a bend in the road

a podcast from ridgewood public library

a bend in the road

a podcast from ridgewood public library

Special Summer Camp Episode

Summer is coming and we’re getting ready to feature YOUR camp stories on our podcast! From triumphs in the great outdoors, to hilarious mishaps or meeting that memorable friend or counselor, every experience is welcome!

  • Share a story or experience in a 2-5 minute audiofile and send to: robertapanj@gmail.com
  • Submissions are due by May 15, 2024.
  • Your story can be about and type of camp: overnight, sports, science, animal, religious, theater–anything!
  • Camp memories know no age limits; all ages re welcome!
  • Questions? Please write or call Roberta: rpanjwani@ridgewoodlibrary.org  (201)670-5600, ext. 2122

About A Bend in the Road Podcast

Has there ever been, over the course of your life, a moment or event that changed things forever? Where life zigged instead of zagged? Where suddenly you were on a new path, staring out at a horizon you never thought possible? For our guests, there have. Welcome to A Bend in the Road, where our host, Roberta Panjwani, interviews people from all walks of life about the times they took their own journey down a new path, just after a bend in the road.
A Bend in the Road is supported by the Friends of the Ridgewood Library and created by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Current Episode

Current Episode

Episode 25: Author Mary Beth Keane

The New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes, stopped by the Ridgewood Library for an author event to discuss her latest novel The Half Moon about a couple in a small town navigating the complexities of marriage, family, and longing. Host Roberta Panjwani–and audience members–asked Mary Beth about her creative process, writing during a pandemic, and the personal connections to the characters in this book.

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Episode 25: Author Mary Beth Keane

The New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes, stopped by the Ridgewood Library for an author event to discuss her latest novel The Half Moon about a couple in a small town navigating the complexities of marriage, family, and longing. Host Roberta Panjwani–and audience members–asked Mary Beth about her creative process, writing during a pandemic, and the personal connections to the characters in this book.

Read More »

Past Episodes

Episode 24: Singer/Songwriter, Sherma Andrews: “Messenger of Hope”

From Trinidad and Tobago to the world stage, Sherma Andrews’ journey is nothing short of extraordinary. Starting at Boston’s Berklee School of Music, she’s played with some of the greats at venues like Lincoln Center and Madison Square Garden, leaving audiences spellbound. Roberta talks to Sherma about some of her greatest inspirations (Aretha, Whitney, Billie) and her lifelong mission of being a messenger of hope.

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Fernando Fernandez - Featured

Episode 23: Fernando Fernandez: From Wall Street to Wine country

Fernando Fernandez has always had a passion for wine, so when his time in NYC’s financial industry was thrown into chaos by the Great Financial Crisis of 2008, he transformed that passion into an award-winning career out on the opposite coast. Join A Bend in the Road host Roberta Panjwani as she talks to Fernando about Puerto Rico, his favorite places to spend time, and creating a meaningful label.

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Episode 22: Deborah Kampmeier, The Gilded Age Director

Deborah Kampmeier’s move from the independent filmmaker on silver screen to prestige TV on The Gilded Age has a surprise first act appearance from Oprah and Ava DuVernay. Join Deborah as she sits down with Bend in the Road host Roberta Panjwani to talk about “The Ava Effect,” an accidental email that connected her to many of the best directors in the business, and some fascinating moments from Season 2 of The Gilded Age and

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Episode 21: Victim Advocates Aiza Stevens & Hoku and Library Therapy Dog Coordinator Victoria Schnure

As we embark on Year 3 of our podcast journey, A Bend in the Road is thrilled to share an inspiring episode that we hope will warm your hearts this winter. Joining us in this episode is Aiza Stevens and the incredible therapy dog Hoku, both vital members of the Orem Police Department’s Victim Advocacy Program in Utah, along with Ridgewood Public Library’s very own Victoria Schnure, who helps run the library’s fantastic Read to

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Roger Durling

Episode 20: Roger Durling, Santa Barbara Film Festival Executive Director

(Photo Credit: Eric Madrid.) From universities to coffee shops, from Broadway shows to the local movie theater, from Panama to NJ to France to NY to Santa Barbara, our guest this episode has had quite the journey to where he is now. Join guest host Diane Sims for a riveting conversation with Roger Durling, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Film Festival for the last 20 years, on how he fell in love with the

