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I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
97 minutes | 7 days ago
S2E10 - Memoirs & MFAs
In Part 1 of our first grab-bag episode, we answer a reader question about memoirs and, in honor of MFA application season, offer unsolicited advice about MFA programs. Also: more regional-accent conversation, an appropriate cocktail, Arlo’s inappropriate song, and more. Episode links: Sound Tribe Sector 9, the jam band from Elena’s high school: https://sts9.com/ The grab bag version of a Long Island Iced Tea: ½ oz Triple Sec (we used Bols) ½ oz gin (we used New Amsterdam) ½ oz light rum (we used Bacardi) ½ oz vodka (we used a pint of Prazska Justin’s brother brought back from Poland in like 2003) Sweet & sour (we made our own: 1 cup mixed lime & lemon juice, 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar dissolved) Coke Zero Add the liquors to a shaker over ice, shake--spilling a lot of it on your countertop--pour into highball glasses with ice, then top off with sweet & sour and a splash of Coke Zero. Drink too fast while you talk shit about memoirs, then record a double episode by accident. Our questioner Harrison’s essay: https://gay.medium.com/the-blood-essay-9ef2310efb74 Eileen Pollack’s essay on MFA applications: https://forge.medium.com/an-mfa-admissions-officer-on-making-your-writing-stand-out-2af00d71dd06 Matt Bell’s Twitter thread about what he looks for in MFA personal statements: https://twitter.com/mdbell79/status/1189271370498297858
93 minutes | 14 days ago
S2E9 - Shapes of Native Nonfiction
In this episode, we discuss selections from the 2019 anthology Shapes of Native Nonfiction, co-edited by Elissa Washuta and Theresa Warburton. Also: Elena does Pennsylvania accents, we issue a warning about robots taking over college campuses, we honor Pennsylvania’s contribution to saving democracy with a Philly cocktail, a Philly-themed lightning round, and more! Episode links: Shapes of Native Nonfiction: https://uwapress.uw.edu/book/9780295745756/shapes-of-native-nonfiction/ Sasha LaPointe’s craft essay, “Fairy Tales, Trauma, Writing into Dissociation”: https://therumpus.net/2016/10/the-saturday-rumpus-essay-fairy-tales-trauma-writing-into-dissociation/ Toni Jensen’s essay “Women in the Fracklands”: https://catapult.co/stories/women-in-the-fracklands-on-water-land-bodies-and-standing-rock Elissa Washuta on Twitter: https://twitter.com/elissawashuta Elissa’s list of recent Native lit on Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/lists/books-by-native-indigenous-writers-forthcoming The new issue of Territory: http://themapisnot.com/issue-12-alaska Justin’s essay from a previous issue of Territory: http://themapisnot.com/issue-iii-justin-st-germain The Citywide Special, or at least the way we drank it: Open a can of shitty beer. Pour a shot of cheap bourbon. Drink them both. (Optional) Repeat 4 times, then start a fight with a Mets fan
102 minutes | 23 days ago
S2E8 - Old Ass Essays (with Megan Ward)
In this episode, we welcome our friend, colleague, and local Victorian expert Megan Ward to discuss Old Ass Essays: what that means, how old we’re talking, and a few examples from the 1830s by none other than Charlie Dickens himself. Also: our spelling bee failures, a special lightning round, a dog in a unicorn costume, and an authentic (sorta) Victorian cocktail that we light on fire! Episode links: Megan’s faculty profile: https://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/users/megan-ward Megan’s book, Seeming Human: https://ohiostatepress.org/books/titles/9780814213759.html Dickens’ Sketches by Boz (free online edition): https://www.gutenberg.org/files/882/882-h/882-h.htm The Dickens Punch recipe, as much as we can remember: Peel a lemon and a raggedy-ass orange and put the peels in a basin (we used a dutch oven with some leftover Indian food in the bottom). Dump a shitload of light & dark rum into the basin, along with a lot of sugar. Float a few bar spoons of Everclear on top and light on fire. Let it burn for a minute, then cover to extinguish. Squeeze the lemon and citrus into the mixture, add some hot tea, and ladle into whatever mugs you peasants have laying around.
