Skip to main content
Literally Literary

Literally Literary

By Reyna Muñoz, Vanessa Zuñiga, Richie Marrufo, & formerly Jorge Gomez
From BorderSenses & Papagayo at El Paso Community College, this podcast dissects culturally-relevant literature: novels, memoirs, poetry, comics, zines, & short stories. We love reading & analyzing books, comparing their adaptations, & connecting their allusions. At times, we interview the authors. #Ad-Free Español: este podcast disecciona literatura culturalmente relevante: novelas, memorias, poesía, cómics, fanzines, & cuentos cortos. Nos encanta leer & analizar libros, comparando sus adaptaciones, & conectando sus alusiones. A veces, entrevistamos a los autores.
Listen on Spotify
Where to listen
Apple Podcasts Logo

Apple Podcasts

Castbox Logo

Castbox

Google Podcasts Logo

Google Podcasts

Overcast Logo

Overcast

Pocket Casts Logo

Pocket Casts

RadioPublic Logo

RadioPublic

Spotify Logo

Spotify

Stitcher Logo

Stitcher

A Ballad of Love and Glory: Part 2
This episode, we wrap up our discussion of A Ballad of Love and Glory, Reyna Grande's 2022 novel, going over parts 2-4. 
43:55
May 23, 2022
A Ballad of Love and Glory: Part 1
This episode, we begin Reyna Grande's A Ballad of Love and Glory, giving an overview of Reyna's most recent novel and discussing part 1. Stay tuned for part 2!
43:49
May 18, 2022
The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You: Part 3
We are honored to interview Maurice C. Ruffin, the author of The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You, in this episode.*  *We apologize for the delay in releasing this interview, but hope you all enjoy and stay tuned for upcoming recordings on our next books!
23:49
April 14, 2022
The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You: Part 2
This episode, we conclude our talk on The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, focusing on the second half of the short story collection. 
01:10:50
March 10, 2022
The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You: Part 1
Join us for our introductory episode on The Ones Who Don't Say They Love You, going over the first five stories in the debut short story collection by Maurice Carlos Ruffin shortlisted for the Ernest J. Gaines award. 
57:57
February 27, 2022
Thirty Talks Weird Love: Part 3
This episode, Alessandra Narváez Varela joins us in the studio to talk about her debut novel, Thirty Talks Weird Love. Stay tuned for exclusive video of this special occasion! 
44:15
February 07, 2022
Thirty Talks Weird Love: Part 2
In our second look at Alessandra Narváez Varela's Thirty Talks Weird Love, we highlight our favorite pieces from the verse novel, and discuss ways of teaching it in the classroom. 
01:01:38
January 31, 2022
Thirty Talks Weird Love: Part 1
We kick off 2022 with our first look at Alessandra Narváez Varela’s debut novel-in-verse from Cinco Puntos Press, Thirty Talks Weird Love. Varela’s YA novel is the story of a young girl from Juárez, Mexico, who meets her older self at a time when the women of that border city become victims to violence. If your older self could talk to your 13-year-old self, what would they say?
45:47
January 24, 2022
Piñata Theory: Part 2
We close out the year talking shop with the second half of Piñata Theory, Alan Chazaro's 2020 poetry collection out of Black Lawrence Press. We will return next year, and want to wish everyone a safe and happy 2022 filled with lots of books! 
57:35
December 30, 2021
Piñata Theory: Part 1
For our first look at Piñata Theory, the poetry collection by Alan Chazaro, we begin with our usual overview, but then dive into the first half of Chazaro's second poetry collection (from Black Lawrence Press). 
01:19:19
November 29, 2021
Funeral for Flaca: Part 4
To close out our platica on Funeral for Flaca by Emily Prado, we were honored to interview Emily for this final episode on her memoir.  Please do pick up a copy of Emily's book at your local bookstore. You can find local bookstores through this website: https://bookshop.org/  Check out the Spotify playlist we assembled from songs contributed by listeners here: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/2raj1v2J77IPMzbjnBfPYK?si=MGwpGhlBQyOWM-aPCqe3AA
19:58
November 17, 2021
Funeral for Flaca: Part 3
This episode, we discuss the second half of Emily Prado's essay collection, Funeral for Flaca, looking at our favorite chapters, or tracks. Which chapters / tracks were your favorite? Drop a voicemail and let us know!
01:12:21
November 12, 2021
Funeral for Flaca: Part 2
