DEFENESTRATE w/Renée Branum
Renée Branum’s stories and essays have appeared in several publications including The Georgia Review, Narrative Magazine, The Gettysburg Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and Lit Hub. Her story “As the Sparks Fly Upward” was included in Best American Nonrequired Reading’s 2019 anthology. She has earned MFAs in Fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Nonfiction from the University of Montana. She was recently awarded a National Endowment for the Arts 2020 Prose Fellowship to aid in the completion of her first novel, Defenestrate, published by Bloomsbury in January 2022. She currently lives in Cincinnati where she is pursuing a PhD in Fiction Writing. Follow Renee: Instagram Facebook Twitter *** $upport the $how (Patreon) $upport the $how (Anchor) @SituationStory Instagram Facebook
March 02, 2022
A FACE FOR PICASSO w/Ariel Henley
I am ugly. There's a mathematical equation to prove it. At only eight months old, identical twin sisters Ariel and Zan were diagnosed with Crouzon syndrome -- a rare condition where the bones in the head fuse prematurely. They were the first twins known to survive it. Growing up, Ariel and her sister endured numerous appearance-altering procedures. Surgeons would break the bones in their heads and faces to make room for their growing organs. While the physical aspect of their condition was painful, it was nothing compared to the emotional toll of navigating life with a facial disfigurement. Ariel explores beauty and identity in her young-adult memoir about resilience, sisterhood, and the strength it takes to put your life, and yourself, back together time and time again. About Ariel: Ariel Henley is a writer from Northern California with a B.A. in English and Political Science from the University of Vermont. She is passionate about writing as a form of activism, and hopes to use her story to promote mainstream inclusion for individuals with physical differences. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and Narratively. A Face for Picasso is her debut novel. Follow Ariel: Instagram Twitter *** $upport the $how (Patreon) $upport the $how (Anchor) @SituationStory Instagram Facebook
February 08, 2022
BAD TOURIST w/Suzanne Roberts
Suzanne Roberts is a travel writer, memoirist, and poet. Her books include the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award-winning Almost Somewhere: Twenty-Eight Days on the John Muir Trail (Bison Books, 2012), the award-winning memoir in travel essays Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love and Travel (University of Nebraska Press, 2020), a collection of lyrical essays, Animal Bodies: On Death, Desire, and Other Difficulties (forthcoming from the University of Nebraska Press, 2022), and four collections of poetry. Her work has been listed as "Notable" in Best American Essays and published in The New York Times, Creative Nonfiction, Brevity, The Rumpus, CNN, Longreads, ZYZZYVA, ISLE, 1966, River Teeth, Terrain, National Geographic Traveler, The Normal School, and Litro, as well as anthologized in The Kiss: Intimacies from Writers, The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader, Tahoe Blues, Southern Sin: True Stories of the Sultry South and Women Behaving Badly, Poems Dead and Undead, and in two editions of Best Women's Travel Writing. Follow Suzanne: Instagram Facebook Twitter *** $upport the $how (Patreon) $upport the $how (Anchor) @SituationStory Instagram Facebook
January 18, 2022
MADE IN CHINA w/Anna Qu
Anna Qu is a Chinese American writer. She writes personal essays on identity and growing up in New York as an immigrant. Her work has appeared in Poets & Writers, Lithub, Threepenny Review, Lumina, Kartika, Kweli, Vol.1 Brooklyn, and Jezebel, among others. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Sarah Lawrence College. Her book Made in China was published by Catapult in August 2021. Anna serves as the Nonfiction Editor at Kweli Journal, and teaches at the low res MFA program at New England College, Sackett Street Writers’ Workshop, and Catapult. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner and their cat, Momo. Follow Anna: Twitter Facebook Instagram *** $upport the $how (Patreon) $upport the $how (Anchor) @SituationStory Instagram Facebook
January 04, 2022
GOING SHORT w/Nancy Stohlman
Flash fiction, slashing word counts, and obliterating genre, oh my! Nancy Stohlman’s latest book, Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction, was a 2021 Reader Views Gold Award winner, a Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist, an International Book Award finalist, and is forthcoming as an audiobook with Blackstone Publishing. She is the author of multiple flash fiction collections and flash novels including Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities, The Monster Opera, and The Vixen Scream and Other Bible Stories. Her work has been anthologized widely, appearing in the W.W. Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, Macmillan’s The Practice of Fiction, and The Best Small Fictions 2019, as well as adapted for both the stage and screen. She teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder and around the world. Follow Nancy: Facebook Twitter YouTube *** $upport the $how (Patreon) $upport the $how (Anchor) @SituationStory Instagram Facebook
December 28, 2021
BLACKTOP WASTELAND w/S.A. Cosby
When I started reading BLACKTOP WASTELAND in August, on recommendation from a friend, I don't think I realized quite how much S.A. Cosby would reveal about the contradictions and complexities of rural life in the South (U.S), especially for a Black man. In his review of the novel for NPR, Gabino Iglesias wrote, "The most surprising thing about S.A. Cosby's Blacktop Wasteland, which is marketed as a crime novel, is that crime is the least important element in the book." It wasn't the prescribed genre that drew me to his work, it was the fact that I knew he was going to give a voice to a Southern Black experience that I have been hungry for ever since he-who-shall-not-be-named took the highest office in the nation. Nonetheless, it is a remarkable work in the genre and is a well-earned contribution to the American canon of Southern literature. Listen in as S.A. and I discuss race relations in the U.S., Southern cooking, what it's like to become the peer of our heroes, and how to tell a damn good story. Find and follow S.A. Cosby: Twitter Facebook Instagram Purchase BLACKTOP WASTELAND by S.A. Cosby: Macmillan Publishers Bookshop Barnes and Noble Amazon, if you must (but please leave a review!)
