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Let's Deconstruct a Story

Let's Deconstruct a Story

By Kelly Fordon
Let's Deconstruct a Story: A podcast for the story nerds!

Aspiring writers need to understand the components of a good story before they can write one. Choices of POV, plot, setting, and tone are crucial. In each episode, I'll be interviewing a writer about one of their own stories, which will be available for listeners to read for free on my website before they listen.
This podcast is produced in collaboration with the Grosse Pointe Public Library which has committed to buying ten books by each of these authors. Look for names of other libraries as we add them.

www.kellyfordon.com.
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Currently playing episode

"Let's Deconstruct a Story" featuring Ellen Birkett Morris

Let's Deconstruct a Story

"Let's Deconstruct a Story" featuring Ellen Birkett Morris

Let's Deconstruct a Story

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"Let's Deconstruct a Story" featuring Ellen Birkett Morris
Hi Everyone, I'm thrilled to welcome Ellen Birkett Morris to the show today. Please read her story, "Inheritance" (available at www.kellyfordon.com) before listening to our discussion. During our talk, Ellen also mentioned a book by Ron Carlson called "Ron Carlson Writes a Story" which is out of print unfortunately but you might find a used copy here. Next month, Rion Amilcar Scott will record his session with me on June 28th at 6 pm at Pages Bookshop in Detroit. If you would like to sign up for the FREE live zoom session with us, please register here:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAqceqqpj4oH90WB1dmqCvRaHNT-DQkmzUU  Many thanks to the Grosse Pointe Public Library and Pages Bookshop in Detroit for their support of this podcast. Please let your local schools, libraries, and bookstores know about "Let's Deconstruct a Story," if you find the material valuable. LDAS is a labor of love, but every donation (on our website) helps, and we are deeply grateful for them. Enjoy! Kelly **Content warning: sexual assault and suicide.  Ellen Birkett Morris is a native of Louisville. She is the author of LOST GIRLS, a short story collection, and SURRENDER, a poetry chapbook. LOST GIRLS is a finalist for the 2021 Clara Johnson Award for Literature and winner of the Pencraft Award for short stories. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fiction from Queens University - Charlotte. Her short stories have appeared in Antioch Review, Shenandoah, South Carolina Review, Upstreet, and elsewhere. Podcast host, Kelly Fordon’s latest short story collection, I HAVE THE ANSWER (Wayne State University Press, 2020) was chosen as a Midwest Book Award Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist. Her 2016 Michigan Notable Book, GARDEN FOR THE BLIND, (WSUP), was an INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist. Her first full-length poetry collection, GOODBYE TOOTHLESS HOUSE, (Kattywompus Press, 2019) was an Eyelands International Prize Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist and was adapted into a play, written by Robin Martin, which was published in The Kenyon Review Online.  She is the author of three award-winning poetry chapbooks and has received a Best of the Net Award and Pushcart Prize nominations in three different genres. She teaches at Springfed Arts and The InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit, as well as online, where she runs LDAS. www.kellyfordon.com Purchase "Lost Girls" from Bookshop or Amazon. Thanks!
29:25
May 31, 2022
"Let's Deconstruct a Story" featuring Sara Majka
Hi Everyone, I'm excited to share my interview with Sara Majka about the title short story, "Cities I've Never Lived In." Here's a brief description of the collection from the publisher Graywolf Press: "Fearlessly riding the line between imagination and experience, fact and fiction, the linked stories in Sara Majka’s debut collection offer intimate glimpses of a young New England woman whose life must begin afresh after a divorce. Traveling the roads of Maine and the train tracks of Grand Central Station, moving from vast shorelines to the unmade beds of strangers, these fourteen stories circle the dreams of a narrator who finds herself turning to storytelling as a means of working through the world and of understanding herself. A book that upends our ideas of love and belonging, and which asks how much of ourselves we leave behind with each departure we make, Cities I’ve Never Lived In exposes, with great sadness and great humor, the ways in which we are most of all citizens of the places where we cannot stay." Before you listen to our discussion, first please read "Cities I've Never Lived In" here. Thanks, Kelly Bio: When she was young, Sara Majka's family moved along the New England coast, living in Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, and small towns in Maine. She received graduate degrees from Umass-Amherst and Bennington College and was awarded a fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her first book, Cities I've Never Lived In, was published by Graywolf Press / A Public Space in 2016. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island where she teaches writing at RISD. Sara Majka's book can be purchased here on Bookshop and here on Amazon as well as directly from the publisher, Graywolf Press. Let's Deconstruct a Story host, Kelly Fordon’s latest short story collection  I Have the Answer (Wayne State University Press, 2020) was chosen as a Midwest Book Award Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist. Her 2016 Michigan Notable Book, Garden for the Blind, (WSUP), was an INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist. She lives in Detroit. www.kellyfordon.com
43:56
April 30, 2022
Poet, Ken Meisel, reads from his new collection, The Consent Of A Distance” Kelsay Press, January 2022.
