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Prose & Cons
54 minutes | Apr 22, 2019
Hope Whitby, Valley Haggard & Elizabeth Ferris
https://proseandconsdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/hope_pc.mp3 “HOPE WHITBY is a poet, fiction writer, and haiku aficionado. She is the creator of Art in the Shop and Books in the Bay book club supporting the local Richmond art scene since 2012. Hope has received awards for her poetry from the Virginia Poetry Society and Richmond magazine. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her Chihuahua, Princess.” Hope’s new book of poetry, Traveling the River, is coming soon! We talk about pomes, life stuff, and some nitty-gritty details of starting an independent press!! Life in 10 Minutes is a fantastic organization founded by Valley in 2010, and has grown from writing classes, to an online literary magazine, to a podcast, and, now, a press! Very imPRESSive (sorry). You can pre-order the book now, and be sure to come by the release partay, May 2 at Life in 10 Minutes!
55 minutes | Feb 25, 2019
Lydia Armstrong & Morgan Potts
https://proseandconsdotorg.files.wordpress.com/2019/02/morgan-lydia-mixdown-1_01.mp3 Lydia has become a personal favorite artist of ours so why not have her back once again! This time she brought her friend Morgan Potts who performed during the Women in Radio fundraiser, both of them did an excellent job despite the general disarray and calamity within the bar. This week we were able to have calmer discussions about their work and what they had prepared. There were talks of dreams, coincidence, waitress culture, and more. Let’s not forget that we had special guest host stand in Sumerth providing fresh and semi-profound insights. A very special episode, check it out!
51 minutes | Jan 21, 2019
Sister Radio Fundraiser Live!
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/PC-1.21.19_mixdown.mp3 What’s the only thing better than four fantastic spoken word poets performing live? Four fantastic poets performing live as part of a fundraiser for the Sister Radio Documentary project. If you were not fortunate enough to attend this stellar event at Castleburg Brewery, never fear! We got you. Truly, this is an all-star hall-of-fame dream team of poets on par with the Tune Squad of Space Jam fame. Except for poetry, not basketball… Maybe they’re also great at basketball? Who knows! Starting the lineup real strong was former P&C guest Lydia Armstrong. She’s built a reputation at local open mics and other performance venues as a poet who is as bold as she is eloquent. Often focusing on topics such as mental health and suicidal thoughts, dark family history and old boyfriends. Lydia also has the widely recognized ongoing photography project Thicket of Trash. Morgan Potts was up next. An alum of VCU’s rockstar CUPSI slam team, she was kind enough to fill in for another poet who had to drop out last-minute. Thanks Morgan!! We haven’t had her as a guest for an interview yet, but after her stellar performance during this event, you’d better believe we will! Stay tuned… Aaaaaaaaaaaaaand in the red corner, making his glorious return all the way from the Prose & Cons PILOT EPISODE……… Aden Ware!!! Great to have you back, friendo. Aden’s deceptively casual style often speaks from his experience as a mixed-race man in America, a perspective we don’t often hear about. He also draws a lot of sly references to pop-culture and throws in the perfect amount of his comedic personality to create a listening experience unlike any other. AM Pressman is another former P&C guest and a member of the highly competitive slam team The Writer’s Den. The Writer’s Den hosts slams on the last Thursday of every month. This month features national poetry slam champion Black Chakra! Pressman brought the ruckus Saturday night with their characteristically strong verse and biting delivery. You can still donate to the Sister Radio doc! Get one of their cool shirts or something! Get involved! It’s a rad project.
56 minutes | Dec 24, 2018
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Hampton-lets-try-this-again..._podcast.mp3 Hampton Sides is a visionary author who writes primarily narrative non-fiction. His most recent book, On Desperate Ground, about the Battle of Chosin Reservoir–the most infamous battle in the Korean War–is out now. I currently reading it and this book rocks my socks. And it makes for a great last minute xmas gift! Mr. Sides was so gracious. An amazing writer, and an amazing guy. He’s got plenty of other books as well–some war-related, some not!