December 27, 2021
DON'T GO CRAZY WITHOUT ME w/Deborah A. Lott
About the Book: Deborah A. Lott grew up in a Los Angeles suburb in the 1950s, under the sway of her outrageously eccentric father. A lay rabbi who enjoyed dressing up like Little Lord Fauntleroy, he taught her how to have fun. But he also taught her to fear germs, other children, and contamination from the world at large. Deborah was so deeply bonded to her father and his peculiar worldview that when he plunged from neurotic to full-blown psychotic, she nearly followed him. Sanity is not always a choice, but for sixteen-year-old Deborah, lines had to be drawn between reality and her own “overactive imagination.” She saved herself through an unconventional reading of Moby Dick, a deeply awkward sexual awakening, and entry into the world of political activism as a volunteer in Robert F. Kennedy’s Presidential campaign. After attending Kennedy’s last stop at the Ambassador Hotel the night of his assassination, Deborah would come to a new reckoning with loss. Ultimately, she would find her own path, and her own way of turning grief into love. About Deborah: Deborah A. Lott is a writer, editor, and college instructor. Her creative nonfiction has been published widely. Her work has been thrice named as Notable Essays of the Year in Best American Essays, and thrice nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her book, Don’t Go Crazy Without Me has been acclaimed by writers Mark Doty, Abigail Thomas, Paul Lisicky, Karen E. Bender, Hope Edelman, among others. She is also the author of the book In Session: the Bond between Women and Their Therapists, which was widely praised for its unprecedented look at boundary and transference dilemmas in psychotherapy. Lott surveyed and interviewed several hundred women in gathering the research for that work. The book continues to be used to train psychotherapists nationwide and appears on multiple consumer websites as one of the top books ever written about the psychotherapy relationship. Lott serves as a faculty member at Antioch University, Los Angeles, where she teaches creative writing and literature courses, and serves as Editor to Two Hawks Quarterly. Among other courses, she has developed The Trauma Memoir, Lolita and Her Literary Sisters, and Representations of Childhood in Literature. As an independent editor, Lott has worked with a number of published authors developing articles, web content, books, academic monographs, and other material Follow Deborah: Twitter: @deborahlott8 Facebook Website Follow TSatS: Twitter: @SituationStory IG: @situationandstory Facebook
November 09, 2021
TOMBOYLAND w/Melissa Faliveno
About the Book: In this intrepid debut essay collection, Melissa Faliveno traverses the liminal spaces of her childhood in working-class Wisconsin and the paths she’s traveled since, compelled by questions of girlhood and womanhood, queerness and class, and how the lands of our upbringing both define and complicate us even long after we’ve left. Part personal narrative, part cultural reportage, TOMBOYLAND navigates midwestern traditions, mythologies, landscapes, and lives to explore the intersections of identity and place. From F5 tornadoes and fast-pitch softball to gun culture, strange glacial terrains, kink party potlucks, and the question of motherhood, TOMBOYLAND asks curious and critical questions about belonging and the body, isolation and community, and what we mean when we use words like woman, family, and home. About Melissa: Melissa Faliveno is the author of the debut essay collection, TOMBOYLAND, published by Topple Books in August 2020 and named by NPR, New York Public Library, Oprah Magazine, Electric Literature, and Debutiful as a Best Book of 2020. Her essays and interviews have appeared in Esquire, Paris Review, Bitch, Ms Magazine, Brooklyn Rail, the Millions, Prairie Schooner, and DIAGRAM, among others, and received a notable selection in Best American Essays. Born and raised in small-town Wisconsin and a first-generation college graduate, Melissa holds a BA in English and creative writing from the University of Wisconsin and an MFA in nonfiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College, where she has taught in the graduate writing program and Writing Institute. She was the 2020-21 Kenan Visiting Writer at UNC–Chapel Hill, and beginning in fall 2021 will be a Visiting Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College. She has also taught creative writing to incarcerated men, high school students, and adults, and has led talks, interviews, workshops, and panels about writing and publishing at conferences across the United States and abroad. The former senior editor of Poets & Writers Magazine and producer and cohost of Ampersand: The Poets & Writers Podcast, Melissa was previously an editor at Trails Books, a small nonfiction press focused on Midwestern travel, sports, and culture; and a freelance features writer and columnist for Isthmus, Madison, Wisconsin’s alt weekly. