Latino Critics Speak Out Against 'American Dirt'; Jeanine Cummins Responds

3 hours 35 minutes ago
There's a book you might have heard of by now. It's called American Dirt , and it's the much-hyped new novel from author Jeanine Cummins that was released this week. It's the story of a Mexican woman named Lydia and her 8-year-old son Luca, who flee their home and undertake a harrowing journey to the U.S. border after gunmen from a local drug cartel kill most of their family. It's been hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times." In fact, that quote is on the cover of the book.

St. Louis Workers Say What's On Their Minds In An Opera Of Their Own

9 hours 47 minutes ago
On a recent Sunday afternoon, about a dozen people gathered at the otherwise-quiet headquarters of the Service Employees International Union in Clifton Heights to rehearse an opera. Granted, they were using the term opera a little loosely. “ Workers’ Opera " is an original compilation of vignettes — mostly dramatic sketches and songs — addressing a variety of issues facing working people today. Bread and Roses Missouri , an activist group with a pro-labor stance that addresses social issues through the arts, is behind the production. The fifth annual incarnation of “Workers’ Opera,” updated for 2020, makes its debut in a free performance at Missouri History Museum on Sunday.

New Harvard Fellowship Boosts 6 St. Louis Visual Artists

2 days ago
This spring, a cohort of six talented St. Louis-based visual artists will head to Cambridge, Massachusetts, as part of a new initiative founded by local changemaker Kareem "Tef Poe" Jackson and Harvard professor (and Missouri native) Walter Johnson. The Commonwealth Project at Harvard University aims to model a new way for universities to engage with social problems through service and collaboration, with a special focus on St. Louis. The half-dozen local artists were selected for its new #IntheCity Visual Arts Fellowship last November. The goal of the program is to provide exposure and resources for up-and-coming artists in the region. And it looks to attract artists who use art in a manner beyond just creating for art's sake.

Get To Know A Couple Of Sauce Magazine's 'Ones To Watch' In 2020

2 days 22 hours ago
On this month’s Sound Bites segment, produced in partnership with Sauce Magazine, managing editor Heather Hughes Huff gave an overview of the six up-and-comers the publication chose for its annual "Ones to Watch" feature that highlights local culinary talent. On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air , host Sarah Fenske talked with Hughes Huff as well as featured restaurateurs Alejandra Fallows and Bailey Schuchmann . Fallows is the bar manager at Chandler Hill Vineyards. She recently achieved the top score on her certified sommelier exam. Schuchmann is the beverage director at the acclaimed restaurant Farmhaus. She’s also a certified sommelier. Sauce’s profile describes her as a “wine/cocktail/service triple threat.”

Hannibal Actor To Perform 'Mark Twain on Slavery' This February

2 days 23 hours ago
Mark Twain, the author born Samuel Clemens in 1835 Missouri, was ahead of his time in many important ways. That’s one reason his brilliant novels endure, and why they’re just as funny as they were when they were published more than 140 years ago. Richard Geary could tell you all about that. He’s the actor, director and playwright who owns the Planter's Barn Theater in Hannibal, Missouri. His 18th season there kicks off this May, featuring shows focused on Twain’s life and work. Geary portrays Twain and uses only the words of the author and humorist. He’s proud of his Twain impression. “I was able, a number of years ago, to listen to a Thomas Edison recording of him. A friend was working in the Smithsonian, [and] they had found it, one of those little cylinders. I spent a whole day listening to it, and I base my voice on that, the Mark Twain voice,” Geary said. “I have some Edison movie clips they made of him also. What I try to do is to put all the pieces together. The greatest

Tuesday: St. Louis' Wild Prohibition Years

1 week ago
This interview will be on “St. Louis on the Air” at noon on Tuesday. This story will be updated after the show. Here are several ways you can listen live . The 18th Amendment of the United States Constitution established the prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. Enforcement of the new law started on January 17, 1920. Tuesday on St. Louis on the Air , we’ll recognize the 100th anniversary of Prohibition by diving into St. Louis’ rich Prohibition-era history.

Author Miranda Popkey Owes ‘Topics of Conversation’ To Schnucks' Fried Chicken

1 week 3 days ago
Miranda Popkey is a California native, and much of her debut novel, “Topics of Conversation,” is set in the state. But the novel has a St. Louis origin story. It’s while she was in the MFA program at Washington University that she wrote much of it. And it’s at Wash U that she realized it could be, and was, a novel. On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air , Popkey joined us to discuss her novel. The novel’s focus on ideas over plot — and its sometimes “unlikeable narrator” — have drawn pushback from some readers, she acknowledged.

How Low- And No-Proof Cocktails Are Stirring/Shaking A Drinking Revolution

2 weeks ago
Getting drunk at dinner is sooo 2010. Some of the area’s most buzz-worthy bars are now focused on drinks that won’t get you buzzed. That includes Elmwood. At this one-year-old Maplewood hotspot, the roster of booze-free cocktails (called “zero proof”) is just as interesting and complex as that of their liquor-fueled cousins. The restaurant is also serving drinks it calls “low proof,” offering a taste of spirits without condemning you to a raging headache the next morning. On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air , Elmwood beverage director Dave Greteman explained that the restaurant very consciously eschews the term “mocktail.” “I feel that there’s a sense of trepidation with going out and ordering something without alcohol,” he said. “There’s a worry you’re going to get something that’s just an afterthought. And then as a result, things like ‘mocktails’ become kind of a joke.” In offering smart, interesting zero-proof compositions, he said, the restaurant wants diners to feel “that they are

New Culture Walk And Airbnb Retreat Offers Ways To Meet East St. Louis

2 weeks ago
For those interested in learning more about East St. Louis’ rich cultural legacy, a new “music and history walk” is one route to consider. Treasure Shields Redmond, daughter of East St. Louis Poet Laureate Eugene Redmond, is organizing opportunities for hipsters, jazz nerds and genuinely curious minds alike. On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air , host Sarah Fenske discussed with Shields Redmond how opportunities like the Historic Jazz & Poetry Excursion is showing the world a different East St. Louis than what you might see on the evening news.

