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Between The Covers : Conversations with Writers in Fiction, Nonfiction & Poetry
166 minutes | 16 days ago
Jorie Graham : Runaway
Today’s guest is poet Jorie Graham. We speak about her fifteenth book of poetry, Runaway. This latest book, along with the three that precede it—Sea Change, Place, and Fast—confronts our accelerating trajectory toward climate disaster. But as Lidija Haas says for Harper’s Magazine, Graham “in her poems remakes a world you can inhabit, one in which you can sense what it is you’re letting go of, now, before it’s gone.” We talk about what it means to engage with deep time as a poet, about (dis)embodiment, about soul-making, about finding collectivity through the sensorial and subjective, about apprenticeship and lineage, the line and the sentence, and much more. For the bonus audio archive Jorie discusses the many manifestations of rain, and then reads two rain poems, one by Edward Thomas, the other by Robert Creeley. To find out about how to subscribe to the bonus audio, among the other potential benefits and rewards of becoming a listener-supporter of the show, head over to the Between the Covers Patreon Page. The post Jorie Graham : Runaway appeared first on Tin House.
115 minutes | a month ago
Brandon Hobson : The Removed
Today’s Between the Covers conversation with Brandon Hobson is about his novel The Removed, his first book since his National Book Award finalist, Where the Dead Sit Talking. The Removed places us with the Echota family fifteen years after the death of their son Ray-Ray at the hands of the police, and in the long shadow of the forced removal of the Cherokee from their ancestral lands to modern-day Oklahoma where the book takes place. We talk about writing into the silence surrounding police killings of Native people, writing against stereotype, against the expectations of the non-Native imagination, about the foster care system and its legacy in Native communities, and also about questions of form and language. Brandon talks about the influence Diane Williams has had on him on the sentence level. And if you are looking for a deep dive into syntax and the sentence, there is probably no better episode to go to after this than her past appearance on the show. For the bonus audio archive Brandon Hobson reads from “The Man Came to Visit Us,” the lead story in the latest issue of Noon, Diane Williams’ magazine, where Brandon frequently appears. To learn more about how to subscribe to the bonus audio and the other potential benefits of becoming a listener-supporter, from joining our collective brainstorm which is shaping who we invite as guests going forward, to receiving resource-rich emails with each episode, to collectibles from your favorite writers, to becoming an Early Tin House Reader, receiving twelve books over the course of the year months before the general public, head over to the Between the Covers Patreon page. The post Brandon Hobson : The Removed appeared first on Tin House.
120 minutes | a month ago
Viet Thanh Nguyen : The Committed
Today’s guest, Viet Thanh Nguyen, returns to Between the Covers after six years to discuss The Committed, his much-anticipated follow-up to the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel The Sympathizer. The second book in this trilogy finds our protagonist in the French Vietnamese community of Paris in the 1980s. We talk about the differences between France and the United States with regards to race and racism, communism, socialism, and revolution, and how that shapes the discourse within the Vietnamese communities in each country. We talk about the history of the term Asian American in this context, about ethical memory and what it requires of an individual and a community, about being a refugee versus an immigrant, about Francophone postcolonial and revolutionary thought—from Frantz Fanon to Jean-Paul Sartre to Hélène Cixous to Aimé Césaire—and much more. You can listen to our first conversation from 2015 here. For the bonus audio archive Viet talks about the importance of the work of Edward P. Jones and Maxine Hong Kingston for him as a writer, and reads excerpts from each of them to demonstrate why they are influential upon his work. To learn more about how to subscribe to the bonus audio and to look through the other potential rewards and gifts and content available to listener-supporters head over to the Between the Covers Patreon Page. The post Viet Thanh Nguyen : The Committed appeared first on Tin House.
121 minutes | 2 months ago
Ross Gay : Be Holding
Today’s Between the Covers conversation is with the poet Ross Gay about Be Holding, his book-length poem that emerges from a sustained meditation on a mere few seconds of the basketball career of Julius Erving (aka Dr. J). Be Holding is a finalist for this year’s PEN/Jean Stein Book Award, given to a work “which has broken new ground by reshaping the boundaries of its form and signaling strong potential for lasting influence.” (This year’s judges are Vievee Francis, Fred Moten, and Tommy Orange). Whether you love basketball or break out in hives at the mention of sports, do watch the video of Dr. J’s move, a move that is akin as much to dance or song or even poetry, as it is to athletics. How is joy inseparable from death? Flight connected to entanglement? Looking to growing? Dr. J to mushrooms and trees, fathers and gardens, birds and cameras? What can we learn about the act of looking, the act of beholding, when it comes to the making of art, to the writing of poems? Join us to find out all of this and much more. For the bonus audio archive Ross Gay reads a poem by Jean Valentine and talks to us about her. To find out more about how to subscribe to the bonus audio and to explore the wealth of potential gifts and rewards and benefits of becoming a listener-supporter of Between the Covers head over to the show’s Patreon page here. The post Ross Gay : Be Holding appeared first on Tin House.