55 minutes | Dec 17, 2018
Crows & Pawns Top 3 Anime (movies) II
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Crows-and-also-Pawns-part-III_mixdown.mp3 Nerds, assemble! Let your geek flag fly, I say. Prose & Cons is cool and all, but how would you like to be transported to a world where anime is the sole source of entertainment? Where hentai, fan service, and camera angles are praised and condemned in the same sentence? Where whimsical tangents frequently derail the conversation and quickly devolve into uncontrollable fits of giggling? Fear not, child: you have arrived. CROWS + PAWNS is here to sate your anime needs. This is a service we provide to our adoring fans. Of which there are many. Welcome to the cool kids club, friendo. NEXT WEEK on P&C we got Mr. Hampton Sides, the patron saint of military and expeditionary history non-fiction goodness. He’s promoting his newish book, On Desperate Ground. I’m reading it now and can give you the inside scoop: it’s good! NEXT TIME on Crows and Pawns: Smash Bros. Ultimate episode?? Why not!
51 minutes | Nov 26, 2018
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Word-Nerds_podcat.mp3 Once in a generation, the greatest poetic minds converge into a single evening. It is a beautiful gathering of precious souls and creative spirits, the likes of which will never be seen again. Until the next time. Word Nerds! is the brainchild of Ben and Dom, a Prose & Cons live event hosted by the effervescent Stir Crazy staff. Of course, we could not do it alone! We are blessed with our acquaintance of Michele, Imani, and Roscoe of The Writer’s Den as well as Richard Rose, Lanvi Nguyen, Koreena Lawson, Dante Ruff (Lithium God), and Priest. Dom and I even perform our own pomes! If you couldn’t make it out this time, never fear! We’ll be doing more soon. Stay tuned, and thanks for listening.
95 minutes | Nov 21, 2018
Crows & Pawns – Top 3 Anime! (movies) pt.1
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Crows-and-Pawns-ep-3.-top-anime-moviesss.mp3 Who loves anime? Nerds love anime! And yeeeees, we are giant nerds. Although, to clarify, Dom, Douglass, and I are not the cool kind of nerd that has come into vogue in recent years (you kids don’t know how good you have it!), we’re slightly grown up versions of our even-more-awkward pimply tween selves who hid our manga collection and anime addiction from our cooler “friends.” Dom, Douglass, and I are still the raging dorks we once were, and that is something worth celebrating! This was not meant to be a pt. 1, but, as these things often go–at least when we’re involved–our conversation went waaaaaaay longer than planned. So, instead of covering our TOP 3 in this episode, we talk TOP 2. Pt. 2 featuring TOP 1 will be released SOON. Confused yet? So are we! To further complicate matters, this was, in fact, the SECOND time we attempted to record this one. The FIRST time, we started a FANTASTIC conversation about PRINCESS MONONOKE (seriously, our fat asses were waxing poetic) but sadly ’twas not meant to be…. By which I mean somehow I screwed up the recording and we lost a solid half hour of audio gold. Whoops! That is why the part of this episode devoted to PM is not quite as ROBUST as you might expect. We were still dealing with the painful loss of our first attempt. But bear with us! Once this sucker get going it really GET GOING. Stay tuned for pt. 2 of Top 3 Anime Movies, featuring our 3 TOP 1s. That post may or may include less ALL CAPS.
