Posts tagged Writing
Episode 94: Rachel Zucker

Rachel Zucker is a writer based in New York City. Rachel’s podcast Commonplace: Conversations with Poets (and Other People) is one of my favorite literary shows, a show that has deeply influenced my approach to podcasting. In our conversation, Rachel and I talked about Commonplace and her 2014 book The Pedestrians, how each of us approach hosting a conversational podcast, and writing as a form of self-castigation.

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Episode 93: Yanyi

Yanyi is a writer and critic. Yanyi’s debut book The Year of Blue Water is part poetry, part essay, part journal, and entirely itself, a document of self-discovery and human connection. In our conversation, we talked about his book, about its form and his process in creating it, and about creating community. Then in the second segment, we discussed Hannah Arendt’s seminal book The Origins of Totalitarianism.

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Episode 52 (RERUN): 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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Episode 91: Michelle Brittan Rosado

Michelle Brittan Rosado is a poet based in Long Beach, CA. In her book Why Can’t It Be Tenderness, Michelle writes about California, Malaysia, and the space between, about divorce, and life transition, and new love. In our conversation we talked about her book, about her creative process and how she thinks about poetic form, and about mixed-race identity. Then in the second section we talked about the history of the pantoum, and our experiences with English-language versions of Asian poetic forms.

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Episode 90: Chaya Bhuvaneswar

Chaya Bhuvaneswar is a physician and writer. I read Chaya’s short story collection White Dancing Elephants this spring and really enjoyed it, both because of the way it centered South Asian and women’s stories, and for the complex, complicated relationships at the heart of each story. In our conversation, Chaya and I talked about White Dancing Elephants; about Seamus Heaney, punishment, and complicity; and about whose stories get called “dark.” Then for the second segment, we talked about some of Chaya’s favorite poets, and why poetry is important to her.

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Episode 89: Julia Dixon Evans

Julia Dixon Evans is a writer based in San Diego, CA. I read Julia’s novel How to Set Yourself on Fire recently and was quite taken with her use of voice and the strong characterization of the story’s narrator, Sheila. In our conversation, Julia and I talked about her book, about experimenting with form as a writer, and about the question of likability. Then for the second segment we talked about trail running, and pushing yourself both physically and creatively.

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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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