Even though I am mostly working on "Let's Deconstruct a Story" these days, every now and then I still like to feature a stellar Michigan poet! Today's post includes a reading by Ken Meisel from his new book, Studies Inside the Consent of a Distance published in January by Kelsay Books. Poems in the recording include "Fatherhood," "Two Portraits of Hunger, South Carolina" and “The Angel of the Wonderful “ all published in the San Pedro River Review. “Studies Inside the Consent of a Distance” was first published in Third Wednesday. His new book is dedicated to another legend in the Michigan poetry world, Joy Gaines-Friedler! They will be reading together on April 17th at 7pm on zoom through the Royal Oak Library. Register here. Kelly
11:06
April 14, 2022
"Let's Deconstruct a Story" featuring Lily King
Lily King discusses the title story from her collection "Five Tuesdays in Winter."  The story is available at most local libraries and should be read before listening to the podcast. I apologize--normally I am able to provide a copy of the story on my website but apparently Grove Atlantic does not have serial rights to the individual stories. Lily King is the award-winning author of five novels. Her most recent novel, Writers & Lovers, was published on March 3rd, 2020, and her first collection of short stories, Five Tuesdays in Winter, was released on November 9, 2021. Her 2014 novel Euphoria won the Kirkus Award, The New England Book Award and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. Euphoria was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by The New York Times Book Review. It was included in TIME's Top 10 Fiction Books of 2014, as well as on Amazon, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, and Salon’s Best Books of 2014. Kelly Fordon's (podcast host) latest short story collection  I Have the Answer (Wayne State University Press, 2020) was chosen as a Midwest Book Award Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist. Her 2016 Michigan Notable Book, Garden for the Blind, (WSUP), was an INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, (Kattywompus Press, 2019) was an Eyelands International Prize Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist and was adapted into a play, written by Robin Martin, which was published in The Kenyon Review Online.   This is the second "Let's Deconstruct a Story" podcast offered in collaboration with the Grosse Pointe Public Library in Michigan. The GPPL has committed to purchasing ten books by each author this season to give to their patrons! If you are a short story writer who has tried to make money in this game then you know what a big deal this is! My hope is that other libraries will follow the GPPL's lead and be inspired to buy books by these talented short story writers. I will be contacting many libraries this year to suggest this programming. Please feel free to do the same if you enjoy this podcast.
39:24
April 01, 2022
"Let's Deconstruct a Story" featuring Caitlin Horrocks
Caitlin Horrocks discusses her story "On the Oregon Trail" from her short story collection, Life Among the Terranauts. The story is available and should be read before listening to the podcast at www.kellyfordon.com/blog. Caitlin Horrocks is the author of the story collections Life Among the Terranauts and This Is Not Your City, both New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice selections. Her novel The Vexations was named one of the Ten Best Books of 2019 by the Wall Street Journal. Her stories and essays appear in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, The PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, The Pushcart Prize, The Paris Review, Tin House, and One Story, as well as other journals and anthologies. Her awards include the Plimpton Prize and fellowships to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and the MacDowell Colony. She is on the advisory board of The Kenyon Review, where she formerly served as fiction editor. She teaches at Grand Valley State University and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. She lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with the writer W. Todd Kaneko and their noisy kids. Kelly Fordon (podcast host) Kelly Fordon’s latest short story collection  I Have the Answer (Wayne State University Press, 2020) was chosen as a Midwest Book Award Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist. Her 2016 Michigan Notable Book, Garden for the Blind, (WSUP), was an INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, (Kattywompus Press, 2019) was an Eyelands International Prize Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist and was adapted into a play, written by Robin Martin, which was published in The Kenyon Review Online.  She is the author of three award-winning poetry chapbooks and has received a Best of the Net Award and Pushcart Prize nominations in three different genres. She teaches at Springfed Arts and The InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit, as well as online, where she also runs a monthly poetry and fiction blog. www.kellyfordon.com This is the first "Let's Deconstruct a Story" podcast offered in collaboration with the Grosse Pointe Public Library in Michigan. The GPPL has committed to purchasing ten books by each author this season to give to their patrons! If you are a short story writer who has tried to make money in this game then you know what a big deal this is! My hope is that other libraries will follow the GPPL's lead and be inspired to buy books by these talented short story writers. I will be contacting many libraries this year to suggest this programming. Please feel free to do the same if you enjoy this podcast.
