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. 

Ways to Connect

Sarah Gibson/NHPR

In their effort to woo voters before next month’s primary, Democratic Presidential candidates have come out with an array of policy plans, including ones to revitalize the rural United States. NHPR’s Sarah Gibson has been looking at what these plans might mean for rural New Hampshire and talking to voters about their concerns.

Peter Biello/NHPR

Alexandria Peary is New Hampshire’s new poet laureate, and she’s ramping up her work as the state’s official advocate for poetry and the literary arts more broadly. As part of her work as poet laureate, she’s been reading work sent to her by New Hampshire poets.

 

NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke with Peary about this effort and about her new collection of poetry, The Water Draft.

 

Read Alexandria Peary's Top Five Reading Recommendations:

Dartmouth College

Today, Dartmouth Professor Jennifer Sargent takes over as the chairwoman of New Hampshire’s Adult Parole Board. Her appointment comes nine months after a major audit of the board that found significant shortcomings, including the absence of standardized rules, insufficient technology, and understaffing.

NHPR’s Peter Biello spoke with Sargent earlier today to discuss the progress the board has made since the 2019 audit, and to find out what work is still to be done.

(Editor's note: this transcript has been edited lightly for clarity.)

Ron Sher; PREP King Tide Photo Contest

Two years after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the island nation is still recovering.

Thomas O’Donovan, Director of the Water Division for New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services, was a first responder during Hurricane Maria. He says, there are lessons that coastal New Hampshire can learn from Puerto Rico as we deal with our own climate threats like higher tides, extreme storms, and rising sea levels here at home. 

Youth Services Center

A class action lawsuit filed Saturday alleges decades of abuse at New Hampshire's state-run youth detention center, known as the Sununu Youth Services Center.

The suit comes six months after two former counselors were charged with repeatedly raping a teenage boy at the Manchester center in the late 1990s.

(Scroll down for full interview with attorney Rus Rilee)

Rus Rilee, the attorney representing the 36 alleged victims, says more victims have come forward since the suit was filed over the weekend. 

F-16s Virginia with KC-135R New Hampshire via Wikimedia Commons

As relations between the United States and Iran remain tense, New Hampshire's military personnel and veterans are also considering the implications for the two nations.

New Hampshire veteran Kevin Grady spent 25 years in the Air Force. He says nobody dislikes going to war more than those in uniform.

"Because we're the ones who have to go out and do the actual fighting" Grady says. "So we always are big fans of somebody figuring out a way that the shooting doesn't start, and we get by our differences and move on. We're big fans of that."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen called last night's US air strike that killed Iran's top general Qassem Soleimani a "significant escalation."

She said the US needs a strategic plan in place that prepares for any potential response from Iran, and that the plan needs to be clear.

“Mixed messages lead to the potential for miscalculations that can lead to further escalation and war,” she says. “That is not what we want to see here."

Peter Biello / NHPR

When Cindy Copeland was in seventh grade in the early 1970s, an English teacher encouraged her to become a writer. Shortly after that, the Keene resident landed an internship as a “cub reporter” with a local journalist, following her to public meetings and learning how question people powerful people—most of them men. And Cindy did all this while navigating the tricky minefield of fraught friendships, cliques, and bullying that so often characterize life in junior high.

Peter Biello/NHPR

When New Hampshire author John Brighton was six years old, his family bought a lakeside farm in Washington, a small town in New Hampshire's Sullivan County.

There he met farmers, road workers, and war veterans who, to Brighton, were the very essence of the rapidly changing rural New Hampshire landscape. Brighton's new memoir recalls the Washington of the 1960s and 70s, and the people who lived there.

NHPR’s All Things Considered host Peter Biello sat down with Brighton to discuss his new book, The Forgotten County: A Story of Community, Family and Friendship.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The threat of climate change can be stressful for anyone, but for the climate scientists who study it day in and day out, that constant stress can take a toll on mental health.

