Garfield the Cat is one of the most enduring characters in the world of comics. It rivals legendary franchises like Peanuts, Calvin and Hobbes, and The Far Side in popularity. And unlike those other strips Garfield just keeps chugging along as the creator of this chubby, sarcastic feline, Jim Davis, continues to crank out the work at his studio in Indiana.

Vick Mickunas and Herb Martin
Peter Hayes / WYSO

The poet Herb Martin has made a number of appearances on the show over the years. It is always such a treat to be able to feature him as a guest. Herb just published a new poetry collection, "The Shape of Regret," and I invited him out to our studios in Yellow Springs to talk about it.

There are so many lovely poems in this collection and Herb shared some of them with our audience. If you listen to the entire podcast you'll find a tasty poetic surprise right at the end of this recording.

Author Gilbert King visited with students from Tippecanoe High School's Center for Performing Arts
Liz Robbins, Director of Communications from Tipp City Exempted Village Schools

On November 4, 2019 Tippecanoe High School's Center for Performing Arts, the Tipp City Public Library and Tipp City Exempted Village Schools in partnership with the Dayton Literary Peace Prize (DLPP) held a presentation by Pulitzer Prize winning author Gilbert King. King discussed his non-fiction book, Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys and the Dawn of a New America.

When Nikki Giovanni passed through Dayton on book tour I could not believe my good fortune. Back in 2002 Nikki was out publicizing "Quilting the Black-Eyed Pea: Poems and Not Quite Poems" and she came out to Yellow Springs to do a live interview. I love talking to poets and Nikki is not only one of our greatest living poets she is also one of our most prolific. Log on to Amazon and search for her name and you will be amazed at how many projects she has completed over the years.

Winter is my favorite season. Here's a photo I took a few years ago-Happy New Year!
Vick Mickunas

For my final program of 2019 I selected some more of my favorite interviews from the past year and I included my favorite interview of 2019! I never dreamed I would get an interview with this author and it was even more marvelous than I expected!

back in the day, shopping for record albums in Iowa City - Vick Mickunas
Vick Mickunas

As the years fly by I like to pause at the end of each one to reflect upon the things that have happened during each year. I'll compile lists. For the past 15 years I have been writing book reviews for the Cox Ohio newspapers and each December I will share lists of my favorite books divided by whether they were fiction or non-fiction titles. During the decade that I was the music director at WYSO I would compile an annual list of my 100 favorite albums from each year. I do love making lists and sharing them.

NPR's Book Concierge returns with 350+ new books handpicked by NPR staff and trusted critics. This year, for the first time, users can explore seven years of Concierge recommendations all in one place – that's more than 2,000 great reads.

Open the app now!

The entrance to Orange Frazer Press is hard to miss, even though it's tucked in an alley. Wilmington now has beautiful, building-sized murals all over town, but Orange Frazer's mural was one of the first.
Jason Reynolds / WYSO

In the age of Amazon, e-books, and on-demand publishing, small presses have had to make big changes to stay afloat, and Orange Frazer Press in Wilmington has become one of Ohio’s most versatile small publishers. Community Voices Producer Jason Reynolds stopped by their offices to learn how this little press that could continues to thrive after 30 years.

It can be hard to stay relevant in the ever-changing world of children's entertainment, but Highlights For Children magazine has lasted for generations by sticking to the formula of mixing fun with learning.

As Emily Burkhalter's third grade class at Evening Street Elementary School in Worthington, Ohio, is enjoying a free reading period, a top choice among the students is Highlights.

Dr. Suheil Bushrui made a number of appearances on the program. He was an eminent scholar and an authority on the works of William Butler Yeats and Kahlil Gibran.

It was always a distinct pleasure to have a conversation with him because you never knew where any particular discussion might lead. His intellect was radiant-it was truly an honor to speak with him.

Dr. Bushrui died a few years ago. I would like to dedicate this particular podcast, number #600 in our archive by my calculation, to him.