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

CDC

In a press conference Wednesday, April 1, state officials reported they are monitoring a handful of long-term care facilities in New Hampshire for clusters of COVID-19. Around the country, long-term care facilities have been some of the hardest hit by this virus due to communal living and high populations of people over the age of 65 with chronic medical conditions.

With the increased stress, confinement, and economic uncertainty that has come with COVID-19, child abuse experts are concerned abuse at home may increase and go unreported. Moira O'Neill is the director of New Hampshire's Office of the Child Advocate. She says that with schools closed, many children have lost their safety net, and that we all should be thinking about that.

O'Neill spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello about her concerns, and about what the public can do to help. 
 

Editor’s note: This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Lawmakers in Washington are moving forward on a $2 trillion coronavirus bill, the largest stimulus package in U.S. history. The bill would provide direct payments to taxpayers, loans to small businesses and create a $500 billion corporate bailout fund.

Senator Maggie Hassan spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello about the bill, and about whether she thinks New Hampshire is ready for a shelter-in-place order.

Editor’s note: This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Peter Biello / NHPR

Like many private sector hospitals, the Manchester VA is taking steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The VA is asking anyone with possible symptoms of COVID-19, such as fever or cough, to call the VA before showing up, and providers are deciding on a case-by-case basis whether to go forward with elective, non-urgent surgeries and procedures.

But some VA staff have been concerned that some procedures, like colonoscopies and routine vaccinations, are still taking place. They say these come with unnecessary risks to patients and staff.

Wikimedia Commons

Over the weekend, Gov. Chris Sununu ordered all public schools in New Hampshire to close for three weeks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This order did not, however, include the state’s child care and day care facilities, many of which are still open. 

Tomasz Sienicki/Wikimedia Commons

As hospitals take steps to prepare for a wider outbreak of coronavirus in New Hampshire, industry experts say the virus will take a toll on their balance sheets.

FILE

In light of COVID-19 concerns, the New Hampshire State House has closed. But, the Secretary of State's office, which is inside the building, remains open. 

David Scanlan is the Deputy Secretary of State for the state of New Hampshire. He spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello earlier today to discuss how their office is conducting business during this time, and if they plan to expand the state's vote-by-mail criteria given the current pandemic. 

Can you explain how your office came to the decision to stay open?

Peter Biello/NHPR

At the start of this month, Ashland resident Amanda Whitworth began her tenure as New Hampshire’s newest Artist Laureate. She’s the first dancer to hold the title. Whitworth is the director of dance at Plymouth State University, and the co-founder of the New Hampshire Dance Alliance.

She spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello earlier today about what she plans to do in her time as laureate.

Editor’s note: This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.

Peter Biello/NHPR

In the basement of St. Anne - St. Augustin church in Manchester, class is in session. About two dozen people - mostly immigrants to New Hampshire - gather around tables to learn English as a second language.

Twenty-eight year old Mariam Soulama came to the United States from Burkina Faso about five years ago speaking French, and not knowing much about life in the U.S.

“I learn everything here,” she says. “Father also help us to learn and have everything here to write, to read. Yeah, I like that.”

Monadnock Underground

The second issue of the literary journal Monadnock Underground is set to release next week. The collection brings together more than a dozen pieces of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, mostly by local writers.

The launch party for the newest volume will take place at the Peterborough Public Library on Friday, March 6.

Kevin Krieger

After winning the “Best Comedy” award at last year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival in Australia, New Hampshire native Gemma Soldati and comedy partner Amrita Dhaliwal are now taking their two-woman clown show, The Living Room, on the road. The show, which they describe as “a comedy about death, devised in grief,” will be touring major cities across the United States, Canada, and Australia.

Peter Biello / NHPR

In Concord-native Meredith Tate’s new novel, a young woman is kidnapped after a drug deal goes badly. To summon help, she has an out-of-body experience. Her quest to give her sister clues about where she is and how she got there serves as the central action of the book, which is called The Last Confession of Autumn Casterly. Tate spoke about it with NHPR's Peter Biello.

Editor's note: This interview includes discussion of sensitive subjects that may make some listeners feel uncomfortable, such as rape and sexual assault. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In New Hampshire Thursday, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders declared victory – in the Iowa Caucuses.

“What I want to do today, three days late, is to thank the people of Iowa, for the strong victory they gave us at the Iowa Caucuses Monday night,” Sanders said during an afternoon press conference in Manchester.

Alex McOwen/NHPR

After seeing many of his peers at Dartmouth College struggle with their mental health during his freshman year, Sanat Mohapatra decided he had to do something about it.

That’s how Unmasked, a social media application focused on anonymous peer-to-peer support, was born.

Mohapatra, now a senior at Dartmouth, recently spoke with NHPR’s Peter Biello to tell him more about his new app.

One day, while hiking in the Georgia mountains, a couple finds the bones of a human body buried many years ago. The discovery prompts a search for answers: why was this person killed? Who did it? And how many more bodies are hidden in these hills?

These questions are at the heart of New Hampshire author Lisa Gardner's new thriller, When You See Me. 

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.

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