Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Evie Hemphill

Talk Show Producer

Evie Hemphill joined the St. Louis on the Air team in February 2018. After earning a bachelor’s degree in English literature in 2005, she started her career as a reporter for the Westminster Window in Colorado. Several years later she went on to pursue graduate work in creative writing at the University of Wyoming and moved to St. Louis upon earning an MFA in the spring of 2010. She worked as writer and editor for Washington University Libraries until 2014 and then spent several more years in public relations for the University of Missouri–St. Louis before making the shift to St. Louis Public Radio.

When she’s not helping to produce the talk show, Evie can typically be found navigating the city sans car, volunteering for St. Louis BWorks or trying to get the majority of the dance steps correct as a member of the Thunder & Lightning Cloggers of Southern Illinois. She’s married to Joe, cat-mom to Dash and rather obsessive about doubt, certitude and the places where refuge and risk intersect.

A painting of William H. Gass hangs in Washington University's Olin Library. (Detail; oil on canvas, 1995, Marion Miller)
Image courtesy of Washington University

The writings of the late author and philosopher William H. Gass have a reputation for being cerebrally intimidating to some would-be readers. But when Joel Minor opened one of Gass’ books for the first time years ago, he was pleasantly surprised by a sense of accessibility.

“I found his work very approachable,” said Minor, who now oversees the Modern Literature Collection where Gass’ literary archive is housed. “‘Middle C’ is, I think, a very engrossing, approachable book. If you go into it knowing it’s not going to be a strictly linear narrative from start to finish, you’re going to be able to follow it and really appreciate his ability to work the language in a unique way in this character’s perspective.”

Busch Stadium in 2014.
OAKLEYORIGINALS | FLICKR | HTTP://BIT.LY/1QD8RZX

This week brought the start of the Major League Baseball season and the first defeat for the St. Louis Cardinals, who lost a 9-4 opener to the New York Mets. But the Redbirds have 161 games yet to go this year, and longtime sports writer Rob Rains says the team is looking stronger than it was a year ago.

“I like the young pitchers,” he told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Friday. “I really think they’re probably still a year away from being a really good team because of the youth of the pitchers.”

Police Chief John Hayden responded to a wide range of questions from host Don Marsh and from listeners during Monday’s talk show.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis began 2018 with a brand-new police chief, John Hayden, in place – and with a double homicide occurring on New Year’s Day. Three months later, the city’s high rate of violent crime remains a key challenge along with the need to rebuild trust with citizens in the wake of protests.

Both issues loomed large on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air as Hayden discussed his leadership of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department thus far.

Belleville News-Democrat reporter Joe Bustos discussed the results of Tuesday’s election.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Chicago-based billionaire J.B. Pritzker has already sunk $70 million of his own money into his gubernatorial campaign, and incumbent Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has spent $50 million himself. That spending will only increase as the Democratic and Republican party nominees, respectively, now look toward the general election later this year.

But how much of the candidates’ resources will be directed downstate is yet to be seen, said Belleville News-Democrat reporter Joe Bustos. He joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh for a discussion of this week’s primary election results.

A total of 293 objects discovered in the Mediterranean Sea comprise “Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost Worlds,” an exhibition that runs from March 25 to Sept. 9.
Christoph Gerigk © Franck Goddio/Hilti Foundation

As an underwater archaeologist, Franck Goddio has explored many strange and fascinating things under the sea during the course of his career. But nothing quite compares to the moment he first came across the remains of an ancient city just off the coast of modern-day Egypt.

The president of the European Institute for Underwater Archaeology described what that experience was like on this week’s St. Louis on the Air in conversation with host Don Marsh and Lisa Çakmak, associate curator of ancient art at the Saint Louis Art Museum.

Washington University faculty member Wilmetta Toliver-Diallo previewed the institution’s 13th annual African Film Festival, which is set for March 23 to 25.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

This weekend’s African Film Festival at Washington University comes on the heels of the wildly successful blockbuster “Black Panther” and is billed as a showcase of “the real Wakanda.”

Seven films comprise the 2018 iteration of the annual festival, which features filmmakers and stories depicting the rich diversity of the African continent.

Saint Louis University High School sophomore Bryce Van Bree (at left), music director Jeff Pottinger (center) and senior Emanuel Parker discussed what the serendipitous experience was like on Tuesday’s show.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Last week, Jeff Pottinger and his band of 40-some Saint Louis University High School students were enjoying a trip they knew they’d remember for years to come when it suddenly became exponentially more unforgettable.

They were partway through a musical performance just outside St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican when Pope Francis himself approached the group, listened to them play, then talked with them and even took a few selfies with the teens.

“Magical” is one word that Pottinger used to sum up the experience while discussing it on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air with host Don Marsh.

Josephine Baker, who grew up in the Mill Creek Valley neighborhood and lived much of her adult life in France, is the focus of an episode of “The Nod.”
Jac. de Nijs | Dutch National Archives

Josephine Baker is remembered for being many different things over the course of her remarkable life – a burlesque performer, a film actress, an activist, even a war hero. Less well known is the St. Louis-born celebrity’s role as a mother to 12 ethnically diverse children she began adopting in the 1950s as her “rainbow tribe.”

“The Pirates of Penzance” will drop anchor at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center on Friday. As they do so, they’ll have Mark Hanna, the very model of a modern pirate expert, accompanying them on stage.

The University of California San Diego faculty member is in town to give pre-show talks throughout the weekend as a University of Missouri–St. Louis cast of singing seadogs, star-crossed lovers and mermaids perform the humorous Gilbert and Sullivan opera.

He also joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh on Thursday for a conversation all about pirates – those that sailed the seas centuries ago and in more contemporary times.

