How Curious

As I explore local podcasts this summer, in this Creator Conversation I interview Claire Donnelly about How Curious, a series that investigates questions people have about Oklahoma.

In your own words, what is How Curious?

How Curious is a radio show and podcast that answers people’s questions about Oklahoma, like whether it’s really illegal to take a bite of someone else’s hamburger or what causes a mysterious floating ball of light

Who is the podcast intended for?

Everyone! We try to make it accessible for people living both in and outside of the state and to cover a variety of subject areas. 

Why did you want to start the podcast?

I love hearing from KGOU listeners about the stories they’re interested in, whether it’s a childhood legend about a giant catfish or cocktail party small talk about a machine gun turret on an Oklahoma City liquor store. I wanted a way to share those experiences and voices–and radio is a perfect medium.

What’s a good episode for first time listeners to check out?

The episodes aren’t chronological so you can start anywhere you want! Two of my favorite episodes to work on were about an all-female ghost town called Bathsheba and Oklahoma’s listings in the Green Book, a guide for African American motorists during segregation. 

What have been some challenges and lessons learned in the production of your podcast?

One unexpected challenge I encountered was rattlesnakes. I’m serious! I traveled to the Oklahoma-Texas border for an episode looking for Oklahoma’s southwest corner, but locals told me not to walk around the field in my sneakers because “the snakes were out.” Note to self: order boots!

Also, I am forever grateful to Oklahoma’s archivists, historians and librarians. Many How Curious stories have involved digging through old maps and documents–and everyone I’ve interacted with has been extremely helpful and kind. 

Any behind-the-scenes stories you wish to share?

Parts of a few How Curious episodes were recorded in a pillow and blanket fort! When I need to re-track something last minute, I pile up couch cushions and other soft things to absorb sound and create a mini makeshift radio studio. 

What do you hope people will take away after listening to your podcast?

I hope How Curious inspires people to learn more about where they live. There’s nothing like falling into an internet rabbit-hole about a local ghost story or historical event. Find out what or whom your street is named for! Talk to neighborhood business owners! There are stories all around us. 

Anything else you want to say or let people know?

I am always looking for people’s burning questions about Oklahoma. Email me at [email protected] or tweet me @donnellyclairee.


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Dennis Spielman

I'm Dennis Spielman, the Producer of Uncovering Oklahoma, which I started in 2009 as a way to show that Oklahoma isn't boring. As for about myself, I’m a creative person that writes imaginative stories. I also run The Show Starts Now Studios, which is my umbrella organization for all of my shows I create. Come join me on Patreon as I create content that adds adventure and wonder to peoples' lives. More about my stories and projects are at DennisSpielman.com

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