Erika Janik

Executive Producer

Erika Janik fell into radio after volunteering at Wisconsin Public Radio to screen listener calls. She co-founded and was the executive producer of “Wisconsin Life” on Wisconsin Public Radio for seven years.

Trained as a historian, she’s the author of six books, including Pistols and Petticoats: 175 Years of Lady Detectives in Fact and Fiction, and freelances for a variety of publications. She has an MA in American history and an MA in Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Ways to Connect

Get Swole

1 hour ago

Today, two stories about different kinds of ambition: one a desire to sculpt the body and the other a desire to sculpt legislation. NHPR reporter Todd Bookman followed one amateur bodybuilder as he prepared for his first competition. Then, we learn all about propositions - the civic kind - from Civics 101.

Today, we’re giving you an inside look at what it takes to make the podcast. A bunch of people make this show, which means that our ideas meetings almost inevitably turn into total chaos when one of us starts shouting our favorite facts about our favorite animals.

The US Congress has two houses - the House of Representatives and the Senate. But why? And what’s the difference? Also, Sam Evans-Brown tells us what are palm trees good for in an installment of "Ask Sam" from Outside/In. And finally, we get the lowdown on a Star Trek-related vanity plate.

 

You're Family Now

Nov 23, 2018

In June 1981, a bodybuilder, a stockbroker, and 10 other men entered the woods of New Hampshire to settle an argument. They called it "The First Annual Survival Game," and the details are the stuff of legend... even if they aren't all true. Then, what happens to your leaves after you rake them up and put them on the curb? And another story in our continuing series on vanity plates, this one a story far more complex than a license plate can capture.

Seeing Double

Nov 9, 2018
Jacqui Helbert

Today on Word of Mouth, we're digging in to the fraught relationship between the gear industry and gender with Outside/In. When do women actually need something different and when are companies just looking to make more money by selling women a product that is essentially the same thing... but smaller and pink? And what do you do if the available products - pink or not -  don't fit your body at all?

NH State Prison
Wikimedia Commons

Help us decide what story to explore next in our "Only in New Hampshire" series. We're looking for your questions about prisons in New Hampshire. Wondering about the difference between a jail and a prison? How prisoners spend their days? What the rates of recidivism are in NH and what's being done about it? Mental health in prison?

Send us your questions. We'll start reporting the story in December for an upcoming episode of Word of Mouth and our newscast. 

Doris Kearns Goodwin and Lauren Chooljian
Sara Plourde

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

Goodwin is the author of seven books, including her most recent Leadership in Turbulent Times, which examines the origins and qualities of leadership through the lens of four presidents. 

Goodwin spoke about her book with NHPR political reporter Lauren Chooljian.

Some kids spend their summers swimming and paddling. Others hammering and drilling.

 

Bella and Kaylee are two of the leaders of Girls at Work. It’s a program for girls based in Manchester that teaches girls how to build everything from shelves to picnic tables using power tools.

 

Patricia McLaughlin for NHPR

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

Egan has written several novels and a collection of short stories. Jennifer Egan's novel A Visit From the Goon Squad won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times book prize. 

Not only a writer of fiction, Egan is an accomplished journalist and has written frequently for the New York Times Magazine.

This week, we're going deep into our country's founding through radio drama, the classic musical "1776," and the inside story of a New Hampshire-based fake news site. 

In 1859, a Mrs. H.E. Wilson published a novel at her own expense. The book told the story of a biracial girl named Frado abandoned by her mother to be raised by a prominent family where she suffered verbal and physical abuse at the hand of her employers in a New Hampshire town famous for its abolitionist activities.

The novel didn’t sell well - likely less than 100 copies - and the book as well as its author fell into obscurity.

New Hampshire loves its vanity plates. We were supposedly the first state to offer them and rank second in the nation (behind Virginia) in the number of vanity plates on the road. There's even a NH License Plate Museum.

Our own parking lot at NHPR is filled with vanity plates. 

Elmire Jolicoeur
FindAGrave

There’s a story out there… a story you’ll find on dozens, maybe hundreds of websites, about the invention of the casserole:

“In 1866, Elmire Jolicoeur, a French Canadian immigrant, invented the precursor of the modern casserole in Berlin, New Hampshire.”

That’s from Wikipedia. If you don’t trust Wikipedia, you can also find this attribution in print, too.

LEF Foundation

New Hampshire is known for its charming small towns but some places are really, really small. Our listener Samer Kalaf wondered: just how small does it get?