Gangrey Extra: Eli Saslow on ‘Into The Lonely Quiet’

In this short outtake from Episode 26, Eli Saslow and Matt Tullis talk about “Into The Lonely Quiet,” Saslow’s story about one family whose first-grade son was murdered in the Sandy Hook killings. They also talk about why reporters are often drawn to hard and depressing stories.

Since joining the podcast in September 2014, Saslow has continued to write incredible stories, including, most recently, his piece on the orphaned daughter of the San Bernardino shooters.


Episode 47: Sonya Huber

Sonya Huber is an associate professor of English at Fairfield University. She is the author of five books, including “The Evolution of Hillary Rodham Clinton,” which she wrote for the British imprint Squint Books.

Huber is a reporter, memoirist and essayist who also frequently writes about social issues. Her memoir “Cover Me: A Health Insurance Memoir” delves into the many issues she has experienced in life with health care and insurance.

Her book “Opa Nobody” is a family memoir, as she seeks to understand her grandfather, who was a coal miner, union organizer and social activist in Nazi Germany.

Her new book “Pain Woman Takes Your Keys and Other Essays from a Nervous System” will be published by the University of Nebraska in 2017. Huber has also been published in The New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, Fourth Genre, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the Washington Post Magazine.

She also teaches in the low-res MFA program at Fairfield University.

Episode 46: Kathryn Miles

Kathryn Miles is the author of three books, including “Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy.” Her essays and articles have appeared in publications including Audubon, Best American EssaysBoston Globe, Ecotone, The New York Times, Outside, Pacific Standard, Popular Mechanicsand Time

 Her forthcoming book, “Quake Land,” examines the changing face of earthquake hazards in America, and will be published by Dutton in July 2017.

Miles currently serves as writer-in-residence at Green Mountain College, where she also teaches in the college’s low-residence graduate programs.  She lives with her family in Portland, Maine.

She recently wrote a piece that appeared in the Boston Globe about the death and ultimate recovery of a woman who got lost hiking the Appalachian Trail. We’ll talk with her about that story, as well as some of her other work.



New episodes returning later this month

Gangrey: The Podcast will be back with new episodes later this month after securing the use of a recording studio at WVOF 88.5, the student-run radio station at Fairfield University.

Over the summer, host and producer Matt Tullis moved from Ashland, Ohio, to Newtown, Connecticut. The podcast was previously recorded in the studios of 88.9 WRDL at Ashland University, where Tullis was an associate professor of journalism and digital media. Tullis is now an assistant professor of English and digital journalism at Fairfield University.

With the job change, Tullis will have more time to dedicate to the podcast, and expects to resume posting at least two episodes every month.

The first episode this fall is scheduled to be released on Sept. 27. That episode will feature Kathryn Miles, who recently had a piece in the Boston Globe about the last days of an Appalachian Trail hiker who got lost and ultimately died. Miles is also the author of three books, including her most recent book “Superstorm: Nine Days Inside Hurricane Sandy.”

The podcast has other guests lined up for this fall. They include:

Skip Hollandsworth, an executive editor at Texas Monthly and the author of “The Midnight Assassin: Panic, Scandal and the Hunt for America’s First Serial Killer.”

Eli Sanders, a Pulitzer Prize winner for his piece “The Bravest Woman in Seattle” and author of the book “While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man’s Descent into Madness.”

Sonya Huber, author of six books, including “The Evolution of Hillary Rodham Clinton.”



Episode 45: Michael Brick

This episode is devoted to the life, stories and music of Michael Brick. Brick wrote for the New York Times, the Houston Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, Harper’s Magazine. He also wrote the book “Saving the School.”

Brick passed away in February from colon cancer. In Brick’s final days, his friends and fellow reporters scrambled to put together a book that contains so many of his amazing stories. That book, “Everyone Leaves Behind a Name,” was published by The Sager Group and is now available. All book proceeds go to Brick’s family. Everyone Leaves Behind a Name

In this episode, I’m going to talk with some of men who put that book together. On the show we’ve got Ben Montgomery, a senior writer at the Tampa Bay Times, Michael Kruse, a senior staff writer for Politico, Wright Thompson, a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine, Thomas Lake, who covers politics for CNN Ditital, and Tony Rehagen, a freelance writer living in Atlanta.

For Montgomery, Kruse and Thompson, this is their second visit to the podcast.

During the podcast, we listen to one of Brick’s songs. You can listen to that song here.

The book can be purchased at or at The Sager Group’s website.

Episode 44: Kaylen Ralph and Joanna Demkiewicz

Kaylen Ralph and Joanna Demkiewicz are the founders of The Riveter Magazine, which just put out its fourth issue. They are both graduates of the University of Missouri journalism school. The Riveter publishes longform work by female reporters only. The idea for the magazine stemmed from the fact that, in 2012, while Ralph and Demkiewicz were students, the National Magazine Awards put out its list of nominees, and there wasn’t a single female nominated in the reporting, feature writing, profile writing, essays and criticism or columns and commentary categories.

Ralph and Demkiewicz recently collaborated on the book, “Newswomen: Twenty-Five Years of Front-Page Journalism,” which was edited by Joyce Hoffman and published by The Sager Group. Ralph and Demkiewicz interviewed all of the women included in the book and write “as told to” pieces on how those women got their start in journalism. A similar book is in the works for female magazine writers, as Ralph and Demkiewicz continue to work with Mike Sager to showcase the top female writers and reporters in the country.

Episode 43: Lane DeGregory

Lane DeGregory is a Pulitzer Prize-winning feature writer at the Tampa Bay Times. In early January, the Times published a long story by DeGregory, told in three chapters, about a five-year-old girl whose father killed her by dropping her off a bridge into the ocean.

“The Long Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck” is a brutal yet powerful piece that shows how a sweet little girl was the victim of a child protective services system that let far too many children fall through the cracks. The editor on this story was Kelley Benham French, now a professor of practice at the Indiana University Media School. We featured French on the podcast after she wrote the three-part series, “Never Let Go.”

DeGregory won a Pulitzer in 2009 for feature writing for her story, “The Girl in the Window.” Her work has appeared in Best Newspaper Writing in four times. She has taught journalism at the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg, been a speaker at the Nieman Narrative Conference at Harvard University, and won dozens of national awards.

She’s also known for finding wonderful stories among everyday lives, including a piece on a flag-toting rodeo rider, and a boy buying a Valentine card for his first girlfriend.