35:13
March 01, 2022
"Let's Deconstruct a Story" featuring Alix Ohlin
“Let’s Deconstruct a Story” is a podcast for the story nerds--those who know that examining the components of a good story is the key to writing one. In each episode here, I interview a writer about one of their own stories, delving deeply into their choice of POV, plot, setting, and tone. The stories are available for listeners to read (below) before they listen to our discussion at www.kellyfordon.com/blog. Alix Ohlin is the author of six books, including the novel, Dual Citizens, which was short-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Best American Short Stories, and many other places. Her 2021 short story collection, We Want What We Want, was shortlisted for the 2021 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. She lives in Vancouver, where she is the director of the UBC School of Creative Writing.
39:49
November 15, 2021
"Let's Deconstruct a Story" featuring Natalie Serber
**Note use of strong language and adult content.** Please read Natalie's story, "Children are Magic" first at www.kellyfordon.com/blog. Natalie Serber is the author of a memoir about her experience with breast cancer entitled, Community Chest, and a story collection, Shout Her Lovely Name, a New York Times Notable Book, and an O, the Oprah Magazine Summer Read. Twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize, her fiction has appeared in One Story, Zyzzyva Magazine, Hunger Mountain, The Bellingham Review, Gulf Coast, and others. Essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, O, the Oprah Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Rumpus, and others. Currently at work on a novel with the working title, Must Be Nice, and a memoir entitled, Go Back to Sleep, you can visit her online at natalieserber.com and subscribe to her popular newsletter, read.write.eat. Host Kelly Fordon: Kelly Fordon’s latest short story collection  I Have the Answer (Wayne State University Press, 2020) was chosen as a Midwest Book Award Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist. Her 2016 Michigan Notable Book, Garden for the Blind, (WSUP), was an INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, (Kattywompus Press, 2019) was an Eyelands International Prize Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist and was adapted into a play, written by Robin Martin, which was published in The Kenyon Review Online.  She is the author of three award-winning poetry chapbooks and has received a Best of the Net Award and Pushcart Prize nominations in three different genres. She teaches at Springfed Arts and The InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit, as well as online, where she also runs a monthly poetry and fiction blog. www.kellyfordon.com
50:43
October 31, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Sejal Shah
Welcome! “Let’s Deconstruct a Story” is a podcast for the story nerds! This is a podcast for aspiring writers who know that examining the components of a good story is the key to writing one. In each episode here, I interview a writer about one of their own stories, delving deeply into their choice of POV, plot, setting, and tone. The stories are available at www.kellyfordon.com for listeners to read (below) before they listen to our discussion. Bio: Sejal Shah is a poet who works in prose, writing across genres and disciplines. She is the author of the award-winning debut essay collection, This Is One Way to Dance (University of Georgia Press, 2020). Her stories and essays have appeared in The Guardian, Brevity, Conjunctions, Guernica, the Kenyon Review, Literary Hub, Longreads, and The Rumpus. The recipient of a 2018 New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship in fiction, Sejal recently completed a story collection with images; her newer writing is about friendship, school, and mental health. She lives in Rochester, New York.
