Jean Feraca is an American poet, journalist, and radio host. She is also a mother to a New-York based musician Dominick Fernow, also known as Prurient.

Jean Feraca
BornNew York state
OccupationPoet, journalist, and radio host
Alma materManhattanville College
University of Michigan

Early life and educationEdit

She was born in New York state, majored in English at Manhattanville College, and received an M.S. degree from the University of Michigan. After college she lived in Rome and spent time traveling in Italy before moving to Madison, Wisconsin.[1]


Feraca worked in public radio for 27 years. She started her career with National Public Radio affiliate WGUC-FM, then worked as a freelance reporter for NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered. In 1983 she went to work for Wisconsin Public Radio (WPR) as humanities producer. She became WPR's Distinguished Senior Broadcaster and hosted "Conversations with Jean Feraca" from 1990 to 2003; the show received the Distinguished Media Award from the National Telemedia Council in 1996. Starting in 2003 she hosted Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders, a daily program.[2] She retired from radio in 2012.[3]

Feraca's first book of poems, South from Rome: Il Mezzogiorno (1976), won the Discovery Award from The Nation;[1] it was assisted by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. She received a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board for her second book, Crossing the Great Divide (1992). Her 2007 memoir, I Hear Voices: A Memoir of Love, Death, and the Radio, was named an "Outstanding Book" by the American Association of School Librarians and one of the year's "Best Books for General Audiences" by the Public Library Association. She was inducted into the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts & Letters in 2012.[2]

Her poetry and articles have appeared in journals such as Poetry, the American Poetry Review, the Iowa Review, the North American Review, Italian Americana, and other journals;[4] and in anthologies such as Helen Barolini's The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writings by Italian American Women (1985).[1]


  1. ^ a b c Barolini, Helen (1985). "Jean Feraca". The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writings by Italian American Women. Syracuse University Press. pp. 361–365. ISBN 9780815606628.
  2. ^ a b "Jean Feraca". Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts & Letters.
  3. ^ Mitchell, Jack (2016). Wisconsin on the Air: 100 Years of Public Broadcasting in the State That Invented It. Wisconsin Historical Society. pp. 16–17, 85. ISBN 9780870207624.
  4. ^ "Jean Feraca". JSTOR.

External linksEdit