55 minutes | Nov 19, 2018
Tiffany Jana & Ashley Diaz Mejias
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/ashley-jada-podcast.mp3 How do we erase institutional bias? Great question! Read Erasing Institutional Bias to find out. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, geez… …All right, all right, fine. I’ll cover the basics for ya, but you’d better still go out and buy this friggin book! This friggin book offers inspired clarity on a topic that makes many of us uncomfortable just to think about, let alone try to solve. Of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day! (That doesn’t have anything to do with institutional bias but I just thought I’d pepper in 1-2 historical fun facts.) Enacting real change in the world of systemic prejudice takes a constant intentional effort. That may be why so many lame-o CEOs are too reticent to try! Or maybe it’s because they’re reaping the rewards from a corporate structure that’s been actively designed to benefit them? Who knows! Despite their different fields, it’s clear that both authors are well versed in the realm of tackling biases. After earning her MA in Religious Studies at the University of Virginia and her Masters of Divinity at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Ashley has devoted her academic work to researching and writing on racial bias. She has written for blogs and led institutional conversations on race, systemic bias, and mass incarceration. Tiffany is the founder and CEO of TMI Portfolio, a collection of socially responsible and interconnected companies working to advance more culturally inclusive and equitable workforces. TMI Portfolio’s consulting arm, TMI Consulting, Inc. Previously, they co-wrote Overcoming Bias, a book focusing on addressing personal biases within ourselves. Dom and I had a great time with Tiffany and Ashley. I did a great job interview-wise, while Dom tried his best. Bless his heart! I hope you consider the fact that I’m writing a particularly long post for this one, and take it to mean that this episode is worth it! All jokes aside, we applaud these determined movers and shakers for writing what is sure to be required reading for employers (and employees) everywhere.
56 minutes | Nov 12, 2018
Mickael Broth – Murals of Richmond
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/PC_11.12.18_Murals.mp3 Here’s a tidbit of info you might not know: there’s a bleep-ton of murals in our fair city! There are many of them, and they are awesome. Now, FOR THE FIRST TIME, a collection of these murals has been curated by one of Richmond’s most celebrated muralists, the Night Owl (aka Mickael Broth). Dom and I sat down with Mr. Owl to chat about how he started off as a lad, tagging walls, and the unjust consequences he ultimately faced. We even touch on the US prison industrial complex! Oh yeah, we also talk about murals. It’s mostly about murals. This is an amazing book. You can pre-order a copy from Chop Suey (who is publishing the book). You can enjoy endless hours of mural-gazing while keeping the lights on and WonTon fed! [Full Disclosure: I work at Chop Suey] [Fuller Disclosure:n I would be raving about this book even if I didn’t] [Fullest Disclosure: follow us on FB and subscribe to our podcast. We love you]
101 minutes | Nov 6, 2018
Lanvi, Koreena, Julia & Dante
What to say about these four precious souls? Young. Enthusiastic. Bright futures, all. AND SMERT AF [To be read in Stefon’s voice] If you just stumbled out of the ICA, high on life and just a smidge of salvia, this episode is for you. Radio’s hottest show is Prose & Cons. This podcast has everything: holographic poems, group telepathy, and milfs! LEt’ s throw down some art SUBSCRIBE TODAY Come to our first ever live event, WEDNESDAY 11-7 at Stir Crazy roundabout 7 (please). https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/PC-ep-40-lanvi_mixdown.mp3
58 minutes | Oct 31, 2018
POEs and Cons
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Poes-Cons_podcasgt.mp3 Get it?? This week’s episode is all about Richmond’s favorite (adopted?) son, Edgar Allen! Dom conducts an informative AND entertaining interview with Tyler Minx of the Richmond Poe Museum and even manages not to screw it up too bad. Good job, Dom! Also, I spent WAY too long having fun with the intro and outro, so please, respect my art… Click to view slideshow. Boo!
99 minutes | Oct 16, 2018
Crows & Pawns – Top 3 Manga!
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Crows-and-Pawns-2-FINAL.mp3 Are you a nerd? Do you love Japanese comics as much as we do? Good! This episode is for you. You, specifically. We have tailored this episode to your exact specifications, [insert name here]. If you’ve ever wondered about the deeper implications of fan service or the significance behind Goku’s monkey tail, YOU ARE IN LUCK. Let us know if you liked or hated this special ep by commenting below OR just email me. ben at proseandcons.org. Happy listening, y’all!