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she is the cofounding nonfiction editor of the Black Rabbit Review and a singer and guitarist in the band Self Help, which released its first LP, Maybe It’s You, in Fall 2018. She is represented by Adriann Ranta Zurhellen of Folio Literary. Follow Melissa: Twitter: @melissafaliveno IG: @mlfaliveno Follow TSatS: Twitter: @SituationStory IG: @situationandstory Facebook
October 26, 2021
VERGE w/Lidia Yuknavitch
About the Book: An eight-year-old trauma victim is enlisted as an underground courier, rushing frozen organs through the alleys of Eastern Europe. A young janitor transforms discarded objects into a fantastical, sprawling miniature city until a shocking discovery forces him to rethink his creation. A brazen child tells off a pack of schoolyard tormentors with the spirited invention of an eleventh commandment. A wounded man drives eastward, through tears and grief, toward an unexpected transcendence. About Lidia: Lidia Yuknavitch’s writing spans expectations and genres. Her national bestselling novel, The Book of Joan was named as a 2017 top 100 notable books in the New York Times Book Review, and her national bestselling novel, The Small Backs of Children was the winner of the 2016 Oregon Book Award's Ken Kesey Award for Fiction as well as the Reader's Choice Award. The Misfit's Manifesto, a book spawned from her Ted Talk The Beauty of Being A Misfit, is inspiring readers across the globe. Her widely acclaimed memoir The Chronology of Water was a finalist for a PEN Center USA Award for creative nonfiction and winner of a PNBA Award and the Oregon Book Award Reader's Choice. She also wrote the novel Dora: A Headcase and and a critical book on war and narrative, Allegories Of Violence. Follow Lidia: https://www.facebook.com/Yuknavitch/ https://www.instagram.com/lidiamiles/ https://twitter.com/LidiaYuknavitch Follow TSatS: https://www.facebook.com/thesituationandthestorypodcast https://www.instagram.com/situationandstory/ https://twitter.com/SituationStory
October 05, 2021
THE WOMAN FROM URUGUAY w/Pedro Mairal and Jennifer Croft
About the Book: From internationally bestselling Argentine author Pedro Mairal and Man Booker International-winning translator Jennifer Croft, the unforgettable story of two would-be lovers over the course of a single day. Lucas Pereyra, an unemployed writer in his forties, embarks on a day trip from Buenos Aires to Montevideo to pick up fifteen thousand dollars in cash. An advance due to him on his upcoming novel, the small fortune might mean the solution to his problems, most importantly the unbearable tension he has with his wife. While she spends her days at work and her nights out on the town-with a lover, perhaps, he doesn't know for sure- Lucas is stuck at home all day staring at the blank page, caring for his son Maiko and fantasizing about the one thing that keeps him going: the Uruguayan woman he met at a conference several months back and who he is longing to see on his day trip to Montevideo. The surprising, moving story of this incredibly impactful day in Lucas' life, The Woman from Uruguay is both a gripping narrative and tender, thought-provoking exploration of the nature of relationships. An international bestseller published in twelve countries, it is the masterpiece of one of Latin America's most beloved writers. About Pedro: Pedro Mairal is a professor of English literature in Buenos Aires. In 1998 he was awarded the Premio Clarín and in 2007 he was included in the Hay Festival's Bogotá 39 list, which named the 39 best Latin American authors under 39. Among his novels are A Night with Sabrina Love, which was made into a film and widely translated, and The Woman from Uruguay, which was a bestseller in Latin America and Spain and has been published in twelve countries. About Jennifer: Jennifer Croft is the recipient of Fulbright, PEN, MacDowell, and National Endowment for the Arts grants and fellowships, as well as the inaugural Michael Henry Heim Prize for Translation and a Tin House Workshop Scholarship for her novel Homesick, originally written in Spanish. She holds a PhD from Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of Iowa. She is a founding editor of The Buenos Aires Review and has published her own work and numerous translations in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, VICE, n+1, Electric Literature, Lit Hub, BOMB, Guernica, The New Republic, The Guardian, The Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. Follow Pedro: https://www.instagram.com/pedromairal/ https://twitter.com/MairalPedro Follow Jennifer: https://www.facebook.com/jenniferlcroft https://www.instagram.com/jenniferlcroft/ https://twitter.com/jenniferlcroft Follow TSatS: https://www.facebook.com/thesituationandthestorypodcast https://www.instagram.com/situationandstory/ https://twitter.com/SituationStory
