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Otherppl with Brad Listi

A weekly podcast featuring in-depth interviews with today's leading authors. Hosted by Brad Listi.
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Now displaying: Page 1
Jan 22, 2020

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.)

Jan 15, 2020

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.

Jan 8, 2020

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.

 

Dec 25, 2019

Milo Martin is the guest. He is the author of the poetry collections Poems for the Utopian Nihilist (Echo Park Press) and the forthcoming sublemon/sublime. He is also collaborating on an upcoming art book with Gigi Spratley and Jack Waltrip.

A poet by trade, Martin has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe. He has been invited to perform at international literature and poetry festivals in France, Italy, Germany and Croatia as well as numerous venues in Estonia, Switzerland, Holland, Liechtenstein and Serbia. His works have been translated into four languages. Educated at San Francisco State University and the University of Southern California, he currently resides in Los Angeles. He contends that birds and insects are manifest angels.

In today's monologue, Milo Martin performs some of his poetry.

Dec 18, 2019

Mark Guerin is the guest. His debut novel, You Can See More From Up Here, is available from Golden Antelope Press. It is the official December pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

Guerin is a 2014 graduate of Grub Street’s Novel Incubator program in Boston. He also has an MFA from Brandeis University and is a winner of an Illinois Arts Council Grant, the Mimi Steinberg Award for Playwriting and Sigma Tau Delta's Eleanor B. North Poetry Award. A contributor to the novelist’s blog, Dead Darlings, he is also a playwright, copywriter and journalist. He currently resides in Harpswell, Maine, with his wife, Carol, and two Brittany Spaniels.

Dec 11, 2019

Tim O'Brien is the guest. He is the author of The Things They Carried, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award. And he is the recipient of the 1979 National Book Award for Fiction for his novel Going After Cacciato. His latest book, a memoir, is called Dad's Maybe Book, available now from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

O'Brien was born in 1946 in Austin, Minnesota, and spent most of his youth in the small town of Worthington, Minnesota. He graduated summa cum laude from Macalester College in 1968. From February 1969 to March 1970 he served as infantryman with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, after which he pursued graduate studies in government at Harvard University. He worked as a national affairs reporter for The Washington Post from 1973 to 1974. 

His short fiction has appeared in The New YorkerEsquireHarper'sThe AtlanticPlayboy, and Ploughshares, and in several editions of The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 1987, O'Brien received the National Magazine Award for the short story, “The Things They Carried,” and in 1999 it was selected for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories of the Century, edited by John Updike. O'Brien is the recipient of literary awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been elected to both the Society of American Historians and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. O'Brien currently holds the University Endowed Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University. He lives with his wife and children in Austin, Texas.

In today's monologue, I talk briefly about my mother-in-law, who passed away recently.

Dec 4, 2019

Abigail Tarttelin is the guest. Her new novel, Dead Girls, is available from Rare Bird Books. It was the official November pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

This is Abigail's second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 194 on July 28, 2013.

Tarttelin is the award-winning author of Golden Boy, “a grippingly innovative” coming-of-age novel with a “radical non-binary, pro-intersex message” (Autostraddle). Golden Boy is the winner of an Alex Award from the American Library Association, a LAMBDA Literary Award Finalist for Best LGBT Debut, a Booklist Top Ten First Novel of 2013, a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013, and is published in eight languages.

Her journalism has appeared in The Guardian, The Independent, Glamour, Phoenix, Oh Comely, and The Huffington Post. Also a screenwriter, in 2016 Abigail served as a juror for the British Independent Film Awards. She is the recipient of awards from The Authors Foundation and The K Blundell Trust in Great Britain.

In today's monologue, I discuss my low back pain, among other things.

Nov 27, 2019

Fiona Alison Duncan is the guest. Her debut novel, Exquisite Mariposa, is available from Soft Skull Press.

Duncan is a Canadian-American artist, writer and organizer. She is the founding host of Hard to Read, a lit series, and Pillow Talk, community organising on sex, love and communication. She lives in New York City and Los Angeles.

Nov 20, 2019

Leland Cheuk is the guest. His new novel, No Good Very Bad Asian, is available from C&R Press.

A MacDowell Colony and Hawthornden Castle Fellow, Cheuk is also the author of the story collection Letters from Dinosaurs (2016) and the novel The Misadventures of Sulliver Pong (2015), which was also published in translation in China (2018). His work has been covered in BuzzfeedThe Paris Review, VICESan Francisco Chronicle, and elsewhere, and has appeared in publications such as SalonCatapultJoyland MagazineLiterary Hub, among other outlets. He is the founder of the indie press 7.13 Books.

