Peter Biello

Host, All Things Considered

Peter Biello is the host of All Things Considered at New Hampshire Public Radio. He has served as a producer and host of Weekend Edition Saturday at Vermont Public Radio and as a reporter/host of Morning Edition at WHQR in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Peter has won several AP awards for his journalism, which has appeared on NPR’s All Things Considered and This American Life. He’s also a fiction writer whose work appears or is forthcoming in Gargoyle, Lowestoft Chronicle, Green Writers Press, and South85 Journal. He’s also the founder of Burlington Writers Workshop, a nonprofit writing workshop based in Burlington, Vermont, and co-founder of Mud Season Review, a literary journal featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry and visual art that publishes in print annually and online monthly.

Peter lives in Concord, New Hampshire. 

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Peter Biello / NHPR

Concord-resident Virginia MacGregor's latest novel, Before I Was Yours, is the story of a young Kenyan boy, Jonah, who is brought to England under mysterious circumstances by a friend of his mother's. He's abandoned at the airport and, after a stint in foster care, starts living with two would-be adoptive parents who are desperate for a child. But Jonah, as polite and well-behaved as he is, comes with his own set of complications, prompting the adoptive parents to question their ability to be parents at all. MacGregor spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello about her book.

New census data released today show that New Hampshire continues to gain population from domestic migration, or people moving from other states to New Hampshire. New Hampshire is also gaining immigrants from other countries. All Things Considered host Peter Biello spoke with Ken Johnson, Senior Demographer at the Carsey School of Public Policy and Professor of Sociology at the University of New Hampshire.

St. Paul's School

St. Paul’s School focused more on protecting its reputation than on protecting the children entrusted to its care. That was the message from New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald today as he announced the end of his criminal investigation into the elite Concord boarding school.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On Tuesday, Granite Staters went to the polls for New Hampshire’s primary. NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with Dante Scala, professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire, about what to notice about the results, from voter turnout to geographic indicators for the upcoming state elections.

This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner predicted 180,000 ballots split evenly between Republicans and Democrats. To the best of your knowledge, is that how it worked out? 

NHPR File Photo

Primary Day can simply be the day when voters choose who will represent their parties during the general elections.

But primaries can also shape - or reshape - a party, and sometimes in lasting ways. This year could be one of those times for the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

Joining All Things Considered host Peter Biello to talk about these particular primary politics is Josh Rogers.

Note: This transcript has been edited for clarity

Peter Biello / NHPR

All this summer we've been hearing from Granite State musicians about their signature sounds. Today we'll hear from singer/songwriter Chelsea Paolini. The Brentwood native has been playing in bands since the age of 14. You may have heard her as the frontwoman for the band People Skills. Most recently she's been experimenting with her solo sound. Chelsea Paolini spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello. 

Via audio-luci | Flickr Creative Commons

In the 1990s, a string of New Hampshire Supreme Court cases established the state's responsibility to fund an "adequate" education. These days, however, an adequate education is funded primarily by local property taxes, and rates vary from town to town. John Tobin is part of the team leading a charge to pressure the state to pay more of that bill. He is former executive director of New Hampshire Legal Assistance and he represented the plaintiffs in the Claremont Supreme Court cases. Now he is leading education funding forums around the state. NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke with Tobin about his efforts.

Peter Biello / NHPR

In the western New Hampshire town of Canaan, there's a plot of land where Noyes Academy once stood.

Incorporated in 1834, Noyes Academy was the first school in the country to admit both black and white men and women for education above the grammar school level. But it wasn't open for long. 

Peter Biello / NHPR

On a recent morning, in the hazy heat, poet Mark DeCarteret opened up Water Street Books in Exeter, where he works, as what he calls "book clerk extraordinare."

"Alice who works here has got quite the skill with the sign-making," he says, pointing to a sandwich board on which someone has drawn a bird. "So she came up with that for the book launch."

Joe Lentini

In January of 1982, Joe Lentini was woken up in the middle of the night by a phone call. Two young climbers were stranded on Mount Washington in dangerous weather conditions. He and his team gathered at 5 a.m. to find and save them. 


All summer long on All Things Considered, we've been telling stories of the music and musicians here in New Hampshire. Next, we'll listen to a band that takes inspiration from artists like Stevie Wonder and Prince.

The Concord-based group goes by the name of Trade, and they've just released their first album, "Puzzle."

NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with the drummer and vocalist George Laliotis and guitarist and vocalist Scott Solsky.

Dan Houde/Wiseguy Creative via Pinterest

According to U.S. census data, New Hampshire has the second-oldest population in terms of median age. Over the past month and a half, 10 New Hampshire towns have been accepted into the AARP Network of Age Friendly Communities. As part of the network, these towns are making a commitment to making their communities more age-friendly.

M. Sharkey

In his first novel, Edinburgh, Dartmouth college professor Alexander Chee wrote about a difficult subject: child sexual abuse.

"Part of the reason why I wrote it was because I hadn't seen anything that really dealt with the rage that people feel afterwards, and I wanted to show that in some way," he says.

The novel's protagonist was a Korean American boy who, like Chee, was sexually abused. The novel was well-reviewed, but Chee says the most meaningful response to his novel came from a man serving time in prison for pedophilia.

In the past few years the American Civil Liberties Union has been at the forefront in the fight to protect the rights of immigrant detainees.

