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The Butcher, The Vegan Baker, The Potions Maker

When we decide what to eat or drink, we're making choices that go beyond flavor. What we consume can be a tool for social change, a connection with generations past, and a major influence on our well-being. In this lively episode, WPLN's Emily Siner talks to Chris Carter of Porter Road Butcher, Tiffany Hancock of The Southern V, and Leah Larabell of High Garden Tea — three food entrepreneurs who are merging innovation and tradition. How did they start down the paths of local meat...


Writing About Life, Death And Grief In The South

Margaret Renkl is a Nashville writer perhaps best known for her regular columns in the New York Times. "Late Migrations" is her debut book, and it's part-essay collection on coming of age and aging in the South, and part-observations of nature. Margaret began writing the book after the death of her mother, in an effort to process her grief. "If I forced myself to see this rat snake coming out of the chickadee nest box and the crow stealing the cardinal's babies … then I would stop feeling...


The Scales Of Juvenile Justice

Judge Sheila Calloway sees children during some of the worst moments of their lives: right after they've been accused of committing a crime. * *But she holds fast to the philosophy that children are redeemable and should be given the opportunity to change. "We as a nation have to make a change from what we think about as justice," she says. "We use incarceration as the answer for almost everything, and it cannot be the answer." In this episode, she talks to WPLN's Emily Siner about the...


What's Jesus Got To Do With It?

Unlike most New Testament experts, Vanderbilt Divinity School professor Amy-Jill Levine is Jewish. Her lessons are sprinkled with Yiddish phrases, and she attends an Orthodox Jewish synagogue in Nashville. That's given her a unique perspective on Judaism and Christianity — two religions that have diverged from the same source, took different interpretations of similar texts and collided repeatedly throughout history. "We are magnificent creatures in all our diversity," she says. "I want...


Inside The Mind Of A Cold Case Detective

How does a cold case homicide detective maintain faith in humanity? What makes him so sure that he’s going after the right bad guy? And how can a case with no known suspects be solved? For more than 25 years, retired police detective Pat Postiglione solved some of the most gruesome murder cases in Nashville. This, he says, takes a toll: “If you stay in homicide long enough, it definitely has an effect on your personal life.”


Thinking About The Brain

Every human is fortunate to have this organ inside our skull called the brain. It allows us to breathe, create art, develop new technology — and yet there's much that is undiscovered about how these masses of neurons work. Why is everyone's brain a different shape? When the brain starts to deteriorate, what's really happening? And what is thought? In this episode, we explore these provocative questions with three people who think about them often: Suzana Herculano-Houzel, a...


What Is Love?

Without a doubt, romantic love is a driving force in our culture — with countless movies, songs and books devoted to finding it, losing it or making it last. Falling in (or out of) love can feel so intense in our own lives, but our fundamental assumptions about what love really is are not always correct. In this episode of Movers & Thinkers, we talk to three guests who have seen a lot of love, heartbreak and romantic confusion: relationship therapist Jeannie Ingram, divorce attorney...


The Disrupter

More than 50 years ago, Rip Patton's world changed. He started attending nonviolence workshops in Nashville and learned how to endure abuse during the Civil Rights movement without fighting back. Rip became a Freedom Rider, part of the movement that ended an era of legalized segregation in the South. Now, five decades later, he looks back on his role as a "disrupter" — sitting, standing and singing to make major societal change. The show's host is Emily Siner. Its editors are Mack...


Demystifying Death

For something as ubiquitous as dying, most of us know surprisingly little about it — not just the big unanswerable questions, like what happens after we die. We also rarely think about how to deal with grief, or what to talk about with your family before you go. So on this episode of Movers & Thinkers, we're facing our fears (and fascination) by talking to three people who come face-to-face with mortality on a daily basis: hospice physician Sasha Bowers, cemetery historian Fred Zahn and...