He lives in Brooklyn and teaches at the Sarah Lawrence College Writing Institute.

Nov 13, 2019

Adrienne Brodeur is the guest. Her memoir, Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me, is available from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It was the official October pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

Brodeur has spent the past two decades of her professional life in the literary world, discovering voices, cultivating talent, and working to amplify underrepresented writers. Her publishing career began with founding the fiction magazine, Zoetrope: All-Storywith filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, where she served as editor in chief from 1996-2002. The magazine has won the prestigious National Magazine Award for best fiction four times. In 2005, she became an editor at Harcourt (later, HMH Books), where she acquired and edited literary fiction and memoir. Adrienne left publishing in 2013 to become Creative Director — and later Executive Director — of Aspen Words, a literary arts nonprofit and program of the Aspen Institute. In 2017, she launched the Aspen Words Literary Prize, a $35,000 annual award for an influential work of fiction that illuminates a vital contemporary issue and demonstrates the transformative power of literature on thought and culture.

She splits her time between Cambridge and Cape Cod, where she lives with her husband and children. 

Nov 6, 2019

Mimi Lok is the guest. Her debut story collection, Last of Her Name, is available from Kaya Press.

Lok is the recipient of a Smithsonian Ingenuity Award and an Ylvisaker Award for Fiction, and was a finalist for the Susan Atefat Arts and Letters Prize for nonfiction. Her work can be found in McSweeney’s, Electric Literature, LitHub, Nimrod, Lucky Peach, Hyphen, the South China Morning Post, and elsewhere. She is currently working on a novel.

Lok is also the executive director and editor of Voice of Witness, an award-winning human rights/oral history nonprofit she cofounded that amplifies marginalized voices through a book series and a national education program.

In today's monologue, I get right to the interview.

Nov 3, 2019

Adam Mansbach is the guest. He is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Go the Fuck to Sleep, and has just published a new book called Fuck, Now There are Two of You.

Go the Fuck to Sleep has been translated into forty languages, named Time Magazine's 2011 "Thing of the Year," and sold over three million copies worldwide. The 2014 sequel, You Have to Fucking Eat, is also a New York Times bestseller.

Mansbach was recently nominated for an Independent Spirit Award and an NAACP Image Award for his screenplay Barry. The film premiered to rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was acquired by Netflix and released as a Netflix Original on December 16, 2016.

Mansbach's 2013 novel, Rage is Back, was named a Best Book of the Year by National Public Radio and the San Francisco Chronicle. Adapted for television by Mansbach and Danny Hoch, it is currently in development at USA as an hour-long drama.

Mansbach's previous novels include The End of the Jews (2008) which won the California Book Award, and the cult classic Angry Black White Boy, or the Miscegenation of Macon Detornay (2005), which is taught at more than eighty schools and was adapted into a prize-winning stage play in 2008.

His work has appeared in The New Yorker, New York Times Book Review, Esquire, The BelieverThe Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, and on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, The Moth Storytelling Hour, and This American Life.

He lives in Berkeley, California, and is a frequent lecturer on college campuses.

Oct 30, 2019

Ashley Wurzbacher is the guest. A 5 Under 35 honoree, her debut story collection, Happy Like This, won the 2019 John Simmons Short Fiction Award. It is available from the University of Iowa Press.

Wurzbacher's writing has appeared in The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, The Cincinnati Review, Colorado Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Gettysburg Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She earned her BA from Allegheny College, her MFA from Eastern Washington University, and her PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Houston.

Originally from Titusville, Pennsylvania, she currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama and teaches creative writing at the University of Montevallo.

Oct 27, 2019

Steph Cha is the guest. Her new novel, Your House Will Pay, is available from Ecco.

This is Steph's second time on the program. She first appeared in Episode 319 on October 8, 2014.

Cha is also the author of the Juniper Song crime trilogy. She’s an editor and critic whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Review of Books. A native of the San Fernando Valley, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two basset hounds.

In today's monologue, I get right to the conversation.

Oct 23, 2019

 

Jarett Kobek is the guest. His new novel, Only Americans Burn in Hell, is available from We Heard You Like Books.

