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Essential Salt

Welcome to Essential Salt, a limited series podcast that brings you stories reported on by students at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Essential Salt is a collaboration between the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies at the Maine College of Art and Design and Maine Public.

In each episode, we'll bring you stories that go beyond the headlines to capture something true, something unexpected, something...essential about the state of Maine and the people who live here.

Essential Salt is produced by Lucy Santerre and Lucy Soucek and hosted by Lucy Soucek. Isaac Kestenbaum, the Director of the SALT, is a contributing writer and editor of the series.

Essential Salt is available on Spotify, Apple, Pocket Casts, and YouTube:

Essential Salt is available on Spotify Essential Salt is available on Apple Essential Salt is available on Pocket Casts Essential Salt is available on YouTube

Our Essential Salt theme song is by composer and Salt alum Steven Jackson, along with the fine folks at Cue Shop. You can find more music for storytelling at cue-shop.com.
Listen to “Clerical Western” here in its entirety.

Limited Series/Season One
  • This, our inaugural episode, will be a little bit different than all of our future episodes – this one will be a virtual buffet...you’ll hear about a giant problem in the town of Lubec, a man’s dogged pursuit of buried treasure, and a student finding his way with a little help in Sullivan. The episode will give you a taste of the breadth and quality of the stories you’ll hear over the whole series.
  • Albert Einstein has been quoted as saying “How I wish that somewhere there existed an island for those who are wise and of good will.” Einstein sounds a bit frustrated here… geniuses lose their patience, too, I suppose… but I put it to you that the qualities of island life that he desires do actually exist…. and in this Essential Salt episode, we’ll hear three stories that take on some of the issues and challenges of living off of Maine’s coast, but reveal some of the wondrous benefits of island life too… Einstein would be pleased…
  • Maine is home to an increasingly diverse population as old and new cultures and beliefs collide, bend, and weave together to create something unique and unexpected every day. A constant in all that change is the desire for home and community – a place to feel safe and accepted. This Essential Salt episode explores three very different journeys to finding just that place.
  • Maine’s iconic “100-Mile Wilderness” and the Allagash Wilderness Waterway are just specks in the vast swath of land that is Maine’s rugged and unpredictable woods. It’s not just the mountains and woods, but the North Atlantic coastal seas, too, that offer extreme tides and a treacherous setting for the bustle of Maine and Canadian seafaring. In this episode, we’ll explore the beasts who were built for the wild settings around us and how their fates are affected by not just human actions, but human beliefs.
  • Mysteries abound in Maine, from those in our mind and memory to those in the deep, dark woods. In this episode, we’ll explore the unsure, unsolved, and unbelievable things that creep in the dark. We’ll begin with the mysteries rooted in the terrestrial and make our way further and further away from our social comfort zone. In all these stories, the original producers approach potentially delicate or unlikely topics with even-handed context and validation. Still, it helps to keep an open mind…