64 minutes | a month ago
S2E7 - Flash! (Part 2)
In this episode, we continue the flash conversation from last week, along with our resident barkeep (not “mixologist”) David. He makes us an essayistic shot, and we all discuss Sex and the City, our shared Italian heritage, the flash equivalents of the drama world, David’s Instagram animal searches, where we’re all absconding for the rest of the pandemic, and, eventually, even more flash essays: Bernard Cooper’s “Live Wire,” and a bunch that Elena put together for a lightning round. Episode links: Bernard Cooper’s “Live Wire”: https://www.google.com/books/edition/Maps_to_Anywhere/SN53b7BqmUkC?hl=en&gbpv=1&dq=bernard+cooper+live+wire&pg=PA67&printsec=frontcover Sei Shonagon’s “Pillow Book” (the whole thing, because I couldn’t find the essay Elena picked): http://faculty.sgc.edu/rkelley/the%20pillow.pdf Ann Carson’s “On Homo Sapiens,” from Short Talks: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=ZGVmYXVsdGRvbWFpbnx5d3djcmVhdGl2ZW5vbmZpY3Rpb258Z3g6NjliMjQ3ZDA4YzkxMTc3Yg
72 minutes | a month ago
S2E6 - Flash! (Part 1)
In Episode 6, we discuss very short essays, AKA “Flash,” a term and genre we have mixed feelings about. First we try to figure out what flash means, and then we discuss two (possibly) examples: Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl” and Scott Latta’s “On Sequencing.” Also: near-death experiences, we continue to demonstrate our ignorance of Canadian geography, Glenn Gould’s appearance in two different versions of Joy Williams’ essay “Hawk,” Squirrel burgers, chicken grease coffee, which Muppets we’d be, and more. Episode links: The article about rigging Apple Podcast rankings: https://www.theverge.com/2018/11/29/18097381/apple-podcast-charts-click-farm-advertiser-revenue Listener Andrew Forbes’ real website: www.andrewgforbes.com Justin’s Hobart series from 2013, “A Phan’s Notes”: https://www.hobartpulp.com/categories/a-phan-s-notes Rose Metal Press’ Best of Brevity anthology, co-edited by our friend and former guest Zoë Bossiere: https://rosemetalpress.com/announcing-the-best-of-brevity-anthology/ Jamaica Kincaid’s “Girl”: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1978/06/26/girl Scott Latta’s “On Sequencing”: https://tinhouse.com/on-sequencing/
85 minutes | a month ago
S2E5 - The Krause Essay Prize (with Jess Kibler)
In Episode 5, we welcome Jess Kibler to the show to discuss the Krause Essay Prize, a $10K award given to the best essay of the year, chosen by students in Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. Jess is currently getting her MFA at the NWP, and is a former student of Elena’s at OSU. We discuss the Krause Award winner for 2020, Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s GRASS, as well as why and how the judges chose it, Jess’ path to becoming an essayist, other recent nominees (including Elena’s), and a lightning round about Jess’ home state of Oregon. Episode links: Follow Jess on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kiblerjess Some of Jess’ writing from when she worked at Bitch Media: https://www.bitchmedia.org/profile/jess-kibler The Krause Essay Prize, with info on current & past nominees: https://krauseessayprize.org/ The publisher’s page for this year’s winner, Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s GRASS: https://drawnandquarterly.com/author/keum-suk-gendry-kim Gendry-Kim’s website: https://suksuksuksuk.blogspot.com/ This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
106 minutes | 2 months ago
S2E4 - Essays on Film
In Episode 4, we welcome our spouses, David and Bonnie, back to the podcast to talk about movies that might be essays. Also: a very delayed mailbag, a story about three-thousand-dollar Pennsylvania whiskey, Arlo makes a cameo, we all do impromptu Werner Herzog impersonations, penguin suicide, essayistic film moves, and (much) more. Links to some things we mention: (In response to the question about queer & trans essayists): T Fleischmann’s books: Time is the Thing a Body Moves Through: https://coffeehousepress.org/products/time-is-the-thing-a-body-moves-through Syzygy, Beauty: http://www.sarabandebooks.org/all-titles/syzygy-beauty-an-essay-t-fleischmann Alex Marzano-Lesnevich’s website, with links to their essays/books: http://alexandria-marzano-lesnevich.com/ Alex’s Harper’s essay, “Body Language”: https://harpers.org/archive/2019/12/body-language-genderqueerness/ Berry Grass’ website: https://berrygrass.com/ Sung Yim: https://sungliketheword.com/ Jaquira Diaz: http://www.jaquiradiaz.com/ Sandy Allen: https://www.hellosandyallen.com/ Stephanie Burt: https://twitter.com/accommodatingly Wayne Koestenbaum: https://www.waynekoestenbaum.com/bio Tommy Pico: http://tommy-pico.com/ Jennifer Boylan: http://jenniferboylan.net/ Eileen Myles: https://www.eileenmyles.com/ Michelle Tea: https://twitter.com/teamichelle Denry’s latest episode art: https://twitter.com/denrywills/status/1311379250310574080?s=20 Commenter Andrew Forbes’ website, which Justin totally botched his plug for: https://andrewgforbes.com/ The 1993 Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107048/ Dawson City: Frozen Time, the documentary about lost films Justin almost suggested for this episode: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5215486/ The Act of Killing, the documentary about Indonesian death-squad leaders Elena almost picked for this episode: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2375605/ Abstract, the Netflix documentary series about design & art: https://www.netflix.com/title/80057883 The Writer, a very short & odd 6-minute film/trailer we watched by accident while looking for The Rider: https://www.amazon.com/Writer-Xander-Bailey/dp/B08B7QGWDS Grizzly Man, the Herzog documentary Justin picked: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427312/ The Rider, the Chloé Zhao film Elena picked: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6217608/ Justin looking like a serial killer on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUL3Cp3w0xg This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
