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James Grauerholz - Last Words: The Final Journals of William S. Burroughs (REBROADCAST)


Our Lives in the Marvel Universe with Bruce Wagner
Welcome to the final episode of Wake Island! Bruce Wagner is on the show.  BRUCE WAGNER is a novelist and screenwriter known for his apocalyptic yet spiritual view of humanity as seen through the lens of Hollywood. His books include: Force Majeure, Dead Stars, I’m Losing You, Wild Palms (graphic novel), I'll Let You Go, Still Holding, The Chrysanthemum Palace, Memorial, The Empty Chair, I Met Someone, A Guide For Murdered Children (writing as Sarah Sparrow), and ROAR: American Master - The Oral Biography of Roger Orr.  Bruce was a co writer on A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987).  David Cronenberg adapted his screenplay into the movie Map to the Stars, starring Julianne Moore, John Cusack, and Robert Pattinson.  Wagner and Oliver Stone co-executive produced Wild Palms, the mini-series Wagner created, based on a comic strip that he wrote for Details magazine. Wild Palms aired on ABC in 1993. Wagner signed a book deal with Counterpoint Press in 2019 for his novel The Marvel Universe: Origin Stories. When he turned in the manuscript, Wagner said that the editor and publisher told him "the language is problematic." One of their objections was to the word "fat" - a 500-lb. character in the novel playfully calls herself "The Fat Joan" (an homage to the popular social media personality "The Fat Jew") - and stated that "not even a character can call herself that." The writer Sam Wasson wrote about the book's journey in Graydon Carter's digital magazine AirMail ("Bruce Wagner's Woke Universe"), suspecting that Wagner's editor had been cautioned by "sensitivity readers." In the same article, Wasson quotes Wagner as saying, "My entire body of work would be thrown into a furnace if it were to be read and judged by sensitivity readers." On October 13, 2020, Wagner decided that rather than look for another publisher, he would release the novel for free, on, and into the public domain.  BLURBS: “He is a visionary posing as a farceur.” - Salman Rushdie “Wagner is a James Joyce whose Dublin is Hollywood.” David Cronenberg “Bruce Wagner’s stories about Hollywood are the best I’ve read since F. Scott Fitzgerald and Nathanael West.” - Terry Southern “Wagner writes like a wizard. His prose writhes and coruscates.” - John Updike LINKS: You can download a free copy of the Marvel Universe here or buy a physical copy online at Amazon.   Children of the New Flesh c/o 11:11.  The New House c/o Whiskey Tit.  SOCIAL: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod David's Twitter: @raviddice
July 21, 2022
Scorched Earth with Jonathan Crary
Scorched Earth: Beyond the Digital Age to a Post-Capitalist World In this uncompromising essay, Jonathan Crary presents the obvious but unsayable reality: our ‘digital age’ is synonymous with the disastrous terminal stage of global capitalism and its financialisation of social existence, mass impoverishment, ecocide, and military terror. Scorched Earth surveys the wrecking of a living world by the internet complex and its devastation of communities and their capacities for mutual support. This polemic by the author of 24/7 dismantles the presumption that social media could be an instrument of radical change and contends that the networks and platforms of transnational corporations are intrinsically incompatible with a habitable earth or with the human interdependence needed to build egalitarian post-capitalist forms of life. Jonathan Crary is Meyer Schapiro Professor of Modern Art and Theory at Columbia University and is a founding editor of Zone Books. His publications include Techniques of the Observer, Suspensions of Perception and 24/7. PRAISE: “At last a book about the urgency to find a way out from a system that has crossed a threshold of irreparability and toxicity. A book that is simultaneously desperate and refreshing.” – Franco “Bifo” Berardi “Following on 24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep, Jonathan Crary here confirms his position as our most ruthless critic of all that exists. With a hammer of critical theory, he smashes the golden calf around which our lives revolve: the very internet itself. His sentences come packed with urgent truths long felt but only now articulated with the force they deserve. His clear-sightedness is the gift of prophets.” – Andreas Malm SOCIAL: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod David's Twitter: @raviddice
July 07, 2022
Dr Megen de Bruin-Molé on Monster Mashups and Frankenfictions
Dr Megen de Bruin-Molé is a Lecturer in Digital Media Practice with the University of Southampton. She specialises in ‘monstrous’ historical fiction, adaptation, and contemporary remix culture, and she is currently interested in the digital afterlives and appropriations of historical archives and ephemera. Her book Gothic Remixed: Monster Mashups and Frankenfictions in 21st-Century Culture (Bloomsbury 2020) examines remix culture through the lens of monster studies, and her co-edited collection Embodying Contagion: The Viropolitics of Horror and Desire in Contemporary Discourse (UWP/Open Access 2021) explores how the metaphors of outbreak narratives have infiltrated the way news media, policymakers and the general public view the real world and the people within it. Megen is also an editor of the Genealogy of the Posthuman, an Open Access initiative curated by the Critical Posthumanism Network. Read more about Megen’s work on her blog:  In this conversation we get into: remix studies, Twilight, mashups, thinking about the public domain as both an unmarked grave but also a place of rebirth, The Secret Garden, China Miéville, which monsters will dominate the future zeitgeist, colonialism via steampunk, the tentacular, and our current undead state. Gothic Remixed offers a fresh and exciting new take on twenty-first century Gothic. It addresses texts across a range of media that have often been dismissed as parasitic or derivative and champions their significance while remaining alert to their ethical shortcomings. By showing how monstrosity becomes the animating principle of Gothic mashups, hybrid texts and 'Frankenfictions', the book sheds light on emerging forms of Gothic cultural production and provides a cohesive framework for reading the incohesive. De Bruin-Molé is working at the cutting edge of contemporary Gothic and her book will be indispensable for students and scholars with an interest in the field. Stitching together adaptation theory and remix studies with surgical precision, De Bruin-Molé has produced the first book on the modern monster mashup. Authoritative, insightful and immensely enjoyable, Gothic Remixed heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice to contemporary Gothic studies. SOCIAL:  Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod David's Twitter: @raviddice Megen's Twitter: @MegenJM
June 24, 2022
How to Find Zodiac with Jarett Kobek
Jarett Kobek is a Turkish-American writer living in California. His novel I HATE THE INTERNET was an international bestseller, translated into nine languages, and published in twelve countries. His other books include: ATTA, Do Every Thing Wrong!: XXXTentacion Against the World, Only Americans Burn in Hell and The Future Won't Be Long. Motor Spirit: The Long Hunt for the Zodiac It’s 1969. Evil lurks in California. From a Napa County hippie child murder to Haight Street gang bangs to methamphetamine psychosis to the killing of Sharon Tate. Here and now, in this place and this time, it’s all gone wrong. And there’s something else, too. How to Find Zodiac Dear Reader, This is not the Zodiac speaking. The one thing that I ask of you is this, please read this book. It is called How to Find Zodiac. Being that this book is about the Zodiac, it offers a new suspect. The theory is probably correct. At the moment the theory is unproven. But the idea is a bomb waiting to go massive. Can you see the flaws in the hunting method or will you just agree and say case closed. Either way one thing is true. Zodiac can never look and seem the same after you read this book.  "A scruffy masterpiece of criminology. It seems to me that either Kobek's painstaking deductions are correct, or we must urgently revise the laws of probability." -Alan Moore, author of From Hell SOCIAL: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod David's Twitter: @raviddice