For our second look at Funeral for Flaca by Emily Prado, we talk about the first half of its collection of essays. If you have not had a chance to answer our music poll in part 1 on Spotify, please do so! 
01:01:38
October 22, 2021
Funeral for Flaca: Part 1
Welcome to season 4! And welcome our new co-host, Reyna Muñoz, EPCC English Professor. For our first book this season, we open Funeral for Flaca, Emily Prado's 2021 memoir. For part 1, we discuss the author's bio, as well as the collection’s style, themes, and connections we made to other works. We also talk about her book tour and visit to El Paso, and preview the memoir's arrangement: song tracks for chapters. If you're tuning in on Spotify, you can answer our question on the app: what are 5 songs that encapsulate who you are? Link to official Funeral for Flaca mixtape: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6GklWXR8Eu7tdQ9UaQBwoK?si=nj6r4zaaSLGuP06QVbg7Uw
50:50
October 11, 2021
Citizen Illegal: Student Voices
On our two-year anniversary, we present this bonus episode featuring El Paso Community College student perspectives on Citizen Illegal, the poetry collection by José Olivarez.  Stay tuned for our new season of books this fall of 2021!
07:50
September 19, 2021
Subduction: Part 4
We are fortunate to be joined by Kristen Millares Young, whose debut novel, Subduction, we just closed the book on. Among other things, we discuss the research she conducted for her book, some of the book's themes, Claudia's problematic anthropology, and how some of the Makah have received her work.  Please check out Kristen's website for links to her essays, and a list of her virtual events, here: https://kristenmyoung.com/ 
50:59
July 05, 2021
Subduction: Part 3
For our third episode on Subduction by Kristen Millares Young, we cover passages in the second half of the novel, not to mention how the novel ends for our main characters. 
01:03:39
June 30, 2021
Subduction: Part 2
Here, we discuss passages from the first half of Subduction, by Kristen Millares Young, tying in some of the themes of perception v. reality, and objectivity v. subjectivity. 
01:23:24
June 10, 2021
Subduction: Part 1
We return to the novel with Subduction, the 2020 debut from Kristen Millares Young, a story about an anthropologist (Claudia) who moves from Seattle to Neah Bay, Washington to interview Maggie, a member of the Makah in the Pacific Northwest, and Maggie's son (Peter) who returns home to his mother now suffering from dementia to learn more about what happened to the murder of his father. We go over these main characters, as well as some of the themes, and literary connections we made. 
43:12
June 01, 2021
Guillotine: Part 3
Our last episode on Guillotine from Eduardo C. Corral explores the complex imagery, symbolism, and themes evident in the second half of the collection.  Here is the YouTube video of Eduardo reading "Border Patrol Agent" via Ours Poetica: https://youtu.be/RGzu96FMeyg
01:08:31
May 21, 2021
Guillotine: Part 2
For our second look at Guillotine by Eduardo C. Corral, we discuss what is about the first half of the collection, in particular the ekphrastic poem that is "Testaments Scratched into a Water Station Barrel." 
54:00
May 17, 2021
Guillotine: Part 1
For National Poetry Month this April, we begin Guillotine, the poetry collection by Eduardo C. Corral, Longlisted for the 2020 National Book Award for Poetry, going over our first impressions, themes, structure, and connections we made to other works. 
39:41
May 03, 2021
Thrown in the Throat: Part 3
Here we finish Thrown in the Throat, discussing our strong lines from the second half of Benjamin Garcia's award-winning collection of poems.
59:00
April 26, 2021
Thrown in the Throat: Part 2
As we dig into Thrown in the Throat, here we highlight our strong lines from the first half of Benjamin Garcia's debut poetry collection. 
53:01
April 12, 2021
Thrown in the Throat: Part 1
In our first platica on Thrown in the Throat, the debut poetry collection by Benjamin Garcia, we talk about the author, connections to previous works we reviewed in our show, style, themes, and the publisher, Milkweed Editions, in this winning selection from the 2019 National Poetry Series.  
31:09
April 05, 2021
Concrete Rose: Part 3
The second half of the prequel to The Hate U Give, Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas, offers us an opportunity to talk about Maverick's struggles as a Black single father, his relationship with Lisa, and his epiphany that determines whether he will follow his father's and King's footsteps, or walk his own path. 
01:00:01
March 08, 2021
Concrete Rose: Part 2
