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

Flagstaff Family Food Center

Food banks and community kitchens nationwide are experiencing unprecedented demand for services as the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic fallout continue. At the Flagstaff Family Food Center, demand for hunger relief assistance is up about 80% with no signs of slowing in the foreseeable future. Carrie Henderson is the Development Director at the Food Center. She spoke with KNAU’s Gillian Ferris about feeding nearly double the usual number of hungry people.

Eric Retterbush

The Washington Post recently ran a series of portraits of essential health care workers on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic. The subjects are all from northern Arizona, and they were photographed in a vintage style known as tintype, which gives them an old-timey feel. Flagstaff-based photographer Eric Retterbush is the creative force behind the powerful series, Resilience: A COVID-19 Frontlines Portrait Project. He spoke with KNAU’s Gillian Ferris about the inspiration for the series.

Poetry Friday: Back To School

Aug 14, 2020

This week’s Poetry Friday segment taps into the choices families are faced with as the school year starts. KNAU listener Amber Meyer’s kids will resume online classes next week after abruptly finishing last semester online, as well. Today, Amber shares the raw, heartfelt truth about what it’s been like for her family during the pandemic…sometimes messy and difficult, sometimes joyous and beautiful. Here, she reads Maggie Smith’s poem Good Bones and offers support to everyone, everywhere sending children ‘back’ to school in one way or another.

Play Us A Tune: My Hopes Are Sold

Jul 23, 2020
The Cross-Eyed Possum

In this time of separation and social distancing, there is one thing that can unite nearly all humans on the planet…music. In the latest installment of our series Play Us a Tune, we hear from Prescott-based band The Cross-Eyed Possum. They recently released their first CD, Worn Down Car, but had to cancel their tour because of the pandemic. Like most working musicians, they’re trying to figure out how to showcase their music right now. Today, they play a song off the album called My Hopes Are Sold. Here is The Cross-Eyed Possum. 

Poetry Friday: The Noir Edition

Jul 17, 2020
Jesse Sensibar

Flagstaff-based poet and tow truck driver Jesse Sensibar has a new book of poetry out. It’s an updated edition of his previously released 2018 collection, Blood in the Asphalt: Prayers from the Highway. The Noir Edition has new essays, poems and photographs. Sensibar is fascinated with roadside shrines, which he sees a lot of while he’s out working on Arizona roadways. He often stops at the sites to write. In this week’s installment of Poetry Friday, Jesse Sensibar talks about the difficulties of being a poet in the world right now, and he reads from his new collection of work.