Maine Calling

Monday - Friday, 1 - 2 pm

Every weekday, our Maine Calling program digs into topics and issues with listeners across the state in a statewide conversation. In 2020, the Maine Calling team will bring to the fore a series of bicentennial-focused topics that are certain to be thought-provoking and meaningful. We hope you will have a chance to join those conversations as the year unfolds. Special thanks to The University of Maine at Augusta, Dead River Company, and Modern Pest Services for their support of this special bicentennial programming.


historic lithograph exhibited at Bowdoin College Museum of Art

We continue our bicentennial coverage of Maine history, spanning the road to statehood to the current day.

In this segment, our panel of historians explains how Maine evolved in the pivotal years between becoming a state in 1820 through Maine's involvement in the Civil War. We'll learn about the pivotal figures of the day, and how Maine's cultural, economic and political landscape evolved during the 19th century. 

Darron Cummings/ Associate Press

Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap joins us to discuss the March primary election, upcoming ballot referendum, ranked choice and other voting issues, what people need to know about the upcoming census, Real ID and more.

Maine Historical Society

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (original air date January 21, 2020); no calls will be taken.

In 1820, the U.S. passed an act that made participation on the slave trade an act of piracy. Yet, dozens of Maine vessels engaged in the slave trade illegally during this period. Thousands of enslaved people were transported and traded, leading to huge profits for slave traders--some of whom were Maine sea captains who are remembered as leading citizens of the day. Much of the millions of dollars from the slave trade funded the growth of New England's economy. We will learn about this troubling period in Maine's history, which has not often been mentioned or understood.

This show is part of Maine Calling's coverage of topics relating to Maine's Bicentennial.

On this Valentine’s Day, we discuss what makes a relationship successful — how do couples forge strong bonds, what is the difference between love and romance, and how important are issues like trust, compassion and communication? We will also talk about how dating has changed in today’s world, and how that can contribute to the quality of relationships that are formed.

Overdose deaths in Maine from substance use rose in 2019, and 84 percent of those involved opioid use. A recent spate of deaths in Portland are a reminder that opioid use continues to be a pressing crisis. We will hear from Gordon Smith, the state's director of opioid response, about the state’s latest plans to address the opioid crisis, and we’ll talk about what recovery experts and law enforcement believe can help stem the epidemic.

The votes are in and the New Hampshire Presidential Primary is now history. Our panel discusses who did well and who failed to live up to expectations.  They'll also discuss the next phase in the race for the White House 2020.

Carolyn Chute joins us on the day her new novel, "The Recipe for Revolution," is published.

Chute is the author of "The Beans of Egypt, Maine," "Letourneau’s Used Auto Parts," "Snow Man," "Merry Men" and "The School on Heart’s Content Road," a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Chute has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Thornton Wilder Fellowship and is the winner of the PEN New England Award for Literary Excellence in Fiction.


The rapid outbreak of coronavirus is causing serious illness and death in China and is spreading worldwide, including here in the U.S. We'll discuss the nature of this disease, why it is spreading so quickly, and what people in Maine can do to protect themselves. We will also talk about how this year's flu virus is a more immediate concern for Maine — how bad it is, why this year's cases have surged, and what is being done to address it.

Maine Historical Society

One of Maine’s best-known figures, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was not only a poet, writer and linguist, he was an international celebrity in the 1800s. Born in Portland, he became a dominant cultural force in the 19th century. His home remains a popular attraction in Portland. We will talk about his life, his work, and his impact on Maine—and beyond.

This show is part of Maine Calling's ongoing coverage of topics relating to Maine's Bicentennial.

We discuss the history of impeachments and the Senate impeachment trial, its outcome, the votes of Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, and we get listener reactions to the impeachment process.

Longtime NPR host Diane Rehm join us to talk about her new book, her podcast and her reaction to current affairs. Her latest book, just published, is called "When My Time Comes." Through interviews with terminally ill patients, and with physicians, ethicists, spouses, relatives and representatives of those who vigorously oppose the movement, Rehm gives voice to a broad range of people who are personally linked to the realities of medical aid in dying.

Our panel discusses the results from the Iowa caucuses and looks ahead to the New Hampshire primary. Where do the presidential candidates stand at this point in the race?

 This show is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (original air date January 7, 2020); no calls will be taken.

Gov. Janet Mills’ task force recently released its new 10-year Strategic Economic Development Plan for the state of Maine. It focuses on revitalizing the state through growth in rural communities; fostering job creation and workforce development; attracting new young families to our state; and focusing on quality of life here. We’ll discuss the plans’ major initiatives and the economic outlook for Maine in 2020 and beyond.

This show is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (original air date Dec 30, 2019); no calls will be taken.

A study by Stanford University reports that 80 percent of people would prefer to die at home, yet only 20 percent actually do. End-of-life care describes the time in a patient’s life when care shifts from curative to palliative, providing relief and comfort at the end of life. We’ll discuss the kinds of care available to patients and families in Maine, what common challenges people face, as well as the legal matters that need to be addressed when planning for end-of-life issues.

MIT Press

This is a rebroadcast of an earlier show (original air date December 20, 2020); no calls will be taken.

We’ll discuss how adults may unwittingly compromise their children’s privacy by creating digital records of every stage of a child’s life—from ultrasound images to electronic health records. Author Leah A. Plunkett joins us to talk about how to make wise decisions about what to share on social media and preventing the excessive use of children’s digital data.