This episode, we focus on the first half of Angie Thomas' Concrete Rose, our favorite passages from the first 15 chapters of the prequel to The Hate U Give. 
01:07:03
March 01, 2021
Concrete Rose: Part 1
As we first dig into Concrete Rose, the prequel to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, we talk about the novel's premise, style, theme, connections to other works, & teachable approaches. 
58:58
February 22, 2021
Some Are Always Hungry: Part 3
For our last episode on Some Are Always Hungry, we share on thoughts on the second half of Jihyun Yun's award-winning poetry collection, and connect these latter poems to the first half, as well as other works of which we were reminded. 
01:00:08
February 14, 2021
Some Are Always Hungry: Part 2
For this episode, we focus on the first half of the debut poetry collection Some Are Always Hungry by Jihyun Yun. Stay tuned to our social media for our collaborative Spotify playlist inspired by this award-winning work! 
01:14:05
January 30, 2021
Some Are Always Hungry: Part 1
We open the new year with the debut poetry collection by Jihyun Yun, Some Are Always Hungry, discussing its themes, style, and textual connections we found in the 2019 winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Poetry. 
41:17
January 27, 2021
Mexican Gothic: Part 3
In our last episode on Mexican Gothic from Silvia Moreno-Garcia, we highlight our favorite passages from the second half of the novel, offering our closing thoughts on this groundbreaking novel. 
01:24:25
December 26, 2020
Mexican Gothic: Part 2
Passages in the first half of Silvia Moreno-Garcia's novel, Mexican Gothic, is what we cover in this episode. 
01:26:02
December 16, 2020
Mexican Gothic: Part 1
In our first look at Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, we go over the premise, the main characters, the themes, and the connections we made both to the Gothic tradition, and to other stories. 
01:03:48
December 10, 2020
Coatlicue Girl: Student Voices
This bonus episode presents El Paso Community College student perspectives on Coatlicue Girl, the debut collection of poetry and short stories by Gris Muñoz (with art by Los Dos). Limited signed copes might be available at two El Paso local bookstores, Literarity Book Shop and Brave Books. 
21:03
October 26, 2020
Real Life: Part 3
In our last episode on Real Life, the debut novel by Brandon Taylor shortlisted for the Booker Prize, we go over the passages from the second half of the novel which impacted us the most. 
01:03:41
October 14, 2020
Real Life: Part 2
In our first deep dive on Real Life by Brandon Taylor, we talk about which passages we found most intriguing from the first half of the novel. 
44:56
October 05, 2020
Real Life: Part 1
In our first episode on Real Life by Brandon Taylor, we provide an overview of the characters, themes, style, and connections we made to our previously discussed works. 
30:11
September 30, 2020
Running: Part 3
Our last episode on Running by Natalia Sylvester centers on the second half of this important political, coming-of-age novel. 
01:02:35
August 31, 2020
Running: Part 2
We cover our strong lines from the first half of Natalia Sylvester’s Running, the thrilling political novel, in this episode. 
01:13:17
August 20, 2020
Running: Part 1
For our first episode in season 3, we cover the characters, setting, themes, and connections we made with Running, the debut YA novel by Natalia Sylvester. 
37:07
August 09, 2020
Coatlicue Girl: Part 4
Gris Muñoz joins us this recording to talk about the origins of her collection, Coatlicue Girl, her journey as a poet, her mentors, and her philosophy on writing and art. 
01:16:38
July 06, 2020
Coatlicue Girl: Part 3
For this recording, we dive into the second half of the poems, art, and stories in Coatlicue Girl by Gris Muñoz. 
01:17:03
July 02, 2020
Coatlicue Girl: Part 2
This episode, we cover the first half, poems, art, and short stories, of Coatlicue Girl, the debut collection from Gris Muñoz.
01:18:30
June 24, 2020
Coatlicue Girl: Part 1
We take our first look at Coatlicue Girl, the powerful debut collection of frontera poetry and short stories by queer Chicana writer and performer Gris Muñoz, with art by the duo Los Dos, discussing the author's background, connections to previous literature, themes, and style. 
47:20
June 14, 2020
We Cast a Shadow: Part 5
Maurice Carlos Ruffin joins us this episode for an interview about his debut novel, We Cast a Shadow, and his journey as a writer. 
28:32
June 05, 2020
We Cast a Shadow: Part 4
In our last look at We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, we highlight scenes from parts 3 and 4 of the book. 
