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New KTCO: The Craft of the Literary Podcast Interview

Last month, I was scheduled to moderate a panel at the annual AWP Conference called “The Craft of the Literary Podcast Interview,” featuring Rachel Zucker of Commonplace, Dujie Tahat of The Poet Salon, and David Naimon of Between the Covers, three of my favorite literary podcasts. Due to the coronavirus, we ended up having to cancel our appearance at the conference, which makes it all the sweeter to be able to bring you this podcast version of our panel. In this wide-ranging coversation, Rachel, Dujie, David, and I talked all about the “how”s and the “whys” of interviewing, including the importance of establishing rapport with our guests, questions about the ethics of interviewing, and what the role of the host ought to be.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

New LikeWise Fiction: "Seasons of Glass and Iron," by Amal El-Mohtar

Episode 12 of LikeWise Fiction features "Seasons of Glass and Iron," by Amal El-Mohtar.

In her 2017 WisCon Guest of Honor speech, Amal El-Mohtar described the genesis of this story, which came about when her seven-year-old niece asked for a fairy tale. “I wanted nothing more than to do so,” said El-Mohtar, “but what crowded my mouth were stories of women isolated, women won as prizes, women hating each other, step-mothers at their daughters’ throats. I was violently struck by how I knew stories full of firebirds and golden apples and djinn but somehow, more impossible to conceive of than all of these was the notion of two women talking to each other about something other than a man.” The result was this powerfully feminist and utterly beautiful story, a story that centers conversation and love between women, and in which women rescue each other. It’s one of my all-time favorite stories.

Listen to the story at:

New KTCO: Julian K. Jarboe

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with writer Julian K. Jarboe. Julian’s debut story collection, Everyone on the Moon Is Essential Personnel, is a mix of body-horror fairy tales, mid-apocalyptic science fabulism, and blue-collar queer resistance. The stories grapple with body dysmorphia and transformation, and the realities of laboring under late capitalism. In our conversation we talked about different communities responses to the climate crisis, the frustration of white feminism, and “science fabulism” as a genre. Then in the second segment, we talked about different aspects of food and community.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

New LikeWise Fiction: "Evangelina Concepcion," by Ani Sison Cooney

Episode 11 of LikeWise Fiction features "Evangelina Concepcion," by Ani Sison Cooney. A young Latina woman growing up in Los Angeles struggles with grief after her mother is killed in a car accident.

Listen to the story at:

New KTCO: Jon Sands

This week on Keep the Channel Open I'm talking with poet Jon Sands. I first became acquainted with Jon as one of the co-hosts of the podcast The Poetry Gods, one of my all-time favorites, and the poems in his latest collection, It’s Not Magic,  are both exuberant and profound. In our conversation we talked about  being braver on the page, about balancing self-love and accountability,  and about writing toward growth. Then in the second segment we talked  about how having kids changes how you see other people, and we talked  about the work of Aracelis Girmay and how she uses personification in  her poems.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

New LikeWise Fiction: "Acknowledgments," by Maggie Shipstead

Episode 10 of LikeWise Fiction features "Acknowledgments," by Maggie Shipstead. On the eve of the publication of his self-referential debut novel, The Canon According to D. M. Murphy, Daniel M. Murphy narrowly avoids a moment of self-awareness.

A more nimble writer than I would find a subtle way to mark this moment as formative, even primal, the ur-accomplishment that would forever lie beyond the green light at the end of the dock. But I will say only this, openly and bluntly: The sound of my own words issuing from the mouth of a pretty woman brought me ecstasy such as I had not known life might contain.

Listen to the story at:

New KTCO: Brandon Taylor

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm pleased to welcome writer Brandon Taylor back to the show. Brandon’s debut novel, Real Life, is one of the best books I’ve read in years. Real Life is the story of Wallace, an introverted, black, gay graduate student studying biochemistry. Over the course of a summer weekend, a series of confrontations with his friends and labmates and a confusing encounter with a straight classmate bring all of the unspoken tensions in the group to the surface. In our conversation, Brandon and I talked about the craft of writing a novel, the question of what real life is, the banality of racism, and the hidden selfishness inside altruism. Then in the second segment, we talked about digital communities and how our interactions in those communities have changed over time.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

New LikeWise Fiction: "Auspicium Melioris Aevi," by JY Yang

Episode 9 of LikeWise Fiction features "Auspicium Melioris Aevi," by JY Yang. In a future where famous historical leaders are cloned and trained in a mysterious Academy to become advisors to the world’s nations, the fiftieth copy of Harry Lee Kuan Yew tries to buck the system.

Listen to the story at:

You can also listen to the full episode and read the story text at the episode page on the LikeWise Fiction website.

New KTCO: Lilliam Rivera

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with YA author Lilliam Rivera. In her young adult novels The Education of Margot Sanchez and Dealing In Dreams,  Lilliam tells familiar stories in new ways—instead of a typical teen  drama or dystopian science fiction, she centers Latina characters in  stories that take on topics like colorism and gentrification. In our  conversation, we talked about why she’s drawn to write stories about  young people, what it means to buy into the American Dream, and whether  violence is actually empowering. Then for the second segment, we  discussed Jeanine Cummins’ recent novel American Dirt and the controversy around it.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

 

New LikeWise Fiction: "The Story of the Woman Who Fell in Love With Death," by Chaya Bhuvaneswar

Episode 8 of LikeWise Fiction features "The Story of the Woman Who Fell in Love with Death," by Chaya Bhuvaneswar. A young boy immerses himself in story, trying to find meaning and wholeness after his sister goes missing.

(Content note: contains references to child abuse and gendered violence.)

Listen to the story at:

You can also listen to the full episode and read the story text at the episode page on the LikeWise Fiction website.