New Podcast from NEPR Explores Culture in the Making with Host Ilan Stavans

Jun 15, 2017

New England Public Radio's newest podcast, In Contrast debuts today with a conversation on words and dictionaries with Peter Sokolowski, Editor-at-Large at Merriam Webster. Sokolowski is the author of many definitions for Merriam Webster. He's an active blogger and podcaster with lots to say on language, words and the place of dictionaries in our fast-paced world - the perfect guest to kick off this new podcast on culture in the making. 

Twice a month, host Ilan Stavans will explore creativity, and the creative process with a variety of people from all walks of life, connecting listeners with people that are passionate about theater, activism, translation, literature, politics, and the arts. The podcast will create a space in which these divergent voices are allowed to be heard in depth.

New episodes will be released on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

Upcoming guests include: founder and artistic director of Double Edge Theatre, Stacy Klein (June 28); author and noted translator of Italian literature, Tim Paige (July 12) and poet and educator Wendy Barker (July 26). 

"In Contrast explores culture in a broad sense-- from the arts and humanities to the individuals that contribute to making the region a vibrant place. It will be a place of discovery and ideas and will offer diverse perspectives," said John Voci, Executive Director of Programming and Content at NEPR, and Executive Producer of In Contrast. "Ilan Stavans is the perfect host for this program because of his background and experience as a writer, teacher and innovative thinker."

Subscribe to In Contrast at, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. 

New England Public Radio produces several popular podcasts, including JazzBeat, with Tom Reney, The Short List, a weekly review with reporters and editors from around the region, and The College Connection, a collection of lectures and panel talks from colleges and universities from western New England. Explore them at

About Ilan Stavans, host of In Contrast: Ilan Stavans is the Lewis-Sebring Professor in Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College, in Amherst, Massachusetts. He is an internationally known, award-winning cultural critic, linguist, translator, public speaker, editor, short-story writer, and TV host, whose New York Times best-selling work focuses on language, identity, politics, and history. Born in Mexico in 1961 into a Jewish family with roots in Eastern Europe, he was raised in a multilingual environment. His autobiography, On Borrowed Words, appeared in 2001. 

Stavans has collaborated with musicians, opera composers, cartoonists, philosophers, journalists, actors, filmmakers, translators, educators, and politicians in a variety of projects. He has been involved in radio projects with NPR and museum exhibitions on art, photography, and folklore at the Jewish Museum of New York, the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, and the Yiddish Book Center, among other institutions. Between 2001 and 2006, he hosted the syndicated PBS show Conversations with Ilan Stavans, for which he was nominated for an Emmy. On Friday, he begins a weekly column on culture and politics in the Daily Hampshire Gazette. 

Stavans is the editor of many books, including Words in Transit, a recent collaboration with New England Public Radio. The project, which included an interactive website and first person narratives, won a PRNDI Award from Public Radio News Directors, Inc. His complete bio is available here