172 minutes | 3 months ago
Teju Cole : Fernweh
Today’s guest is writer, photographer, critic, and curator Teju Cole. In this extended conversation, we use Cole’s latest photo book Fernweh as a lens through which to look at his entire career, from his novels to his essay collection, from his collaborative work of image-text to the curation of his Spotify playlists. “Who is a stranger? Who is kin? What do we owe each other? What, in the inferno, is not infernal?” he asks at the beginning of Human Archipelago. We explore how these questions echo through his work, and look carefully at the nature of looking itself, and the ethics of how we look and what we show. Teju Cole has added a remarkable three-part reading to the Between the Covers bonus audio archive, one where each of the three texts chosen is in conversation with the others. He begins by reading from John Berger’s The Shape of a Pocket, then from poet Etel Adnan speaking on prehistoric cave paintings and painters, and finally he gives us a glimpse from his forthcoming essay collection Black Paper, reading a piece addressed to John Berger himself. You can find out more about the bonus audio archive and the many other potential benefits of becoming a listener-supporter of the show at the Between the Covers Patreon page. The post Teju Cole : Fernweh appeared first on Tin House.
109 minutes | 3 months ago
Nnedi Okorafor : Remote Control
Today’s episode is with one of today’s great writers of science fiction and fantasy, Nnedi Okorafor. Using her new novella Remote Control (Tor Books) as a lens and a frame, we discuss the difference between Afrofuturism & Africanfuturism, questions of hybrid identity and home within her stories, her use of Nigerian, Namibian & Ghanian cosmologies to build worlds, how she harnesses anger as a fuel and fear as a creative beacon, her pivotal phone call with Octavia Butler, and why Levar Burton thinks she should be on any team assembled for first contact with an alien species. As an aside, Nnedi Okorafor, after winning the World Fantasy Award for Who Fears Death, was involved in the successful push to have H.P. Lovecraft removed as the likeness of the statuette. We only touch on this briefly but one could assemble a nice thread of past Between the Covers conversations that either explicitly or implicitly engage with Lovecraft and his legacy. In reverse chronological order the episodes that come to mind are with: N.K. Jemisin, Daniel José Older, Jeff Vandermeer & China Miéville. If you enjoy today’s program and want to learn about the potential benefits and rewards of becoming a listener-supporter (from Ursula K. Le Guin collectibles to craft talks by Marlon James) you can find at more at the Between the Covers Patreon page. The post Nnedi Okorafor : Remote Control appeared first on Tin House.
144 minutes | 4 months ago
Vanessa Veselka : The Great Offshore Grounds
Vanessa Veselka returns to Between the Covers, eight years after her first appearance, to discuss her new novel The Great Offshore Grounds. Longlisted for this year’s National Book Award in Fiction, Roxane Gay calls The Great Offshore Grounds epic, original, and “utterly engrossing.” Lidia Yuknavitch adds: “This novel is thrilling in its content, daring in heart, and makes a helix between a novel of ideas and the best damn story of women who forge their identities on their own terms that I’ve read in years.” You can listen to Vanessa’s first appearance on Between the Covers for her PEN/Robert W. Bingham prize-winning debut Zazen here. In the fall of 2021, Zazen will be reissued by Vintage for its 10th anniversary. For the bonus audio archive Vanessa, a musician for several decades before becoming a writer, performs a song. Learn more about the bonus audio archive and the other potential benefits and rewards of becoming a listener-supporter at: patreon.com/betweenthecovers The post Vanessa Veselka : The Great Offshore Grounds appeared first on Tin House.
