Yearning for voices to steer you through the darkness this week? We’ve found stories from places of devastation and salvation: from an artist whose voice harnesses a wild range of human emotion, to a film project that suggests new perspective on gun violence, to an Oregon writer who brings deep understanding in writing about grief.


Portland filmmaker Heidi Yewman directed the documentary "Behind the Bullet," exploring how gun violence has lasting effects on people's lives. 

Portland filmmaker Heidi Yewman directed the documentary “Behind the Bullet,” exploring how gun violence has lasting effects on people’s lives. 

Courtesy of Heidi Yewman/Aperture Vision Photography

Looking Behind The Bullet — 01:04

Even with the list of mass shootings growing longer, the majority of deaths due to gun violence come from suicides or homicides. Portland filmmaker Heidi Yewman’s latest film, “Behind the Bullet,” tackles four different instances of gun violence, looking specifically to the people who pulled the trigger. The film explores the lasting emotional, physical and psychological impact to those involved and dives into the complexity of each situation. Yewman sat down with OPB’s Dave Miller to talk about her own experience with gun violence, the people she profiled and how she hopes it will open up the conversation. “Behind the Bullet” has screenings across the country and will be airing early September on most streaming platforms.


Holland Andrews performs as Like a Villain, fusing extended vocal technique, composition, and visual elements.

Holland Andrews performs as Like a Villain, fusing extended vocal technique, composition, and visual elements.

Emily Krause

Like A Villain: Artist Holland Andrews’ Boundless Emotional Range — 15:47

Artist Holland Andrews, known under the stage name Like A Villain, marries extended vocal technique, composition, instrumental improvisation and primal emotion in a way that will take you out of yourself. Andrews has released two albums and an EP, but their latest record, “What Makes Vulnerability Good,” delivers more power and finesse than anything they’ve released previously. The album also serves as a milepost for how much they’ve changed throughout their career. Andrews joined us in the studio to talk about their work. Catch them at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s 2019 Time Based Art Festival. They’re onstage opening night, Sept. 5 at 9 p.m.


Oregon writer Molly Gloss was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for American Fiction, a winner of both the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award. Her latest book, "Unforeseen," is a collection of short stories.

Oregon writer Molly Gloss was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for American Fiction, a winner of both the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award. Her latest book, “Unforeseen,” is a collection of short stories.

April Baer/OPB

Writer Molly Gloss Is A Powerful Force In Any Genre — 35:42

This summer, Oregon Book Award winner Molly Gloss published a career retrospective of short fiction, “Unforeseen.” It’s a haunting read for fans of straight fiction, sci-fi and other forms. We were reminded of her superpowers earlier this summer when talking to fellow short story master, Ted Chiang, about how she’d helped him think through new work. When we got the chance to speak with her at the annual Summer Fishtrap Gathering of Writers where she was making the keynote address, she walked us through a few stories in “Unforeseen.”

Music Heard On 'State Of Wonder'

A Spotify playlist to share all the music we feature on our show and anything else that inspires us while we’re making it.