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Central Standard

Seg. 1: American Dirt Reaction | Seg. 2: 15K To Move To Topeka

Segment 1: Who gets to tell what stories? 

Controversy over a novel called “American Dirt” led to a canceled book tour—a week before author Jeanine Cummins was set to come to Kansas City. Critics have a problem with the fact that Cummins is white, yet wrote a book about a Mexican family trying to make it across the US-Mexico border.

  • Jose Faus, poet and artist
  • Jessica Ayala, poet
  • Alex Martinez, writer and poet

Segment 2, beginning at 27:46: Would you move to Topeka for $15,000?

The organization Choose Topeka is offering people money to move, which makes us wonder: what makes us move anywhere? And, how have approaches like this worked in the past? We'll also hear about a place in Canada where people are offered money to leave.

Gina Kaufmann is the host of Real Humans By Gina Kaufmann. You can reach her on Twitter, @GinaKCUR.
Melody Rowell is the lead producer for KCUR’s Central Standard. You can find her on Twitter at @MelodyRowell, or by email at
Mackenzie Martin is a producer for Up To Date, Real Humans By Gina Kaufmann, and other podcasts at KCUR Studios. Reach out to her at or on Twitter @_macmartin.