72 minutes | 4 months ago
Tin House Live : Publishing, Power Structures & Creative Practice with Leni Zumas & Janice Lee
This Tin House Live conversation between Leni Zumas and Janice Lee, “Publishing, Power Structures, and Creative Practice,” was recorded at the summer 2020 Tin House Writers Workshop. Leni Zumas is the author most recently of the novel Red Clocks, a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and winner of the Oregon Book Award for Fiction. She is also the author of Farewell Navigator: Stories (Open City) and The Listeners (Tin House). Leni has appeared on Between the Covers twice previously. Her first appearance was also the show’s first discussion of hybrid and/or genre-indeterminate writing and the only episode that interviews a collaborative pair, Leni Zumas (writer) and Luca Dipierro (artist), about their work A Wooden Leg: A Novel in 64 Cards. Leni returned to the program more recently to discuss Red Clocks. Janice Lee is the founder and executive editor of Entropy, contributing editor at Fanzine, co-founder of The Accomplices, and co-publisher of the press Civil Coping Mechanisms. She is also the author of seven books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including The Sky Isn’t Blue, Reconsolidation, and Damnation, a book-length meditation on the films of Hungarian director Béla Tarr. Her latest novel, Imagine A Death, whose publishing journey they discuss in today’s episode, a novel about inherited trauma, the apocalypse, and interspecies communication, will be published in 2021 by Texas Review Press. Leni Zumas and Janice Lee both teach in the MFA program at Portland State University. At the beginning of this conversation they reference, and Janice reads from, her 2019 essay “Books Are Not Products, They Are Bridges: Challenging Linear Ideas of Success in Literary Publishing.” To learn more about the benefits and the potential rewards of becoming a listener-supporter of Between the Covers visit the show’s Patreon page. The post Tin House Live : Publishing, Power Structures & Creative Practice with Leni Zumas & Janice Lee appeared first on Tin House.
119 minutes | 4 months ago
Natalie Diaz : Postcolonial Love Poem : Part Two
Today’s episode of Between the Covers is a first for the show, a return to and extension of a recent episode with Natalie Diaz. Today’s ‘part two’ does not entirely depend upon part one, but it does refer back to it with frequency. So if you would like to get the fullest experience begin here. In both episodes we take each of the three individual words in Natalie’s most recent National Book Award–shortlisted poetry collection Postcolonial Love Poem and look at Natalie’s work through the lens of each. Today we focus on the word ‘poem’ and look at poetic lineage, writing poetry under occupation, the oral vs. the written, the use of repetition, the role of time, and what writing ‘in the wake’ and under the influence of water might mean. The post Natalie Diaz : Postcolonial Love Poem : Part Two appeared first on Tin House.
98 minutes | 5 months ago
Alice Oswald : Nobody
Today’s episode of Between the Covers is a conversation with poet and classicist Alice Oswald. Widely considered one of our great living poets, Oswald is the 46th professor of poetry at the University of Oxford, and the first woman to hold the poetry chair in its over three centuries of existence. Perhaps best known for Memorial, her radical revocalizing of the Iliad, Oswald speaks today of her latest book, Nobody, another engagement with and reimagining of Homer, this time the Odyssey. Originally conceived in collaboration with the abstract watercolorist William Tillyer, Nobody is a book deeply informed by the sea. We talk about Oswald’s lifelong engagement with water in her work, the relationship between water and the mind, the Homeric way of seeing the world, and what makes a poem come alive. For the bonus audio archive Alice reads two things: 1) a sampling of some of the impossible-to-answer questions asked by God in the Book of Job and 2) a short ballad she wrote called Emerald as another partial response to a question Anne Carson asks her in the main interview. Find out how to subscribe to the bonus audio archive and about the other potential benefits and rewards of becoming a listener-supporter of the show at: Patreon.com/betweenthecovers The post Alice Oswald : Nobody appeared first on Tin House.
73 minutes | 5 months ago
Tin House Live : Writing Pop Culture with Shayla Lawson & Hanif Abdurraqib
Join poet-essayists Hanif Abdurraqib & Shayla Lawson for an extended conversation on writing pop culture (and so much more). This conversation was recorded at the 2020 Tin House Writers Workshop. Shayla’s most recent book is This is Major: Notes on Diana Ross, Dark Girls and Being Dope & Hanif’s next book is A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance. Don’t miss Hanif’s first appearance on Between the Covers as well, for his most recent poetry collection from Tin House Books, A Fortune for your Disaster, a great follow-up to today’s episode. The post Tin House Live : Writing Pop Culture with Shayla Lawson & Hanif Abdurraqib appeared first on Tin House.
139 minutes | 5 months ago
Elisa Gabbert : The Unreality of Memory
“Amid impending disasters too vast even to be perceived, what can we do―cognitively, morally, and practically? Gabbert, a tenacious researcher and a ruthless self-examiner, probes this ultimate abstraction in her essays, goes past wordless dread and comes up with enough reasoned consideration to lead us through. Do you feel―and how can you not―as if your emotional endurance is exhausted by horrors already well underway? Then you should read this book.” ―Sarah Manguso The post Elisa Gabbert : The Unreality of Memory appeared first on Tin House.