September 28, 2021
DANCING WITH LANGSTON w/Sharyn Skeeter
Sharyn Skeeter is a writer, poet, novelist, and educator. She was fiction/poetry/book review editor at Essence and editor in chief at Black Elegance magazine. She's taught at Emerson College, University of Bridgeport, Fairfield University, and Gateway and Three Rivers community colleges. She participated in panel discussions and readings at universities in India and Singapore. Sharyn Skeeter has written and published magazine articles. Her poetry and fiction are in journals and anthologies. She lives in Seattle where she's a member of the board of trustees of ACT Theatre. Dancing with Langston was published by Green Writers Press in October 2019. About the Book: Carrie, a business manager who always wanted to be a dancer, has two commitments today. She made a promise to her late father to move Cousin Ella, a former Paris café dancer, from her condemned Harlem apartment to a safe place. She’s also committed to catch a flight to Seattle with her husband for his new job. But Cousin Ella resists leaving the apartment where she’s had salons with Langston Hughes. She also has a mysterious gift that she wants Carrie to earn. If she does, a revelation about Carrie’s father and his cousin Langston Hughes will change her life.
June 20, 2021
GIRLHOOD w/Melissa Febos
Melissa Febos is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir, Whip Smart (St. Martin’s Press 2010), and the essay collection, Abandon Me (Bloomsbury 2017), which was a LAMBDA Literary Award finalist, a Publishing Triangle Award finalist, an Indie Next Pick, and was named a Best Book of 2017 by Esquire, Book Riot, The Cut, Electric Literature, Bustle, Medium, Refinery29, The Brooklyn Rail, Salon, The Rumpus, and others. Her second essay collection, Girlhood, was published by Bloomsbury on March 30, 2021. A craft book, Body Work, will be published by Catapult in 2022. Follow Melissa: https://www.facebook.com/melissafebos https://twitter.com/melissafebos https://www.instagram.com/melissafebos/ Follow TSatS: https://www.facebook.com/thesituationandthestorypodcast https://www.instagram.com/situationandstory/ https://twitter.com/SituationStory
March 30, 2021
OLD NEW WORLDS w/Judith Krummeck
Judith is a writer who lives in Baltimore, MD, and was born and raised in Africa. She graduated from the University of Cape Town with a BA in Drama and History of Art, working as a professional actor before becoming the arts editor for SAfm at the South African Broadcasting Corporation. Judith joined WBJC shortly after immigrating to the United States in the late 1990s. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts from the University of Baltimore, and is the author of Beyond the Baobab, a collection of essays about her immigrant experience. Her new book, Old New Worlds, is available from Green Writers Press. Follow Judith: https://www.facebook.com/judith.krummeck.7 https://twitter.com/judithkrummeck https://www.instagram.com/jkrummeck/ Follow TSatS: https://www.facebook.com/thesituationandthestorypodcast https://www.instagram.com/situationandstory/ https://twitter.com/SituationStory
February 13, 2021
I AM DENVER w/Rowena Alegría
Rowena Alegría is Chief Storyteller for the City & County of Denver, founder and director of the Denver Office of Storytelling and the citywide storytelling and cultural preservation project I Am Denver. A 2019 Jack Jones Literary Arts Fellow, a 2019 Vermont Studio Center Fellow and a 2018 Writing by Writers Fellow, Alegría earned an MFA in Fiction from the Institute of American Indian Arts and is a member of Sandra Cisneros’ Macondo Writers Workshop. A career journalist, communications executive and speech writer, she is writing a novel that plays with form and the history of the Southwest. https://rowenaalegria.com/
January 24, 2021
UNCOMFORTABLY NUMB w/Meredith O'Brien