40 minutes | Oct 15, 2018
Best of Life in 10 Minutes
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/PC-Best-of-L10_mixdown.mp3 There’s this other thing that I do and it’s called the Life in 10 Minutes Poodcast! Podchasm. Pondcharm. Porkchop? … Life in 10 Minutes is a collection of stories that are brave and true. Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious. Usually a bit of both. L10 founder Valley Haggard is the recipient of this year’s Emyl Jenkins Award for the outstanding work she has done for her ever-growing village. This episode is dedicated to her. Stories from: Tim McCready, Valley Haggard, Lee Sowder, Mary Jo McLaughlin, Susan Singer, Maureen McSweeney, Megan Neal, Sema Wray, Llewellyn Hensley, and Jerry Long Original music by Tim McCready
56 minutes | Oct 10, 2018
Melissa Powell Gay
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/MPG-PC.mp3 We all have to go on our personal odysseys for growth and money or whatever, but it’s not until we return home that we see how much we’ve grown…or regressed. Melissa’s Mount Pleasant series shows us the life and times of Iris and her father Henry after she leaves the big city lights for simpler rural times. We talked about the second book in the series “Every Now and Then” and her plans for addressing racial tension in a time where compassion amongst races seems to be waning. Ben was off larping or planting microgreens so Dom handled this biz. Give it a listen..or don’t! The least you could do though is check out Melissa’s work. Enjoy.
91 minutes | Oct 1, 2018
Crows & Pawns – Top 3 Anime! (series)
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/c-and-podcast.mp3 If you’re thinking, “that’s a stupid name for an episode,” you’re right! That’s why it’s the title of our new show-within-a-show. Crows & Pawns is where we take a break from the poetry and the novels and the writing process and simply shoot the breeze about the things we love. If you heard this episode on the radio and hated it, don’t worry! The majority of these pop-culture based episodes will be released exclusively via podcast. If you loved it, good news! You can hear a new Crows & Pawns (almost) every week in addition to our normal weekly episode of Prose & Cons. If you’re wondering why we chose this silly name, you’re in luck! I’m about to tell you. Ravens get a whole lot of attention, largely due to that weirdo who used to live here, Mr. Poe, who apparently wrote a poem about them or something. The town of Baltimore named a whole friggin football team after them! Ravens are cool, they’re sleek, they’re dark and mysterious. As far as birds go, ravens are the whole package! We are not cool, not sleek. We are not dark and mysterious. We’re dorks! And nerds. Much like the majestic raven’s smaller, lamer cousin, the crow. I’m too tired to write out a contrived explanation of the “pawns” part, but it’s definitely in the episode ;P
54 minutes | Sep 21, 2018
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Brandcenter_Podcan.mp3 Dixon, Alec, Josh, and Akin join us for talk of condiments, jingles, and some guy named Colin Kaepernick! VCU’s Brandcenter is a nationally recognized program and we wanted to showcase the talent and brains that go into something that isn’t typically included in high and mighty discussions of “art.” I didn’t get a chance to ask these fine fellows about the single most influential advertiser of all time, Don Draper, and his body of work from Sterling, Cooper, Draper, Price, but, hey–what’re ya gonna do? If this episode seems like it’s missing something… you’re right! Everyone here is a dude. Lots of dudes. Too many dudes. Blame Dom. In the not-to-distant-future, we’ll be interviewing a female-type group of Brandcenter peeps. Until then, consider yourself branded!