This is Kobek's third time on the program. He first appeared in Episode 399 on February 3, 2016, and in Episode 476 on August 2, 2017.

Kobek is an internationally bestselling Turkish-American writer who lives in California. His work has been translated into nine languages and published in twelve countries. His previous books include ATTA, I Hate the Internet, and Do Every Thing Wrong!: XXXTentacion Against the World.

In today's monologue, I basically get right to the conversation.

Oct 20, 2019

Madeline Stevens is the guest. Her debut novel, Devotion, is available from Ecco.

Stevens is from Boring, Oregon and is currently based in Los Angeles. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and her work has been published in a variety of literary magazines. She teaches creative writing to adults and children through Catapult and Writopia Lab.

In today's monologue, I thank the show's supporters and respond to some listener mail.

Oct 16, 2019

Zulema Renee Summerfield is the guest. Her debut novel, Every Other Weekend, is available in trade paperback from Back Bay Books.

Summerfield holds an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University, and her work has appeared in a number of literary journals. She is also the author of a book of flash fiction, Everything Faces All Ways At Once (Fourteen Hills Press).

In addition to her writing, Summerfield is an educator and creative coach and is one half of Thoughts & Feelings. She lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is at work on a collection of short stories and a new novel. 

In today's monologue, I get right to the interview.

Oct 9, 2019
Elizabeth Cantwell is the guest. Her new poetry collection, All the Emergency-Type Structures, is available from Inlandia Institute.

Cantwell lives in Claremont, CA, where she teaches Humanities at The Webb Schools. She has a B.A. from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Literature & Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Her poetry has appeared in a variety of journals, including DIAGRAM, The Cincinnati Review, The Los Angeles Review, Hobart, and The Missouri Review.
 
Her first book of poems, Nights I Let The Tiger Get You (Black Lawrence Press, 2014), was a finalist for the 2012 Hudson Prize; she is also the author of a chapbook, Premonitions (Grey Book Press, 2014).  
 
In today's monologue, I respond to some listener mail.
Oct 6, 2019
Adam Popescu is the guest. His debut novel, Nima, is available from Unnamed Press.

Popescu is a writer and journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Bloomberg Businessweek, Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Conde Nast Traveler, Marketplace, Playboy, Fast Company, Scientific American, Outside, The Guardian, New Scientist, Los Angeles Magazine, and others. 

His journalism has focused on a wide range, from business, the internet and the arts, to vanishing cultures and wildlife, reporting from places threatened by climate change, globalism, and the march of technology. In 2013, he climbed 18,000 feet up Mount Everest, covering the impact of tourism on the land and local Nepali people for the BBC. That experience would inspire his debut novel, NIMA, published in late May, 2019, from Unnamed Press. 

He's tracked mountain lions in urban LA, polar bears in Northern Canada, covered Arctic tsunamis, glacial melt and erosion in Greenland and Alaska, and spent time in drought-plagued East Africa and Indonesia, places and people at the vanguard of this world shift. Heads of state in Mexico, politicos tasked with governing alongside narcos, Tibet's exiled leader, the Dalai Lama, founders of Instagram, Twitter, Tinder, real cyborgs, convicts, dissidents, billionaires, all have been interview subjects. He recently profiled Steven Spielberg for the New York Times

In 2018, Popescu spent weeks in Ladakh in search of snow leopards in India's Himalayas, sailed to the edge of the globe in the Russian High Arctic and into the deceptively placid Pacific waters of the Galapagos,  on assignment for Bloomberg, the Washington Post and New York Times. A year later, he returned to Ladakh and saw a leopard with the naked eye. 

Popescu holds a master’s degree in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, and a BA in creative writing from Pitzer College. He lives in Los Angeles.
 
In today's monologue, I talk about my day job and share a special offer.
 
 








Oct 2, 2019
Robin Page is the guest. Her debut novel, Small Silent Things, is available from Harper Perennial.

Page was raised in Cincinnati and has degrees from UCLA and UC Irvine’s MFA program. She is married, has two daughters, and lives in Los Angeles. 
 
In today's monologue, I discuss these dangerous times and a woman at yoga who shouted 'fuck' in the middle of class.
Sep 29, 2019
Belén Fernández is the guest. Her new book, Exile: Rejecting America and Finding the World, is available from OR Books. It is the official September pick of The Nervous Breakdown Book Club.