It was a joy to sit down with Meredith O'Brien to talk about her COVID-era memoir, UNCOMFORTABLY NUMB. We explore her experiences with a Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis through her lens of investigative journalism. In our conversation, she uncovers the all-too-prevalent patriarchal notion that women don't know their bodies as she struggles to get her diagnosis. --------------------------------------------- A Boston area writer, Meredith has authored four books and co-authored one, including Mr. Clark’s Big Band, which won an Independent Publisher Book Award and was a finalist for a Foreword Reviews INDIES Award. She teaches journalism at Northeastern University, where she also serves as a writing coach. Uncomfortably Numb: a memoir (Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing, 2020), author This medical memoir traces the moment Meredith first experiences what she later learns is a multiple sclerosis symptom, through the two-year diagnostic process, and, ultimately to the other side where she had to make an uneasy peace with the incurable and chronic disease of the central nervous system. Buy it: The book can be purchased on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Signed copies can be purchased through Tatnuck Booksellers of Westborough, MA. Email them at: email@example.com. Ask your local bookstore to carry it! Connect with Meredith: Facebook Instagram Twitter Website ---------------------------------- Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Source: http://incompetech.com/music/royalty-free/index.html?isrc=USUAN1100270 Artist: http://incompetech.com/
December 20, 2020
WINTER COUNTS w/David Heska Wanbli Weiden
TW: Violence, Rape, Drugs David Heska Wanbli Weiden: a name as poetic as his prose and as his book is necessary for us right now. Listen in as we discuss his earth-shattering debut novel, WINTER COUNTS. We talk about Indigenous rights, decolonization, characterization, and how fiction writing has the potential to change policy. +++ David Heska Wanbli Weiden, an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota nation, is author of the novel WINTER COUNTS (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2020). WINTER COUNTS is a New York Times Editors’ Choice, and has been selected as an Amazon Best Book of August, Best of the Month by Apple Books, a main selection of the Book of the Month Club, and was an Indie Next Great Reads pick. Weiden is also the author of the children’s book SPOTTED TAIL (Reycraft, 2019), a biography of the great Lakota leader and winner of the 2020 Spur Award from the Western Writers of America. He’s published in the New York Times, Shenandoah, Yellow Medicine Review, Transmotion, Criminal Class Review, Tribal College Journal, and other magazines. He’s the fiction editor for Anomaly, journal of international literature and arts, and he teaches creative writing at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, the MFA program in Writing and Publishing at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and the low-residency MFA program at Western Colorado University. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts, his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He’s an alumnus of VONA, a Tin House Scholar, a MacDowell Fellow, a Ragdale Foundation resident, and received the PEN/America Writing for Justice Fellowship. He’s an active member of the Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Western Writers of America, and the Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers. He’s Professor of Native American Studies and Political Science at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and lives in Colorado with his two sons. His last name, Weiden, is pronounced “Why-den.” Heska Wanbli is pronounced “Heh-ska Wahn-blee.” His nation, the Sicangu Lakota, is pronounced “See-chon-goo Lah-coat-ah. Website Twitter Facebook Instagram WINTER COUNTS Playlist
October 10, 2020
THE COFFEEHOUSE RESISTANCE w/Sarina Prabasi
Listen in as Sarina Prabasi and I discuss the political state of the nation, the effects of COVID-19 on small businesses like Buunni Coffee, the joy and rage of motherhood, and more. Find and follow Sarina Prabasi: Website Twitter Facebook Instagram Buunnii Coffee Twitter Purchase The Coffeehouse Resistance: Brewing Hope in Desperate Times by Sarina Prabasi: IndieBound Barnes and Noble Please drop over to patreon.com/situationandstory to show support for these important conversations and stories. For as little as $5/month, you can receive early, ad-free access to episodes. Another simple, free way to support the show is by leaving a star-rating and most importantly writing a short review on Apple Podcasts telling the masses what you think about the show. Thank you!