55 minutes | Sep 10, 2018
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Dean-King_podcast.mp3 Dean has written extensively on everything from shipwrecks to blood feuds. He’s traveled around the world researching stories. He gave a sweet Ted Talk. Dom and I had been looking forward to this interview for a long time, and Mr. King did not disappoint! You’ll learn about the enigmatic wildman John Muir, father of our national parks. You’ll hear tell of 30 women, crazy enough and strong enough to follow Mao’s army thousands of miles across the nightmarish terrain Northwest China. What’s not to love? This guy’s an adventurer and a damn good writer. Of course, countless hours go into the less glamorous side of research. Dean told us he always has an entire draft of the book he’s writing before he travels to the location in person to put himself in his subjects’ shoes, and to soak up as much of the living history there as he can. You can see those extra details in his books. You can taste the authenticity. King works tirelessly to tell the untold truth.
53 minutes | Sep 4, 2018
Kris Spisak’s Grammartopia
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Grammarforwinners.com_.mp3 Are you one of 99.4% of Americans who believe that grammar is a dusty old subject best left for Elizabethan geezers and Second-Grade teachers? Do you cringe at the letters M-L-A? Do you think words are boring? Well, then listen up, you friggin’ troglodyte! Dom and I were honored and thrilled to welcome esteemed guest Kris Spisak back to the show, this time with her groundbreaking grammar-based game show, Grammartopia. Author of Get a Grip on Your Grammar: 250 Writing and Editing Reminders for the Curious or Confused and a popular blog, Kris is out to change the world. The world of words. Dominique James, universally dubbed the less-interesting co-host, invited two self-professed non-grammar-experts, Ro and Cassidy, to embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. I might’ve joined them, but between show-producing, score-keeping, and scheme-scheming ways to shove as many hyphenated-words into this para-graph, I was rather busy. Plus, I would’ve won by a landslide anyway (and, depending on who you ask, technically did win by a landslide). This is the most fun we’ve had in a while. You don’t have to love grammar to love this episode, you just have to love fun! And who doesn’t love fun? Plus, I’ve got a feeling you’ll be changing your tune after listening to this episode… but in the immortal words of Levar Burton: “don’t take my word for it!” Do yourself a favor and follow Kris on social media. Her web presence is as delightful as it is educational. If you just love the dynamic–the ol’ back-and-forth–of this episode, you can always sojourn to the archives of our lil’ show and listen to the last time Kris was on. You’re welcome. If I have made any grammar mistakes in this post please don’t call me out as it will hurt my feelings. Similarly, please do not fact check any of my wild claims because between you and me many of them are exaggerated if not outright false. Also, please don’t tell Dom any of the things that I’ve said about him here. He is bigger than me and might beat me up. Again.
56 minutes | Aug 13, 2018
Austin Lewis and Dewey Collins
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Austin-and-Dewey_mixdown-1.mp3 People don’t Die in the Comics Anymore What does that mean? Is that true? What does anything mean?? Is there such a thing as objective truth? You decide! Dom and I sat down to chat with spunky up-and-coming local filmmaking duo Austin and Dewey, of Remember Tommy Productions. The two met at film school, and Dewey quickly became a regular collaborator in such projects as Nick Triumph & the Paci Fist. and The DIE-NER (their entry in the 48-hour film fest). Also, other things! Their most recent and most ambitious endeavor is the feature-length People don’t Die in the Comics Anymore. The movie follows a man known only as The Filmmaker as he attempts to film a documentary about the Off Switch, a device which allows anyone who has one (in this world, mostly everyone) to quickly, cleanly, and painlessly commit suicide. It’s all the rage! Want to find out more? Listen to the show, ya donk! Want to find out more, much more?? Seek out these fine young gentlemen at your nearest Blockbuster, or wherever movies are sold.
55 minutes | Aug 6, 2018
https://proseandcons.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/PC-ep.-30-8.6.18_mixdown.mp3 Andrea is an author, choreographer, performance artist, and former Richmonder! Her new novel Eden is about two sisters twenty years after getting kidnapped as children. With an opportunity to testify against their childhood kidnapper, Hope sets out to find her off-the-grid (titular) sister. You can find Eden at Chop Suey, Amazon, or wherever you kids buy your friggin books these days!
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