Following The Family's Footsteps

Parents pass on their genes, their values — and sometimes, their careers. These guests have taken on the family business, which has connected them more to their parents but, at times, tested their relationships and created lofty expectations. Featuring third-generation luthier Manuel Delgado, second-generation pastor Amy Mears, and poet Caroline Randall Williams, who has written books with her mother. The show's host is Emily Siner. Its editors are Mack Linebaugh, Anita Bugg and Blake...


The Poet In The Family

We interview Tiana Clark, a poet from Nashville. Tiana has been tackling uncomfortable truths for years, ever since she wrote in her diary as a child that she hated her mom (who then discovered the writing). Now, she’s is a nationally lauded poet from Nashville who is the author of Equilibrium, a book of poetry published in 2016. She has a forthcoming poem in The New Yorker.


What It's Really Like To Start Over

In our society, what we do often defines how we see ourselves: Our identity is tied up with careers and success. So what happens when we’re forced to start over? These people have grappled with reinvention, realizing that it’s possible to get out of situations that don’t feel right — and figure out how to move forward. Featuring musician Vanessa Carlton, journalist-turned-educator Chris Echegaray and former country music manager Chip Peay.


2-Year Anniversary Update

In honor of #throwbackThursday, it seems fitting to share this Movers & Thinkers anniversary: The first live show of this podcast took place almost exactly two years ago.


Embracing Your Inner Nerd

These people are unapologetic nerds — passionate about highly technical fields and not afraid to show it. How do they communicate that to people who don’t understand the thing they love? And in a broader culture where that word is not always seen as positive, how did they come to embrace their nerd status? Featuring astrophysicist Kelly Holley-Bockelmann, Star Wars maker Chris Lee and computer programmer (and late nerd bloomer) Morley Bankston.


How Crisis Responders Keep Calm Under Pressure

When there’s a crisis, these are the people who get called in the middle of the night to address it. They’ve learned how to jump into action at any time and make life-altering decisions on a moment’s notice. What kind of personality do they need for a job like that? And after they’ve handled an emergency, how do they handle the inevitable stress on themselves? Featuring trauma surgeon Timothy Nunez, police chaplain James Duke and crisis communications expert Rosemary Plorin.


When Interpreters Can't Translate Everything

Interpreters live at the intersection of disparate languages and cultures, and sometimes they are the only people who can make communication happen. How does that affect their identity? And what happens when they encounter boundaries they simply cannot cross? Featuring banjo player Abigail Washburn, Spanish-English interpreter David Morales and sign language interpreter Scott Baker. This episode was produced from a live taping in WPLN’s Studio C in September 2016. It was hosted and produced...


Where Does Creativity Come From?

These people start with a blank page and end with something that didn’t exist before: a completely new piece of music, poetry or art. Featuring country songwriter Victoria Banks, poet TJ Jarrett and public artist Bryce McCloud. This episode was produced from a live taping in WPLN’s Studio C in June 2016. It was hosted and produced by Emily Siner; engineered by Carl Peterson and Cameron Adkins; and edited by Mack Linebaugh and Anita Bugg.


The Fine Art And Vague Science Of Keeping History Alive

These people are guardians of the past: They explore kitchens, living rooms and attics, tracking down the recipes, stories and artifacts that tell us who we are and where we came from. Featuring David Ewing and Bradley Hanson and Jennifer Justus.


How Professional Investigators Get The Facts

When there’s trouble, these people are called to figure it out. They are investigators, tasked with tracking down what’s causing a problem, who knows about it and how to fix it. Featuring Hal Humphreys, Anita Wadhwani and Marion Kainer.



For many of us, negotiations are limited to buying cars. But these people are pros: They mediate conflicts, finagle compromises and broker deals for a living. This month on the docket, three people who are leaders in the art of negotiation: Samar Ali, who aids international diplomacy efforts in Syria; John Strohm, who represents musicians in business transactions; and Steve Joiner, who helps churches navigate religious conflicts.