St. Louis residents and community leaders (from left) Kevin McKinney, Al Willis and Sal Martinez discussed the goals of the Neighborhoods United for Change initiative.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

It takes less than 20 minutes to drive between the Lewis Place and Holly Hills neighborhoods in St. Louis. Yet that relatively short trip from north to south  – or vice versa – is one that many people in the Gateway region are unlikely to take.

That’s according to Lewis Place resident Al Willis, who took a bus tour of Holly Hills along with a group of his neighbors in an effort to bridge economic, racial and geographic divides around the region. A contingent of Holly Hills residents participated in a tour of Lewis Place on the same day, and for both groups the experience proved eye-opening.

Tuesday’s conversation touched on the now (in)famous concrete spheres that line Compton Avenue as well as other traffic-calming efforts in the region.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

Kea Wilson has heard her share of complaints about the so-called “Ingrassia balls” recently installed in her south city neighborhood along Compton Avenue.

Some people worry about the concrete spheres being hit by vehicles and rolling down the street, as several in fact have. But Wilson, director of community engagement for the organization Strong Towns, said on Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air that there’s a more serious issue at stake.

U.S. Army veterans (from left) Emily Staden, Jim Craig and Angie Peacock discussed their experiences and observations of trends in the military, at home and in higher education.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Women make up 14 percent of the U.S. military as well as a full quarter of the veterans who are pursuing a college education upon returning home from service. In the St. Louis area alone, evidence of their significant presence isn’t hard to come by.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with three local Army veterans about that growing force and about how St. Louis’ student veterans are collaborating as they plan for this year’s Student Veterans Week festivities set to begin March 17.

Dan Simmons of United Steelworkers Local 1899 discussed what led to the announcement that U.S. Steel will be rehiring as many as 500 Illinois workers – and what’s next for the plant.
Alex Heuer | St. Louis Public Radio

Ecstatic – that’s the word that Dan Simmons used to describe the mood in Granite City, Illinois, this week.

On Friday’s St. Louis on the Air, the United Steelworkers Local 1899 president joined host Don Marsh to discuss the news that up to 500 workers will return to work at the steel mill around which the town was built.

Cory Finley has said that his best writing comes from fear, and his new movie “Thoroughbreds” is no exception. The two characters at the center of the darkly comic film first emerged from deep-seated suspicions about his own emotional instincts and moral decision-making.

This Friday, several years since the story first entered Finley’s mind, his tightly wound tale is opening in theaters across the country. That includes several in St. Louis, where Finley was born and raised.

David Miller is a professor at the University of Pittsburgh and the organizing force behind CONNECT, an alliance of Pittsburgh and 40 surrounding municipalities.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The fact that the St. Louis region encompasses nearly 90 municipalities comes up frequently in discussions about how the metropolitan area can move forward – and is sometimes cited as an explanation for regional challenges.

But David Miller doesn’t blink at that statistic.

Miller’s home city, Pittsburgh, and its surrounding Allegheny County have St. Louis beat when it comes to lots of local governments, with a total of 130 municipalities within their Western Pennsylvania bounds.

Paul Artspace’s Mike Behle (at left) and David Johnson, both artists in their own right, share a passion for providing other creative people with opportunities to help them succeed in their endeavors.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

When Mike Behle decided to transform his family’s quiet property in Florissant, Missouri, into a unique resource for artists, he didn’t know exactly how that vision would take shape. But he was certain of one thing: a desire to provide people with time and space.

Andrew Oberle, a chimp attack survivor who helped create a holistic trauma program at Saint Louis University, shared his story at a live taping of The Story Collider in October 2017.
David Kovaluk | St. Louis Public Radio

Even as a young boy, Andrew Oberle knew exactly what he wanted to do for a living: work with chimpanzees. He was living his dream six years ago at an animal sanctuary in South Africa when tragedy struck.

Oberle recounted his survival of a near-fatal attack by chimpanzees, along with his experience along the road to recovery, during a Story Collider event this past fall. The piece also aired on Monday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Tim Bono is the author of “When Likes Aren’t Enough: A Crash Course in the Science of Happiness.” He says he is not on Instagram.  He does admit to operating a Twitter account – but only because his book publisher insisted.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Are we as happy as we appear to be on social media?

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh explored that question and others in conversation with Tim Bono, a faculty member at Washington University. The psychologist’s new book “When Likes Aren’t Enough: A Crash Course in the Science of Happiness” draws on scores of happiness-related studies conducted with college students and other adults throughout the world.

Chris Begley, an associate professor of anthropology at Transylvania University in Kentucky, discusses what real archaeologists think of the beloved fictional adventurer.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

In his 25 years as a terrestrial and underwater archaeologist, Chris Begley has explored everything from prehistoric caves in Missouri to the legend of a lost civilization in Honduras. Along the way, he’s earned not just a Ph.D. but a reputation as “a real-life Indiana Jones.”

But on Friday, Begley downplayed the more daring aspects of his own adventures during a conversation with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. He said his field work in relatively uninhabited areas of Central America as well as other places around the world doesn’t quite live up to what’s typically portrayed on the big screen.

Cider flights are among the offerings on tap at Brick River Cider Co., one of four must-try places on Sauce Magazine's latest Hit List.
Michelle Volansky | Sauce Magazine

The first question that St. Louis on the Air’s Don Marsh asked the Sauce Magazine team during Friday’s Hit List segment had to do with the word “cidery.”

The term was new to Marsh and understandably so, with St. Louis’ first such cider-focused brewery opening just about a week ago. Located in a former firehouse on Washington Avenue, Brick River Cider Co. was the first of four new, must-try restaurants that Catherine Klene and Matt Sorrell plugged during the discussion.

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