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Megan Fontanella

Episode 19: Guggenheim Curator Megan Fontanella: “Every Painting Tells a Story”

You’ve certainly heard of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and its varied collections. What you may not know is what guides those collections. Megan Fontanella, the Guggenheim’s Curator for Modern Art and Provenance, would tell you a good exhibit, and good art education, comes down to two statements: Every painting tells a story. Every object has lived a life. Join Roberta as she talks with Megan about those statements, about the history of the Gugg’

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Gretchen Rubin Featured

Episode 18: Author Gretchen Rubin: Get Happy

Yale graduate Gretchen Rubin had quite the pivot when she went from clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to founding the Happiness Project. How that came to be and what her surprising path to a life of more energy, creativity, luck, and love entails (hint: tune in to the five senses) is the focus of this month’s episode. An acclaimed communicator, known for her ability to distill and convey complex ideas with humor and clarity,

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Episode 17: Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde: Learning to Be Brave

“Being brave is not a singular occurrence; it’s a journey that we can choose to undertake every day. ” – How We Learn to Be Brave: Decisive Moments in Life and Faith and Life
In June of 2020, with the eyes of the world watching and the ears of the world listening, Bishop Mariann Budde had the courage to speak up about the mistreatment of protestors at the hands of the police and the

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Episode 16: One Weekend This Summer: Our Time in the Canyon with Joni, Brandi & 27,000 Friends

Take a trip to the Pacific Northwest with Roberta to experience the epic return of the legendary musician Joni Mitchell during Brandi Carlile’s “Echoes through the Canyon” weekend at the Gorge Amphitheatre in Washington State. Roberta talks with concertgoers who traveled across the country—and the world–about the impact that Joni and music has played in their lives. We hear many remarkable moments from the June 9 & 10, 2023 shows featuring Joni, Brandi, Sarah McLachlan,

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Episode 15: String Thing Studio Founder Felicia Eve

Felicia Eve has been everything: a podiatrist, a stay at home mom, a fundraising consultant, and, currently, a business owner as the CEO and founder of String Thing Studio, a yarn shop in Brooklyn. Join Felicia as she sits down with host Roberta and shares her stories on life, loss, and most importantly, yarn.

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Episode 14: Writer Ben Greenman

Have you ever thought about sneezing on Larry King? Well, if you have, then you and Ben Greenman have that in common. Join Roberta Panjwani as she interviews Ben about some of his work and his forays into almost becoming a doctor. For the unfamiliar, Ben Greenman is the New York Times bestselling author of The Slippage and Superbad and the former longtime editor for The New Yorker. Not content to only do that, he’s

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Episode 13: Oprah’s Book Club Director Leigh Haber

Publishing icon, editor, and former Vice President of Book at O magazine, Leigh Haber joins us this episode to discuss books, writers, audiences, and the connections between them. Join host Roberta Panjwani as we dive into Leigh’s role as Director of Oprah’s Book Club, what it’s like to interview writers (or as she calls them, Rock Stars) and the power of books to make change and do good in the world.

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Episode 12: Actor Robert Sean Leonard

What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? These are the questions that Tony Award winning actor Robert Sean Leonard grapples with. Join him and Roberta as they talk about his work as an actor and some of the artists he’s collaborated with. Wondering why that name sounds familiar? You might recognize Robert as Neil Perry from Dead Poets Society, Dr. James Wilson in House MD, or onstage as Edmund on

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Episode 11: Comedian and NPR Host Ophira Eisenberg

Hot off the release of her latest standup comedy special, Plant Based Jokes, comedian and podcast host Ophira Eisenberg joins Roberta to discuss what it’s like to tell stories at The Moth, the riskiness involved with audience interactions, and how storytelling has changed since the pandemic. Ophira is currently the host of the podcast Parenting Is A Joke and as well as hosting the now-concluded Ask Me Another, NPR’s comedy trivia show, with Jonathan Coulter

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Episode 10: True Crime Author Sarah Weinman

Best-selling author Sarah Weinman loves true crime and loves wondering why we all love true crime. Her books probe these questions and more, bolstered by impeccable research, immensely readable prose and, at the heart of the story, the desire to present the humanity of the subjects, not the perpetrators, of the crimes. Join Roberta as she talks with Sarah from her home in Brooklyn about her books The Real Lolita, Scoundrel, & Women Crime Writers

