Host Jean Feraca is a 27-year veteran of public talk radio in the United States. She brings to her work the unique sensibility of a poet/humanist/journalist, combined with a lively personal style and a sense of adventure, discovery, and delight perfectly suited to creating global on-air community.
Jean Feraca is Wisconsin Public Radio's Distinguished Senior Broadcaster and has been host and co-producer of the Ideas Network's award-winning call-in news and cultural affairs program, Conversations with Jean Feraca, from 1990 to 2003. In 2003 she started her new daily program Here On Earth.
Jean's new book, "I Hear Voices: A Memoir of Love, Death, and the Radio," came out in September 2007. It has been selected as the winner of this year's Kingery/Derleth Booklength Nonfiction Award, sponsored by the Council for Wisconsin Writers. It was also named an Outstanding Book by the American Association of School Librarians, and one of the year's Best Books for General Audiences by the Public Library Association.
Jean originally joined WPR in l983 as Humanities Producer after leaving NPR affiliate WGUC-FM to become a free-lance arts, humanities, and general assignment reporter for National Public Radio's Morning Edition and All Things Considered.
Conversations with Jean Feraca won the National Telemedia Council's Distinguished Media Award in l996. The program extended the standard talk-show format to new uses in several live radio experiments and was cited as a pioneer radio program in the book, Conscious Evolution, by futurist Barbara Marx Hubbard. It spawned a number of innovative series including Search For Solutions, an exploration of grass-roots initiatives and real-people solutions to critical social problems; the nationally syndicated Women of Spirit, 5 docudramas profiling the lives of extraordinary women in the history of the early Church, which won the National Association of Catholic Broadcasters' Gabriel Award and the Ohio State Award in l990; Coming of Age, a six-part documentary on aging in America simulcast with WHA-TV; a week of live broadcasts from the l997 Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado, where Jean was a featured participant; From Shanghai To Sheboygan: Local Reporting on Global Affairs; the monthly Careertalk with Pat and Patty, co-authors of The Best Work of Your Life; and a popular weekly series, All About Food.
Jean Feraca was the recipient of The Nation's l975 Discovery Award and was named "one of the most promising poets of her generation." She published her first book of poems, South From Rome: Il Mezzogiorno, with a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work is anthologized in The Dream Book, which won The American Book Award in l986. She received a Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship to complete Crossing the Great Divide, her second book, which was published in l992 and nominated for a Pushcart Prize. In l996 she was named the lead poet in a major public series commissioned by Wisconsin's Dane County Cultural Affairs. She is a member of Poets and Writers, Inc. and is listed in the International Who's Who in Poetry, and Who's Who in American Writers, Editors and Poets. Also in 1996, she was featured as "A Woman for Lears," in Lears Magazine. Madison Magazine named her one of its "10 Most Talented".
Feraca holds a B.A. cum laude in English from Manhattanville College in New York where her honors work in dramatic literature was completed with Harvard University. She received an M.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Michigan and completed the course work toward her Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky. She did graduate studies in drama at the University of California in Berkeley and studied studio art at Columbia University.
A native of New York, Feraca has lived in Italy and has traveled extensively in Europe, the Mediterranean, Mexico, Canada, the Carribean, and the Amazon. She has two sons and now lives in Madison, Wisconsin.