Dr. Susanne Moser is a human geographer who specializes in psychological responses to climate change. She is a researcher out of Antioch University New England in Keene, and she recently co-authored a new paper titled "The Emotional Toll of Climate Change on Science Professionals."

Saint Anselm College

In 1889, the Bishop of Manchester invited a group of Benedictine monks to form a college. That college is now known as St. Anselm. From the start, those monks were empowered by the school’s charter to govern the school.

One of the monks fulfilling that role today is Abbot Mark Cooper. Like most of the Benedictines, the 70-year-old Cooper has taken a “vow of stability” to live and work on campus, where he’s been for the last 50 years. 


Dan Tuohy/NHPR

WBUR has released a poll showing South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg leading the pack in the New Hampshire primary race.

The poll also looked at how New Hampshire primary voters, both Democrat and Republican, feel about topics like immigration and impeachment.

Charter Weeks

If you've ever been on a college campus or a public park, you may have seen desire lines. Those are those well-worn paths carved by travelers who, for whatever reason, preferred a route that diverged from the ones carefully cured in concrete by city or campus planners.

Such a metaphor proved irresistible to Marie Harris. The Barrington, New Hampshire poet's new collection, Desire Lines, keeps these paths in mind as it explores aspects of her own life. Harris, a former New Hampshire poet laureate, sat down with NHPR's Peter Biello discuss her new book.

Paul W Hayes / Flickr Creative Commons

A new survey of New Hampshire's military veterans seems to indicate that the state's effort to create a better environment for veterans is working, but more work remains to be done.

(Scroll down to read the summary of the findings.)

The survey was conducted by the New Hampshire Commission on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Peggy LaBrecque, the chair of the commission and the commandant of the New Hampshire Veterans Home in Tilton, spoke with All Things Considered host Peter Biello to discuss the survey's results. 

Allegra Boverman Photography

Award-winning author Ann Patchett - herself a seasoned literary interviewer - joined All Things Considered & The Bookshelf host Peter Biello to discuss her latest novel, The Dutch House, writing, bookselling, and how much she hates the Amazon Echo. The interview was part of our occasional series, In the Spotlight, produced in partnership with Gibson's Bookstore and the Capitol Center for the Arts.

This interview was taped live at the Capitol Center for the Arts on October 2, 2019. 

Listen to the full interview below.

Peter Biello / NHPR

A new government report has identified several clinical and administrative problems at the Manchester VA.

The VA's Office of Inspector General says inspectors found dusty or dirty heating, ventilation, and air conditioning grills in some areas and dirty floors and damaged walls in the Community Living Center.

Peter Biello / NHPR

This November, writers across the world are participating in National Novel Writing Month. Organized by a non-profit, its goal is to encourage anyone who has dreamed of writing a book to just do it...over the course of one month. With a little more than a week remaining, NHPR's Peter Biello spoke with writers from New England giving it a try.
 

Elisabeth Jewell of Penacook has been trying to find time to put her feet up on her couch, open her laptop, and work on her novel.

Peter Biello / NHPR

A Manchester VA physician will be honored posthumously Tuesday night night for his efforts to expose mismanagement and substandard care at New Hampshire's only VA medical center.

Ed Kois will receive the 2019 Nackey S. Loeb First Amendment Award for coming forward in 2017 with allegations that the VA harmed patients by delaying or insufficiently treating various spine conditions.

David Tirrell-Wysocki is the executive director of the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications, which is the sponsor of the award.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Candidates have until the end of this week to file with the New Hampshire Secretary of State to get on the ballot for the 2020 first-in-the-nation presidential primary. But there’s been some attention on the decision by a few candidates – or potential candidates – to not file in person, or at all.

NHPR’s Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers and All Things Considered host Peter Biello sat down to discuss the implications of that decision.

So we're nearing the end of New Hampshire's filing period. What is the filing period? What is its purpose?

Peter Biello/NHPR

Novelist Alex Myers came out as transgender in the mid-90s, when society's understanding of what it means to be transgender was less clear than it is today. 

In his new novel, "Continental Divide," Myers writes about 19-year-old Ron, who was born female, and grew up in Tamworth, New Hampshire. Ron decides to reinvent himself as a man by moving west to work on a ranch in Wyoming. Alex Myers is an English teacher at Philips Exeter Academy. NHPR's Peter Biello stopped by his classroom earlier this week to talk about "Continental Divide," and the challenge of coming out as transgender. 

Republican George Hansel narrowly beat out Democrat Mitchell Greenwald for Keene’s open mayoral seat on Tuesday.

Hansel, a 33-year-old businessman, hopes to grow Keene’s economy, establish a comprehensive housing plan, and work to stabilize the city’s tax rate.

After a tight race, Laconia has elected Democrat Andrew Hosmer as the city's new mayor. Hosmer ran on a platform promoting economic development, affordable housing, and better schools.

So the turnout for this race was about 29 percent, which is more than double the turnout of two years ago. What about this election do you think got the people of Laconia particularly excited this time around?

Peter Biello/NHPR

Earlier this week, Thomas Starr took a walk along Route 108 in Durham, looking for a path to town landing, by the Oyster River. The path veers away from the bridge and drops down closer to the water.

"You see how the road dips down here? That's a concern, where that could flood," says Starr.

 

Starr is professor of graphic and information design at Northeastern University, and he thinks a lot about flooding, especially the kind attributed to climate change. 

Photo courtesy of the Soggy Po Boys

Dover-based band the Soggy Po Boys have a new album interpreting the classics of New Orleans jazz. The seven-member band has been bringing jazzy, funky tunes to audiences throughout New Hampshire and up and down the East Coast since 2012. The new album is called "All In Favor."

The band's singer, Stu Dias, sat down with All Things Considered host Peter Biello to discuss the album. 

More information on the Soggy Po Boys and their new album can be found at soggypoboys.com

Impeachment is something we're hearing a lot about in the news. But where are we actually in the process? What's the difference between impeachment and an impeachment inquiry? And how helpful is it to compare what's happening now to impeachments past?

NHPR has a podcast for that. It's called Civics 101.

NHPR's Peter Biello sat down with Civics 101 co-host Nick Capodice to learn more. 

This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity. 

Steve Hooper

Writer Stacia Tolman worked for many years as a high school English teacher at a private school in New Hampshire’s Monadnock region.

Now, she’s drawn on her observations of high school social dynamics to write her debut young adult novel, The Spaces Between Us.

The story centers on the relationship between Serena Velasco and Melody Grimshaw, high school students and best friends with a common goal: to escape their dull, lifeless hometown in rural New York.

Peter Biello | NHPR

The Department of Veterans Affairs has opened a new outpatient clinic for veterans in Somersworth, New Hampshire.

This new clinic doubles the space previously available and offers new space for mental health, women’s health, telemedicine, and specialty care. About 2700 veterans in the Seacoast area are now enrolled there.

At a dedication ceremony Friday, interim director of the Manchester VA Kevin Forrest said he'd like to add more specialty services.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Flies have once again forced the closure of now all three of the Manchester VA's operating rooms. This comes just as Medical Center Director Al Montoya is preparing to leave the Manchester VA for a job leading the Connecticut VA system.

Montoya took the helm as director in July 2017 when the past director was removed from her position after 11 whistleblowers came forward with allegations of mismanagement of a variety of things, including how to remove flies from the operating room. 

Sara Plourde / NHPR

When Joe Hill launched his career as a writer, he didn't want anyone to know about his famous writer parents, Stephen and Tabitha King. Rather than ride their coattails, he wanted to find success on his own—thus the pen name, Joe Hill.

Peter Biello for NHPR

For the first time in its 67-year history, the New Hampshire's Teacher of the Year award has been given to an educator working in New Hampshire's prisons.

Kimberly Piper-Stoddard works for New Hampshire's Department of Corrections teaching English at the prisons' Granite State High School for both men and women.

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