September 26, 2020
WHAT MY MOTHER & I DON'T TALK ABOUT w/Michele Filgate
Listen in as the wonderful Michele Filgate and I discuss her anthology WHAT MY MOTHER AND I DON'T TALK ABOUT (Simon & Schuster, 2019) on Mother's Day. And Italy, a lot of conversation about Italy. Beyond that, we tackle immense loss, mother figures, the editing process, and more. Currently, Michele is an M.F.A. student at NYU, where she is the recipient of the Stein Fellowship. Her work has appeared in countless publications including The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Paris Review Daily, Tin House, The Rumpus, Salon, and O, The Oprah Magazine. She teaches creative writing at NYU and is the founder of the Red Ink series. Find links to her work here: http://www.michelefilgate.com/
May 10, 2020
SISTER URN w/Andrea Rexilius
For my 17th episode, I sat down with brilliant Denver-based poet Andrea Rexilius. Andrea is the author of Sister Urn (Sidebrow, Spring 2019), New Organism: Essais (Letter Machine, 2014), Half of What They Carried Flew Away (Letter Machine, 2012), and To Be Human Is To Be A Conversation (Rescue Press, 2011), as well as the chapbooks, Séance (Coconut Books, 2014), and To Be Human (Horseless Press, 2010). Her creative and critical writing is featured in the following anthologies: Anne Carson: Ecstatic Lyre (U of Michigan P), The Volta Book of Poets (Sidebrow Books), Sixty Morning Talks: Serial Interviews with Contemporary Authors (Ugly Duckling Press), and Letter Machine Book of Interviews (Letter Machine Editions). She is Core Faculty in Poetry, and Program Coordinator, for the Mile-High MFA in Creative Writing at Regis University. She also teaches in the Poetry Collective at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop in Denver, Colorado. This episode is very dear to my heart, as Andrea entered into a space of such vulnerability and openness around the life and death of her sister Andrea Erki. We explore loss and grief, the entanglements of living, and the ways in which poetry can create a language of connection where no words could do so before.
May 03, 2020
THE NATURE OF EVERYTHING w/Sommer Browning
Tune in to hear poet, artist, and comic Sommer Browning and I discuss the nature of reality, what makes comedy funny, the meaning of art & life, and what separates humans from animals; you know, just the small stuff. For my 16th episode, I sat down with my favorite poet on the planet, Sommer Browning. Sommer is a poet and writer living in Denver. Her books include Backup Singers (Birds, LLC; 2014), Either Way I'm Celebrating (Birds, LLC; 2011), Poet-Librarians in the Library of Babel (Litwin Books, 2018), You're on My Period (Counterpath, 2016), and several others. She is the founder and director of GEORGIA, a non-commercial art space she runs out of her garage when it's warm. She works as a librarian at Auraria Library.
April 27, 2020
THE WIG & THE SCREAM w/Adrianne Kalfopoulou
For my 15th episode, I sat down with someone who, for me, was a life-changer and a game-changer: poet, essayist, and scholar Adrianne Kalfopoulou. She lives and teaches in Athens, Greece where she currently heads the English and Modern Languages Dept. at Deree College. Lucky for me, she is also a poetry and nonfiction faculty mentor in the low residency Mile-High MFA program at Regis University. She has taught in the Masters Program of the Englisches Seminar at the University of Freiburg, the Graduate Writing Program at New York University, and writing workshops at the University of Edinburgh, and the Aegean Arts Circle on the island of Andros. Her scholarly work has focused on 19th and 20th century American literature, and more recently Ralph Waldo Emerson’s influence on Sylvia Plath's poems. Listen in as we discuss personal history, immigration in the era of Trump, the importance of voting for a not-so-ideal candidate, pain pornography, letting a piece of writing lie fallow, travel & identity, and so much more. Adrianne is truly a brilliant scholar and thinker of our time, there is something for everyone in this episode -- not to be missed. Find Kalfopoulou's works below: http://www.adriannekalfopoulou.com/publications.html Here is her essay we discuss on the episode: https://superstitionreview.asu.edu/issue24/nonfiction/adriannekalfopoulou
April 16, 2020
THIS IS MY BODY w/Cameron Dezen Hammon
Listen in as the brilliant Cameron Dezen Hammon and I discuss god v. religion, patriarchy, and a whole lotta craft! For my 14th episode, I sat down with Cameron Dezen Hammon, a writer and musician living in Houston. Her essays, poems, and stories have appeared in Guernica, The Rumpus, Ecotone, The Houston Chronicle, The Butter, NYLON, The Literary Review, Brevity's Nonfiction Blog, Columbia Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Her writing has been anthologized in The Kiss: Intimacies from Writers from W.W. Norton, and My Caesarean: Twenty Mothers on the Experience of Birth by C-Section and After from The Establishment, and honored as notable in The Best American Essays 2017. She earned an MFA from Seattle Pacific University. Cameron is the host of The Ish podcast, conversations from the liminal spaces of life, and co-founder of the Houston-based literary reading series “The Slant.” This Is My Body: A Memoir of Religious and Romantic Obsession is her first book.
