Jenn Shapland is the guest. Her debut, My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, is a genre-bending work of nonfiction. It is available from Tin House Books.
Shapland's nonfiction has been published in O, the Oprah Magazine, The Paris Review daily, Tin House, Outside online, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. Her essay "Finders, Keepers" won a 2017 Pushcart Prize, and she was awarded the 2019 Rabkin Foundation Award for art journalism. She has a PhD in English from the University of Texas at Austin and lives in New Mexico.
In today's monologue, I talk about April Fool's Day, the late Molly Brodak, and offer a public thanks to my volunteer transcriptionists.
This is Deb's second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 178 on May 29, 2013.
Unferth is the author of six books, including Wait Till You See Me Dance and Revolution. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and three Pushcart Prizes, and was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Her work has appeared in Granta, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, and the Paris Review. She lives in Austin, Texas.
In today's monologue, I talk briefly about coronavirus.
Monika Woods is the guest. She is a literary agent and founder of Triangle House Literary in New York.
Woods' clients have won the PEN Bingham Award, been listed for the National Book Award, The Kirkus Prize, The Edgar Awards, LAMBDA Awards, and the Believer Book Award, appeared on the New York Times bestseller list, and been named books of the year by The New York Times and NPR, among other honors.
She is a graduate of SUNY Buffalo and the Columbia Publishing Course and has worked closely with leading voices in contemporary literature over her decade-long publishing career. Her interests include literary fiction and compelling non-fiction in cultural criticism, food, popular culture, journalism, science, and current affairs.
She is particularly excited about plot-driven literary novels, non-fiction that is creatively critical, unique perspectives, a great cookbook, and above all, original prose.
(Photo credit: Sylvie Rosokoff)
Sam Farahmand is the guest. His debut novel, Chimero, is available from dr.Doctor Press.
Farahmand is originally from Los Angeles. His writing has appeared in Electric Literature, Hobart, and PANK Magazine.
He lives in Nashville.
Erin Eileen Almond is the guest. Her debut novel, Witches' Dance, is available from Lanternfish Press.
Almond is a novelist, short story writer, essayist and reviewer. Her work has been published in The Boston Globe, Colorado Review, Normal School, Small Spiral Notebook, and on Cognoscenti.com, and The Rumpus.net.
In today's monologue, I tell the story of how this episode came to be, and I say a few brief words about coronavirus.
April Dávila is the guest. Her debut novel, 142 Ostriches, is available from Kensington Books.
Dávila received her undergraduate degree from Scripps College before going on to study writing at USC. She was a resident of the Dorland Mountain Arts Colony in 2017 and attended the Squaw Valley Community of Writers in 2018. In 2019 her short story “Ultra” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. A fourth-generation Californian, she lives in La Cañada Flintridge with her husband and two children. She is a practicing Buddhist, half-hearted gardener, and occasional runner. 142 Ostriches is her first novel.
In today's monologue, I respond to listener mail.
Emily Nemens is the guest. Her debut novel, The Cactus League, is available from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.
In 2018, Nemens became the seventh editor of The Paris Review, the nation’s preeminent literary quarterly. Since her arrival, the magazine has seen record-high circulation, published two anthologies, produced a second season of its acclaimed podcast, and won the 2020 National Magazine Award for Fiction. Previously, she coedited The Southern Review, a storied literary quarterly published at Louisiana State University. Stories published during her tenure at The Southern Review were selected for the Pushcart Prize anthology, Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Prize anthology, and the inaugural edition of PEN America Best Debut Fiction.
Nemens grew up in Seattle and received her bachelor’s degree from Brown University, where she studied art history and studio art. She completed an MFA degree in fiction at Louisiana State University. As an illustrator, she’s collaborated with Harvey Pekar, published her work in The New Yorker, and her watercolor portraits of every woman in congress were featured across the web and on national TV. Her short stories have appeared in Blackbird (Tarumoto Prize winner), Esquire, n+1, The Iowa Review, Hobart, and The Gettysburg Review. She lives in New York and remains a Mariners fan.
In today's monologue, I basically just get right to the interview.
Megan Fernandes is the guest. Her new poetry collection, Good Boys, is available from Tin House Books. It was a finalist for the Kundiman Book Prize and the Saturnalia Book Prize.
Fernandes is a writer living in New York City. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in The New Yorker, Tin House, Ploughshares, Denver Quarterly, Chicago Review, Boston Review, Rattle, Pank, The Common, Guernica, the Academy of American Poets, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, among others. She is also the author of The Kingdom and After (Tightrope Books 2015).
An Assistant Professor of English at Lafayette College, Fernandes teaches courses on poetry, creative nonfiction, and critical theory. She holds a PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara and an MFA in poetry from Boston University.
In today's monologue, I respond to some listener mail. Also: Megan Fernandes reads a poem!
Garth Greenwell is the guest. His new book Cleanness is available from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.
Greenwell is the author of What Belongs to You, which won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice, it was named a Best Book of 2016 by over fifty publications in nine countries, and is being translated into a dozen languages. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, A Public Space, and VICE, and he has written criticism for The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, and the New York Times Book Review, among others. He lives in Iowa City.
