Posts tagged Writing
Episode 87: David Bowles

David Bowles is a writer based in south Texas. David’s latest book of poems, They Call Me Güero, is a middle-grade novel-in-verse about a light-skinned Mexican-American boy who is just entering the seventh grade. In the book, David portrays the life of a border kid with all its joys and challenges. In our conversation we talked about that book, as well as about David’s collection of the myths and legends of pre-Colombian Mexico, Feathered Serpent, Dark Heart of Sky. We discussed the importance of representation, especially for young people of color. Then for the second segment, David and I talked about finding our way to a softer masculinity, and seeking out pop culture that makes us cry.

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Episode 86: Lydia Kiesling

Lydia Kiesling is a writer based in San Francisco, CA. Lydia’s debut novel, The Golden State, is a lot of things: a road trip story, an intimate portrayal of young parenthood, a portrait of a far-Northern California community, and more. In our conversation, Lydia and I talked about The Golden State, her nonfiction writing, and the relationship between the two forms. We also discussed the ephemerality of parenting experiences, the power of nostalgia, and what rural California is like. Then in the second segment, Lydia chose as her topic the lives of Marshall and Phyllis Hodgson.

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Episode 83: Shivanee Ramlochan

Shivanee Ramlochan is a Trinidadian poet, arts reporter, and book blogger. I had the opportunity to read Shivanee’s book of poems Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting a few months ago and I found it a powerful experience. In our conversation, Shivanee and I talked about her book, making art out of our traumas, and navigating audience responses to our work. Then in the second segment, we talked about how few opportunities there can be for marginalized writers, and how this often creates an unnecessarily competitive environment.

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Michael SakasegawaWriting, Poetry
Episode 81: Mike Sakasegawa

To celebrate the third anniversary of Keep the Channel Open, photographer Daniel Gonçalves turned the tables on me and took on the role of podcast host in order to spend some time talking about my own work. In our conversation, Daniel and I discussed my photographs and creative process, making an emotional connection through art, and why quiet masculinity is important to me.

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Episode 79: Rachel Lyon

Rachel Lyon is a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Rachel’s debut novel Self-Portrait With Boy caught my attention for its complex depiction of a young artist in 1990’s Brooklyn, and the story has stuck with me in the months since I first read it. In our conversation, Rachel and I talked about the similarities between her novel and one of her earlier short stories, about the necessity of art in the contemporary world, and about the way her novel and its characters engage with questions of class. Then in the second segment, we talked about alcoholism and the role drinking plays in our culture.

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Episode 78: David Naimon

David Naimon is a writer and the host of the literature podcast Between the Covers, one of my absolute favorite podcasts. On his show, David brings a deep curiosity and impressive intellect to every conversation, making for some of the most engaging and in-depth interviews I’ve ever heard. In our conversation, David and I talked about the similarities and differences between our two shows, about the craft of interviewing, as well as about his own writing. Then in the second segment, David asked the question, is there a way for us as a society to change the way we tell stories that might enact change in our relationship to the natural world?

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Episode 38 (RERUN): Brandon Taylor

Brandon Taylor is a writer and graduate student at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. One of my favorite contemporary writers, Brandon's short stories are marvelously crafted, understated and emotionally charged, while his personal essays and cultural critique are insightful and often lyrical—all of it is just a joy to read. In today's conversation, Brandon and I talked about his work and his process, how he often finds himself inventing around the margins of the stories he takes in, and how and why he always resists the reductive take. For the second segment, Brandon chose expectation as his topic, both the excitement and terror of one's own anticipation of the future, but also the expectations others can put on us.

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Episode 76: Nicole Chung

Nicole Chung is a writer and editor. Nicole’s debut memoir All You Can Ever Know was released this month. In it, she tells the story of her life growing up as a transracial adoptee, of eventually finding and connecting with her birth family, and of becoming a parent, herself. In our conversation, Nicole and I talked about her wonderful book, our common experiences as Asian Americans, and about how to write a story that is still ongoing. Then in the second segment, Nicole and I talked about how we discuss race and identity with our kids.

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Episode 74: Franny Choi

Franny Choi’s chapbook Death By Sex Machine uses the framing of artificial intelligence to look at things like voicelessness, dehumanization, Asian fetishism, and more. In our conversation, Franny and I talked about her book, about the ethics of making art that uses other people’s voices, about writing lines that surprise yourself, and about Asian American solidarity. Then in the second segment, Franny talked about a recent trip she took to Korea.