119 minutes | 6 months ago
Ayad Akhtar : Homeland Elegies
“An urgent, intimate hybrid of memoir and fiction, Homeland Elegies lays bare the broken heart of our American dream turned reality TV nightmare. The book . . . brilliantly captures how we got to this exact moment in time and at what cost. Stunning.” —A. M. Homes “An unflinchingly honest self-portrait by a brilliant Muslim-American writer, and, beyond that, an unsparing examination of both sides of that fraught hyphenated reality. Passionate, disturbing, unputdownable.” —Salman Rushdie The post Ayad Akhtar : Homeland Elegies appeared first on Tin House.
62 minutes | 6 months ago
Tin House Live : Getting Past the Gatekeepers with Mira Jacob & Kaitlyn Greenidge
In “Getting Past the Gatekeepers: How to Keep Writing in an Industry that Excludes Us,” Kaitlyn Greenidge and Mira Jacob discuss their combined 30+ years of experience navigating literary publishing. From the first feedback to the final copyedits, they discuss strategies to stay sane and keep writing when your story doesn’t fit the industry’s narrow bookshelf. The post Tin House Live : Getting Past the Gatekeepers with Mira Jacob & Kaitlyn Greenidge appeared first on Tin House.
131 minutes | 7 months ago
Jenny Erpenbeck : Not a Novel : A Memoir in Pieces
“This collection of essays, memoirs and critical pieces forms an intellectual biography of Europe’s most history-obsessed writer. Beginning with her childhood in East Berlin in the early ’60s and ’70s, the book moves in concentric circles, from the intimate and understatedly moving to the moment History collides with her life. A powerful voice singing the past into the present’s melody.” —John Freeman, Lit Hub The post Jenny Erpenbeck : Not a Novel : A Memoir in Pieces appeared first on Tin House.
131 minutes | 7 months ago
Mary-Kim Arnold : The Fish & The Dove
“In The Fish & The Dove, Mary-Kim Arnold’s lyrical scope sweeps across intersecting terrains, moving through time to capture the history of occupation and legacy war in Korea, through the delicate tethers between biological mother, adoptive mother, motherland and daughter, and through the permeable membranes which exist between person and place. . . . With this fiercely tender offering, she lays bare multiple wars: ones between countries, in memory, within a family, as well as the ones between women and men. . . . ʻ[T]ime is a robe stitched through with ash’ that Arnold keeps ʻtrying to shake off.’ And it is an astonishing sight to behold.” —Diana Khoi Nguyen The post Mary-Kim Arnold : The Fish & The Dove appeared first on Tin House.
62 minutes | 7 months ago
Tin House Live : Queer Beatitudes with Brandon Taylor & Garth Greenwell
A conversation between Brandon Taylor & Garth Greenwell about queer aesthetics, “problematic art,” representation, and much more. The post Tin House Live : Queer Beatitudes with Brandon Taylor & Garth Greenwell appeared first on Tin House.
136 minutes | 7 months ago
Jeannie Vanasco : Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of this gorgeous, harrowing, heartbreaking book, which tackles sexual violence and its aftermath while also articulating the singular pain of knowing—or loving, or caring for, or having a history with—one’s rapist. Vanasco is whip-smart and tender, open and ruthless; she is the perfect guide through the minefield of her trauma, and ours.” —Carmen Maria Machado “I wish everyone in this country would read it.” —Melissa Febos The post Jeannie Vanasco : Things We Didn’t Talk About When I Was a Girl appeared first on Tin House.
69 minutes | 8 months ago
Tin House Live : Bassey Ikpi & Melissa Febos on the Anatomy of Melancholy
“Anatomy of Melancholy” is a conversation between Melissa Febos & Bassey Ikpi at the 2020 Tin House Summer Writers Workshop. Febos & Ikpi talk about making narrative (and aesthetic) sense out of the darkest parts of one’s past. Bassey Ikpi is the New York Times bestselling author of I’m Telling the Truth But I’m Lying and founder of The Siwe Project, a worldwide non-profit dedicated to promoting mental health awareness throughout the global black community. Melissa Febos is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Whip Smart, the beloved essay collection Abandon Me (for which she first appeared on Between the Covers), and her upcoming second essay collection Girlhood. She teaches in the Nonfiction Writing Program at the University of Iowa. The post Tin House Live : Bassey Ikpi & Melissa Febos on the Anatomy of Melancholy appeared first on Tin House.
92 minutes | 8 months ago
Lauren Camp : Took House
“In Lauren Camp’s Took House we are enveloped in a poetry both precise and mysterious, intimate and sublime. Reading through these poems, I was reminded of the tenet that poetry is not like the interior life, but is the interior life, the thing itself made flesh via language. . . . Here is a poet articulating her human existence . . . here is a particular heart and mind removing its shield in order to commune, to help us see the world again, more deeply and more strangely, and reader, I am grateful.” —Allison Benis White The post Lauren Camp : Took House appeared first on Tin House.
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