In today's monologue, I respond to some listener mail.
Katharine Coldiron is the guest. Her debut novella, Ceremonials, is available from Kernpunkt Press.
Coldiron's work has appeared in Ms., the Washington Post, LARB, the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, BUST, the Kenyon Review, the Rumpus, VIDA, Brevity, and elsewhere. She earned a B.A. in film studies & philosophy from Mount Holyoke College and an M.A. in creative writing from California State University, Northridge. She has read many, many books. Born in the American South to a professor of poetry and translation and a U.S. Navy captain, and raised along the East Coast, she now lives in Los Angeles.
In today's monologue, I respond to some mail and talk about my new social media director, Joseph Grantham.
Nicolette Polek is the guest. Her new story collection, Imaginary Museums, is available from Soft Skull Press.
Polek is a writer from Cleveland, Ohio and is a recipient of the 2019 Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award.
Amina Cain is the guest. Her new novel, Indelicacy, is available from Farrar, Straus, & Giroux.
This is Amina's second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 390 on November 25, 2015.
She is also the author of the short story collection Creature, out with Dorothy, a publishing project, and her writing has appeared in Granta, n+1, The Paris Review Daily, BOMB, Full Stop, Vice, the Believer Logger, and elsewhere.
She lives in Los Angeles and is a literature contributing editor at BOMB.
In today's monologue, I talk briefly about the Iowa Caucuses.
Kahn's other book is called Women in Public (City Lights, 2015). She holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a BFA from California College of the Arts. And she teaches at the Poetry Field School.
In today's monologue, I respond to listener mail.
Matthew Zapruder is the guest. His latest poetry collection, Father's Day, is available from Copper Canyon Press.
This is his second time on the program. He first appeared in Episode 477 on August 9, 2017.
Zapruder is a poet, translator, professor and editor. He earned a BA in Russian literature at Amherst College, an MA in Slavic languages and literature at the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA in poetry at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he studied with Dara Wier, James Tate, and Agha Shahid Ali.
He is the author most recently of Sun Bear, Copper Canyon, 2014, and Why Poetry, a book of prose about poetry, Ecco/Harper Collins, 2017. An Associate Professor in the MFA at Saint Mary’s College of California, he is also editor at large at Wave Books, and from 2016-7 held the annually rotating position of Editor of the Poetry Column for the New York Times Magazine. He lives in Oakland, California. He also plays lead guitar in the rock band The Figments, a Western Massachusetts based band led by songwriter Thane Thomsen.
Zapruder’s other collections of poetry include Come On All You Ghosts (2010), The Pajamaist (2006), and American Linden (2002). He collaborated with painter Chris Uphues on For You in Full Bloom (2009) and co-translated, with historian Radu Ioanid, Romanian poet Eugen Jebeleanu’s last collection, Secret Weapon: Selected Late Poems (Coffee House, 2008).
In today's monologue, we hear a poem from Matthew Zapruder. (And there's another in the outro.)
Amanda Yates Garcia is the guest. Her new memoir, Initiated: Memoir of a Witch, is available from Grand Central Publishing.
This is Amanda's second time on the podcast. She first appeared in Episode 444 on December 21, 2016.
Garcia is a writer, artist, professional witch, and the Oracle of Los Angeles. Her work has been featured in The Millions, The LA Times, Time Out, LA Weekly, GOOP, Glamour, The London Times, CNN, Salon, as well as a viral appearance on Tucker Carlson Tonight. She has led classes and workshops on magic and witchcraft at UCLA, UC Irvine, MOCA Los Angeles, The Hammer Museum, LACMA, The Getty and many other venues. Co-host of the popular Between the Worlds podcast, Initiated is her first book.
Steffie Nelson, Heather John Fogarty, and Sarah Tomlinson are the guests. All are contributors to a new essay anthology called Slouching Towards Los Angeles: Living and Writing by Joan Didion's Light. The collection is edited by Steffie Nelson and is available from Rare Bird Books. It is the official January pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.
In The White Album, Joan Didion famously wrote that “a place belongs forever to whoever claims it hardest, remembers it most obsessively…loves it so radically that he remakes it in his image.” Cruising in her Daytona yellow Corvette Stingray, taking it all in behind dark glasses, Joan Didion claimed California for all time. Slouching Towards Los Angeles is a multi-faceted portrait of the literary icon who, in turn, belongs to us.
This collection of original essays covers the turf that made Didion a sensation—Hollywood and Patty Hearst; Malibu, Manson and the Mojave; the Summer of Love and the Central Park Five—while bringing together some of the finest voices of today’s Los Angeles and beyond. Slouching Towards Los Angeles is a love letter and thank you note; personal memoir and social commentary; cultural history and literary critique. Fans of Didion, lovers of California, and fellow writers alike will all find something to dig into, in this rich exploration of the inner and outer landscapes Joan Didion traveled, shaping our own journeys in the process.
In today's monologue, I talk about the holidays.