The Great American Read: Kathleen Ernst shares her picks

The Great American Read is back, with weekly explorations each Tuesday night of why America’s best-loved books and characters make such lasting impressions in our lives.

Kathleen Ernst headshot, by Geri GerroldWe’ve enjoyed hearing about Wisconsin authors’ own picks, both on and off TGAR‘s list. Next in our series is Kathleen Ernst, a multitalented author who describes her work as “writing at the intersection of people, places and the past.”

If you enjoy history, mystery or any combination thereof, read on for some of Ernst’s inspiring picks!

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The Great American Read: Michael Perry shares his picks

It’s here! Tune in 7 p.m. tonight for the fall kickoff episode of The Great American ReadThere’s plenty of action to come, both on TV and in our continuing series of Wisconsin authors.

Author Michael Perry smiles and wears a plaid shirt.Today we present WPT/WPR favorite and The New York Times bestselling essayist Michael Perry, of New Auburn. The paperback of his latest book, Montaigne in Barn Boots, will be released by HarperPerennial in November while he is on tour with his band the Long Beds.

Read more to find out which books have encouraged Perry to question his assumptions about writing and life.

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Week 8 Biscuits Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Snap, Crack(le). . . Bake! 
English Digestive Crackers by Jean from Madison

The poet Carl Sandburg’s Good Morning, America begins with 38 definitions of poetry. His memorable line, “poetry is the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits,”  is as scrumptious to speak as the 62 snappy crackers, stout tea cakes, and sturdy gingerbread structures submitted to our Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge: Biscuits Week (and by “week” we mean 20 days — thanks for your patience and support of the WPT August pledge drive, bakers)!

Biscuits — or crackers and cookies to Americans — took center stage in Paul and Mary’s tent, along with our five remaining British bakers this week. Cathryn, Brendan, James, Danny and John faced the quarterfinals with three demanding challenges testing their skills of precision, dough handling and even their architectural acumen.

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Biscuit challenges. Let’s get cracking with our review! 

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Quilt Expo celebrates Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell

We’re less than two weeks away from the start of the 14th annual Quilt Expo, held at the Alliant Energy Center’s Exhibition Hall in Madison. (Get your discount advance tickets here – or consider volunteering!)

Natalie Sewell and Nancy Zieman pose together at Quilt ExpoThis year, as every year, attendees will enjoy several special exhibits beyond the 10-category Quilt Contest. One of these exhibits honors the legacy of two women who have been central to quilting in Wisconsin and beyond: Nancy Zieman and Natalie Sewell. 

Read on for more examples of their beautiful landscape quilt collaborations!

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What We Watch: Garry Denny

Bringing Wisconsin Public Television’s delightful mix of programming together takes a lot more work than most of us realize. Beyond PBS itself, WPT previews and purchases programs from American Public Television, the BBC, our own local production teams and multiple other independent sources.

Garry Denny

In our latest installment of What We Watch, we chat with Garry Denny, WPT’s director of programming. A member of our staff since 1986, he’s the one who brings it all together: acquisition, scheduling and delivery of programming services on WPT’s six-station network.

Read more to find out what Garry is most looking forward to in WPT’s fall schedule!
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The Great American Read: Jerry Apps shares his picks

We’re getting closer to the Fall Kick Off episode of The Great American Read: airing 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept.  11. Have you voted on the list yet? If you’re stuck – as we are! – why not check out some more picks by Wisconsin writers?

Today we bring you the prolific, the folksy, the one and only Jerry Apps. He’s a WPT favorite for good reason: adept at memoir writing, storytelling, history, teaching and more, he keeps readers busy turning out new and sometimes unexpected stories at a blistering pace.

A person stares into a frozen wave of water.His latest, Cold as Thunder, is a dystopian novel set in a frozen wasteland where only “a resourceful band of Wisconsin sixty-somethings calling themselves the Oldsters” have the knowledge to fight the ruling regime.

Read more to find out which books have helped this beloved author think about writing!

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WPT Producer Joel Waldinger Shares His Wisconsin Life

Wisconsin Life relies on its producers to tell the stories of the people who make the show what it is. Their abilities to capture the emotion off camera and present it on camera is truly inspiring. One of those talented producers is Joel Waldinger. Ahead of this season’s premiere 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, we caught up with Joel to ask a few questions about his life in and outside of Wisconsin Life. Read on to uncover Joel’s Wisconsin Life!
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Week 7 Sweet Dough Recap: The 2018 Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge

Oh my,  Wisconsin Bakers! We sure do love your sweet, Sweet Buns!

The Tent tackled “sweet dough” during Week 7, which is baker-speak for beloved items like doughnuts, coffee cake and cinnamon rolls, as well as the loaded and elaborate breads that adorn our holiday spreads. But instead of using Grandma’s Christmas fruit loaf as a door stopper — sorry, Gran — this week, “celebration loaves” are the showstopper!

In the spirit of The Great British Baking Show, The Great Wisconsin Baking Challenge asked participants to select just one of the three Sweet Dough challenges. Overcoming yeast, fryers and fruitcake, Sconnie bakers faced off with 24 Sweet Buns (see how Oxford Dictionaries settles the “bun” vs. “roll” vs. “cake” debate), 10 Jam Doughnuts and a partridge in a pear Celebration Bread. 

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WPT Education presents Click Youth Media Festival

WPT has been part of the educational infrastructure of Wisconsin since the station’s beginnings – on television, in the classroom and in the community.

Over 55 educators and students ages 10-18 gathered in Madison this June for the first-ever Click Youth Media Festival, a one-day crash course in journalism and media production.

Over 55 youth and educators attended the first ever Click Youth Media Festival.

Read more to learn about the day!

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Local cooks rise to the Create Cooking Challenge

Creative cooking shows – from unique international flavors to  comforting favorites – have long been a key part of the public TV experience. Recently, the Create Cooking Challenge 2018 gave viewers of the Create channel a chance to envision a show of their own.

Watch 2017 winner Buki Elegbede – a judge this year – create the perfect whoopie pie. (And check out his series, Baked by Buki!)

This year, several Wisconsin cooks rose to the challenge! Read on to see what they shared – and maybe get some tips of your own.

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