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Podcast Ep 9 Nina Groop & Noah Taylor Dec 21, 2022

Episode 9: Nina Groop & Noah Taylor: Telling the Truth to Ourselves

When one shares a story, they can become a part of a healing and empowering experience. Stories are powerful – cathartic, emotive, and full of truths, hidden or not – and our guests this week know that quite well. Nina is a life coach and the author of a new book Creek Music: What a Year in the Woods Taught Me About Seasons, Surrender and Joy. Her son Noah Taylor is a 28 year old

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Episode 8: Maite Alberdi: The Most Heartwarming Spy Movie Ever Made

Director Maite Alberdi had a great idea for a new film, one that merged her love of film noir with documentaries, so she began working as an assistant to a Chilean private eye. But when the lead detective broke his hip before filming, she wound up making a very different film – a film that earned her a nomination for a 2021 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Join Roberta as she sits down with

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Episodes 6 & 7: Pádraig Ó Tuama: In the Shelter of Each Other & Saying Hello to the Questions

What power does poetry have to help us navigate the challenges of life? How do we approach art and how does it approach us? Join our guest host Diane Sims for a journey through these questions, and many others, with Pádraig Ó Tuama in an episode so big, we had to split it into two.
In Part 1, Pádraig Ó shares his relationship with art, reconciliation and the ongoing road toward finding ourselves.

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Episode 5: Curtis Duffy: One of the Best Chefs “Ever”

Before Curtis Duffy was a world-renowned, Michelin-starred chef and restaurant owner, he was a troubled youth, left alone as a teenager after experiencing unimaginable tragedies. That is, until he took a mandatory middle school home economics class, introducing Curtis to the kitchen, his gift and his purpose.

Join Roberta as she sits down with Curtis from his new Chicago-based restaurant Ever to talk about those early years and his rise to the top, indomitable work

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Episode 4: Pippa Ehrlich: Free Dive

How did one tiny octopus change so many lives?
To combat burnout and depression, filmmaker & diver Craig Foster had taken up diving in the icy waters of South Africa’s Kelp Forest where he met one very special Common Octopus. A year of observing and filming the octopus’ short life later, he sent the film to fellow documentarian Pippa Erlich, who crafted the footage into a meditation on the importance of wildlife and a

Read More »

Most Recent Episodes

Gretchen Rubin Featured

Episode 18: Author Gretchen Rubin: Get Happy

Yale graduate Gretchen Rubin had quite the pivot when she went from clerking for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to founding the Happiness Project. How that came to be and what her surprising path to a life of more energy, creativity,

Read More »

Episode 14: Writer Ben Greenman

Have you ever thought about sneezing on Larry King? Well, if you have, then you and Ben Greenman have that in common. Join Roberta Panjwani as she interviews Ben about some of his work and his forays into almost becoming

Read More »

Episode 12: Actor Robert Sean Leonard

What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? These are the questions that Tony Award winning actor Robert Sean Leonard grapples with. Join him and Roberta as they talk about his work as an actor and

Read More »

Episode 11: Comedian and NPR Host Ophira Eisenberg

Hot off the release of her latest standup comedy special, Plant Based Jokes, comedian and podcast host Ophira Eisenberg joins Roberta to discuss what it’s like to tell stories at The Moth, the riskiness involved with audience interactions, and how

Read More »

Episode 10: True Crime Author Sarah Weinman

Best-selling author Sarah Weinman loves true crime and loves wondering why we all love true crime. Her books probe these questions and more, bolstered by impeccable research, immensely readable prose and, at the heart of the story, the desire to

Read More »

Episode 5: Curtis Duffy: One of the Best Chefs “Ever”

Before Curtis Duffy was a world-renowned, Michelin-starred chef and restaurant owner, he was a troubled youth, left alone as a teenager after experiencing unimaginable tragedies. That is, until he took a mandatory middle school home economics class, introducing Curtis to

Read More »

Episode 4: Pippa Ehrlich: Free Dive

How did one tiny octopus change so many lives?
To combat burnout and depression, filmmaker & diver Craig Foster had taken up diving in the icy waters of South Africa’s Kelp Forest where he met one very special Common

Read More »
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