01:00:07
May 31, 2020
We Cast a Shadow: Part 3
For part 3 of our dialog on We Cast a Shadow, the debut novel from Maurice Carlos Ruffin, we center on passages from part 2 of the novel. 
01:01:35
May 27, 2020
We Cast a Shadow: Part 2
For part 2 of our talk on We Cast a Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, we focus on scenes we were drawn to from part 1 of the novel. 
49:59
May 21, 2020
We Cast a Shadow: Part 1
In our first look at the debut novel and PEN-Faulkner finalist from Maurice Carlos Ruffin, We Cast a Shadow, we give readers a taste of what to expect from the dystopian story in terms of main characters, setting, themes, conflict, and connections we made to existing literature. 
45:19
May 18, 2020
Poet X: Student Voices
In this bonus episode on Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X, listen to perspectives on and strong lines from her multi-award-winning book courtesy of El Paso Community College students in the Pasos classroom. 
13:02
May 01, 2020
Citizen Illegal: Part 4
In our last episode on Citizen Illegal, we discuss sections IV and V of the collection, & are joined by an El Paso Community College student reading the book in the classroom through the Pasos program. 
01:06:03
April 23, 2020
Citizen Illegal: Part 3
In this episode, we focus on our favourite poems from section III of Citizen Illegal by José Olivarez. 
01:09:16
April 15, 2020
Citizen Illegal: Part 2
For our second look at Citizen Illegal, we look at our favourite poems from sections I and II from José Olivarez's collection, and provide some background into the author, and the publisher, Haymarket Books. 
01:14:59
April 06, 2020
Citizen Illegal: Part 1
We are fortunate to interview José Olivarez about his poetry collection, Citizen Illegal, which was a finalist for the PEN / Jean Stein award & winner of the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize, discussing cultural & familial themes; musical & religious allusions; literary influences, mentor poets, & teachers (academic & community-based), & the value of open mics. José closes with a special message for EPCC students! 
30:41
April 02, 2020
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter: Part 3
In our last episode on the National Book Award finalist I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sánchez, we talk about what we found most salient from the second half of the novel, after Julia's summer break. 
01:11:12
March 30, 2020
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter: Part 2
Which scenes from the first half of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter resonated with us the most? Listen to part 2 of our discussion to find out!
01:02:54
March 22, 2020
I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter: Part 1
In our first recording on I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez, we talk about our experience at AWP 2020 & COVID-19; the themes, characters, allusions, & connections we made to our previous books-of-the-month; as well as the YA label, the writing style, & the differences between the paperback & hardcover editions of this National Book Award finalist.   
45:49
March 18, 2020
Sabrina & Corina: Part 4
We are joined this show by Kali Fajardo-Anstine via phone to interview her about her short story collection, Sabrina & Corina. Many thanks to Kali for allowing us the honor of talking to her! 
29:30
March 02, 2020
Sabrina & Corina: Part 3
For this episode, we discuss strong lines that struck us from the latter half of Kali Fajardo-Anstine's compelling collection, Sabrina & Corina, that being "Galapago," "Cheesman Park," "Tomi," "Any Further West," "All Her Names," and "Ghost Sickness." 
01:04:48
March 01, 2020
Sabrina & Corina: Part 2
Our second look at Kali Fajardo-Anstine's Sabrina & Corina focuses on the first half of the short story collection: "Sugar Babies," "Sabrina & Corina," "Sisters," "Remedies," & "Julian Plaza." 
01:09:42
February 25, 2020
Sabrina & Corina: Part 1
Our first dive into Kali Fajardo-Anstine's Sabrina & Corina, the short story collection, includes a conversation of the National Book Award finalist's themes, and connections to previous works we have discussed.  
30:09
February 17, 2020
Patron Saints of Nothing: Part 3
From the second half of Patron Saints of Nothing, we finish Randy Ribay's novel by pausing over passages that highlight the tension that has been built between the truth Jay seeks, and the one he ultimately grapples with, along with the way his character finds a way to keep a piece of not only Jun's memory, but his own heritage.  