After growing up in Washington, D.C. and Texas, and then attending Columbia University in New York, Belén Fernández ended up in a state of self-imposed exile from the United States. From trekking—through Europe, the Middle East, Morocco, and Latin America—to packing avocados in southern Spain, to close encounters with a variety of unpredictable men, to witnessing the violent aftermath of the 2009 coup in Honduras, the international travel allowed her by an American passport has, ironically, given her a direct view of the devastating consequences of U.S. machinations worldwide. For some years Fernández survived thanks to the generosity of strangers who picked her up hitchhiking, fed her, and offered accommodations; then she discovered people would pay her for her powerful, unfiltered journalism, enabling—as of the present moment—continued survival.

In just a few short years of publishing her observations on world politics and writing from places as varied as Lebanon, Italy, Uzbekistan, Syria, Mexico, Turkey, Honduras, and Iran, Belén Fernández has established herself as a one of the most trenchant observers of America’s interventions around the world, following in the footsteps of great foreign correspondents such as Martha Gellhorn and Susan Sontag.

She is a contributing editor at Jacobin and graduated from Columbia with a BA in political science. She frequently writes for Al Jazeera, Middle East Eye, and Jacobin, and is also the author of The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work.
 
In today's monologue, I address the podcast's new theme song and last week's record-breaking listenership.
Sep 25, 2019

Sarah M. Broom is the guest. Her debut memoir, The Yellow House, is available now from Grove Press.

Broom began her writing career as a newspaper journalist working in Rhode Island, Dallas, New Orleans and Hong Kong (for TIME Asia). She also worked as an editor at O, The Oprah Magazine for several years. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times MagazineO, The Oprah Magazine and elsewhere. In 2016, she received the prestigious Whiting Award for Creative Nonfiction.

Broom has an undergraduate degree in anthropology and mass communications from the University of North Texas and a Master’s degree in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley. 

A native New Orleanian, she is the youngest of twelve children, and now makes her home in New York City.

In today's monologue, I remark on 600 episodes and eight years of Otherppl, and I respond to some listener mail.

Sep 22, 2019
Dora Malech is the guest. Her most recent poetry collection, Stet, is available from Princeton University Press.

Malech's other collections include Say So (Cleveland State University Poetry Center, 2011), and Shore Ordered Ocean (Waywiser Press, 2009). Her fourth collection, Flourish, will be published by Carnegie Mellon University Press in 2020. 

Malech has been the recipient of an Amy Clampitt Residency Award from the Amy Clampitt Fund, a Mary Sawyers Baker Prize from the Baker Artist Awards, a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, and a Writing Residency Fellowship from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and she has served as Distinguished Poet-in-Residence at Saint Mary's College of California. She is a co-founder and former director of the arts engagement organization the Iowa Youth Writing Projects, and she is currently an assistant professor in The Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University.  


In today's monologue, I basically get right to the interview.
Sep 18, 2019
Kimberly King Parsons is the guest. Her debut story collection, Black Light, is available now from Vintage.

Born in Lubbock, Texas, Parsons earned a BA in English and an MA in Literary Studies (emphasis on the works of William Faulkner) from the University of Texas at Dallas. She later moved to New York City, where she earned an MFA in fiction from Columbia University and served as the editor-in-chief of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art.

A recipient of fellowships from Columbia University and the Sustainable Arts Foundation, her fiction has been published in The Paris Review, Best Small Fictions 2017, Black Warrior Review, No Tokens, Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. 

She lives with her partner and sons in Portland, OR, where she is completing a novel about Texas, motherhood, and LSD. 
 
In today's monologue, I give an update on transcripts and respond to some listener mail.
Sep 11, 2019
Josh Gondelman is the guest. His new book, Nice Try: Stories of Best Intentions and Mixed Results, is available from Harper Perennial (Sept. 17). 

Gondelman is a writer and comedian who incubated in Boston before moving to New York City, where he currently lives and works as a writer and producer for Desus and Mero on Showtime. Previously, he spent five years at Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, first as a web producer and then as a staff writer. In 2016, he made his late night standup debut on Conan (TBS), and he recently made his network tv debut on Late Night With Seth Meyers (NBC).

He is the winner of two Peabody Awards, three Emmy awards, and two WGA Awards for his work on Last Week Tonight. He is also the co-author (along with Joe Berkowitz) of the book You Blew It, published October 2015 by Plume. His writing has also appeared in prestigious publications such as McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, New York Magazine, and The New Yorker.

In today's monologue, I basically get right to the conversation.


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