passed could marvel at her skills with needle and thread.

Flickr Creative Commons, Dave_B_

The movie that had the biggest impact on the Academy Awards over the last ten years is one that did not win best picture ... or even get nominated - it was  "The Dark Knight," Christopher Nolan's 2008 Batman movie that was shunned in 2009.

Paper Trails: the Very Weird Fiction of Victor LaValle

Feb 25, 2011

Victor LaValle is the author of Big Machine, his second novel, and the his first one about a secret African American society headquartered in the Vermont woods, where they rescue junkies, alcoholics, and criminals and set them to work as quasi-superheroes looking to save the world.

On this episode of Paper Trails, the public radio show about books, LaValle faces down our panel of hosts Mark Oppenheimer and Brian Francis Slattery and their guest novelist Gregory Feeley.

Michael Kramer was an award-winning political columnist for Time and New York magazine. Now he’s the playwright behind “Divine Rivalry,” a show about da Vinci and Michaelangelo, making its world premier in Hartford. We’ll talk politics and art.

Chion Wolf and Colin will also read your e-mails in "The Sack," our weekly mailbag feature.

Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

The Book Show

Feb 25, 2011
creative commons, libookperson

To see a complete list of the books discused on this show, go to R.J. Julia.

Long Distance

Feb 24, 2011
creative commons, jonwick04

A new edition of a classic McKibben book about what it takes to be a world-class athlete and where the true meaning of endurance can be found.

At 37, the celebrated writer and environmentalist Bill McKibben took a break from the life of the mind to put himself to the ultimate test: devoting a year to train as a competitive cross-country skier. Consulting with personal trainers, coaches, and doctors at the US Olympic Center, he followed the rigorous training regimen of a world-class athlete.

An Experimental Buffet

Feb 23, 2011

This week on the Needle Drop, we sample some of the most experimental records of this month from Mogwai, Nicolas Jaar, and Colin Stetson.

We also check in on some Vivian Girls sideprojects and scope a new track from Beach Fossils, too.

Frank Stitt is a star in Alabama for his take in his restaurant, on combining Italy and the south. The James Beard Awards named him the best chef of the southeast.

His cookbook, Frank Stitt's Bottega Favorita is filled with recipes for adventurous cooks with time on their hands, many beautiful recipes in all categories.

We talk about some of his most doable recipes in the book, from drinks to appetizers, salads, dressings, entrees and more