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From jailhouse melodies to vanishing salmon, rejuvenate your listening history

Podcast tile art for Track Change, from VPM; Unforgotten: Connecticut's Hidden History of Slavery, from Connecticut Public Radio; The Howl, from NCPR; Sea Change, from WWNO & WRKF; Salmon Wars, from OPB; ¿Quién Are We?, from Colorado Public Radio.
VPM; Connecticut Public Radio; NCPR; WWNO; OPB; Colorado Public Radio

Enjoy the spring bloom, get outside, listen to a new podcast! The NPR One team has gathered a few returning favorites as well as some fresh releases from across public media.

The podcast episode descriptions below are from podcast webpages and have been edited for brevity and clarity.

NPR Explains... — NPR

Podcast tile art for NPR Explains..., from NPR.

In 1994, Rwanda experienced one of the worst genocides of the 20th century. What sparked this wave of ethnic violence? How is the country remembering the atrocities on the 30th anniversary?

Start listening to part one, "What was the Rwandan Genocide?"

Sea Change — WWNO & WRKF

Podcast tile art for Sea Change, from WWNO & WRKF.

Sea Change is back with a brand new season. And this time, the stakes are even higher. We launch new investigations, travel around the world, and look at how a sea change is underway to solve some of our biggest problems. Come with us to investigate and celebrate life on our changing coasts. Every two weeks, we bring you stories that illuminate, inspire, and sometimes enrage, as we dive deep into the environmental issues facing coastal communities on the Gulf Coast and beyond. We have a lot to save, and we have a lot of solutions. It's time to talk about a Sea Change.

Listen to "All Gassed Up, Part 1: The Carbon Coast."

Lost Patients — KUOW

Podcast tile art for Lost Patients, from KUOW.

Imagine a sprawling house in which every room, doorway, and hall passage was designed by a different architect. Doorways don't connect. Staircases lead to nowhere. Rooms are cut off from each other. That's how reporter Will James describes our complicated system for treating people with severe mental illness – a system that, almost by design, loses patients with psychosis to an endless loop between the streets, jail, clinics, courts and a shrinking number of hospital beds. Lost Patients is a deeply-reported, six-part docuseries examining the difficulties of treating serious mental illness through the lens of one city's past, present and future. With real-life testimonials from patients, families, and professionals on the front lines, Lost Patients provides a real, solutions-oriented look at how we got stuck here...and what we might do to break free.

Listen to part one, "Churn."

The Modern West — Wyoming Public Media

Podcast tile art for The Modern West, from Wyoming Public Media.
/ Wyoming Public Media
Wyoming Public Media

Exactly 100 years to the day after a woman named Eleanor Davis became the first recorded woman to ever climb the Grand Teton – a nearly 14,000 foot-tall mountain that's the namesake for Grand Teton National Park – an all-female group of climbers is summiting the peak to celebrate her legacy. Hannah Habermann tagged along for the adventure.

Start listening to part one of High Altitude Tales, "Courage is a Muscle."

Throughline — NPR

Podcast tile art for Throughline, from NPR.

How did we get here? That's the driving question behind Throughline's series, Origins of the Middle East Conflict. The series explores Hamas' roots in early Islamist movements, the influence of Iran and Hezbollah in their adoption of suicide bombing and other violent strategies, the role the Palestine Liberation Organization played, how both Intifadas moved the needle, and the roles of Israeli, Palestinian, and US politics in bringing us to the moment we're in today.

Listen to "The Rise of the Right Wing in Israel."

¿Quién Are We? — Colorado Public Radio

Podcast tile art for ¿Quién Are We?, Colorado Public Radio.
/ Colorado Public Radio
Colorado Public Radio

Get ready for a new season of ¿Quién Are We?, a podcast about being Latinx, Hispanic, Chicana – or however you identify – and the beautiful things that make us who we are. Host and journalist May Ortega is back with more everyday stories of incredible people who are exploring their heritage through their personal passions. You'll hear from an artist, an anthropologist and a game-maker. You'll hear about the relationship between two enemies, turned lovers and the connection between a father and son. Most importantly, you'll hear yourself in these stories.

Start listening to "The Therapist."

Track Change — VPM

Podcast tile art for Track Change, from VPM.

As four men are held in a Virginia jail, they record an album to chronicle their efforts to break free from an oppressive cycle of addiction and incarceration. In each music-infused episode of this documentary series, host and trailblazing hip-hop artist Speech Thomas meets a musician at a crossroads in their uphill struggle for freedom, learns what brought them to this inflection point, and helps them record a song that captures this critical moment in their life. From soulful country to fiery hip-hop and haunting R&B, this music affirms the lives of people who are written off by society. And amidst a re-entry crisis afflicting millions of Americans every year, these intimate stories from behind the walls of a local jail ask: What does it take to rebuild a life after incarceration?

Listen to episode 1, "I Wrote This to Inspire."

Salmon Wars — OPB

Podcast tile art for Salmon Wars, from OPB.

Salmon Wars tells the story of salmon in the Northwest in a way you haven't heard before – through the voices of one Yakama Nation family who have been fighting for salmon for generations. We dig in to uncover who is to blame for the salmon vanishing, what can be done before it's too late and why their disappearance impacts all of us...

Listen to "Ep 1: The Family."

Unforgotten: Connecticut's Hidden History of Slavery — Connecticut Public Radio

Podcast tile art for Unforgotten Connecticut's Hidden History of Slavery, from Connecticut Public Radio.
/ Connecticut Public Radio
Connecticut Public Radio

When we think of slavery in the United States, we don't usually think of the North. But enslaving people was legal in Connecticut for more than 200 years and did not officially end until 1848. In our first episode, Reporter/Producer Diane Orson and Editorial Consultant and Curator Frank Mitchell dive into complicated questions: Who owns this history? Who should present it? In what ways was this history hidden? There's a deeply-rooted perception that the North was home to the "good guys," the abolitionists. The truth is far different. Hear from people who are shedding light on this history and why it matters.

Listen to "Episode 1: Slavery has deep roots in New England."

The Howl — NCPR

Podcast tile art for The Howl, from NCPR.

True stories. No notes. That's the HOWL Podcast. Recorded live on stages in the upper reaches of Northern New York, the HOWL features stories about being hunted by Bigfoot, cooking on car engines, and taking your dog's medication. Host Ethan Shantie pairs tales from his time as a writer, punk musician, and life-long New Yorker with stories from everyday people in communities all over New York's "North Country." In the latest and final episode of season two, Ethan shares the story of his bootlegging family, and live storyteller, Olivia, tells us about the world of underground jelly wrestling.

Listen to "I just found out my great grandparents were bootleggers."

NPR's Jessica Green and Jack Mitchell curated and produced this piece.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit

Jessica Green
Jack Mitchell
[Copyright 2024 NPR]