Episode 51 with Actor and Powerful Poet, Marinna Benzon, Writer of Millennial Dogeater Chapbook


On Episode 51 of The Chills at Will Podcast, Pete has the pleasure to speak with Marinna Benzon, actor and poet. The two discuss her powerful chapbook, Millennial Dogeater, with its themes of gentrification, racial injustice, biculturalism, LGBTQ+ equality, and more.


Show Notes and Links to Marinna Benzon’s Work


Marinna Benzon's Personal Website

Interview with Marinna from Voyage LA

Buy Millennial Dogeater!

Talking Points/Authors/Books Mentioned and Allusions Referenced During the Episode:

At about 3:20, Marinna discusses her background, growing up in the Bay Area, and some of her language and literary influences and interests


At about 10:00, Marinna discusses the texts that have given her “chills at will” throughout her life, including Olivia Gatwood and Rudy Francisco


At about 13:00, Marinna talks about the personal and intimate nature of performing her own poetry, in juxtaposition with 


At about 15:00, Marinna talks about how she reads others’ writing a bit differently now that she has published her own chapbook, Millennial Dogeater


At about 16:00, Marinna talks about her daily writing life


At about 17:20, Marinna talks about writing and “catharsis” and her “target audience”


At about 19:00, Marinna talks about the cover design for her chapbook


At about 21:35, Marinna talks about the background of the title of the chapbook and the significance of Jessica Hagdeorn’s Dogeaters in choosing the title


At about 24:35, Marinna talks about writing about herself, versus creating fiction that gives her some personal space”


At about 25:55, Marinna talks about the difficulties and subtleties of ordering of the poems in her book, especially how the Preamble fits in with “Letters to a Former Lover”-four parts, with the “lover” being America


At about 29:00, Marinna talks about body and self image as seen in her poem “Twelve” and the four-part “Letters to a Former Lover”


At about 31:30, Marinna reads “Letters to a Former Lover, Part II”


At about 32:50, Pete and Marinna discuss “Japanese Grandma”


At about 34:10, Marinna talks about her romantic and love poems, and one that is raw and questioning of gender equality, and others that are quietly rebellious in support of justice for people of color and the LGBTQ+ community


At about 38:05, Marinna talks about her poems’ take on gentrification


At about 40:25, Marinna discusses her poem “Brown Girl, Brown Girl”


At about 41:35, Marinna discusses “Small Distractions” and its meanings, and then reads the poem at about 42:15


At about 47:00, Marinna reads “The Casting Director Says” and then discusses Hollywood’s stereotyping and attempts at opening doors for more actors of color


At about 52:10, Marinna talks about upcoming projects



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