45:24
October 15, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Clifford Garstang
Welcome! “Let’s Deconstruct a Story” is a podcast for the story nerds! This is a podcast for aspiring writers who know that examining the components of a good story is the key to writing one. In each episode here, I interview a writer about one of their own stories, delving deeply into their choice of POV, plot, setting, and tone. The stories are available at www.kellyfordon.com for listeners to read (below) before they listen to our discussion.  Clifford Garstang is the author of the novels Oliver’s Travels and The Shaman of Turtle Valley, a novel in stories, What the Zhang Boys Know, winner of the Library of Virginia Literary Award for Fiction, and two short story collections, In an Uncharted Country and House of the Ancients. He is also the co-founder and former editor of Prime Number Magazine and the editor of the anthology series Everywhere Stories: Short Fiction from a Small Planet. A former international lawyer, he now lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. https://cliffordgarstang.com/
31:29
September 30, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Noley Reid
Kelly Fordon talks to Noley Reid about her story "Coming Back" on Split Lip Magazine available here or at www.kellyfordon.com/blog. Noley Reid’s third book is the novel Pretend We Are Lovely from Tin House Books. Her fourth book, a collection of stories called Origami Dogs, is forthcoming from Autumn House Press. Her stories and essays have appeared in The Southern Review, The Rumpus, Arts & Letters, Meridian, Pithead Chapel, The Lily, Bustle, Confrontation, and Los Angeles Review of Books. Follow her on Twitter @NoleyReid and find out more about her writing and upcoming events at www.NoleyReid.com.
22:58
September 14, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Jeff Vande Zande
Jeff Vande Zande discusses his story, "Load," with host, Kelly Fordon. "Load" was first published in Fiction Circus:  http://fictioncircus.com/story.php?storyid=load and later in his short story collection, "The Neighborhood Division." Please read the story first before listening to our discussion. The PDF is available at www.kellyfordon.com/blog. BIO: Jeff Vande Zande teaches fiction writing, screenwriting, and film production at Delta College in Michigan. His award-winning short films have been accepted over 200 times in national and international film festivals. His books of fiction include the story collections Emergency Stopping (Bottom Dog Press) and Threatened Species (Whistling Shade Press). His novels include Into the Desperate Country (March Street Press), Landscape with Fragmented Figures (Bottom Dog Press), American Poet (Bottom Dog Press), and Detroit Muscle (Whistling Shade Press). In 2012, American Poet won a Michigan Notable Book Award from the Library of Michigan. In 2020, Whistling Shade Press released his new collection, The Neighborhood Division: Stories, and in 2022, Montag Press will release his new dystopian novel, Falling Sky. He maintains a blog at www.authorjeffvandezande.blogspot.com  Kelly Fordon’s latest short story collection, I Have the Answer, (Wayne State University Press, 2020) was chosen as a Midwest Book Award Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist. Her 2016 Michigan Notable Book, Garden for the Blind, (WSUP), was an INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, (Kattywompus Press, 2019) was an Eyelands International Prize Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist and was adapted into a play, written by Robin Martin, which was published in The Kenyon Review Online.  www.kellyfordon.com
32:31
August 31, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Wendy Rawlings
Wendy Rawlings discusses her story, "Coffins for Kids," with host, Kelly Fordon. "Coffins for Kids" was first published in The Kenyon Review https://soundcloud.com/the-kenyon-review/coffins-for-kids-by-wendy-rawlings-read-by-allison-hetzel, and later in her 2019 short story collection, "Time for Bed" (LSU). Please read the story first before listening to our discussion. The PDF is available at www.kellyfordon.com/blog. Wendy Rawlings is the author of three books of fiction: Time for Bed, The Agnostics, and Come Back Irish. Originally from New York, she has lived in Alabama for the past 21 years. She teaches and directs the MFA Program in creative writing at the University of Alabama. 