March 30, 2020
DON'T YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU w/Laura Bogart
The Sopranos, Coronavirus, anti-heroes, really fucking well-rounded characters, male toxicity, being a working artist who has to work, and Anne Carson... a few of the things Laura Bogart and I discuss on The Situation & the Story Podcast. Her gorgeous novel, DON'T YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU, was released today by Dzanc Books. Please check it out! We need to help our community members' whose events have been cancelled due to COVID-19. This is one of my favorite conversations! Laura is a nonfiction writer who focuses on personal essays, pop culture, film and TV, feminism, body image and sizeism, and politics (among other topics). She is a featured contributor to The Week and DAME magazine; her work has also appeared in The Atlantic, The Guardian, SPIN, The AV Club, Vulture, and Indiewire (among other publications). DON’T YOU KNOW I LOVE YOU is her first novel.
March 17, 2020
SLOW ARROW: UNEARTHING THE FRAIL CHILDREN w/Kathryn Winograd
Listen in as award-winning poet and essayist Kathryn Winograd & I discuss her stunning & philosophical essay collection, SLOW ARROW: UNEARTHING THE FRAIL CHILDREN, published today by Saddle Road Press! We delve into death, hidden worlds and histories, the nature of time, her downright brilliance on craft, and much more. This is a special conversation. It felt like I got my own personal craft talk, and now I wish I had had Kathy as another mentor at Mile-High MFA. Enjoy our talk.
March 16, 2020
CEREMONIALS w/Katharine Coldiron
For my 11th episode, I sat down with Katharine Coldiron at AWP2020 in San Antonio, TX. I initially had big plans to interview many of our fearless feminist writers on-site, but coronavirus ultimately won out when so many presses and attendees cancelled their trips, and then I came down with a heinous cold that I’m sure had attendees double-taking me during panels. All of it was worth it considering I got to chat with Katharine about her new novella, CEREMONIALS (2020, KERNPLUNKT Press). Katharine's work has appeared in Ms., Washington Post, The Times Literary Supplement, LARB, The Rumpus, and many other places. Find her at kcoldiron.com and on Twitter @ferrifrigida.
March 08, 2020
TRUTH HAS A DIFFERENT SHAPE w/Kari L. O'Driscoll
(TW: Sexual Abuse, Depression, Suicidal Ideation) For my 10th episode, I sat down with Kari L. O'Driscoll to talk about her memoir TRUTH HAS A DIFFERENT SHAPE. Kari is a writer and mother of two living in the Pacific Northwest. Her work has appeared in print anthologies on mothering, reproductive rights, and cancer, as well as online in such outlets as Ms. Magazine, ParentMap, The Manifest-Station, and Healthline. She is the founder of The SELF Project, an organization whose goals are to help teenagers, teachers, and caregivers of teens recognize the unique challenges and amazing attributes of adolescents and to use mindfulness and nonviolent communication to build better relationships. You can find her at www.kariodriscollwriter.com. Listen in as we discuss mothering, memory, grief, teenagers, and even Jack Kevorkian.
March 02, 2020
STRUNG OUT w/Erin Khar
Be a fly on the wall for my conversation with the brilliant Erin Khar as we dig deep into mental health, addiction, and why we do the things we do, through the lens of her beautiful & painful memoir STRUNG OUT: ONE LAST HIT AND OTHER LIES THAT NEARLY KILLED ME. Her book is out this coming Tuesday, 2/25, so if you don't want any spoilers, don't tune in until after you read! Erin is known for her writing on addiction, recovery, mental health, relationships, parenting, infertility, and self-care. Her weekly advice column, Ask Erin, is published on Ravishly. Her personal essays have appeared in SELF, Salon, HuffPost, Marie Claire, Esquire, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Redbook, and others. She's the recipient of the Eric Hoffer Editor's Choice Prize and lives in New York City with her husband and two kids.
February 24, 2020
MOTHER WINTER w/Sophia Shalmiyev
(TW: Sexual Abuse) It was like Christmas for me, so it's Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate) for you! I'm dropping this episode a day early because I just cannot wait for it to exist in the world. Listen in as Sophia Shalmiyev and I discuss Elizabeth Warren, male and female archetypes in literature, Riot Grrrl feminism, anti-capitalism, immigration, white flight, and the mental breakdowns of memoir, among other things. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did!
February 16, 2020
HOW TO BE LOVED w/Dr. Eva Hagberg
Listen in as Eva Hagberg and I talk about her recently-gone-paperback memoir HOW TO BE LOVED: A MEMOIR OF LIFESAVING FRIENDSHIP (2019). In our conversation you can expect the same realness and transparency with which she comes to her writing, a mark of the vulnerability she has cultivated since surviving a brain hemorrhage, heart surgery, and learning to live with Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. We take on capitalism, mental health, recovery from alcoholism, writing, reconnecting with the body after physical trauma, and what friendships can look like when you let your guard down and choose to see that folks have been there all along, loving you. Eva Hagberg’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Tin House, Wallpaper*, Wired, and Dwell, among other places. She is the author of HOW TO BE LOVED: A MEMOIR OF LIFESAVING FRIENDSHIP (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Feb 5, 2019), and holds degrees in architecture from UC Berkeley and Princeton as well as a PhD in Visual and Narrative Culture from UC Berkeley.
