In Contrast: A Podcast on Culture in the Making

In Contrast explores wide-ranging topics from art to politics through interviews with the people experiencing and defining the issues of the modern world. Past guests include such diverse figures as American poet Wendy Barker, children’s book author Norton Juster, Washington Post journalist Wesley Lowery, New York Times op-ed columnist Bret Stephens, The New Yorker foreign-correspondent Robin Wright, and PBS broadcaster Ray Suarez. New episodes are released on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

Music heard on In Contrast is provided by the Fresh Cut OrchestraNew episodes will be released on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month.

In Contrast Team
Ilan Stavans, Producer and Host
John Voci, Executive Producer
Vanessa Cerillo, Marketing Director
Burns Maxey, Design Manager

In Contrast Student Team from Amherst College
DeLyna Hagdu and Jacob A. Pagano


In Contrast is produced by Quixote Productions, LLC in collaboration with New England Public Radio.

Mo Willems is a three-time Caldecott Medal winner for his children’s books which have been translated into several languages, animated and developed into theatrical productions.

William Taubman is a professor emeritus of political science at Amherst College. His biography of Nikita Khrushchev won a Pulitzer Prize in 2004. His latest book is Gorbachev: His Life and Times.

Radio producer Karen Werner and translator Wendy Call discuss a radio documentary on Zapotec poet Irma Pineda, and explore translation and the loss of language and cultural identity. 

Segments of the radio documentary You Will Not See Me Die were used with the permission of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s series Earshot.

Justin David is a congregational rabbi in Northampton, Massachusetts and the author of Longing: Jewish Meditations on a Hidden God.

Peter Rooney is an award-winning journalist. He is the author of  Immunopatient: The New Frontier of Curing Cancer , a memoir about his own ordeal through cutting-edge treatments in cancer immunotherapy

Distinguished journalist Ray Suarez talks about his career as a Latino broadcaster.

William Kristol is the editor-at-large at the Weekly Standard. He is the former chief-of-staff to Secretary of Education William Bennet during the Reagan administration and to Vice President Dan Qualye during the first Bush administration. Kristol is a political commentator for ABC News and appears regularly on a variety of television programs covering politics.

Robin Wright is an award winning writer for the New Yorker. She is the author of numerous books and, as a foreign correspondent, has reported from over 140 countries.

Bret Stephens is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times. He is the former deputy editorial page editor of the Wall Street Journal and the editor in chief of the Jerusalem Post. He is the author of “America in Retreat; The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder.” In 2013, Stephens won a Pulitzer Prize for his commentaries.

In this episode of In Contrast, Ilan Stavans talks with Wesley Lowery, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Washington Post. Lowery was the lead reporter for the Post’s Fatal Force, a project that tracked over 900 police shootings in 2015. He’s the author of They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement.