04-21-13 UPDATE:Podcast Update:Time to Read Episode 94: Danielle Trussoni 'Angelopolis'
Here's the ninety-first episode of my new series of podcasts, which I'm calling Time to Read. The podcasts/radio broadcasts will be of books worth your valuable reading time. I'll try to keep the reports under four minutes, for a radio-friendly format. If you want to run them on your show or podcast, let me know.
My hope is that in under four minutes I can offer readers a concise review and an opportunity to hear the author read from or speak about the work. I'm hoping to offer a new one every week.
With this episode, I hope to be getting closer to catching up from the gap left by my recent voice loss. If I can finish editing Ruth Ozeki and get her book reviewed and the script for the Time to Read written, we'll be back in what I consider the proper sequence. But next week may be devoted to much reading, I hope!
The ninety-first episode is a look at Danielle Trussoni, 'Angelopolis'.
04-17-13: Terry Bisson, Matt Richtel and Sophie Littlefield at SF in SF on February 9. 2013
Click image for audio link.
"You cannot do this all day long."
— Sophie Littlefield
Care for a discussion of the state of the art of writing in 2012 by two hardworking actually working, almost-making-ends-meet writers? Now is your chance to sign up for Sophie Littlefield, who should surely be on your radar for her Bad Day books and Matt Richtel, for his (to use the marketing term) "cyber-thrillers" (read: novels with a plot in which computers play a role).
That discussion manages to be, I believe, my longest podcast ever, clocking in at 1:47. Figure it covers two commutes and has got to be better listening than anything on the news, given the nature of the news as of late. Here you find amusing anecdotes and solid advice for those who want to at least come within eyesight of making a living doing whatever it is your choice of art form may be.
Littlefield and Richtel are lively speakers, Bisson's a smart moderator, and you have an audience full of actual writers joined by writers of the future, given the questions you hear asked. If you could not make the event, then you can now, in the comfort of your own car. If it happens that readers and listeners would like me to divvy this up into two pieces, just email me to let me know. But in the interim, we offer you the director's cut version. All you have to do is to follow this link to the MP3 audio file.
04-16-13:A 2013 Interview with Stephen Kessler
Click image for audio link.
"..knit a formal coherence by way of sound and rhythm..."
— Stephen Kessler
It should come as no surprise that poet Stephen Kessler preferred to discuss his newest collection, 'Scratch Pegasus,' live on the air. Performance comes naturally to the poet.
Stephen and I have talked many times and it was a delight to get his latest collection of poetry and let it soak through my consciousness for a couple of weeks before our conversation. Kessler's work offers a great combination of precision and imagination; he embraces opposing notions with an ease born of intuition.
Doing a show live at the radio station offers a challenge that other interviews do not. For me, it's not the knowledge that we're being heard by x, the unknown unseen listeners, so much as the sliders and buttons. I find my mind pleasantly divided the ultra-physical and practical and the inward-looking gaze of the poet. That's my set of opposing notions to embrace, and easier written in the aftermath than done in the moment.
Kessler is a very interesting conversationalist, a man, who brings with him not just a formidable academic expertise, but as well, a passionate perspective on art and its practice. I love his sense of half-rhyme and he was able to speak to this in both a formalist and a practical manner.
In the interview, we went beyond his work as a poet to talk about his work as an editor for The Redwood Coast Review and his latest translation, Vicente Aleixandre's 1968 collection, 'Poems of Consummation.' We managed to get in one poem from the collection before the hour ran out, leading us both to think another interview should follow soon. You can hear this iteration by following this link to the MP3 audio file.
New to the Agony Column
09-18-15: Commentary : William T. Vollman Amidst 'The Dying Grass' : An Epic Exploration of Simultaneity
08-21-15: Agony Column Podcast News Report : Senator Claire McCaskill is 'Plenty Ladylike' : Internalizing Determination to Overcome Sexism [Incudes Time to Read EP 211: Claire McCaskill, Plenty Ladylike, plus A 2015 Interview with Senator Claire McCaskill]
Agony Column Podcast News Report : Emily Schultz Unleashes 'The Blondes' : A Cure by Color [Incudes Time to Read EP 210: Emily Schultz, The Blondes, plus A 2015 Interview with Emily Schultz]