On Chess: New 2019 Sinquefield Chess Tables Unveiled During Grand Chess Tour Events In St. Louis

2 weeks 1 day ago
When the St. Louis Chess Club wanted to create new and innovative chess tables for the 2019 Grand Chess Tour events held in St. Louis, it reached out to longtime partner and supporter Nate Cohen. Cohen, 30, is the chief financial officer of Cohen Architectural Woodworking, a 70-employee family-run business in St. James, Missouri, that supplies commercial millwork to companies nationwide.

'Two Trains Running' Brings August Wilson Back To The Black Rep

2 weeks 1 day ago
In a series of 10 plays, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson chronicled the black experience in 20th-century America. The plays are collectively known as the "Century Cycle,” with each play set in a different decade — nine of them in the same Pittsburgh neighborhood in which Wilson grew up. As St. Louis’ premier black theater company since 1976, the Black Rep has a long history of performing Wilson’s plays. In fact, it was only the third company in the U.S. to complete the cycle.

St. Louis City, County Libraries Are Now Officially Fine-Free

2 weeks 3 days ago
Two of the largest library systems in the St. Louis region are axing fines for overdue library materials. St. Louis County Library and St. Louis Public Library join a trend of major metropolitan library districts across the U.S. — including those of Kansas City, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Chicago — that have eliminated fines for their users in an effort to increase access and equity within the communities they serve. “We have seen a lot of studies out there that say fines are not the incentive to get people to bring their books back,” said Kristen Sorth, the director of the St. Louis County Library district. “And so, we still want the books back. You just don’t have to come back and pay a fine.”

9 New Local Restaurants And Bars To Check Out This Month

2 weeks 3 days ago
On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air , host Sarah Fenske talked with guests from Sauce Magazine about the latest additions to the St. Louis region’s food and beverage community. Among the establishments that made it on this month’s Hit List are Little Fox on Shenandoah Avenue and High Low on Washington Avenue. Joining the program to discuss the full list were Heather Hughes and Meera Nagarajan, Sauce’s managing editor and art director, respectively.

All Of Missouri Painter George Caleb Bingham's Work Will Soon Be Free To The World Online

2 weeks 4 days ago
Missouri painter George Caleb Bingham shaped the way the nation saw life on the frontier. His work spanned politics, civil war discord and rowdy riverboatmen, and his genre paintings of 19th century river life are in many major national art collections. Within the next three years, all of Bingham's nearly 600 known paintings will be accessible online and freely available to the public.

Commentary: Native American Art And Culture Deserve A Fresh Look

3 weeks ago
I attended an inspiring and educational talk titled "Mound City--The Place of the Indian Past and Present in St. Louis" given by Professor Patricia Cleary at The Missouri History Museum. Professor Cleary referred to the ground under the museum as the place where the indigenous Mississippian culture lived and thrived almost a thousand years ago. She went on to talk about the need to pay homage and give respect to those ancient peoples and their descendants in our city today. A week later I found myself at the Nasher Museum on the campus of Duke University in North Carolina where I was inspired again by the special exhibition “Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices,1950s to Now." Sarah Schroth, the director of the museum, also referred to the land in and around the museum as having belonged to the Native Peoples of North Carolina and said, "By presenting, ‘Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices’ and its related programs, we are taking the first steps towards acknowledging those

On Chess: How Chess Gave Me Opportunities In Different Aspects Of Life

3 weeks 1 day ago
I began to play the game of chess when I was only 5 years old. My father taught me the rules of the game, and I will always remember how my mother bickered with my father for not letting me win even a single game! During primary school, I signed up for chess as an after-school activity. I was kind of hyperactive, so I combined chess with many other sports such as soccer, basketball, handball and tennis.

SLU's Queer Closet Lends Students Clothes And Confidence

3 weeks 3 days ago
A clothing library at St. Louis University is helping students find outfits that match their gender identity. The student-led Queer Closet allows transgender and gender-nonconforming people to find affordable clothing that helps them feel more comfortable. “I think one of the biggest and best aspects of the Queer Closet is the idea you’re working with someone who understands what you’re going through and someone who understands the queer experience,” said co-founder Regis Wilson, a SLU business major who identifies as gender-nonconforming.

2019: A Year In Photos From St. Louis Public Radio

3 weeks 3 days ago
St. Louis Public Radio journalists were there for the biggest stories of 2019. Whether it was St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger's fall from power under federal corruption charges; the St. Louis Blues first Stanley Cup win; or the protests over Missouri passing one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. We also witnessed many quiet moments of personal struggle, celebration, courage and discovery in our community. Staff photojournalist Carolina Hidalgo shared her favorite photos from the moments that we'll remember from 2019. MORE: Take a look back at the year with our Best of 2019 story concierge — our most memorable stories of 2019 according to our readers and reporters. See also: Our favorite photos from 2018. And, our 2017 favorites. Danny Tobben of Washington, Missouri, celebrates after chugging beer from a “Stanley Cup” made of beer cans and tape during the Blues championship parade. Tens of thousands of St. Louis Blues fans gathered downtown in June to watch
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