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Michael SakasegawaWriting, Poetry
Episode 73: Ada Limón

Ada Limón's latest book of poems, The Carrying, was just released this month by Milkweed Editions, and it's just beautiful. In this episode, Ada and I discuss the book, the power of naming, connection with the Earth, and her collaboration with poet Natalie Diaz. Then in the second segment, we talked about travel and artistic pilgrimages.

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Episode 72: Natalie Eilbert

Natalie Eilbert's newest collection of poems, Indictus, was published in January of this year, and reading it is a profound and intense experience. In our conversation, Natalie and I talked about Indictus, making amends, and what audiences ask of artists who make work about trauma. In the second segment, Natalie chose social media as her topic.

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Episode 71: R. O. Kwon

R. O. Kwon's debut novel, The Incendiaries, was just released last week, and it's one of the best books I've read this year. In our conversation, we talked about her new book, who the first readers she has in mind are, the inherent unreliability of narrators, and how the characters invent themselves for each other. Then in the second segment, R. O. talked about her other passion: rock climbing.

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Episode 69: Leah Umansky

Leah Umansky is a poet, collage artist, and self-described Game of Thrones and Mad Men super fan. I recently read Leah's latest book, the full-length poetry collection The Barbarous Century, and was struck by the exuberant use of language—it brought me a lot of joy. In our conversation, Leah and I talked about her book, her fascination with pop culture, and the power of story. Then in the second segment, we had a very spoilery discussion about the HBO series Westworld.

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Episode 68: Richard Georges

Richard Georges is a writer, editor, and lecturer in the British Virgin Islands. In his new collection of poems, Giant, Richard gives us a portrait of the BVI through landscape, through its history and its present. In our conversation, Richard and I talked about his book, the aftermath of empire in the BVI, and the relationship between poetry and myth. For the second segment, Richard talked about the particular moment that the BVI faces today in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

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Episode 67: Min Jin Lee

Min Jin Lee is a writer based in New York. Earlier this year I read Min's latest novel, Pachinko, and it just blew me away. In our conversation, we talked about the book and it's journey to publication, and the importance of making art out of what's true. Then for the second segment we talked about persistence as a writer, dealing with rejection, and learning to be OK with looking foolish in the beginning.

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Episode 66: Hannah Cohen

Hannah Cohen is a poet and editor based in Virginia. I recently picked up a copy of Hannah's new chapbook Bad Anatomy and the way that the poems encompass both vulnerability and strength really struck me, as did the self-deprecating perspective. In our conversation, Hannah and I talked about Bad Anatomy, about emotional truth in poetry, as well as her work as co-editor of the online poetry magazine Cotton Xenomorph. Then in the second segment we discussed the challenges of working as an artist with a day job, especially a day job that isn't in academia.

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Episode 62: Devin Kelly

Devin Kelly is a poet and teacher based in New York, NY. Devin's latest book of poems, In This Quiet Church of Night, I Say Amen was a recent favorite of mine, an elegiac, contemplative book about family, love, and the ways in which life is more about the search than the finding. In our conversation, we talked about Devin's book as well as several of his essays, and Devin also read his poem "Elegy For the Long Drive." Then in the second segment, Devin chose whales as his topic.

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Episode 61: Ty Franck

Ty Franck is a writer based in Albuquerque, NM. Along with Daniel Abraham, Ty is the author of the bestselling science fiction series The Expanse. In our conversation, Ty and I talked about The Expanse, how it got started, and the process by which he and Daniel write the series. Then in the second segment, Ty asked the question: "Who owns the stuff in space?"

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Episode 54: Courtney Balestier & Mike Sakasegawa

Courtney Balestier is a writer and the host of WMFA, a podcast where writers talk writing. I've been a fan of WMFA for several months now so I was very excited to collaborate with Courtney on this episode, which will be released jointly on both shows. In our conversation we took a behind-the-scenes look at both of our shows, diving into our interviewing processes and why each of us started our podcasts. We also talked about the creative projects we've been working on recently, and our shared fascination with place and identity.

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Episode 52: Sarah Gailey

Sarah Gailey's two recent novellas, River of Teeth and Taste of Marrow, were a huge amount of fun for me as a fan of both Westerns and speculative fiction. Our conversation covered both of those books, her serialized novelette The Fisher of Bones, as well as her Hugo-nominated column at Tor.com about the women of Harry Potter. In the second segment, Sarah talked to me about Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg.

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