Category: Uncategorized

S2 E6 – Flash! (Part 1)

S2 E6 – Flash! (Part 1)

 
 
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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)

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

 
 
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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/

S2 E4 – Essays on Film

S2 E4 – Essays on Film

 
 
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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

S2 E3 – Pet the Whatever: How Essays Become Books (w/George Estreich)

S2 E3 – Pet the Whatever: How Essays Become Books (w/George Estreich)

 
 
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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/

S2 E2 – Don’t Write Checks Your Facts Can’t Cash

S2 E2 – Don’t Write Checks Your Facts Can’t Cash

 
 
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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

Season 2 premiere — Bad Idea Essays

Season 2 premiere — Bad Idea Essays

 
 
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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’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

the 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

Episode 11 — Publishing Paid Us/The Fire This Time

Episode 11 — Publishing Paid Us/The Fire This Time

 
 
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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 edited by Jesmyn Ward.

Episode 10 – I’m Your Huckleberry

Episode 10 – I’m Your Huckleberry

 
 
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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.

The deleted scene from Tombstone mentioned in the episode:

And our outro song is a Val Kilmer original:

Episode 9 – The Best American Podcasts

Episode 9 – The Best American Podcasts

 
 
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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.”

The podcasts we discuss (click for links): Wind of Change, Book Fight!, and Mystery Show.

Episode libation: Westvleteren 12.

We didn’t pick a song, but I guess it has to be this:

Episode 8 — Best American Essays 2003, Part 2

Episode 8 — Best American Essays 2003, Part 2

 
 
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This week, in part 2 of our Best American Essays 2003 episode, we discuss Adam Gopnik’s “Bumping Into Mr. Ravioli,” André Aciman’s “Lavender,” as well as the 2003 Billboard charts, imaginary friends, bong-hit essays, and more. Our outro song is also from 2003: