Irwin Gratz

Morning Edition Producer

Irwin was born and reared in New York City and, while he never hiked miles to school, he did walk up six flights of stairs every day to the apartment his family lived in until he was nearly 19. Irwin remains a lover of subway rides, egg creams, and the New York Mets. He moved to Maine in 1978 and worked a dozen years in commercial radio in Sanford, then Portland, before beginning to freelance for MPBN in 1990. He's been local anchor of Morning Edition since September, 1992.

From September 2004 to October 2005, Irwin served as national President of the Society of Professional Journalists, the nation's largest and most broad-based journalism organization. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from New York University.

Irwin also has an interest in astronomy which he indulges to this day as an occasional show presenter at the Southworth Planetarium in Portland. And he swims - a lot. Irwin has completed 5 Peaks Island-to-Portland swims. Irwin is married and has a young son.

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MPBN: File photo

PORTLAND, Maine - Neil Rolde says the stories in his new book are real; the names were changed to protect - the politicians. Rolde, a former state legislator from York, has written a new book, "Real Political Tales:  Short Stories by a Veteran Politician."  Rolde told MPBN's Irwin Gratz that he drew the stories from his own time in Augusta.

AUGUSTA, Maine - The state of Maine may have paid hundreds of millions of dollars in unemployment benefits to people who didn't technically qualify.

The state auditor's office says that as many as one in three Mainers receiving unemployment between 2011 and 2014 may not have been eligible for those benefits because the state Department of Labor didn't ensure that they were actively looking for work.


AUGUSTA, Maine - If you think you had it rough this winter, consider the winter moth: The population of the ill-named insect was devastated.

Irwin Gratz / MPBN

KENNEBUNKPORT, Maine - The Louis Graves Memorial Library in Kennebunkport is taking applications for its first ever "writer in residence." The person selected will be given a free place at the library to write, in return for doing some kind of program for library patrons.

Josh Bodwell, executive director of the Maine Writers and Publishers Alliance says this is the first program of its kind he's aware of in the state. Irwin Gratz sat down at the library with Bodwell and Graves Library Director Mary Lou Boucouvalas to talk about the project.

Jennifer Rooks / MPBN

WATERVILLE, Maine — An 11th grader from Mount Ararat High School will represent Maine in the National Poetry Out Loud competition next month.

  Rose Horowitz won the state finals held yesterday at the Waterville Opera House. She surprised herself — she couldn't even believe that she made it to the finals. But she was a natural on stage.

"Like my actual character is very shy and scared and I have a hard time talking," she says. "I actually do Poetry Out Loud because I can be someone else and can be confident."