85 minutes | 2 months ago
S2E3 - Pet the Whatever: How Essays Become Books (w/George Estreich)
In Episode 3, we talk with our friend and colleague, George Estreich--an essayist, memoirist, poet, and Renaissance man--about how essays turn into books. We discuss our own respective experiences with our books’ origins, as well as examples from books we’ve recently read. Also: writing about children, llamas vs. alpacas vs. emus, Comrade Bunny, collectionists, which Beatles we would be, and the lightning round makes its return. Links to some things we mention: Check George’s website for more about him and his books: http://www.GeorgeEstreich.com George’s Salon essay is here: https://www.salon.com/2014/02/12/when_my_daughter_was_diagnosed/ And his NYT piece is here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/27/opinion/i-dont-speak-for-laura.html George’s band, Mule on Fire: http://muleonfire.com/music Esmé Weijun Wang’s The Collected Schizophrenias: https://www.graywolfpress.org/books/collected-schizophrenias Eula Biss’ essay “White Debt”: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/06/magazine/white-debt.html Eula Biss’ new book, Having and Being Had: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/580422/having-and-being-had-by-eula-biss/ James Baldwin’s book The Evidence of Things Not Seen: https://bookshop.org/books/the-evidence-of-things-not-seen-reissued-edition/9780805039399 Roy Scranton’s Rolling Stone essay “Back to Baghdad”: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/back-to-baghdad-life-in-the-city-of-doom-99814/ Scranton’s book, We’re Doomed. Now What? https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/567505/were-doomed-now-what-by-roy-scranton/ This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
63 minutes | 2 months ago
S2E2 - Don't Write Checks Your Facts Can't Cash
In Episode 2, we talk about a thorny issue in nonfiction: the fact check. We discuss a recent essay on the subject by Emma Copley Eisenberg in Esquire, among other things relevant and not: our fact-checking experiences, recent controversies on the subject, John D’Agata, facts vs. truth, journalistic standards vs. creative nonfiction standards, Hanif Abdurraqib’s 68to05 project, Sylvester Stallone’s oeuvre, and more. Links to some things we mention: Emma Copley Eisenberg’s essay: https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/books/a33577796/nonfiction-book-fact-checking-should-be-an-industry-standard/ Eisenberg’s book: https://www.hachettebooks.com/titles/emma-copley-eisenberg/the-third-rainbow-girl/9780316449205/ Benjamin Dreyer’s book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/232363/dreyers-english-by-benjamin-dreyer/ John D’Agata’s Lifespan of a Fact: https://wwnorton.com/books/The-Lifespan-of-a-Fact/ David Hayes & Sarah Weinman’s essay “The Worthy Elephant,” from Hazlitt: https://hazlitt.net/feature/worthy-elephant-truman-capotes-cold-blood Janet Malcolm’s recent essay in the New York Review of Books: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2020/09/24/jeffrey-masson-trial-second-chance/ Hanif Abdurraqib’s 68to05 project: https://www.68to05.com/about Joe Berlinger’s Cold Blooded doc series: https://www.sundancenow.com/series/watch/cold-blooded-the-clutter-family-murders/a8eab7e25278eb00 This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
62 minutes | 2 months ago
S2E1 - Bad Idea Essays
To kick off Season 2, we discuss what essayistic things we’ve been up to over the summer--including our spinoff podcast--before moving on to the “Bad Idea Essay,” a term coined (we think) by S1E3 guest Ander Monson. Our example essay is David LeGault’s “On Excess” (link below), an essay we both wound up liking, for reasons we try to explain. Also: our own attempts at Bad Idea Essays, famous examples of the form, and more. Links to some things we mention: David LeGault’s essay, “On Excess”: https://thespectacle.wustl.edu/?p=262 David LeGault’s book, 10,000,000 Maniacs: http://outpost19.com/OneMillionManiacs/ Follow David on Twitter: https://twitter.com/legaultd Sex in the Living Room: https://sex-the-living-room.pinecast.co Great Outdoors Steak Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc_5tx7xRlg Elena’s “bad idea essay” about the Stella shouting contest: https://www.oxfordamerican.org/magazine/item/1154-this-is-yelling Justin’s “bad idea essay” about Capote: https://tinhouse.com/murder-tourism-middle-america/ Will Slattery’s essay about Elena’s March Fadness essay: https://www.essaydaily.org/2017/04/a-close-reading-of-essayist-under-self.html This podcast is powered by Pinecast.