February 10, 2020
SALT OF US w/ellie swensson
Listen to me and poet/activist ellie swensson talk about her book SALT OF US. We cover everything from the patriarchy of the beat generation, to what it means to live in a white body, grow up queer in the South, and much more. Oh, and poetry, yeah, we talk about the craft a little bit, too. Not to be missed! ellie recently published her first collection of poetry via Punch Drunk Press. She is a queer, southern ex-pat and earned her MFA from my alma mater Naropa University in 2015. She is the founder and co-director of Bolder Writers Warehouse, a mobile writers’ community resource. Her poems are published in a handful of places you may know, but she prefers her words alive in the mouth and the body.
February 04, 2020
GRISTLE: WEIRD TALES w/Jordan A. Rothacker
DISCLAIMER: My editor sucks! (Hint: it's yours truly...) In a couple of short clips, it sounds like I am interrupting my guest, but I most certainly assure you I am not, and if you are ever to come on this show, I will indeed also not interrupt you. (Learning curve, here...) Thank you for your forgiveness. For my fifth episode, I sat down with Georgia-based writer, Jordan Rothacker, to talk about his latest collection: Gristle: weird tales, published in 2019 by Stalking Horse Press. Rothacker is the author of three novels: The Pit, and no Other Stories, And Wind Will Wash Away, and My Shadow Book by Maawaam. Rothacker attended Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY before going on to receive a Masters in Religion and a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Georgia. His essays, fiction, poetry, book reviews, and interviews have appeared in The Believer, Heavy Feather Review, Guernica Magazine, LitHub, and many more. Listen in as Jordan and I discuss the naivety of youth, men writing women, reverse engineering of stories, penis-fencing worms, and much more!
January 20, 2020
SHADOWRISE w/Mary Harpin
Happy new year! 2020 has already proven to be a whirlwind and we’re only a week in! If you are hoping to take a break from the ever-increasingly frightening and disheartening world news, you came to the right place. For my fourth episode, I sat down with Mary Harpin. She is a Denver-based poet, a medium, and a consultant for global Fortune 500 companies. You can find her work in Terrain, Fourteen Hills, Tinderbox, and elsewhere. We talked about her first full-length collection of poems: SHADOWRISE. To learn more about her work and purchase her collection, check out http://www.maryharpin.com. Listen in as Mary and I discuss contacting spirits, mass shootings, how the Laws of Physics apply to love, and much more...
January 07, 2020
WATER & POWER w/Steven Dunn
(TW: Sexual Abuse) For my third episode, I sat down with Denver-based novelist Steven Dunn. Shortlisted for Granta magazine’s “Best of Young American Novelists,” Dunn is the author of two books from Tarpaulin Sky Press: water & power (2018) and Potted Meat, which was a co-winner of the 2015 Tarpaulin Sky Book Awards, a finalist for the Colorado Book Award, and has been adapted for a short film entitled The Usual Route, from Foothills Productions. Steven was born and raised in West Virginia, and after 10 years in the Navy he earned a B.A. in Creative Writing from University of Denver. Listen in as we discuss penises on submarines, growing up in poverty, and Ikebana as writing instructor!
December 24, 2019
GHOSTS ARE JUST STRANGERS WHO KNOW HOW TO KNOCK w/Hillary Leftwich
In the second episode of The Situation & the Story, I sit down with multi-genre author Hillary Leftwich to discuss her new collection, GHOSTS ARE JUST STRANGERS WHO KNOW HOW TO KNOCK (Civil Coping Mechanisms Press). Our conversation takes some dark twists and turns, similarly to her collection. We not only take on death, grief, loss, and regret, but also how to make the most of your writing and your life. Thanks for tuning in.
December 10, 2019
ANIMAL LIKE ANY OTHER w/Tara Shea Burke
Just in time to Give Thanks, I sat down with poet, educator, and creative coach Tara Shea Burke to talk about her recently published collection of poetry, Animal Like Any Other (Finishing Line Press, September 2019). My fellow Libra and I discuss the writing process, the world of academia, what it's like to navigate self-doubt, and writing as women in a patriarchal society.
November 27, 2019