Not only do several of America's major rivers converge in southern Illinois, so do important streams of American history, culture, and thought. Southern Illinois Wonders, a new weekly regional radio series, will celebrate those streams.
Presented by the Illinois Humanities Council and produced by WSIU Public Radio, the public radio stations of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Southern Illinois Wonders will feature five-minute humanities-themed programs focusing on the history, art, culture, and other wonders of southern Illinois.
From steamboat building on the Ohio River to Popeye's statue overlooking the Mississippi in Chester, from Charles Dickens' writings influenced by his travels in southern Illinois to the musings of contemporary local poets like Gary DeNeal of Harrisburg, from stories of going down to "Egypt" to buy corn to stories of escaping through it on the Underground Railroad, Southern Illinois Wonders will highlight the region's place in the cultural landscapes of the state, the nation, and the world.
"It's a pleasure to work with the Illinois Humanities Council on this series, and we look forward to seeing the effort grow," says Jeff Williams, General Manager for WSIU Radio. "Southern Illinois is blessed with many fantastic voices that reflect the cultural richness and diversity of our region. Southern Illinois Wonders is a great way to share these unique stories and experiences in a way that will enhance our quality of life."
“We're very excited to be working again with our valued partner WSIU Public Radio in this new series,” says IHC Executive Director Angel Ysaguirre. “Southern Illinois Wonders will create opportunities for audiences to learn about the region's long history and distinctive culture, from those who study, celebrate, and live it.”
Programs will be presented as straightforward essays or commentaries, while others will be developed in more creative or experimental formats. After broadcast, each episode will be available as streaming audio or podcast online at wsiunews.org and www.prairie.org/programs/southern-illinois-wonders.
Additional online resources will include podcasts and a complete schedule of topics and presenters.