2 minutes | 5 months ago
Season 1 outro
Wrapping up Season 1.
71 minutes | 5 months ago
S1E11 - Publishing Paid Us/The Fire This Time
In Episode 11, we discuss the recent #PublishingPaidMe conversation, talk about our own advances and experiences with the publishing industry, and discuss a few essays from The Fire This Time, a recent anthology by Jesmyn Ward.
93 minutes | 5 months ago
S1E10 - I'm Your Huckleberry
For our tenth episode extravaganza, we discuss Val Kilmer's memoir I'm Your Huckleberry (and other parts of the Kilmer corpus, including his poetry, art, and music), the movie Tombstone and related trivia, David's Old Western cocktail, Frank Stallone, fake memoirs, and much, much more.
87 minutes | 6 months ago
S1E9 - Best American Podcasts
In Episode 9, we discuss podcasts: whether they're essays, our favorites, and how they relate to creative nonfiction. Also we drink the best beer in the world, possibly start yet another podcast, and Elena coins the term "bike diapers."
51 minutes | 6 months ago
S1E8 - Best American Essays 2003, Part 2
In Part 2 of our episode about the Best American Essays 2003, we discuss Adam Gopnik's essay "Bumping Into Mr. Ravioli" and André Aciman's "Lavender," as well as the 2003 Billboard charts, imaginary friends, bong-hit essays, and more.
68 minutes | 6 months ago
S1E7 - Best American Essays 2003, Part 1
This week’s episode is a slew of firsts: a five-essay, four-microphone, three-guest, two-part show we recorded (mostly) outside on Elena’s patio. In Part 1, your co-hosts welcome regular guests David, Bonnie, and Arlo to discuss selections from Best American Essays 2003, a volume Elena happened upon in her neighborhood little free library. We talk about Atul Gawande’s essay “The Learning Curve,” Ian Frazier’s “Researchers Say”--both first published in the New Yorker--and the Rachel Cohen essay “Lost Cities,” originally from Threepenny Review. Also, David makes a 2003-specific cocktail, we discuss where we were in 2003, and more.
75 minutes | 7 months ago
S1E6 - J.D. Daniels' "Letter From Majorca"
In Episode 6, we discuss J.D. Daniels' essay "Letter from Majorca," from Best American Essays 2013, and the concept of negation. Also the first essays we ever wrote, a literary cocktail from old San Francisco, and an outro song by Curtis Eller.
92 minutes | 7 months ago
S1E5 - Daum, Didion, and Essays about Leaving NYC
In Episode 5, we discuss recent essay-adjacent events including a major loss in the literary world, Meghan Daum's essay about leaving NYC during quarantine, and the tradition of essays about leaving New York, including Joan Didion, Eula Biss, and others.
101 minutes | 7 months ago
S1E4 - Joy & Death in the Cascadia Subduction Zone
In this episode, we discuss Zadie Smith's essay "Joy" and the Mount Eerie song "Real Death." But our conversation quickly goes off the rails after David serves his latest literary cocktail, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a high-proof, face-heating concoction that is partly to blame for this episode being way too long.
79 minutes | 7 months ago
S1E3 - Ander Monson
In episode 3, we welcome the essayist, professor, and creative community-builder Ander Monson, who talked with us about his new book of essays, the movie Tron, his bygone app the Memoirizer, and much more.
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