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 70: Blue Mitchell

Blue Mitchell is an independent publisher, curator, educator, and photographer based in Portland, OR. Blue's work, both as the publisher of Diffusion and as an artist in his own right, focuses on what he calls "artfully crafted" photography—that is, photographic art where you can see the artist's hand. In our conversation we talked about Blue's photographs and his use of a wide variety of techniques to create images that elicit a strong emotional response in the viewer. We also talked about his publishing company, One Twelve, and how Diffusion came about. Then in the second segment, we talked about portfolio review events, and how they can be a great way to connect with the photographic community.

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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 65: Alanna Airitam

Alanna Airitam is a portrait photographer based in San Diego, CA. In her series "The Golden Age," Alanna makes portraits of African Americans in the style of the Dutch Realism Golden Age of painting, images full of grace and beauty representing black people in a fine art context, a context from which they are all too often excluded. In our conversation we talked about that series, as well as her "Being Heard" project, which began as a response to seeing how different marginalized women were being excluded from the mainstream activist narrative. Then for the second segment, Alanna and I had a wide-ranging conversation about the roots of social injustice in our society.

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Episode 64: Andy Burgess

Andy Burgess is a multidisciplinary artist based in Tucson, AZ. Known for his paintings of mid-century and modernist paintings, Andy's wide-ranging practice also encompasses collage, printmaking, and photography, and more recently he has become a publisher, having started his own photobook publishing company, Dark Spring Press. In our conversation Andy and I talked about his approach to painting as a form of visual problem-solving, about finding an authentic path in the art world, and about learning to make beautiful photobooks. Then for the second segment, Andy chose nostalgia as his topic.

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Episode 63: Morgan DeLuna

Morgan DeLuna is a photographic artist based in Southern California. In her Phenotype series, Morgan uses self-portraiture to explore her diverse genetic heritage. In our conversation we talked about that series, and the question that both of us have heard so many times: "What are you?" We also discussed her Extrospection photographs, a series of abstract bodyscapes documenting the topography of her physical existence over time. For the second segment, we talked about social media and its effects on human interaction and on the medium of photography.

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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 60: Brenda Biondo

Brenda Biondo is a fine art photographer based in Colorado. Brenda's work focuses on three distinct areas: constructed abstractions centered on atmospheric color and light; conservation and land-based issues; and the way cultural artifacts move from the past into the present. In this conversation we talked about her documentation of American playgrounds, her background in journalism, her interest in land use and conservation, and her love of abstraction and modernist paintings. In the second segment, we talked about portfolio review events and how invaluable an opportunity they are for photographers.

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Episode 59: Justyna Badach

Justyna Badach is a photographic artist based in Philadelphia, PA. Justyna's work examines the iconography of the masculine history of art in relation to her work as a female artist. In this episode we discussed several of her photographic series, including her Untitled Film StillsBachelor Portraits, and Land of Epic Battles series, how she uses her work to insert herself into spaces from which women have historically been excluded, and how she interrogates and challenges conventional notions of masculinity. The for the second segment we had a wide-ranging conversation, starting with the connection between writing and images, then moving to the importance of empathy, the roots of American anxiety, and how the current insistence on art having a social practice resembles propaganda mechanisms in totalitarian regimes.

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Episode 58: Linda Alterwitz

Linda Alterwitz is a photographic artist based in Las Vegas, NV. Linda's work brings science and technology together with art to make some visually striking and very human images. In this episode we talked about her creative process, including how she first became interested in using medical imagery to make art. Then for the second segment, Linda chose balance as her topic.

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Episode 57: Lisa M. Robinson

Lisa M. Robinson is a fine art photographer based in Tucson, AZ. Lisa's conceptual landscape photography has been hugely influential to me as an artist, so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to talk with her for the show. In our conversation we talked about her artistic process, the conceptual underpinnings of her new Chronos and Terrestra series, and why her work has meant so much to me. Then in the second section, we talked about the place of contemplative art in today's chaotic political environment.

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Episode 56: Chris Engman

Chris Engman is a fine art photographer based in Los Angeles. I first encountered Chris's work when he gave an artist lecture at the Medium Festival of Photography a few years ago, and his work just blew my mind. Chris's work focuses on the nature of photography and human perception, and he uses his meticulously constructed photographs to explore themes of time, impermanence, and memory. We had a great conversation about his work and process, and about the meditative nature of driving.

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Episode 55: Daniel Gonçalves

Daniel Gonçalves is a portrait, editorial, and commercial photographer based in Los Angeles. I met Daniel at this year's Medium Festival of Photography, where he was participating in the portfolio reviews and showing work from his "Second Amendment Cowboy" series. We had a great conversation for this episode about his work exploring American gun culture and his fascination with Americana. For the second segment, we talked about the idea of home.

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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 53: Eleonora Ronconi

Eleonora Ronconi is a photographer originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, now a resident of the Bay Area. I first saw Eleonora's work via the Six Shooters project have followed her work ever since. Most recently I was pleased to see her work again at this year's Medium Festival of Photography, where she was showing her series "Serás Mis Ojos," a beautiful body of work about memory and family. In this episode we talked about that series as well as her other work, how photography allowed her to find her voice, and where she finds inspiration.

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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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