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Kyle Spencer is an investigative journalist and the author of Raising Them Right: The Untold Story of America’s Ultraconservative Youth Movement and Its Plot for Power (Ecco Books).

 

Spencer is is an award-winning journalist and frequent New York Times contributor. She has written for New York magazine, Slate, the Daily Beast, the Washington PostPolitico, and many other publications.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

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800. Pete Hsu

By TNB Editors

Podcasts

Pete Hsu is the author of the story collection If I Were the Ocean, I’d Carry You Home, available from Red Hen Press. It is the official November pick of the Otherppl/TNB Book Club.

 

Hsu is also the author of the experimental chapbook There Is A Man (Tolsun Books). His writing has been featured in The Los Angeles Review, The Bare Life Review, F(r)iction Magazine, Faultline Journal of Arts and Letters, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and others. He was a 2017 PEN America Emerging Voices Fellow and the 2017 PEN in the Community Writer in Residence. He was born in Taipei, Taiwan and currently resides in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

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The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Rich Ferguson, Mary Kerr, and S.A. Griffin are the guests for a roundtable discussion of Beat literature and the new anthology Beat Not Beat: An Anthology of California Poets Screwing on the Beat and Post-Beat Tradition (Moon Tide Press).

 

Pushcart Prize-nominated poet Rich Ferguson has shared the stage with Patti Smith, Wanda Coleman, Moby, and other esteemed poets and musicians. Ferguson was selected by the National Beat Poetry Foundation, Inc. (NBPF), to serve as the State of California Beat Poet Laureate (Sept. 2020 to Sept. 2022). He is a featured performer in the film, What About Me? featuring Michael Stipe, Michael Franti, k.d. lang, and others. His poetry and award-winning spoken-word music videos have appeared in numerous anthologies and festivals, and he was a winner in Opium Magazine’s Literary Death Match, L.A. Ferguson is the editor of an anthology of CA poets entitled Beat Not Beat (Moon Tide Press).

Mary Kerr is an Independent Producer of documentaries on the California Beat Era. Her films include The Beach (1996), Venice West and the LA Scene (2011), and San Francisco’s Wild History Groove (2011).

S.A. Griffin, co-editor of Beat Not Beat and The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry (Firecracker Award) and Carma Bum progenitor lives, loves and works in Los Angeles. In 2010 he created The Poetry Bomb, a former Vietnam era practice bomb converted into an art object filled with over 900 poems from around the world in an effort to inspire civil disagreements culminating in The Poetry Bomb Couch Surfing Across America Tour of Words. Named Best Performance Poet by the LA Weekly, in 2011 he was the first recipient of Beyond Baroque’s Distinguished Service Award. His most recent book, Pandemic Soul Music (Punk Hostage Press), will be on bookshelves December 2022. Husband, father and USAF Vietnam era veteran.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Lynn Steger Strong is the author of the novel Flight, available from Mariner Books.

 

Strong’s other books include the novels Want and Hold Still. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, Time, Harper’s Bazaar, Los Angeles Times, The Paris Review, The Cut, New York Magazine, and elsewhere. She teaches writing at Catapult and Columbia University, and in 2022-23, she will be the Visiting Fiction Writer at Bates College.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Andrew Sean Greer is a Pulitzer Prize winner and the author of the novel Less is Lost (Little, Brown), a New York Times bestseller.

 

Greer is the author of six works of fiction, including the bestsellers The Confessions of Max Tivoli and Less. Greer has taught at a number of universities, including the Iowa Writers Workshop, been a Today show pick, a New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow, a judge for the National Book Award, and a winner of the California Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award. He is the recipient of a NEA grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He lives in San Francisco.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Jonathan Escoffery is the author of the debut story collection If I Survive You, available from MCD/FSG.

 

If I Survive You is a National Book Award Nominee, an Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence Nominee, a New York Times Editor’s Choice, and an Indie National Bestseller.

Escoffery is the winner of The Paris Review’s 2020 Plimpton Prize for Fiction and is the recipient of a 2020 National Endowment for the Arts (Prose) Literature Fellowship. His story “Under the Ackee Tree” was among the trio that won the Paris Review the 2020 ASME Award for Fiction from the American Society of Magazine Editors, and was subsequently included in The Best American Magazine Writing 2020. His stories have appeared in The Paris ReviewOprah Daily, Electric LiteratureZyzzyva, AGNI, Pleiades, American Short FictionPrairie SchoonerPassages North, and elsewhere.

Jonathan has taught creative writing and seminars on the writer’s life at Stanford University, the University of Minnesota, the Center for Fiction, Tin House, Writers in Progress, and at GrubStreet in Boston, where, as former staff, he founded the Boston Writers of Color Group, which currently has more than 2,000 members. He has received support and honors from Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, Aspen Words, Kimbilio Fiction, the Anderson Center, and elsewhere. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s Creative Writing MFA Program (Fiction) and attends the University of Southern California’s Ph.D. in Creative Writing and Literature Program as a Provost Fellow. He is a 2021-2023 Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.

***
Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

George Saunders is the author of the story collection Liberation Day, available from Random House.

 

Saunders is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, including A Swim in a Pond in the Rain; Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the Booker Prize; Congratulations, by the Way; Tenth of December, a finalist for the National Book Award and winner of the inaugural Folio Award; The Braindead Megaphone; and the critically acclaimed collections CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, and In Persuasion Nation. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

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The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Four Poems

By Robyn Schelenz

Poetry

 

 

Untitled

 

The sea is filled with people made of water
They crowd the autumn

An elk cow was guarding her kids
waiting for her to fall asleep
then they went all kinds of places
Migratory
Running up charges
On her credit card
They took back Himalayan salt lamps
And saved the future of their species 

from the world of carousels.

simulacra come into view
just for a second
then we return
before shit gets real.

 

 

The afterlife

 

llama pass
kobe bryant in the afterlife
check the machine,
it’s sputtering.
eat the gravy,
it’s hot.
Fun for all ages.
Soothed by the microwave

Extreme couponers hover in the sky finding bargains as they fall

When I looked at you as the big oafy trees started to stir
Did you like it or did I sell you only on
Staring at the oaks

The tale is as tall as you want it to be
Or as short.

Under the leaves,
Your dirt.

Morgan Talty is the author of the debut story collection Night of the Living Rez, available from Tin House. It is the official October pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Talty is a citizen of the Penobscot Indian Nation where he grew up. Named one of Narrative’s “30 Below 30,” Talty’s work has appeared in The Georgia ReviewShenandoahTriQuarterlyNarrative Magazine, LitHub, and elsewhere. He lives in Levant, Maine.

***
 

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

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The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

 

Last night I discussed the fear of poetry with a group of other prose writers. Poems seem to evoke a more common anxiety than other mediums. Rebecca van Laer is a poet-turned-prose writer, and in her novella How to Adjust to the Dark the reader gets to glimpse inside the mind of a poet. We read through the main character Charlotte’s pursuits and failures in love, alongside the character’s own poems, interwoven with literary self-analysis. How to Adjust to the Dark is compelling in its voice and poetic prose, its painfully-relatable romantic interactions, as well as how it makes transparent a writer’s relationship to her writing. I felt seen by Charlotte’s experiences, in which writing is both a life raft and a burden. I spoke with Rebecca van Laer about her history with writing, form, disappointment, and the process that went into her beautiful debut.

 


 

As a prose writer for whom poetry holds a lot of mystery, I felt like How To Adjust to the Dark was a really rich and unique reading experience in that you get to hear the narrator’s analysis and interrogation of her own poetry. I found that really fascinating, like I got these glimpses into the mind of a poet alongside her narrative. 

 

Can you tell me about how you came from a poetry background into becoming a prose writer and how your new novella reflects that journey?

 

When I took my first creative writing class, I had grand notions of being a writer even though I’d never done more than write in my LiveJournal. As we started to get assignments, I found that writing fiction required a leap of empathy that was quite challenging. Poetry was easier, because I had implicit permission to write from a point of view close to my own. As I began to take more poetry workshops, writing within formal constraints helped me to develop my skills without the complete, billowing freedom of prose. (Within academia, I didn’t have early exposure to either non-lyric poetry or to autofiction, so I didn’t know the full range of possibility in either genre—or in the overlap between them.)

 

Because of that, it took a while to develop the confidence to try and create my own structure within prose. The novella is in some ways about that—Charlotte looks back on the simultaneous safety and constriction of writing within a received set of assignments and forms, and the book itself shows her (and me) stretching beyond that.

 

You’ve shifted form, but also the environment in which you write. During the pandemic you moved from Brooklyn to upstate New York. Has your new home affected your writing life? 

 

On the subject of imaginative leaps, I think I’ve wanted to be an environmental writer since around the time I wrapped up the first draft of HTATTD. Some people accomplish that both living in and writing about cities, but in my early attempts, my urbanite characters were tormented by the specter of climate change in an abstract, theoretical way. Moving upstate has changed my daily life pretty significantly; I have chickens and bees and a garden, and I can spend much more time outside. While the existential experience of living with climate change is a rich well to draw on for fiction, my new set of interactions with creatures, plants, and fungi has given me more concrete conduits for writing about the natural world and its demise.

A.M. Homes is the author of the novel The Unfolding, available from Viking.

 

Homes is the author of thirteen books, among them the best-selling memoir The Mistress’ Daughter; the novels This Book Will Save Your LifeThe End of Alice, and Jack; and the short story collections Days of Awe, The Safety of Objects and Things You Should Know. She also writes for film and television and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

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Merch

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Chelsea Martin is the author of the novel Tell Me I’m an Artist, available from Soft Skull Press.

 

Martin is the author of the essay collection Caca Dolce and the novella Mickey, among other books. She lives in Spokane, WA with her husband and child.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Elizabeth Strout is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the novel Lucy by the Sea, available from Random House.

 

Strout is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Oh William!; Olive, Again; Anything Is Possiblewinner of the Story Prize; My Name Is Lucy Barton; The Burgess Boys; Olive Kitteridgewinner of the Pulitzer Prize; Abide with Meand Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize in London. She lives in Maine.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram 

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Jerry Stahl is the author of the memoir Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man’s Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust, available from Akashic Books.

 

Stahl has written ten books, including the best-selling memoir Permanent Midnight, made into a movie with Ben Stiller; the essay collection OG Dad; and the novels Pain KillersI, FattyPervPlainclothes NakedHappy Mutant Baby Pills; and Bad Sex on Speed. A Pushcart Prize–winning author, Stahl’s work has appeared in EsquireVice, the BelieverTin HouseLos Angeles Review of Books, and the New York Times, among other places. He has written extensively for film and television, including HBO’s Hemingway & Gellhorn, which earned a Writers Guild Award nomination; Bad Boys II; and the cult classic Dr. Caligari; series credits include MaronCSI, and Escape at Dannemora, for which he received an Emmy nomination. Stahl’s writing has been widely translated, and he has taught with the InsideOUT Writers program for incarcerated youth, edited The Heroin Chronicles for Akashic Books, and participated in the documentary series, San Quentin Film School. He has two daughters, and lives with artist Zoe Hansen.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.

Luke Dani Blue is the author of the debut story collection Pretend It’s My Body, available from The Feminist Press. It is the official September pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

 

Blue’s stories have appeared in the Colorado Review, Crab Orchard Review, and have been included on the list of the year’s most distinguished stories in Best American Short Stories 2016. Originally from Michigan, Luke (they/them) is a two-time college dropout and time-traveling Victorian invalid who resides most reliably on the internet. They are also an astrologer.

***

Otherppl with Brad Listi is a weekly literary podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today’s leading writers.

Launched in 2011. Books. Literature. Writing. Publishing. Authors. Screenwriters. Etc.

Available where podcasts are available: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeart Radio, etc.

Subscribe to Brad Listi’s email newsletter.

Support the show on Patreon

Merch

@otherppl

Instagram 

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Email the show: letters [at] otherppl [dot] com

The podcast is a proud affiliate partner of Bookshop, working to support local, independent bookstores.