S2 E15 – I’ll Find Myself When It’s Christmas

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S2 E15 - I'll Find Myself When It's Christmas

In our season finale (really this time), we debrief about season 2, discuss our essayistic Christmas plans–including what books we’re going to buy as gifts–reflect on how much we enjoy interacting with listeners, and do a holiday-themed lightning round. Also, send us your flash submissions and nominations for anthologies! See you in Season 3.

Episode links:

Elena’s cat sweater (sorry, it’s out of stock): https://vipoutlet.com/product/fifth-sun-mens-ugly-christmas-cats-in-lights-with-led-lights-long-sleeve-pullover-sweater-xl-red-60-cotton/ 

Pre-order Justin’s book: http://www.igpub.com/truman-capotes-in-cold-blood-bookmarked/ 

Melissa Faliveno’s TOMBOYLAND: https://www.melissafaliveno.com/tomboyland

Donovan Hohn’s INNER COAST: https://wwnorton.com/books/9781324005971 

Christopher Smart’s “Jubilate Agno,” the cat poem: https://poets.org/poem/jubilate-agno-fragment-b-i-will-consider-my-cat-jeoffry 

Oliver Soden’s book Jeoffry: The Poet’s Cat: http://www.oliversoden.co.uk/jeoffry-the-poets-cat.html 

Matthew Gavin Frank’s forthcoming book, Flight of the Diamond Smugglers: https://wwnorton.com/books/9781631496028 

S2 E14 – Tracy Daugherty

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S2 E14 - Tracy Daugherty

In our Season 2 finale (probably), we welcome our friend Tracy Daugherty, the author of many books of nonfiction and fiction, to discuss his recent books in both genres, as well as a trio of short essays he selected. Also: the Sixties, West Texas, a West Texas cocktail, country music, the return of David Turkel, another mystery guest who stays mostly off-mic, and a lightning round.

Episode links:

Tracy Daugherty’s website: www.tracydaugherty.com 

The three essays we discuss: https://www.dropbox.com/s/uoq5co0vjk4215j/3%20essays%20for%20Podcast.pdf?dl=0 

Tracy’s most recent book, the novella High Skies: https://redhenpress.org/products/high-skies-by-tracy-daugherty

Tracy’s recent nonfiction book, Dante and the Early Astronomer: https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300239898/dante-and-early-astronomer 

Tracy’s biography of Billy Lee Brammer: https://utpress.utexas.edu/books/daugherty-leaving-the-gay-place 

Tracy’s most recent essay collection, Let Us Build Us a City: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780820350813

Tracy’s bestselling 2017 biography of Joan Didion, The Last Love Song: https://www.powells.com/book/the-last-love-song-9781250105943 

Send us your submissions for Elena’s flash anthology, and your essay nominations for BAE & the Pushcart! We’re at @essaypodcast on Twitter, [email protected], or in the comments section of our website: http://www.essaypodcast.com/contact/

S2 E12 – Best American Essays 2020

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S2 E12 - Best American Essays 2020

In what is probably our penultimate episode of Season 2, we Zoom about the brand-new edition of Best American Essays, edited by our old friend from Season 1, André Aciman. We cover Robert Atwan’s intro, Aciman’s preface, and two selections from the anthology itself: Alex Marzano-Lesnevich’s “Body Language,” and Barbara Ehrenreich’s “The Humanoid Stain.” Also: reader mail, an update on our flash anthology, and we solicit listener suggestions for what essays we should nominate for Best American Essays and the Pushcart Prize.

Episode links:

Alex Marzano-Lesnevich’s essay: https://harpers.org/archive/2019/12/body-language-genderqueerness/

Barbara Ehrenreich’s essay: https://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-humanoid-stain-ehrenreich 

Also, send us your submissions for Elena’s flash anthology, and your essay nominations for BAE & the Pushcart! We’re at @essaypodcast on Twitter, [email protected], or in the comments section of our website: http://www.essaypodcast.com/contact/

S2 E11 – The DIAGRAM 20th Anniversary Tarot Deck

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S2 E11 - The DIAGRAM 20th Anniversary Tarot Deck

In Grab Bag Part 2: Grab Harder, we discuss DIAGRAM’s new tarot deck anthology to commemorate its 20th Anniversary, and Elena uses it to give us all a tarot reading. Also: an album Elena wants to nominate for the Essay Prize, we tackle the question of who’s weirder: poets or playwrights, Bonnie mentions her mother’s famous McDonald’s career, we learn the future for ourselves and our podcast, and more!

Episode links:
DIAGRAM’s 20th anniversary tarot deck: http://www.thediagram.com/nmp/anthologies.html

S2 E10 – Memoirs & MFAs

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S2 E10 - 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

S2 E9 – Shapes of Native Nonfiction

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S2 E9 - 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”:


Toni Jensen’s essay “Women in the Fracklands”:


Elissa Washuta’s list of recent Native lit on Bookshop.org:


The new issue of Territory:


The Citywide Special, or at least the way we drank it:

  1. Open a can of shitty beer.  
  2. Pour a shot of cheap bourbon. 
  3. Drink them both.
  4. (Optional) Repeat 4 times, then start a fight with a Mets fan

S2 E8 – Old Ass Essays (with Megan Ward)

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S2 E8 - Old Ass Essays (with Megan Ward)

(Note: we’re posting this week’s episode on Monday because of the election. We’ll return to Wednesdays next week.)

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:

  1. 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).
  2. Dump a shitload of light & dark rum into the basin, along with a lot of sugar.
  3. Float a few bar spoons of Everclear on top and light on fire.
  4. Let it burn for a minute, then cover to extinguish.
  5. Squeeze the lemon and citrus into the mixture, add some hot tea, and ladle into whatever mugs you peasants have laying around.

S2 E7 – Flash! (Part 2)

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S2 E7 - 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

S2 E6 – Flash! (Part 1)

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S2 E6 - 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 (possible) 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/ 

S2 E5 – The Krause Essay Prize (with Jess Kibler)

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead
S2 E5 - 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/