Tom Williams

Program Director | Access Utah Host

Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996.  He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.)  He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah” and “Opera Saturday.”  He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.

Ways to Connect

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

According to NPR, a gunman opened fire on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida early Sunday morning, killing 49 people and leaving 53 more wounded, in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history before being shot dead by police. The case is being treated as a terrorist investigation.

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/10/i-had-the-advantage-of-disadvantage/

  It was a meme before meme was a thing. Pulitzer prize-winning author, Idaho native, and Harvard Professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich observed in 1976 in her first scholarly paper (on funeral sermons for women) that “well-behaved women seldom make history.” The comment became a popular slogan appearing on t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, greeting cards, websites and blogs.  In her book by the same title (2007), Ulrich explains how the phenomenon happened and what it means by looking back at women of the past who challenged the way history was written. The women she writes about range from the fifteenth-century writer Christine de Pizan, who wrote “The Book of the City of Ladies,” to the twentieth century’s Virginia Woolf, author of “A Room of One's Own.” Ulrich updates their attempts to reimagine female possibilities and looks at the women who didn't try to make history but did.  And she concludes by showing how the 1970s activists who created "second-wave feminism" also created a renaissance in the study of history.

Laurel Thatcher Ulrich won the 1991 Pulitzer prize for history for “A Midwife's Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812,” in which she draws on the diaries of a midwife and healer in eighteenth-century Maine, to produce an intimate history illuminating the medical practices, household economies, religious rivalries, and sexual mores of the New England frontier.

Ulrich’s books also include: “The Age of Homespun: Objects and Stories in the Creation of an American Myth,” and “Good Wives: Image and Reality in the Lives of Women in Northern New England, 1650-1750.” She is also a co-author of “Tangible Things: Making History through Objects.”

http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2014/10/i-had-the-advantage-of-disadvantage/

  It was a meme before meme was a thing. Pulitzer prize-winning author, Idaho native, and Harvard Professor Laurel Thatcher Ulrich observed in 1976 in her first scholarly paper (on funeral sermons for women) that “well-behaved women seldom make history.” The comment became a popular slogan appearing on t-shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, greeting cards, websites and blogs.  In her book by the same title (2007), Ulrich explains how the phenomenon happened and what it means by looking back at women of the past who challenged the way history was written.

The History Press

Eileen Hallet Stone is out with a second collection from her popular Salt Lake Tribune “Living History” column. In “Historic Tales of Utah” (The History Press), Stone tells many of the stories of Utah: “Big Bill” Haywood, vilified by the New York Times as “the most feared figure in America,” women bruised on the front lines of suffrage battles, Chinese “paper sons and daughters,” heroic Northern Ute firefighters, downtown Salt Lake City’s “Wall Street of the West,” the off-road cyclist known as the “Bedouin of the Desert,” and Utah’s love affair with sweets.

Graywolf Press

In "Ongoingness: The End of a Diary" Sarah Manguso confronts a meticulous diary that she has kept for twenty-five years. She says she wanted to end each day with a record of everything that had ever happened. But she was terrified that she might forget something, she might miss something important. Maintaining that diary, now 800,000 words, had become, until recently, a kind of spiritual practice. Then Manguso became pregnant and had a child, and these two Copernican events generated an amnesia that put her into a different relationship with the need to document herself amid ongoing time.

Algonquin Books; First Edition edition (May 3, 2016)

For Meridian Wallace—and many other smart, driven women of the 1940s—being ambitious meant being an outlier. Ever since she was a young girl, Meridian had been obsessed with birds, and she was determined to get her PhD, become an ornithologist, and make her mother’s sacrifices to send her to college pay off. But she didn’t expect to fall in love with her brilliant physics professor, Alden Whetstone. When he’s recruited to Los Alamos, New Mexico, to take part in a mysterious wartime project, she reluctantly defers her own plans and joins him.

Knopf; First American Edition edition (May 17, 2016)

 Let’s imagine a man called Captain Tom Barnes, aka BA5799, who’s leading British troops in the war zone. And two boys growing up together in that war zone, sharing a prized bicycle and flying kites before finding themselves estranged once foreign soldiers appear in their countryside. And then there’s the man who trains one of them to fight against the other’s father and all these infidel invaders. Then imagine the family and friends who radiate out from these lives, people on all sides of this conflict where virtually everyone is caught up in the middle of something unthinkable.


Dial Press Trade Paperback (August 7, 2012)

  

Eric Nuzum is afraid of the supernatural, and for good reason: As a high school oddball in Canton, Ohio, during the early 1980s, he became convinced that he was being haunted by the ghost of a little girl in a blue dress who lived in his parents’ attic. It began as a weird premonition during his dreams, something that his quickly diminishing circle of friends chalked up as a way to get attention. It ended with Nuzum in a mental ward, having apparently destroyed his life before it truly began. The only thing that kept him from the brink: his friendship with a girl named Laura, a classmate who was equal parts devoted friend and enigmatic crush. With the kind of strange connection you can only forge when you’re young, Laura walked Eric back to “normal”—only to become a ghost herself in a tragic twist of fate.


Viking

 

Craig Johnson is out with a new novella in his Longmire series. It’s titled “The Highwayman:”

When Wyoming highway patrolman Rosey Wayman is transferred to the beautiful and imposing landscape of the Wind River Canyon, an area the troopers refer to as no-man's-land because of the lack of radio communication, she starts receiving “officer needs assistance” calls. The problem? They're coming from Bobby Womack, a legendary Arapaho patrolman who met a fiery death in the canyon almost a half-century ago. With an investigation that spans this world and the next, Sheriff Walt Longmire and Henry Standing Bear take on a case that pits them against a legend: The Highwayman.

 

The Humane Society

Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, says that conscience and creativity are driving a revolution in American business that is changing forever how we treat animals and create wealth. In his new book “The Humane Economy,” Pacelle shows how entrepreneurs, CEOs, scientists, philanthropists, and political leaders are driving the growth of the “humane economy.”

 


For soldiers who have received a severe wound to the face, there is a moment during their recovery when they must look upon their reconstructed appearance for the first time. This is known as "the mirror test." Utah native J. Kael Weston spent seven years on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan working for the U.S. State Department in some of the most dangerous frontline locations. Upon his return home, he asked himself: When will these wars end? How will they be remembered? And what lessons can we learn from them?


Briana Scroggins

 Women capture Utah: They photograph fires, floods, crime scenes, politicians, sports, the arts, the outdoors, families, clergy and countless personal stories. "Through Her Eyes,"  a photojournalism exhibit at Salt Lake City Library's main branch is sharing Utah's stories as captured through the lenses of 20 of the state's female news photographers. The exhibit, in the Lower Urban Room Gallery, will be on display through June 24.


Penguin Random House

 

At the heart of Shawn Vestal's debut novel "Daredevils," set in Arizona and Idaho in the mid-1970s, is fifteen-year-old Loretta, who slips out of her bedroom every evening to meet her so-called gentile boyfriend. Her strict Mormon fundamentalist parents catch her returning one night, and promptly marry her off to Dean Harder, a devout yet materialistic fundamentalist who already has a wife and a brood of kids. 

 


Penguin Press

“I’m a person who listens for a living. I listen for wisdom, and beauty, and for voices not shouting to be heard. This book chronicles some of what I’ve learned in what has become a conversation across time and generations, across disciplines and denominations.” That’s Krista Tippett, host of “On Being” (heard on UPR Sunday evenings at 6:00) talking about her new book “Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living” Tippett has interviewed many of the most profound voices examining the great questions of meaning for our time.

Graywolf Press

  In the 1960s, humans took their first steps away from Earth, and for a time our possibilities in space seemed endless. But in a time of austerity and in the wake of high-profile disasters like Challenger, that dream seems to have ended. In early 2011, Margaret Lazarus Dean traveled to Cape Canaveral for NASA's last three space shuttle launches in order to bear witness to the end of an era. In her new book "Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Spaceflight" Dean serves as our guide to Florida's Space Coast and to the history of NASA.

Community farms. Mud spas. Mineral paints. Nematodes. Barbara Richardson, editor of the anthology, “Dirt: A Love Story” says the world is waking up to the beauty and mystery of dirt. The anthology brings together essays by scientists, authors, artists, and dirt lovers --admiring the first worm of spring, taking a childhood twirl across a dusty Kansas farm, calculating how soil breathes, or baking mud pies. Essayists build a dirt house, center a marriage around dirt, sink down into marshy heaven, and learn to read dirt's own language. Whether taking a trek to Venezuela to touch the oldest dirt in the world or reveling in the blessings of our own native soils, these essays answer the important question: How do you get down with dirt?

    

  John Luther Adams is a composer whose life and work are deeply rooted in the natural world. On Monday’s Access Utah, Adams joins Tom Williams to talk about political art versus art, listeners’ interpretations of his works, and composing music for outdoor performance, among other topics. We’ll also hear some of John Luther Adams’ music.

Greywolf Press

  Justin Hocking, author of the memoir, “The Great Floodgates of the Wonderworld,” writes: “Fifteen years ago, I first dove into the immense, dark waters of Melville's masterpiece...I became obsessed with a book about obsession.

Richard Zacks’ new book “Chasing the Last Laugh,” chronicles a poignant chapter in Mark Twain’s life—one that began in foolishness and bad choices but culminated in humor, hard-won wisdom, and ultimate triumph.

United Way of Cache Valley

The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time.

She endured a 9-month ordeal after being abducted from her home in the middle of the night in June, 2002, at age fourteen. She has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and national legislation and is founder of the Elizabeth Smart Foundation


Today's episode of Access Utah originally aired in October 2015. 

Named by the Guardian as one of our top ten writers of rural noir, Bonnie Jo Campbell is a keen observer of life and trouble in rural America, and her working-class protagonists can be at once vulnerable, wise, cruel, and funny. The strong but flawed women of Mothers, Tell Your Daughters must negotiate a sexually charged atmosphere as they love, honor, and betray one another against the backdrop of all the men in their world. Such richly fraught mother-daughter relationships can be lifelines, anchors, or they can sink a woman like a stone.


www.peaceofficerfilm.com

William J. "Dub" Lawrence says "I was elected county sheriff of Davis County in 1974. On the 22nd of September, 2008, the very SWAT team that I founded in the 1970s killed my son-in-law, in my presence, as I defended them to his father, and his mother, and my children, promising them that these men were trained and professional and knew what they were doing." 


NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC

In 2015 the number of visitors to Yellowstone exceeded four million for the first time. David Quammen, writing in the May 2016 edition of National Geographic magazine, asks "Can we hope to preserve, in the midst of modern America, any such remnant of our continent's primordial landscape, any such sample of true wildness-a gloriously inhospitable place, full of predators and prey, in which nature is still allowed to be red in tooth and claw? Can that sort of place be reconciled with human demands and human convenience? Time alone, and our choices, will tell. But if the answer is yes, the answer is Yellowstone."


Consider the $20 bill.

 

It has no more value, as a simple slip of paper, than Monopoly money. Yet even children recognize that tearing one into small pieces is an act of inconceivable stupidity. What makes a $20 bill actually worth twenty dollars? In “Naked Money,” the third volume of his best-selling Naked series, Charles Wheelan uses this seemingly simple question to open the door to the surprisingly colorful world of money and banking.

 

French Photographer Caroline Planque was on the USU campus recently to present portraits of, and interviews with, individuals affected by capital punishment in Texas. The Utah legislature recently considered (and did not pass) a bill that would have abolished the death penalty in the state. Planque first became interested in people who are impacted by capital punishment while attending college in Austin.


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