June 09, 2022
Illuminating the New American Right with James Pogue
James Pogue is a journalist and essayist. His first book is called Chosen Country: A Rebellion in the West.  James recently wrote an article for Vanity Fair called Inside the New Right and it’s not only a great piece of journalism but it struck a cultural nerve. Not only did it go viral but it even got a shout out on Twitter from the likes of Jeff Bezos and Glenn Greenwald.  In this conversation we discuss everything from MMA’s connection to the right, to diagnosing what is happening at the margins of our flailing empire. We also get into: the Dillon Danis controversy, bro science/Rogan’s appeal, being skeptical of liberalism, how the left loses dynamic & questioning men, constantly beating back the devils at the gate, alienation leading to chaos, the system spinning out of control, reading the tea leaves of history and seeing techno fascism, Curtis Yarvin as a historian analyst of the left, social revolution, the aesthetics of the new right, and cool kids adopting a religious pose. SOCIAL: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod David's Twitter: @raviddice James Twitter: @jhensonpogue James Instagram: @jhensonpogue
May 26, 2022
Doomed Lovers on the Run with Bud Smith
We talk about burning down the plantation and doomed lovers on the run.  BUD SMITH works heavy construction and lives in Jersey City, NJ. He is the author of Teenager (Vintage, 2022), Double Bird (Maudlin House, 2018), Dust Bunny City (Disorder Press, 2017), among others. He is also a creative writing teacher and editor. In the intro, David and I talk about Gregg Araki's The Living End. The interview with Bud starts at 12:08. TEENAGER: Two teenagers, in love and insane, journey across the United States in this Bonnie and Clyde–like adventure, pursuing a warped American dream, where Elvis is still king and the corn dog is the “backbone of this great country.” PRAISE: “There is a typo on page 14. Other than that, this book is perfect.” —Bill Callahan “Teenager is a great artistic high-wire act and a gift to readers who still care about the timeless problem of young men and women finding their place together in this world—or not. Should Tella get in another stolen car with Kody and flee with him to the Montana of his imagination? Both quests are represented here, hers and his, Yin and Yang, and Smith tells it all with ecstatic wit and feeling and innocence. To have captured this duality on paper demanded more than wildness, more than heart—all of which Smith has to burn—but also will and skill and ingenuity.” —Atticus Lish, author of The War for Gloria SOCIAL: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod David's Twitter: @raviddice Bud's Twitter: @Bud_Smith Bud's Instagram: @budsmith
May 12, 2022
On the Cusp of Dissolution with Lindsay Lerman
Lindsay Lerman is a writer and translator. Her new novel, WHAT ARE YOU (CLASH Books) is out now. Her first book I'm From Nowhere was published in 2019. Her essays, short stories, and poetry have been published in The Los Angeles Review of Books, Entropy, Hobart, Southwest Review, and elsewhere. She is currently adapting her short story Real Love—which first appeared in NY Tyrant Magazine—for the screen. She is represented by Abby Walters at CAA. In the intro David and I talk about Pascal Laugier's MARTYRS (2008). The interview with Lindsay starts at 27:42.  In this conversation we get into: locating and living through the cusp of our time, the interconnection between nuance and chaos, dissolution, the unspoken rules of commodification, giving into the productivity of terror, giving yourself up to the universe, barfing into the void, celebrating the irrational, and the importance of play in the face of utility. We also talk about Bataille’s philosophy around expenditure and waste as a way to explore Lindsey’s outlook and work as an author. WHAT ARE YOU: Hypnotic, dreamlike, lyrical essays tell the story of a woman trapped in a destructive love affair with the universe. Her understanding of power, desire, and complicity must be transformed again and again. Addressed to an amorphous you, Lerman wrestles with the forces of birth and death, creation and destruction—going deep into the subterranean strata of consciousness and back.  PRAISE:  “An incantatory and hypnotic work of voice, What Are You exists at the apex of creation and destruction, desire and shame, innocence and experience, violence and tenderness, rapture and suffering, hunger and the denial of flesh. To read it is to feel the terror of falling from a great height—but wanting to; maybe even choosing to jump.” - SARAH GERARD, AUTHOR OF SUNSHINE STATE AND TRUE LOVE  "Passionate, dispassionate, hypnotic, deadpan, ecstatic, Lindsay Lerman's What Are You, read it now. Now." - KATHE KOJA, AUTHOR OF THE CIPHER SOCIAL: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod David's Twitter: @raviddice Lindsay's Twitter: @lindsaylerman Lindsay's Instagram: @lindsay.lerman
April 28, 2022
Counteragent Adam Lehrer on Addiction and Crypto-Transgression
Adam Lehrer is a writer and an artist living in New York. He is the founder and co-host of the System of Systems podcast, and the founder and curator of the Safety Propaganda collaborative media platform. Communions is Adam's debut book - out now from Hyperidean Press. Communions: Channeling hallucinated versions of dead artists and junkies, these fragments access the uncanny allure of shared experience. Elements of speculative fiction, criticism and encrypted auto-biography merge to form a disconcerting portrait of the artist as addict. Neither denunciation nor valorization, Communions is an attempt to probe the haunting singularity of opiate addiction and its ineradicable influence on art and culture. As a writer, Lehrer covers topics such as contemporary art, horror fiction, noise and experimental music, cinema, and left politics. David and I talk about the Truman Show in the intro. Interview starts at 19:25. Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod David's Twitter: @raviddice System of System Twitter: @SystemofSystem3 Safety Propaganda Twitter: @SafetyPropagan1 Safety Propaganda Instagram: @safetypropaganda Adam's Instagram: @adamlehreruptown
April 14, 2022
Wander Through the Ruins of Coal Country with Meghan Lamb
In the intro we talk about Lynne Ramsay’s Ratcatcher and animating atmosphere of the desolate landscape of Pennsylvania's coal region with author Meghan Lamb.  Failure to Thrive (Apocalypse Party, 2022) follows the interconnected stories of three families as they navigate issues of disability, illness, and substance abuse in a former coal town: a landscape that is itself sick. A married couple argues over how to raise their neuroatypical child. A former nurse cares for her aging father, processing guilt over her addiction. A young man returns home after experiencing a traumatic brain injury, rediscovering a space where the past and present bleed uncannily together. Meanwhile, a two hundred-year mine fire burns beneath the town, a whispering dread that pervades the atmosphere.  In addition to Failure to Thrive, Meghan Lamb is the author of All of Your Most Private Places (Spork Press, 2020) and Silk Flowers (Birds of Lace, 2017). She currently serves as the nonfiction editor of Nat. Brut, a Whiting Award-winning journal of art and literature dedicated to advancing inclusivity in all creative fields.  “Bridging the gap between dirty realism of Diane Williams and the uncanny ambiance of Tarkovsky, Meghan Lamb’s All of Your Most Private Places is an astonishing debut, one that immediately defines her as a force of expectation-bending, deep psyche fiction, culled from the most intimate, oft-suppressed depths of who we are.” — Blake Butler, author of Alice Knot   “Failure to Thrive captures slow collapse like nothing else I've read. It is packed with heartbreakingly acute observation, and yet it is uncrowded and spacious, with a gauzy, hallucinatory quality. Both expansive and economical, it does more with the form of the novel than most books will ever attempt. It's a gem glittering in the dark.” —Lindsay Lerman, author of I'm From Nowhere  “Meghan Lamb is such an exquisite, comprehensively intelligent, dreamy writer. Failure to Thrive exudes utmost pleasure and a defying ache from every dot of its ink, like the sun.” —Dennis Cooper, author of The Marbled Swarm  Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius  Follow us on social at:  Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod David's Twitter: @raviddice  Apocalypse Party's Twitter: @apocpartypress Meghan's Instagram: & @significant_others_series
March 31, 2022
Stephen Marche on The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future
Will American fantasies of purifying violence dissolve upon contact with reality or will the illusion break into civil war?  Find out on this eps w/ ⁦Stephen Marche‬⁩ author of The Next Civil War: Dispatches from the American Future  We also get into: American wildness, bloodlust, foment, genius, and the apocalyptic longing for an endless frontier.  The United States is coming to an end. The only question is how.  No matter your political leaning, most of us can sense that America is barreling toward catastrophe—of one kind or another. Relevant and revelatory, The Next Civil War plainly breaks down the looming threats to America and is a must-read for anyone concerned about the future of its people, its land, and its government.  “Should be required reading for anyone invested in preserving our 246-year experiment in self-government . . . The book alternates between fictional dispatches from a coming social breakdown and digressions that support its predictions with evidence from the present. The effect is twofold: The narrative delivers Cormac McCarthy-worthy drama; while the nonfictional asides imbue that drama with the authority of documentary.” —Ian Bassin, The New York Times Book Review  Stephen Marche is a novelist, essayist and cultural commentator. He is the author of half a dozen books, including The Unmade Bed: The Messy Truth About Men and Women in the Twenty-First Century (2016) and The Hunger of the Wolf (2015).  Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius  Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod   David's Twitter: @raviddice    Stephen's Twitter: @StephenMarche
March 18, 2022
Dylan Mulvin on Proxies: The Cultural Work of Standing In
We speak to Dr Dylan Mulvin, Assistant Professor in LSE Department of Media and Communications, about his book Proxies: The Cultural Work of Standing In, which examines the ways in which proxies shape our lives, the histories of their production and how we delegate power to represent our world.  You can download a free copy of Proxies: The Cultural Work of Standing In at  In the intro David and I talk about Strange Days (1995)  The interview with Dylan starts at 26:58  Visuals referenced:   29:01 -- NTSC color television test slides (Fink and NTSC 1955) 34:09 -- Vancouver as a non place (X-Files) 35:14 -- Indian-head test pattern 36:29 -- UK Test Signal  38:58 -- Cleaning the Kilogram  45:43 -- The Lena image  51:53 -- Yodaville 53:28 -- Middletown  1:08:44 Hito Steyerl, How Not to be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File, 2013 Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius  Follow us on social at:  Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod     David's Twitter: @raviddice     Dylan's Twitter: @dwmulvin
March 03, 2022
Journey to the Heart of Disco Elysium with Justin Keenan
JUSTIN KEENAN is a writer and narrative designer on Disco Elysium which is a groundbreaking open world role playing game. In it, you’re a detective with a unique skill system at your disposal and a whole city block to carve your path across. Interrogate unforgettable characters, crack murders or take bribes. Become a hero or an absolute disaster of a human being.    In this episode we excavate the inner world at the heart of Disco Elysium and get into: Dark City (1998), RPGs, paranoia vs dread, world detectors, the future of video games, the state of noir detectives, and more...  Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius        Follow us on social at:       Twitter: @WakeIslandPod    Instagram: @wakeislandpod    David's Twitter: @raviddice   
February 17, 2022
Jonathan Greenaway on the Gothic State of Necrotic Capitalism
In this episode with Jonathan Greenaway (Theology, Horror and Fiction: A Reading of the Gothic Nineteenth Century & The Horror Vanguard podcast) we arrive at the New Flesh while peeling back the layers of a nightmarish society in stasis.   We get into: necro-neoliberalism, depressive hedonia, unspent energy mutating into gothic maw, our struggle to be and remain human, nostalgia neutralizing hope/fear instead of bringing us closer to history, the internet as a profoundly haunted and haunting device, Paul tells a dumb story about seeing Beyond the Black Rainbow on acid and the glorious weirdness of "Titane"  Jon Greenaway is an academic, writer and teacher based in the North of England. He’s currently working on a PhD that focuses on philosophy, theology and the gothic literature of the nineteenth century.  He’s also behind @TheLitCritGuy, a social media project that aims to bring critical and cultural theory away from its academic enclave and to the widest possible audience. He writes for a variety of publications online and blogs at  He tweets @thelitcritguy.  Find Jon on Youtube at Jon the Lit Crit Guy Theology, Horror and Fiction: A Reading of the Gothic Nineteenth Century Surpassing scholarly discourse surrounding the emergent secularism of the 19th century, Theology, Horror and Fiction argues that the Victorian Gothic is a genre fascinated with the immaterial. Through close readings of popular Gothic novels across the 19th century – Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Dracula and The Picture of Dorian Gray, among others – Jonathan Greenaway demonstrates that to understand and read Gothic novels is to be drawn into the discourses of theology. Despite the differences in time, place and context that informed the writers of these stories, the Gothic novel is irreducibly fascinated with religious and theological ideas, and this angle has been often overlooked in broader scholarly investigations into the intersections between literature and religion. Combining historical theological awareness with interventions into contemporary theology, particularly around imaginative apologetics and theology and the arts, Jonathan Greenaway offers the beginnings of a modern theology of the Gothic.  Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius  Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod     Instagram: @wakeislandpod  David's Twitter: @raviddice
February 03, 2022
Enter the Sanctum of the Heroic Pervert with Erik Davis
In this episode we try to articulate the fog of our time, away from fear, toward the pervert’s embrace of absurdity, uncertainty, spiritual warfare, gallows humor, the distinction between happiness and joy, and the strange, redemptive sanctum of the heroic pervert... Erik Davis, PhD, is an author, award-winning journalist, sometimes podcaster, and popular speaker based in San Francisco.  He is the author of five books: High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the 70s; Nomad Codes: Adventures in Modern Esoterica; The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape, and the 33 1/3 volume Led Zeppelin IV. His first and best-known book remains TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information.  Erik hosted the podcast Expanding Mind on the Progressive Radio Network for a decade, and earned his PhD in Religious Studies from Rice University in 2015.  He currently writes the Substack publication Burning Shore. To learn more about Erik visit his site at Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius     Follow us on social at:    Twitter: @WakeIslandPod Instagram: @wakeislandpod David's Twitter: @raviddice   Erik's Twitter: @erik_davis
January 20, 2022
James Grauerholz - Last Words: The Final Journals of William S. Burroughs (REBROADCAST)
James Grauerholz is a writer and editor. He is most famous as the bibliographer and literary executor of the estate of William S. Burroughs. He worked as Burroughs’ assistant, and became his friend, business manager and editor until the author's death in 1997. Grauerholz wrote biographical sketches to a Burroughs reader Word Virus, and edited a posthumous release of Burroughs diaries Last Words: The Final Journals of William S. Burroughs. Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod Instagram: @wakeislandpod
January 06, 2022
Small Town Pervert Derek McCormack!