34:23
August 15, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Susan Perabo
Kelly Fordon and Susan Perabo discuss Susan's story, This is Not That Story. The story is available in The Sun Magazine and linked on Kelly Fordon's blog. Bio: Susan Perabo’s most recent books are The Fall of Lisa Bellow (2017) and Why They Run the Way They Do (2016), both from Simon & Schuster. Her fiction has been anthologized in Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize Stories, andNew Stories from the South, and her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in numerous publications, including One Story, Glimmer Train, Story, The New York Times, The Sun, and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Her work has been featured on the podcasts Modern Love and Selected Shorts. She is a professor creative writing at Dickinson College in Carlisle, PA. Why They Run the Way They Do: Stories and The Fall of Lisa Bellow are available at Bookshop and Amazon. Kelly Fordon’s latest short story collection  I Have the Answer (Wayne State University Press, 2020) was chosen as a Midwest Book Award Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist. Her 2016 Michigan Notable Book, Garden for the Blind, (WSUP), was an INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, (Kattywompus Press, 2019) was an Eyelands International Prize Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist and was adapted into a play, written by Robin Martin, which was published in The Kenyon Review Online.  She is the author of three award-winning poetry chapbooks and has received a Best of the Net Award and Pushcart Prize nominations in three different genres. She teaches at Springfed Arts and The InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit, as well as online, where she also runs a monthly poetry and fiction blog. www.kellyfordon.com
37:03
July 30, 2021
Ellen Birkett Morris reads from her chapbook, Abide.
Abide by Ellen Birkett Morris published July 2021 Seven Kitchens Press.
04:06
July 22, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Treena Thibodeau
Welcome to "Let's Deconstruct a Story" where we read a story and then "deconstruct" it with the author. In order to get the most out of our interview, please read Treena Thibodeau's story first here: www.kellyfordon.com/blog. Treena Thibodeau's work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Rumpus, Atticus Review, Able Muse, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Pithead Chapel, and Barrelhouse. The director of the online reading series TGI (www.tgicast.com), Thibodeau's fiction has received support from the Vermont Studio Center, the Tin House Summer Conference, and the Gulkistan Center in Iceland. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and resides in Queens. Let's Deconstruct a Story is hosted by Kelly Fordon whose latest short story collection, I Have the Answer, (Wayne State University Press, 2020) was chosen as a Midwest Book Award Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist. Her first book, Garden for the Blind, (WSUP, 2015), was an INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, (Kattywompus Press, 2019) was an Eyelands International Prize Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist and was adapted into a play by  Robin Martin, which was published in The Kenyon Review Online.  She is the author of three award-winning poetry chapbooks and has received a Best of the Net Award and Pushcart Prize nominations in three different genres. www.kellyfordon.com
30:28
July 14, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Wandeka Gayle
Welcome to "Let's Deconstruct a Story!" This week I'm talking to Wandeka Gayle about a story called "Prodigal" from her new collection, "Motherland and other Stories." First, please read "Prodigal" by Wandeka Gayle And then enjoy our discussion! Kelly Fordon Bio: Wandeka Gayle is a Jamaican writer, visual artist, Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Spelman College and the author of Motherland and Other Stories (Peepal Tree Press, 2020). She has received writing fellowships from Kimbilio Fiction, Callaloo, the Hurston/Wright Foundation, and the Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing. She has a Ph.D. in English/Creative Writing from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.  Other writing has appeared in Prairie Schooner, The Rumpus, Transition, Interviewing the Caribbean and other journals and magazines. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Motherland and Other Stories is available at Peepal Tree Press, Amazon, and Bookshop.