01:01:42
February 16, 2020
Patron Saints of Nothing: Part 2
In our second part on Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay, we talk about important moments we found from the first half of the novel, including Jay sharing his cousin Jun's letters, his grappling with his hybrid identity, digging up the truth about the Philippines in relation to Pres. Duterte's drug war (and parallels to Mexico's war on drugs), and investigating what happened to Jun, in part by scrutinizing his uncle and police chief, Tito Maning. 
49:56
February 04, 2020
Patron Saints of Nothing: Part 1
In our opening discourse on Randy Ribay's Patron Saints of Nothing for season 2 of our podcast, we give our synopsis on the novel, and some of the threads that tie in to the previous works we have reviewed. 
29:11
January 19, 2020
Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club: Part 4
We finish discussing Sáenz's collection by covering what struck us about "Brother in Another Language," "Sometimes the Rain," "Chasing the Dragon," & "The Hurting Game." 
01:06:49
January 17, 2020
Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club: Part 3
Benjamin Alire Sáenz joins us for an interview in this episode to talk about the border, politics, his writing style, the stories in Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club, & news on the film adaptation for Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. 
56:30
January 03, 2020
Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club: Part 2
In our second part on Everything Begins & Ends, we cover our strong lines from the first half of the collection, including the stories, "He Has Gone to be with the Women," "Art of Translation," & "Rule Maker."  
51:26
December 23, 2019
Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club: Part 1
For our last book of the year, we open Benjamin Alire Saenz's Everything Begins & Ends at the Kentucky Club, covering some of the themes from this PEN-Faulkner-award-winning short story collection, as well as the setting, the style, the role of food, & part of the first story, "He Has Gone to be With the Women." 
46:41
December 17, 2019
The Hate U Give: Part 3
We conclude Angie Thomas' novel by highlighting some differences with the film adaptation (focusing especially on DeVante and Khalil), the significance behind the names, and the differences between the two protests we see in the story. 
40:28
December 09, 2019
The Hate U Give: Part 2
In our second look at Hate U Give, we analyze some of the themes of the novel, point out its pop culture allusions, & highlight what makes it so relevant.
49:22
December 01, 2019
The Hate U Give: Part 1
In our first round on the Hate U Give, we cover the setting and main characters in Angie Thomas’ novel, as well as tie in some threads to Poet X and Black Klansman.
32:08
November 12, 2019
Black Klansman: Part 3
This episode, Ron Stallworth joins us to talk about his memoir and its film adaptation as part of the events of the EPCC Literary Fiesta. 
37:46
October 28, 2019
Black Klansman: Part 2
In this episode, we discuss the second half of Ron Stallworth's memoir, Black Klansman, highlighting our most salient passages. 
23:53
October 21, 2019
Black Klansman: Part 1
This episode, we begin Ron Stallworth's memoir, Black Klansman, which details his undercover work as a police officer passing as a member of the KKK. We highlight moments that stayed with us from the first half of the book, but on Saturday Oct. 19 at El Paso's downtown library, join us at EPCC's Literary Fiesta for a live interview with Mr. Stallworth, preceded by a free screening of the Academy-award-winning film adaptation, BlaKkKlansman, by director Spike Lee.  
34:04
October 14, 2019
Poet X: Part 3
As we close the book on Poet X, we highlight our favourite pieces from Part III, and bring in special guest and EPCC English Professor Reyna Muñoz to talk about the audiobook too. 
47:41
October 07, 2019
Poet X: Part 2
In our second part of Poet X, we dive into our favourite pieces from parts I and II of the book. 
44:31
September 24, 2019
Poet X: Part 1
On our first episode of Literally Literary, we summarize the general plot of Elizabeth Acevedo's The Poet X, as well as discuss some of its themes, its style, and its allusions. Jorge Gomez & Vanessa Zuñiga are joined by Richie Marrufo to engage in a dialog about Acevedo's work. This podcast is brought to you by the Humanities Collaborative at EPCC-UTEP. Big thanks to our guest and colleague, Richie Marrufo, for all the sound mixing and editing! 
33:16
September 18, 2019