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.

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A federal appeals court has blocked a move that would have given Arizona voters who forget to sign their early ballot affidavits up to five days after the election to fix the problem.

Poetry Friday: The Brightside And The Brontes

Oct 2, 2020
Gillian Ferris

For this week’s installment of Poetry Friday, we head to the bookstore...the Brightside Bookstore in Flagstaff, to be exact. Tyler Clark is a graduate student at Northern Arizona University and an employee at the Brightside. He leads us back to the poetry section where he reaches for the writings of the Bronte sisters. Here is Tyler Clark with Charlotte Bronte’s On the Death of Emily Jane Bronte, a tribute to her sister. 

Poetry Friday: A Great Tree Has Fallen

Sep 25, 2020
Getty Images

It’s been one week since Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of cancer at the age of 87. She spent much of her legal career advocating for gender equality and women’s rights, and became a cultural and feminist icon throughout the course of her life. In this week’s Poetry Friday segment, Monica Brown, a writer and English professor at Northern Arizona University, pays tribute to Ginsburg with a reading of When Great Trees Fall, by Maya Angelou – another powerful and transformative woman in the world. 


Former Phoenix Suns superstar Steve Nash has been tapped to coach the Brooklyn Nets, even though the Basketball Hall of Famer has no coaching experience.

Poetry Friday: The Gift Of Poetry In A Virtual Classroom

Aug 21, 2020

High School English teacher Terry Wilson returns for this week’s Poetry Friday segment. She’s talked to us before about the ‘Gift Poems’ she reads to her students every day before class begins. There is no assignment involved. She just wants to give them something thoughtful and powerful. It’s a beloved ritual Wilson’s been doing for decades. This year, with classes online and new students who don’t yet know the tradition of the ‘Gift Poem’, Wilson wondered if the power of poetry would transcend the Zoom classroom. We are happy to report that the answer is a resounding, ‘yes!’ Here is Terry Wilson with her first ‘Gift Poem’ of the 2020-2021 school year, Charles Bukowski’s The Laughing Heart.