Now the ACLU is expanding its Immigrants' Rights Project in New Hampshire, which the organization says is dedicated to expanding and enforcing the civil liberties and civil rights of immigrants and to combatting public and private discrimination against them. For this effort, the New Hampshire ACLU has hired its first immigration legal fellow.

SangYeob Kim spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello about his new position.

Via audio-luci | Flickr Creative Commons

Last August the New Hampshire legislature passed a bill that would allow schools to be reimbursed for part of the costs associated with things like speech therapy, mental health counseling and nursing for all students who qualify for Medicaid.

Previously that reimbursement was only available for some students who qualify for Medicaid. But schools are not yet taking advantage of this additional federal money. 

Via Pixabay Creative Commons

A hike in the White Mountains might be your antidote to a life dominated by screens, buzzes and dings. But a cell phone can be lifesaving if you've lost your way on the trail. In fact, the Civil Air Patrol uses cell phones to help find lost hikers. NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with Granite Geek David Brooks, a reporter for the Concord Monitor, about this technology.

(This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)

First, what is the Civil Air Patrol?

Nashua schools are struggling with a major shortage of instructors for students for whom English is not their first language. The school district serves nearly 1,300 of these students, but only has 24 ELL, or English Language Learner, teachers.

Among the reasons why there are so many students in need of these teachers is the test used to determine eligibility. Recent changes to the exam have resulted in more students showing a need for specialized ELL instruction. Robert Cioppa is the Director of Student Services and ELL for the Nashua School District. 

Via Wikimedia Commons


Thursday was the court-ordered deadline for border authorities to reunite families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. A Keene woman whose sister-in-law and nephew were separated says they've now been reunited, but the reunification comes without answers to key questions.

Why were they cleared for reunification while others still wait in detention centers? Why were they not deported back to Honduras? And how long can they stay? 



In the book The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, a furry creature named the Lorax speaks up for the Truffula trees as they are being cut down. The character of the Lorax is generally seen as an outraged, even bossy spokesperson for the environment. But new research at Dartmouth suggests a different interpretation, in which the Lorax is actually part of the environment. Researchers believe the Lorax was inspired by real monkeys the author saw on a trip to Kenya in 1970.

Stephen Blos 1974

Before his death last month, former poet laureate Donald Hall was preparing to publish his final book, a collection of short essays on life as he approached his 90th birthday, a birthday that he knew he would not reach.

The book came out just weeks after his death and features Hall's reflections on the challenges of growing older, his encounters with famous poets, his life with his beloved wife, poet Jane Kenyon, and the way in which he spent much of his career, exploring death.

Twin State Typewriter of White River Junction, Vermont, will close its doors on July 31st. Owner Wanda Nalette has worked at the store for 48 years, and along with her husband Don, bought the business and building in 2000. NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke with Wanda Nalette on the phone about the end of an era.

(This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)


[Phone Ringing]


Twin State Typewriter.


Hi, is this Wanda?


Yes it is.


Peter Biello/NHPR

The multi-talented musician Theo Martey has traveled the world with West African drumming groups. After settling in Manchester in 2001 he formed the Akwaaba Ensemble and they've been touring New England ever since.

While Martey plays traditional West African music, he also mixes contemporary recording effects and nontraditional instruments into his work. Martey spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello about his music.

(This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)


During last week's oppressive heat, you may have found it particularly hard to cool down at night. Over the past several decades, our nights are getting, on average, warmer. 

Granite Geek David Brooks of the Concord Monitor spoke about why with NHPR's Peter Biello.

(This transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.)

dawn paley / Flickr/CC

Americans across the country with relatives detained at the border are working to be reunited with their loved ones.

Peter Biello/NHPR

It has been a hot week in New Hampshire but the heat has not kept poet hope Jordan Hope from her daily walk on a hiking trail in Canterbury between I-93 and the Merrimack River. All Things Considered host Peter Biello spoke with the poet about her new collection The Day She Decided to Feed Crows.

Hope Jordan’s Top Five Reading Recommendations

via Wikimedia Commons

Many Granite Staters go fishing for that feeling of getting back to nature. Some of those hopeful for a catch succeed in part because those lakes and ponds may have been stocked with fish by the Fish and Game Department.

Granite Geek David Brooks of The Concord Monitor spoke with All Things Considered host Peter Biello about this decades-old practice of dropping trout from helicopters into remote ponds in New Hampshire.

(This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)

Collin Tessier

This summer, NHPR is introducing you to local bands making music all across New Hampshire. All Things Considered Host Peter Biello kicks off the series with a trio of musicians from Concord.

The poet Donald Hall died this weekend at his home in Wilmot, New Hampshire at the age of 89. He is being remembered as one of the greatest poets in American history.

Host of All Things Considered Peter Biello spoke with Mike Pride, a friend of Hall and Editor Emeritus of the Concord Monitor.

(This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)

Thank you very much for speaking with me.

Glad to be here.

And so sorry about the circumstances, about the loss of someone that you considered a friend.

Solar panels have been generating electricity in New Hampshire for decades. But how many from decades ago are still in use today? Granite Geek David Brooks has been searching for the oldest, continually-used solar panel, and he spoke to NHPR's Peter Biello about one possible contender. 

(This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)

David, you wrote in the Concord Monitor today about the panels used by Ralph Jimenez and Linda Graham since roughly 1979 we think?

Peter Biello/NHPR

This week on The Bookshelf from NHPR, a conversation with Daniel Palmer about his new book, The First Family.