Gillian Ferris

News Director and Managing Editor

Gillian came to KNAU in 2001 as a freelance reporter after careers as a river cook, baker and teacher. Her first story won an Arizona Associated Press Award. Since then, Gillian has won more than a dozen regional and national Edward R. Murrow Awards for Excellence in feature reporting, writing, editing and documentary work. She served as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition for well over a decade before becoming news director and managing editor at KNAU. As much as she loves reporting, Gillian has found her true soul work in editing and producing other journalists’ work. When not in the newsroom, she’s outside hiking, surfing, playing disc golf, running rivers and hanging out with her beloved dogs and friends.

Ways to Connect

Poetry Friday: The 'Gift Poem'

Aug 10, 2018
Terry Wilson

For 25 years, Terry Wilson, a literature teacher at Coconino High School in Flagstaff, has started each class, each day with what she calls a Gift Poem. She reads it aloud, for the pure pleasure of it…her students don’t have to do anything but listen. On the first day back to school this week, Wilson’s Gift Poem was 'Introduction to Poetry', by former poet laureate Billy Collins. It’s only 30 seconds, but it packs in the metaphor about how teachers and kids look at poetry. 

Courtesy of Cline Library, Special Collections and Archives, Kolb Collection, Box/Folder 16.1875

The Kolb brothers became a fixture at the Grand Canyon in the early 1900’s when they set up a photo booth at the top of the Bright Angel Trail to take pictures of pack mules and hikers. In 1911, they went on a Colorado River trip, retracing John Wesley Powell’s journey, and took the first-ever film footage of the rapids. On that trip, Emery Kolb wrote a poem about a chance meeting with a miner, the sole-survivor of a separate river expedition. KNAU listener Nettie Klingler came across it during her work as a volunteer ranger at Grand Canyon National Park.  In this week’s Poetry Friday segment, Nettie gives a recitation of ‘The Brave Ones’. 

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office is asking for the public's help in locating two male suspects in a sexual assault yesterday morning in a wooded area near Kachina Village, south of Flagstaff. The suspects are described as Spanish speaking and wearing jeans, work boots and long sleeved orange work shirts covered in sawdust and dirt. One suspect is approximately 5'10" with a thin build and a light mustache, short hair and estimated to be in his early 30's.

Poetry Friday: How Falling In Love Is Like Owning A Dog

Jul 27, 2018
Dan Dadmun

KNAU listener Dan Dadmun went the extra mile for this week's Poetry Friday segment. He found a poem he like, Taylor Mali's 'How Falling in Love is like Owning a Dog'. But he wanted to change the setting from New York to Flagstaff because he thought it would resonate in this dog-crazy town. So, he contacted the poet to ask if it was ok. Mali said yes. He told Dan the details of a spoken word poem should always be changed to better apply to the people hearing it. 

Poetry Friday: A Telepoem From The High Desert

Jul 20, 2018
Elizabeth Hellstern

Remember pay phone booths? Poet Elizabeth Hellstern does. She's the inventor of the Telepoem Booth - a vintage rotary phone booth that recites poetry to you when you dial a number from the poem directory. Hellstern debuted the booth a couple of years ago in Flagstaff, but has since moved it to the high desert of northern New Mexico where she's lived off-grid for the last year. Today, Hellstern brings us the latest installment of our series Poetry Friday...Telepoem-style.