Michael May

Michael May teaches radio documentary at the Salt Institute in Portland, ME and is a radio and print freelancer. Before that, he was the managing editor of the Texas Observer. For more than a decade, he reported from Austin, where he investigated an idiosyncratic FBI informant named Brandon Darby, heard Willie Nelson sing “Amazing Grace” a capella and discovered that a police“bait car” can snare good Samaritans. His stories ended up on This American LifeStudio 360Marketplace, The Austin Chronicle and others. He has also worked as an editor for the national radio show Weekend America and a news reporter at the Austin NPR station KUT-FM. For his radio work, May has won a Third Coast Audio Festival Gold Award and a National Headliners Grand Award.

Recent Stories

Arts, Culture & Media


You know them for their catchy futuristic-disco song "Whip It" and their iconic flowerpot-like head gear, but Devo has surprisingly serious origins. After witnessing the killings at Kent State, the band came together to address the heavy issues of the day in their music when no other bands would. Produced by Michael May.

Arts, Culture & Media

Aha Moment: Alejandro Escovedo

In 2005, the rock songwriter collapsed after a show and nearly died from complications of Hepatitis C. Ill and depressed, Escovedo put rock and roll behind him. He told us about the gift that got him singing again. His new album is Real Animal. Produced by Michael May.

Synesthesia for the Rest of Us

Synesthesia causes people to hear music -? or see letters or numbers -? in color. Neuroscience is beginning to unravel what's going on in the brains of people with this cerebral phenomenon, but hasn't yet explained why the genetic mutation exists. V.S. Ramachandran, Director of the Center for Brain and Cognition at UC San Diego, has a theory, as he explains to producer Michael May.