Derek McCormack is a small town pervert and the author of The Well-Dressed Wound and Castle F*ggot, both published by Semiotext(e). His most recent book is Judy Blame's Obituary. This collection brings together for the first time McCormack's fashion journalism. He writes about and interviews fashion figures that fascinate him, tracing the ways they inspire and inhabit his novels. The result is a sort of memoir in essays: as he writes, "My tribute to [Judy] Blame is about him and about me—there are lots of my own tales woven in with the topics I touch on. The writing here is a sort of autobiography, a life seen through a scrim, or a life as a scrim—my moire mémoire."   Judy Blame's Obituary contains twenty years' worth of reminiscences, reviews of fashion shows and books, interviews with writers about fashion, and interviews with fashion designers about writing. He talks to Nicolas Ghesquière about perfume, and to Edmund White about which perfume he wore as a young f*g in New York City. He inspects the clothes that Kathy Acker left behind when she died, and he summons the spirit of Margiela in a literary seance. He traces the history of sequins, then recounts the cursed story of Vera West, the costume designer who dressed the Bride of Frankenstein. These pieces were all previously published, some in Artforum, some in The Believer, and some in underground publications like Werewolf Express—what binds them together is a sense that though fashion victimizes us, this victimization is sometimes a sort of salvation.  In this Wake Island holiday special we talk about: my butthole, revealing the real Derek through writing about fashion, turning our ashes into jewelry, clothes as ectoplasm, Dodie Bellamy’s “Kathy Forest,” Vivienne Westwood’s imperial years, an outfit based on an advent calendar, sequins implantations, Margiela, being a small town pervert from Peterborough, our hometowns vs the hometowns of our minds, fistulas, Guy Maddin, the sadomasochistic beauty of being a writer, and we investigate - why does fashion abandon us?    Judy Blame's Obituary: Writings on Fashion and Death here.   Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius   Additional music by TRG Banks  Follow us on social at:   Twitter: @WakeIslandPod Instagram: @wakeislandpod  David's Twitter: @raviddice   Derek's Twitter: @HillbillyBijoux   Derek's IG: @derek_mccormack
December 23, 2021
Patrick Nathan - Image Control: Art, Fascism, and the Right to Resist
Susan Sontag meets Hanif Abdurraqib in this fascinating exploration of the unexpected connections between how we consume images and the insidious nature of Fascism. Images come at us quickly, often without context. A photograph of Syrian children suffering in the wake of a chemical attack segues into a stranger’s pristine Instagram selfie. Before we can react to either, a new meme induces a laugh and a share. While such constant give and take might seem innocent, even entertaining, this barrage of content numbs our ability to examine critically how the world, broken down into images, affects us. Images without context isolate us, turning everything we experience into mere transactions. It is exactly this alienation that leaves us vulnerable to fascism—a reactionary politics that is destroying not only our lives and our nations, but also the planet’s very ability to sustain human civilization. Who gets to control the media we consume? Can we intervene, or at least mitigate the influence of constant content? Mixing personal anecdotes with historical and political criticism, Image Control explores art, social media, photography, and other visual mediums to understand how our culture and our actions are manipulated, all the while building toward the idea that if fascism emerges as aesthetics, then so too can anti-fascism. Learning how to ethically engage with the world around us is the first line of defense we have against the forces threatening to tear that world apart. Patrick Nathan is the author of Some Hell, published in February 2018 from Graywolf Press. He lives in Minneapolis. He also writes a monthly letter, which you can subscribe to here. Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod    Instagram: @wakeislandpod Patrick's Twitter: @patricknathan David's Twitter: @raviddice
December 17, 2021
Blake Butler on Obsession and the Unholy Sacredness of Time
Blake Butler is the author of seven book-length works, including Alice Knott (Riverhead),  300,000,000 (Harper Perennial), Sky Saw (Tyrant Books), There is No Year (Harper Perennial), Scorch Atlas (Featherproof Books), and Ever (Calamari Press), as well as the nonfictional Nothing: A Portrait of Insomnia (Harper Perennial). He is a founding editor of HTMLGIANT We talk about: The Consumer by Michael Gira, insomnia, Penny’s notebook from Inspector Gadget, horror, internet gods and demons, forbidden books, courting insane energy, transcendence, the enduring low cost appeal of text, childhood portals, points of no return, The Bachelor and Blake’s relentless drive to write.  Molly by Blake Butler “A mastermind and visionary.” —Ben Marcus  “Our premier literary shaman.” —Alissa Nutting  “[Butler’s work is] wild but elegant and smart.” —Roxane Gay  Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius  Follow us on social at:  Twitter: @WakeIslandPod    Instagram: @wakeislandpod Blake's Twitter: @blakebutler David's Twitter: @raviddice
December 03, 2021
Rosecrans Baldwin on the City-State of Los Angeles
Rosecrans Baldwin is the bestselling author of Everything Now: Lessons From the City-State of Los Angeles. Other books include The Last Kid Left and Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down. His debut novel, You Lost Me There, was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice.  Everything Now: Lessons from the City-State of Los Angeles is a provocative, exhilaratingly new understanding of the United States’ most confounding metropolis—not just a great city, but a full-blown modern city-state. America is obsessed with Los Angeles. And America has been thinking about Los Angeles all wrong, for decades, on repeat. Los Angeles is not just the place where the American dream hits the Pacific. (It has its own dreams.) Not just the vanishing point of America’s western drive. (It has its own compass.) Functionally, aesthetically, mythologically, even technologically, an independent territory, defined less by distinct borders than by an aura of autonomy and a sense of unfurling destiny—this is the city-state of Los Angeles.  Deeply reported and researched, provocatively argued, and eloquently written, Rosecrans Baldwin's Everything Now approaches the metropolis from unexpected angles, nimbly interleaving his own voice with a chorus of others, from canonical L.A. literature to everyday citizens. Here, Octavia E. Butler and Joan Didion are in conversation with activists and astronauts, vampires and veterans. Baldwin records the stories of countless Angelenos, discovering people both upended and reborn: by disasters natural and economic, following gospels of wealth or self-help or personal destiny. The result is a story of a kaleidoscopic, vibrant nation unto itself—vastly more than its many, many parts.  Baldwin’s concept of the city-state allows us, finally, to grasp a place—Los Angeles—whose idiosyncrasies both magnify those of America, and are so fully its own. Here, space and time don’t quite work the same as they do elsewhere, and contradictions are as stark as southern California’s natural environment. Perhaps no better place exists to watch the United States’s past, and its possible futures, play themselves out.  Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius  Follow us on social at:  Twitter: @WakeIslandPod    Instagram: @wakeislandpod
November 19, 2021
Catherine Liu - Virtue Hoarders: The Case Against the Professional Managerial Class
Catherine Liu is the author of Virtue Hoarders: The Case Against the Professional Managerial Class.  We get into the: dynamics of noir, the pseudo superiority and inchoate narcissism of neoliberalism, social dominance, corporate embodiment, the monetization of victimhood, our collective need for catharsis and the Met Gala.  Professional Managerial Class (PMC) elite workers labor in a world of performative identity and virtue signaling, publicizing an ability to do ordinary things in fundamentally superior ways. Author Catherine Liu shows how the PMC stands in the way of social justice and economic redistribution by promoting meritocracy, philanthropy, and other self-serving operations to abet an individualist path to a better world. Virtue Hoarders is an unapologetically polemical call to reject making a virtue out of taste and consumption habits. "Virtue Hoarders amplifies a discussion that still needs to be had."—Spiked "Virtue Hoarders: The Case Against the Professional Managerial Class, argues that the professional-managerial class-working class alliance was doomed from the start for the simple reason that the two classes’ interests are fundamentally opposed. "—The Washington Examiner Catherine Liu is professor of film and media studies at the University of California, Irvine. She is also the author of The American Idyll: Academic Anti-Elitism as Cultural Critique was published by the University of Iowa Press in 2011. She works on Critical Theory of the old fashioned kind and is engaged in a long term critique of Professional Managerial Class driven liberal politics. She has written an unpublished memoir called Panda Gifts. Catherine Liu is professor of film and media studies at the University of California, Irvine. Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at:  Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod David's Twitter: @raviddice Catherine's Twitter: @bureaucatliu
November 05, 2021
A New Gothic Age with Patrick McGrath & David Leo Rice
Patrick McGrath is the author of three collections of short fiction, including Ghost Town: Tales of Manhattan Then and Now, and ten novels, including Asylum, Dr. Haggards Disease, Port Mungo, and most recently Last Days in Cleaver Square. His work has been widely published in translation, and in Italy Asylum, titled Follia, has sold over half a million copies. His screenplay of his novel Spider was filmed by David Cronenberg and premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Patrick was born in London and grew up near Broadmoor Hospital where his father was Medical Superintendent. Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod
September 08, 2021
Inside the Castle roundtable with Megan Jeanne Gette, Germán Sierra and John Trefry
Inside the Castle is a small press operated from Lawrence, Kansas by John Trefrey. Their books are unique from one another but share a vision, that literature is not representational but incantatory, that books are objects that exist much like other objects in your life and home, only they have additional dimensions, not dimensions separate or distant from the ones you occupy, but involuted dimensions that only become apparent when you reach out to them.  Megan Jeanne Gette is an anthropology PhD student and fellow at UT Austin. She has an MFA in poetry from the University of Minnesota. Her research explores the role of the mineral in renewable energy transitions, sensory ethnography, and subterranean/energy imaginaries. She is a section editor for the Visual and New Media Review and co-creator of con-text-ure at Society for Cultural Anthropology's Fieldsights. In Majority Reef, there are 8 SURFACES. Eight surfaces can form an octahedron, which looks like two triangular prisms put together at their bases, which forms the interior of a sphere, such as the globe. Within each section is a lyric essayistic syntax of "recursive loops of longing" or an "infinite palimpsest of pain or desire," a variety of 8 tones--or perhaps a doubling of the 4 humors--that loop in a style I am calling Weeping Lemon Meringue, or echo-poetics, the ant-I- narcissus.  Germán Sierra got his MD and PhD degrees at the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain) before doing postdoctoral research in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Brain Research Institute in UCLA. He currently works at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of the University of Santiago de Compostela (Spain). As a writer, Germán Sierra is deeply interested in contemporary experimental fiction. He has been included among the “Mutantes” or “Afterpop writers”: a group of Spanish writers who are strongly committed with innovative literature. Most of his fictional work deals with metamediatics and the role of science and technology as cultural discourses in post-postmodern and posthuman societies. In the clever [dis]guise of fiction, what The Artifact in fact foists upon its readers (hoisting us up in so doing so that ultimately we can look down on the whole situation from a higher perspective—albeit only to crash like a bluebird into the window through which we bear witness) is a veritable Germáneutic: an intriguing interpretation and lucid elucidation of what it is (and is not) to be human in the era of big data, of computation beyond the bounds of human intellection, and—spiralling-off from the latter—of intelligent machines (indeed ‘A.I.’) that can learn and discern far more than the human, perceiving—and who knows: conceiving?—in the vast void qua bind-spot of our own biological being.  John Trefry is an architect and the author of the books Plats, Thy Decay Thou Seest By Thy Desire, and Apparitions of the Living. Current works-in-progress: Massive (a novel) & Inanimism (a nonfiction poem). More diminutive writings have appeared in various other outlets. Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod
September 07, 2021
Matthew Specktor - Always Crashing in the Same Car On Art, Crisis, and Los Angeles, California w/ David Leo Rice
Matthew Specktor is the author of the novels American Dream Machine and That Summertime Sound; a nonfiction book, The Sting; and the forthcoming memoir The Golden Hour (Ecco/HarperCollins). He is a founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books. In the intro David and I discuss Michelangelo Antonioni's haunting film The Passenger starring Jack Nicholson and Maria Schneider. In the interview with Matthew we get into the essence of noir, the dream beyond impact, and the vampiric Lost Highway-esque energy of Los Angeles. We also delve into the psychic undercurrents of LA, the nature of portals, Michael Mann’s Heat, Chinatown, and the complex, conflicting drives that compel us to create art.  "A novelist and critic with a sharp eye for Hollywood blends memoir and cultural critique in this study of classic American failure narratives." ― The New York Times Book Review “The sweeping American Dream Machine by Matthew Specktor is . . . one of the best novels about Los Angeles I have ever read." — Bret Easton Ellis  "A haunting memoir-in-criticism exploring a very certain kind of failure―the Hollywood story. Specktor intricately knits his own losses and nostalgias into a larger cultural narrative of writers and filmmakers whose failures left behind a ghostly glamour. I can’t get it out of my mind." ― Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod
August 05, 2021
Kate Durbin - Hoarders
Kate Durbin is a visual artist, filmmaker, and writer from Los Angeles, California (USA), whose artworks are nervous, unnerving, and playful explorations of the human condition in a time of constant screens, globalism, and late capitalism. Her work draws on a wide-range of popular culture references: Disneyland, reality TV shows, fast food, horror movie characters, and Hello Kitty are just some of the recurring figures and references that populate her work. In Hoarders, her third book of poetry, Durbin deftly traces the associations between hoarding and collective US traumas rooted in consumerism and the environment. Each poem in the book is a prismatic portrait of a person and the beloved objects they hoard, from Barbies to snowglobes to vintage Las Vegas memorabilia to rotting fruit to plants. Using reality television as a medium, Durbin conjures an uncanny space of attachments that reflects a cultural moment back to the reader in ways that are surreal and tender and surprising.  Like Beckett or Kafka, in the absurdist tradition, Hoarders ultimately embraces with sympathy the difficulty and complexity of the human condition. Order Hoarders directly from Wave Books and enjoy 30% off by using the promo code WAKE_ISLAND Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod
July 29, 2021
Jamie Nares on motion, stillness, transition, escape, painting and art in the year of the pandemic
Over the course of a five-decade career, Nares has investigated, challenged, and expanded the boundaries of her multi-media practice that encompasses film, music, painting, photography, and performance. She continues to employ various media to explore physicality, motion, and the unfolding of time. Nares has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and a career-spanning retrospective at the Milwaukee Art Museum in 2019. Her work is included in several prominent public collections, including the Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, NY; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. A career-spanning survey of her film and video works were presented in 2008 at Anthology Film Archives, New York; and in 2011 at IFC Center, New York. In 2014, Rizzoli published a comprehensive monograph on Nares's career to date. Nares has lived and worked in New York since 1974. She has been represented by Kasmin since 1991. Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod
July 21, 2021
Dr. Stephen C. Finley on African American embodiment, spirituality, esotericism and UFO traditions, featuring David Leo Rice
Dr. Finley is a Religious Studies Professor at Louisiana State University and has been studying African American religious thought, and spirituality. His research expands upon these themes with an emphasis on esotericism, non-material consciousness, African American embodiment and the role of the UFO narrative in the Nation of Islam. In this conversation we get into rethinking and restructuring how we conceive of America and its relation to African American spirituality and notions of transcendence. We also explore traumatic mysticism, African American UFO traditions and their relationship to the Nation of Islam, the origins of black embodiment, the irony of institutionalized diversity, blackness as a portal to the universal, Louis Farrakhan’s encounter with the Mother Wheel, mystical experiences that transcend white supremacy and anti-blackness, black narratives being at the center of consciousness, the expansion of consciousness during an abduction experience, familiarity with the transcendent other, and transcendent blackness as a key locus of American religion and spirituality. Stephen Finley received his Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Rice University in 2009 shortly after joining the faculty at LSU in 2008. He has a joint appointment to the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies and the Program in African & African American Studies. Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow Wake Island at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod Follow David at:  Twitter: @raviddice  Instagram: @raviddice
July 14, 2021
Mikita Brottman - Couple Found Slain
Mikita Brottman is an author and psychoanalyst with particular interests in true crime, forensics, psychoanalysis, animals, abjection, and the unexplained. Her work blends memoir, history, psychoanalysis, and creative speculation. Currently, she is especially interested in reconsidering and interrogating the true crime genre. This interest is at the heart of her two most recent books, An Unexplained Death (Henry Holt, 2018), and Couple Found Slain (Henry Holt, 2021). COUPLE FOUND SLAIN: “In 1992, a young man named Brian Bechtold was judged “not criminally responsible” for the murder of his parents, a crime he had never tried to conceal. Diagnosed with schizophrenia, he was sent to a maximum security psychiatric hospital. Though the book does explore Brian’s life before the killings, when he was abused, Brottman’s real goal here is to shine a light on Brian’s decades-long captivity.” Critically acclaimed author and psychoanalyst Mikita Brottman offers literary true crime writing at its best, taking us into the life of a murderer after his conviction―when most stories end but the defendant’s life goes on. "Brottman has established herself as a leading voice in modern true crime. She finds empathy in the criminal and shows compassion for those whom society wishes to simply forget. This is not just a well-written book, it's an important book. A must-read." --James Renner, author of True Crime Addict Outro song is "Slum Creeper" by Calla off the Scavengers album -- follow Calla on IG for updates!     Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod
July 07, 2021
Dennis Cooper - I Wished
Dennis Cooper is on Wake Island! We talk about: Hoarders, escorts & slaves, dark rides, haunted houses, his forthcoming book I Wished, creating a literary monument to George Myles through the medium of devotion, the home as a universe, emotional history, Russian twink porn, Bjork’s meltdown, John Wayne Gacy, disliking objectification, the dying breed of emo escorts, the enduring sadness of Epcot center… Dennis Cooper is best known for The George Miles Cycle, an interconnected sequence of five novels that includes Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, and Period. His post-George Miles Cycle novels include My Loose Thread, The Sluts and God, Jr. Other works include the short-story collections Wrong and Ugly Man, poetry collections The Dream Police and The Weaklings, as well as the recent Smothered in Hugs: Essays, Interviews, Feedback, and Obituaries. He’s also written for the stage with theater director Gisèle Vienne and directed two films with Zac Farley called: Like Cattle Towards Glow and Permanent Green Light.  Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod
May 27, 2021
Brian Evenson - The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell
Literary horror icon Brian Evenson is on the show! We talk about: the uncanny psychogeography of Utah, religious text & parables, writing as a replacement for spirituality, Brian’s philosophical approach, the machinations of Dark Properties, Michael Gira’s The Consumer, the trancelike intensity of the Soundtrack for the Blind by the Swans, Sunn O))), and Pierre Guyotat's writing, Deleuze and Guattari, the Evensonesque aesthetic and trajectory, our loss of agency to technology, distortion/blur, the appeal of invoking destabilization, Immobility, the relationship between the mode of horror and mood, being a mentor, comfort listening.... “There is not a more intense, prolific, or apocalyptic writer of fiction in America than Brian Evenson.” —George Saunders “Missing persons, paranoia and psychosis . . . the kind of writer who leads you into the labyrinth, then abandons you there. It’s hard to believe a guy can be so frightening, so consistently.” —New York Times Brian Evenson is the author of over a dozen works of fiction. He has received three O. Henry Prizes for his fiction. His most recent book, Song for the Unraveling of the World, won a Shirley Jackson Award and was a finalist for both the Los Angeles Times Ray Bradbury Prize for Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Speculative Fiction and the Balcones Fiction Prize. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches at CalArts.  THE GLASSY, BURNING FLOOR OF HELL comes out in August 2021 by Coffee House Press - preorder here.   A sentient, murderous prosthetic leg; shadowy creatures lurking behind a shimmering wall; brutal barrow men―of all the terrors that populate The Glassy, Burning Floor of Hell, perhaps the most alarming are the beings who decimated the habitable Earth: humans. In this new short story collection, Brian Evenson envisions a chilling future beyond the Anthropocene that forces excruciating decisions about survival and self-sacrifice in the face of toxic air and a natural world torn between revenge and regeneration. Combining psychological and ecological horror, each tale thrums with Evenson’s award-winning literary craftsmanship, dark humor, and thrilling suspense. Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at:  Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod
May 12, 2021
Peter Vronsky - American Serial Killers: The Epidemic Years 1950-2000 (featuring David Leo Rice)
David Leo RIce co-hosts this special episode of Wake Island in which we interview historian Peter Vronsky. We discuss serial murderer consciousness and the golden age of serial killers -- we range widely from werewolves to WWII, Bundy to Dahmer, and the latent urges that turned the America of our childhood into a carnival of serial murder.  With books like Serial Killers, Female Serial Killers and Sons of Cain, Peter Vronsky has established himself as the foremost expert on the history of serial killers.  In this first definitive history of the "Golden Age" of American serial murder, when the number and body count of serial killers exploded, Vronsky tells the stories of the most unusual and prominent serial killings from the 1950s to the early twenty-first century. From Ted Bundy to the Golden State Killer, our fascination with these classic serial killers seems to grow by the day. American Serial Killers gives true crime junkies what they crave, with both perennial favorites (Ed Kemper, Jeffrey Dahmer) and lesser-known cases (Melvin Rees, Harvey Glatman).  Peter Vronsky, PhD, is an investigative historian and a former film and television documentary producer. He is the author of Serial Killers: The Method and Madness of Monsters; Female Serial Killers: How and Why Women Become Monsters; and Sons of Cain: A History of Serial Killers from the Stone Age to the Present. He is an authority on Canada’s first modern battle, which he has written about in his definitive book, Ridgeway: The American Fenian Invasion and the 1866 Battle That Made Canada.   Peter Vronsky holds a PhD from the University of Toronto in the fields of criminal justice history and the history of espionage in international relations. He teaches history at Ryerson University in Toronto. He divides his time between Toronto, Canada, and Venice, Italy.  Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius  Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod
May 05, 2021
Justine Bateman - FACE
Bateman’s directorial feature film debut of her own script, VIOLET, stars Olivia Munn, Luke Bracey, and Justin Theroux, and had its World Premiere at the 2021 SXSW Film Festival. Her best-selling first book, FAME, a non-fiction about the life cycle of Fame and society’s strong need for it, was published in 2018 by Akashic Books. Her second book, FACE, is also a best seller. It’s about women’s faces getting older and why that makes people angry. It was released April 2021 by Akashic. Her writing has been published by Dame Magazine,, and McSweeney’s. An advocate for Net Neutrality, Justine has testified before the Senate Commerce Committee on its behalf in Washington DC and served as an Advisor to Her former acting work includes Family Ties, Satisfaction, Men Behaving Badly, The TV Set, Desperate Housewives, and Californication. Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod
April 28, 2021
Sam Tallent - Running the Light
Sam Tallent is a comedian and author. His debut novel is Running the Lights, and it’s about a road comic named Billy Ray Schafer who embodies the archetype of a tragic road comic – trapped in the wreckage of his wasted career. In this conversation we get into being in punk bands, dealing with hecklers, taking mushrooms in the Poconos, watching magic shows on acid, boat acts, Brody Stevens, Ron White, Carrot Top, Vegas residencies, and the beauty of nihilism.   “Brilliant writing. Astounding. One of the best books I’ve read. Ever. The best fictional representation of comedy in any medium.” - Doug Stanhope, iconoclast   Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius  Follow us on social at:   Twitter: @WakeIslandPod    Instagram: @wakeislandpod
April 14, 2021
Chris Kelso - Burroughs and Scotland: Dethroning the Ancients: The Commitment of Exile
In Burroughs and Scotland, Chris Kelso explores the relationship between William S. Burroughs (author of Naked Lunch, Junkie, and The Soft Machine) and a country very much attuned to the Beat author’s provocative, transgressive sci-fi style of literature. Kelso investigates why Burroughs was drawn to Scotland, why Scotland was drawn to Burroughs, and what exactly the author got up to during his various visits to Edinburgh. Chris Kelso is a British Fantasy Award-nominated genre writer, illustrator, editor, screenwriter, and journalist. His work has been translated into French, Spanish and Swedish. He is the 2 times winner of the Ginger Nuts of Horror Novel of the Year ( in 2016 for Unger House Radicals’ and  2017 for ‘Shrapnel Apartments). Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius   Follow us on social at:  Twitter: @WakeIslandPod   Instagram: @wakeislandpod
April 07, 2021
Chris Zeischegg - Baise-moi + Sauvage
On this episode Chris and I discuss two movies we adore: Baise-moi and Sauvage. Through these films we have an honest and open conversation about: sex work, nihilism, transgression/transformation, subverted expectations, feminism, and porn.    Baise-moi (Virginie Despentes, Coralie Trinh Thi, 2000) — Two young women, marginalized by society, go on a destructive tour of sex and violence. Breaking norms and killing men - and shattering the complacency of polite cinema audiences.   Sauvage (Camille Vidal-Naquet, 2018) — A young street hustler leads a debauched life of turning tricks and taking drugs while longing for love.   Christopher Zeischegg is a writer, musician, and filmmaker who spent eight years working in the adult industry as performer, Danny Wylde. He is the author of four books, Come to my Brother, The Wolves that Live in Skin and Space, Body to Job, and The Magician, and has contributed to The Feminist Porn Book, Best Sex Writing, Coming Out Like a Porn Star, Split Lips, and a variety of digital publications, such as Somesuch and The Nervous Breakdown.  The Broadly interview with Virginie Despentes we reference.   Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius  Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod
March 24, 2021
Gina Nutt - Night Rooms
Jump down the rabbit hole with Gina and I - in this episode we talk about: the enchantment of malls, movies like It Follows/Poltergeists/Showgirls, child beauty pageants, synesthesia, pandemic dreams, the final girl archetype, and the lost magic of video stores. Gina's book Night Rooms is an atmospheric dreamscape of memories intertwined with horror movies. Night Rooms is out now from Two Dollar Radio.  "Jumping between past and present with ease, Nutt slashes to the center of issues like motherhood and depression and ultimately emerges as the quintessential final girl of her own film... Nutt has a knack for short, sharp lines that skip the brain and go straight to the heart." —Gabino Iglesias, NPR  “In a horror movie, an infected character may hide a bite or rash, an urge, an unwellness. She might withdraw or act out, or behave as if nothing is the matter, nothing has happened. Any course of action opposite saying how she feels suggests suffering privately is preferable to the anticipated betrayal of being cast out.”  Gina Nutt is the author of the poetry collection Wilderness Champion. She earned her MFA from Syracuse University. Her writing has appeared in Cosmonauts Avenue, Joyland, Ninth Letter, and other publications.  Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius  Follow us on social at:   Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod
March 22, 2021
David Leo Rice - Drifter: Stories
David and I drill down into the emendation point of Americana’s psychic crisis and investigate its rotten core. We also talk about seediness, the uncanny and drift.   David Leo Rice is the author of ‘A Room in Dodge City’ (Alternating Current, 2017) and ‘A Room in Dodge City 2’ (Alternating Current, 2021), ‘Angel House’ (Kernpunkt, 2019) a Dennis Cooper ‘Book of the Year’ and ‘The PornME Trilogy’ (The Opiate Books, 2020). His short fiction has been been published in Hobart, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, DIAGRAM and The Rupture, among many other venues.  David currently teaches creative writing at The New School.    The article we reference is: On Seediness, Undead Literature, and Reengaging with the American Mythic in the 2020s    Preorder - ‘Drifter: Stories’ (11:11 Press, 2021)    Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius    Follow us on social at:  Twitter: @WakeIslandPod     Instagram: @wakeislandpod
March 17, 2021
Audrey Szasz - Tears of a Komsomol Girl
Audrey Szasz (aka Zutka) is a London-based writer with roots in Central Europe. Her experimental narratives combine vivid prose with exotic imagery and transgressive satire. Tears of a Komsomol Girl (Infinity Land Press, 2020) is her first full-length novel. She has been described alternately as ‘the postmodern heir to the disarranged novels of Anna Kavan and more closely, Ann Quin,’ and ‘a deviant genius of surreal and perverse image-play.’ Audrey’s debut in print, Plan for the Abduction of J.G. Ballard (a collaboration with Jeremy Reed) was published in 2019 via Infinity Land Press. In February 2020, Amphetamine Sulphate issued her first solo novella, Invisibility: A Manifesto. Tears of a Komsomol Girl is an experimental concept novel based on the real-life crimes of Soviet serial killer Andrei Chikatilo, who was finally executed in 1994 having been convicted of murdering 52 people between 1978 and 1990. Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod  Instagram: @wakeislandpod
March 10, 2021
Betsy Bonner - The Book of Atlantis Black
A young woman is found dead on the floor of a Tijuana hotel room. An ID in a nearby purse reads “Atlantis Black.” The police report states that the body does not seem to match the identification, yet the body is quickly cremated and the case is considered closed.  So begins Betsy Bonner’s search for her sister, Atlantis, and the unraveling of the mysterious final months before Atlantis’s disappearance, alleged overdose, and death. With access to her sister’s email and social media accounts, Bonner attempts to decipher and construct a narrative: frantic and unintelligible Facebook posts, alarming images of a woman with a handgun, Craigslist companionship ads, DEA agent testimony, video surveillance, police reports, and various phone calls and moments in the flesh conjured from memory. Through a history only she and Atlantis shared—a childhood fraught with abuse and mental illness, Atlantis’s precocious yet short rise in the music world, and through it all an unshakable bond of sisterhood—Bonner finds questions that lead only to more questions and possible clues that seem to point in no particular direction. In this haunting memoir and piercing true crime account, Bonner must decide how far she will go to understand a sister who, like the mythical island she renamed herself for, might prove impossible to find.  “A haunting, mind-bending memoir. . . . riveting.” —New York Times   “A mixture of biography and true crime, this narrative . . . offers more plot twists, shocking revelations and shady characters than most contemporary thrillers.” —NPR   Betsy Bonner is the author of the poetry collection Round Lake. She is a former Director of the 92Y Unterberg Poetry Center, where she now teaches creative writing. She is a fellow of the MacDowell Colony and the T. S. Eliot House.   "Core" Written & performed by Atlantis Black Home demo (2002)   "Core" (cover) Written by Atlantis Black Tara Sullivan on vox, guitars, and bass Stephen Edwards on drums Home demo (2020)  Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius  Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod Instagram: @wakeislandpod
February 10, 2021
Derek McCormack - Castle F*ggot
Derek McCormack's latest book is Castle F*ggot (Semiotext(e)). His previous books include The Show that Smells, The Well-Dressed Wound, Grab Bag and The Haunted Hillbilly. We talk about: the childhood memories and objects that inform Derek's aesthetic, confronting cancer, American vs Canadian kitsch, what makes camp, crystalizing shit into shit necklaces, lethal coziness, the emotional center of Castle F*ggot, ebay shopping on ambien, shopping at Barneys, weird celebrity sightings, theme parks, marshmallowy children's cereal, fashion, and did I mention shit!? Castle F*ggot is a dark satire about an amusement park more deranged than anything Disney could imagine: a playland for gay men called Faggotland. Castle F*ggot is Derek McCormack's darkest and most delicious book yet, a satire of sugary cereals and Saturday morning cartoons set in an amusement park more deranged than anything Disney dreamed up. At the heart of the park is F*ggotland, a playland for gay men, and Castle F*ggot, the darkest dark ride in the world. Home to a cartoon Dracula called Count Choc-o-log, the castle is decorated with the corpses of gays—some were killed, some killed themselves, all ended up as décor.  "It is really just one of the best books ever, and maybe the greatest novel ever written." Dennis Cooper Make sure to follow Derek on Instagram at: Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod Instagram: @wakeislandpod The Star of Bethlehem is played by TRG Banks
December 16, 2020
Steve Finbow - The Mindshaft
Steve Finbow and I chat about his latest book The Mindshaft which is based on the infamous members-only BDSM gay leather bar and sex club called the Mineshaft.  We get into: William Burroughs, J. G. Ballard, Francis Bacon, transgressive acts/art, noise music, Cruising, Ginsberg, literary pilgrimages, Bruce Chatwin and how illness influences creativity.  “You have visited the bar on a number of occasions, it fascinates you, you find it disgusting, it excites you, you find it dangerous. You are lonely in this city of millions, yet, how do we connect with other people, particularly if we don’t find speaking easy? Is sex a cure for loneliness, and if it is, what happens to if our body or sexuality is considered deviant or damaged, if we are ill or blessed with beauty?” The Mindshaft is out now from Amphetamine Sulphate.   Steve Finbow once worked for Allen Ginsberg. His non-fiction includes Notes From The Sick Room and Grave Desire: A Cultural History of Necrophilia, while his fiction includes Balzac Of The Badlands, Down Among The Dead and Nothing Matters. Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod Instagram: @wakeislandpod
October 28, 2020
Thomas Moore - Alone
A Has Grindr killed psychic gay powers?  Find out on this episode of Wake Island with Thomas Moore, author of Certain Kind of Light, In Their Arms (Rebel Satori), The Night Is An Empire, Skeleton Costumes, When People Die (Kiddiepunk), Alone (Amphetamine Sulphate) “Thomas Moore is one of the best writers the world has in stock, and I always expect a ton from what he writes. But, even so, ALONE is beyond the pale - immaculate, febrile, deadly. A complete stunner.” - Dennis Cooper⁣  Theme music by Joseph E. Martinez of Junius Follow us on social at: Twitter: @WakeIslandPod Instagram: @wakeislandpod
August 19, 2020