41:12
July 01, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Esperanza Cintrón
Kelly Fordon talks to Esperanza Cintrón about her award-winning collection, Shades, Detroit Love Stories, a collection of interconnected short stories published by Wayne State University Press (2019). The conversation focuses on the first story, "The Beard." To read the story please visit www.kellyfordon.com/blog. For more about Esperanza Cintrón, please visit her website here: http://esperanzacintron.com/. Esperanza Cintrón’s Shades: Detroit Love Stories is a short story collection that is distinctly Detroit. By touching on a number of romantic and sexual encounters that span the historical and temporal spaces of the city, each of these interconnected stories examines the obstacles an individual faces and the choices he or she makes in order to cope and, hopefully, survive in the changing urban landscape. Shades begins in the 1960s by following two young black women who are determined to find joy in their lives even as they struggle to make ends meet. Their lives continue to evolve under triumphant and disappointing conditions—falling in and out of love, giving birth, raising children, and struggling to "make it" despite disappointing and tenuous love affairs and relationships. The setting throughout the eighteen stories shifts as these women age and their children extend the timeline, reflecting on the city’s social and political changes over three decades, as well as the pitfalls, tragedies, and opportunities these linked families encounter. Cintrón favors an everyday vernacular for her characters’ voices in order to reflect the complexities of their working/middle-class, ethnic, and racial identities. Divided into two sections, Eastside and Westside, the collection gives a nod to the sometimes contentious geographical split marked by Woodward Avenue. Cintrón takes readers through city streets—from neighborhood bars to burger joints—while painting lyrical portraits of the unique and multifaceted characters whose honesty shatters the illusion of endless love and happily-ever-after fantasies, as they clash with the circumstances of economics and race. Cintrón’s stories capture the rhythms of language and the poetry of the people and will interest readers of fiction or poetry who seek to understand love. https://www.wsupress.wayne.edu/books/detail/shades
46:49
May 27, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Joseph Harris
Joseph Harris and Kelly Fordon discuss the first book from Harris's thrilling interconnected narrative, You’re in the Wrong Place. Charles Baxter stated that "Joseph Harris has a particular feeling for the Detroit suburbs and the slightly stunted lives of the young people there. . . . You’re in the Wrong Place isn’t uniformly downbeat—there are all sorts of rays of hope that gleam toward the end." The book, composed of twelve stories, begins in the fall of 2008 with the shuttering of Dynamic Fabricating—a fictional industrial shop located in the Detroit suburb of Ferndale. Over the next seven years, the shop’s former employees—as well as their friends and families—struggle to find money, purpose, and levity in a landscape suddenly devoid of work, faith, and love. In "Would You Rather," a young couple brought together by Dynamic Fabricating shares a blissful weekend in Northern Michigan, unaware of the catastrophe that awaits them upon their return home. In "Acolytes," a devout Catholic clings to her faith as her brothers descend into cultish soccer violence. In "Memorial," an ex-Dynamic worker scrapes money together for a tribute to his best friend, lost to the war in Afghanistan. In "Was It Good for You?" a cam girl deconstructs materialism with her aging great aunt, a luxury sales associate, and an anxious, faceless client. And in the title story, simmering tensions come to a boil on a hot summer day for a hardscrabble landscaping crew, hired by the local bank to maintain the lawns of foreclosures. In turns elegiac and harrowing, You’re in the Wrong Place blends lyric intensity with philosophical eroticism to create a singular, powerful vision of contemporary American life. Readers of contemporary fiction grounded in place need to take up this collection. The story "Jack" is available at www.kellyfordon.com. The book can be purchased at Wayne State University Press here or Bookshop here.
38:29
May 01, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Rachel Swearingen
Please read Rachel's story, Advice for the Haunted, on my website before listening to us "deconstructing" it. https://kellyfordon.com/2020/10/31/rachel-swearingen/ Rachel Swearingen is the author of How to Walk on Water and Other Stories, winner of the 2018 New American Press Fiction Prize (October 1, 2020). Her stories and essays have appeared in VICE, The Missouri Review, Kenyon Review, Off Assignment, Agni, American Short Fiction, and elsewhere. She is the recipient of the 2015 Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ Prize in Fiction, a 2012 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and the 2011 Mississippi Review Prize in Fiction. In 2019, she was named one of 30 Writers to Watch by the Guild Literary Complex. She holds a BA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and a Ph.D. from Western Michigan University and teaches at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago. https://www.rachelswearingen.com You can find this fantastic book at Bookshop here or Amazon here.
31:49
April 28, 2021
Poet, Laura Van Prooyen, reads from her new collection, "Frances of the Wider Field."
Laura Van Prooyen’s collections of poetry are Frances of the Wider Field (Lily Poetry Review Books 2021), Our House Was on Fire, nominated by Philip Levine, awarded the McGovern Prize (Ashland Poetry Press 2015), and Inkblot and Altar (Pecan Grove Press 2006). She is also co-author, with Gretchen Bernabei, of Text Structures from Poetry—a book of writing lessons for grades 4-12 (Corwin Literacy 2020). Laura has over 20 years experience teaching poetry and writing in a variety of academic settings including: Dominican University, Henry Ford Academy: The Alameda School for Art + Design, Chicago Public Schools, Del Valle High School, and University of Illinois at Chicago. She also facilitated therapeutic writing sessions for soldiers with PTSD in an Intensive Outpatient Program for three years at Brook Army Medical Center. Having been raised in a tight-knit Dutch community just outside of Chicago, Van Prooyen now lives in San Antonio, TX. She earned a B.A. at Purdue University, an M.A. at The University of Illinois at Chicago, and an M.F.A. in Poetry at Warren Wilson College. Laura serves as the Managing Editor of The Cortland Review and teaches in the Low-Residency Creative Writing MFA Program at Miami University in Ohio. She is launching Next Page Press, with the first title to be released late 2021.https://lauravanprooyen.com/ Host, Kelly Fordon, latest book is a short story collection called I Have the Answer (Wayne State University Press, 2020). Her novel-in-stories, Garden for the Blind, (WSUP, 2015) is a 2016 Michigan Notable Book, a 2016 Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist in the short story category. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, (Kattywompus Press, 2019) was chosen as an Eyelands International Prize Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist for poetry and was adapted into a play by Robin Martin, which was produced in Michigan in 2019, and published in The Kenyon Review Online.  She is also the author of three poetry chapbooks. On the Street Where We Live won the 2012 Standing Rock Chapbook Award and the latest one, The Witness, won the 2016 Eric Hoffer Award for the Chapbook and was shortlisted for the Grand Prize. Her work has been published widely in literary journals and has received a Best of the Net Award, as well as Pushcart Prize nominations in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. She teaches at Springfed Arts and The InsideOut Literary Arts Project in Detroit, as well as online, where she also runs a monthly poetry and fiction blog. www.kellyfordon.com
20:44
April 15, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring John McNally
#letsdeconstructastory is all about unpacking short stories to see how they work on a cellular level. It's a place for writers to geek out about the work of other writers and hopefully add some new tools to their own toolbox. Here's how it works: 1.  Please read the story on my website first: https://kellyfordon.com/2021/02/01/john-mcnally/ 2. Listen to our discussion of the story here on Spotify.
42:44
April 06, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Renee Simms
Episodes with music are only available on Spotify.
On "Let's Deconstruct a Story" we read a story and then "deconstruct" it with the author. This week, I'm talking to Renee Simms about her story "Rebel Airplanes." You will find the story on my website at www.kellyfordon.com/blog-2 Bio: Renee Simms' work appears in Guernica, Oxford American, Callaloo, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere, and her short story collection Meet Behind Mars was an Indies Forward finalist and listed by The Root as one of 28 brilliant books by Black authors in 2018. She's received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Ragdale, Vermont Studio Center, and Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. Renee teaches creative writing and African American Studies at the University of Puget Sound and in the MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University. The host of Let's Deconstruct a Story is Kelly Fordon. More information at www.kellyfordon.com.
34:28
April 01, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Desiree Cooper
Episodes with music are only available on Spotify.
Kelly Fordon talks to Desiree Cooper about her story "Night Coming" from her 2016 short story collection, Know the Mother. Story is available at https://kellyfordon.com/2020/07/15/desiree-cooper-know-the-mother/
31:24
March 14, 2021
Let's Deconstruct a Story featuring Donna Baier Stein
Episodes with music are only available on Spotify.
Welcome to #letsdeconstructastory! Today I’m happy to talk to Donna about her story “A Landing called Compromise” from her prize-winning collection Scenes from the Heartland. The way the blog works: Please read the story, “A Landing called Compromise” here at The Saturday Evening Post. Listen as we “deconstruct” the story below. Afterward, please purchase the book at Bookshop!
33:44
March 13, 2021
Poet Ari L. Mokdad Reads Two Poems
Episodes with music are only available on Spotify.
The transcripts of Ari Mokdad's poems and more information about her work is available at www.kellyfordon.com. 
19:37
March 12, 2021
Keith Taylor reads from "Let Them Be Left"
Episodes with music are only available on Spotify.
Keith Taylor reads poetry from his 2021 chapbook, "Let Them Be Left" published by Alice Greene & Co. Purchase information here: http://www.alicegreene.com/publications/let-them-be-left/ 
13:39
February 15, 2021