Episode 71 with Music and Book Reviewer Extraordinaire and Author of the Dynamic, Educational, and Deeply-Researched Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded

13Aug

Show Notes and Links to Jason Heller’s Work and Allusions/Texts from Episode

 

        On Episode 71, Pete talks with Jason Heller about his early influences, turning points in his writing life, his book Taft 2012 and its legacy, his deep dive into sci-fi music with Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded, his view on writing reviews of subjective art forms, and exciting upcoming projects (a 90s punk-rock story mixed with magic and ideas of belonging!). 

Jason Heller is the author of STRANGE STARS, a book about science fiction's influence on ’70s music (David Bowie, P-Funk, Hawkwind, Rush, Kraftwerk, Devo, and everything in between). It was published in hardcover and paperback by Melville House Publishing and is available everywhere books are sold. Jason is also the author of the alternate history novel TAFT 2012 (Quirk), the Goosebumps book SLAPPY'S REVENGE (Scholastic), the Pirates of the Caribbean book THE CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW HANDBOOK (Quirk), and numerous short stories in magazines and anthologies. He’s the former nonfiction editor of CLARKESWORLD and won a Hugo Award in 2013 as part of that editing team, and he also penned a chapter of Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s THE TIME TRAVELER'S ALMANAC (Tor). He’s written about pop culture for THE NEW YORKER, THE ATLANTIC, ROLLING STONE, PITCHFORK, NPR, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, THE A.V. CLUB, and many others. His next novel REPEATER, an urban fantasy set in the '90s punk scene, will be published in 2021 by Saga Press/Simon & Schuster; his memoir EXTRATERRESTRIAL SUMMER will be published in 2022 by Melville House. His most recent band was the internationally-touring post-punk outfit WEATHERED STATUES (Svart Records). He is represented by Eddie Schneider, Vice President of JABberwocky Literary Agency, and he lives in Denver with his wife.

 

Buy Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded (Amazon)

 

Buy Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded (Bookshop)

 

NPR Review of Holly George Warren’s Janis, about Janis Joplin     

 

Jason Heller's Pitchfork Writer Page

 

At about 3:00, Jason talks about J.G. Ballard and the idea of being a “geek” and “a 

At about 5:10, Jason discusses his childhood relationship with the written word and reading and writing as ways of combating anxiety; he also references his huge fandom for Star Wars and Star Trek and other science fiction and fantasy 

At about 9:05, Jason outlines the pop culture boom in his later childhood and his dive into unorthodox music (Queen, etc.) as“survival mechanisms”

At about 12:00, Jason describes the pull of David Bowie for him and like minded friends

At about 12:55, Jason lists writers who have given, and continue to give him, “chills at will”-including J.G. Ballard and the band The Buzzcocks

At about 18:10, Jason describes the particular ethos of Pete Shelley of The Buzzcocks

At about 20:45, Jason talks about inspiration from music critics and reviews that sent him more and more into the world of writing as a profession, including his start with the world of “zines.”

At about 23:20, Jason talks about a “Eureka moment” in his budding writing career in which forged a connection with Westword Magazine in Denver, getting notice due to a review of a favorite of Jason’s, Jonathan Richman

At about 27:40, Jason talks about music writers like Lester Bangs and Greil Marcus and others who “energized” him as a young writer

At about 30:30, Jason talks about his book Taft 2012-its genesis and subject matter, as well as his classification of it as “alternate history”

At about 40:15, Jason and Pete discuss the “butterfly effect” and its many iterations in pop culture and how he turned the trope on its face in Taft 2012

At about 41:30, Jason talks about his use, or lack thereof or “magical realism” and how he used folklore and folktales in his book on Taft

At about 44:40, Jason talks about salient themes in the book, especially the lionizing of our US leaders

At about 50:00, Jason talks about the beginning of his book, Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded and its emphasis on the 1970s music scene and how the sci-fi-inflected music inspired the book

At about 53:35, Jason talks about the book’s circular nature, “bookend[ed]” by David Bowie songs

At about 55:20, Jason and Pete discuss the 1969 moon landing and its influence on the music of the age

At about 59:00, Jason and Pete trace the connections in Jason’s book to the changing American landscape/technology and the changes in sci-fi music, from 

At about 1:01:30, Jason and Pete talk about Star Wars and Star Trek and their consistent pull on Jason and their parts in the sci-fi pop culture zeitgeist

At about 1:06:10, Jason discusses the ways in which sci-fi music evolved with the evolution 

At about 1:07:25, Jason is asked if he thinks sci-fi music has gotten a bad rap in the tiers of “high art” in pop culture; he references strong sci-fi writers like Charlie Jane Anders and also talks about how standouts like Sun-Ra and Parliament-Funkadelic and David Bowie often had their music examined through any genre but sci-fi

At about 1:14:20, Pete compliments Jason’s portrayal of David Bowie and how Jason traces the “family tree” of sci-fi music in a nonlinear, interesting way

At about 1:15:20, Jason discusses his writing of reviews and Pete asks him what it is like to judge someone’s art, as art is so subjective; he gives an interesting take on how he approaches writing and reading reviews

At about 1:18:40, Jason explains the changing mores in terms of writing cruel and “savage” music reviews, including by Pitchfork Magazine

At about 1:24:15, Jason talks about his upcoming book projects, including an evolving book idea and Repeater, a novel set in the 1990s punk rock scene

 

You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave me a

five-star review.

You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify, Stitcher,  and on Amazon Music. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1. You can watch this episode and other episodes on YouTube-you can watch and subscribe on The Chills at Will Podcast Channel.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

I’m excited to share Episode 72 on August 17. The episode is with Clifford Brooks, poet, writer of, most recently,  Athena Departs: Gospel of a Man Apart, founder of The Southern Collective Experience, a cooperative of writers, musicians and visual artists, which publishes the journal of culture The Blue Mountain Review and hosts the NPR show Dante’s Old South

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

Episode 70 with The “Master Craftsman with Astonishing Depth,” and “Writer of the World,” John Domini, the Author of 2021’s The Archeology of a Good Ragù

10Aug

Show Notes and Links to John Domini’s Work and Allusions/Texts from Episode 70

 

On Episode 70, Pete welcomes John Domini, author of 2021’s The Archaeology of a Good Ragú. The two talk about the structure of John’s book, his precise and beautiful writing, his father in both his Neapolitan and American lives, Napoli as a character with a tumultuous and joyous history and fraught present, and Napoli and John’s father and the ways in which they have shaped John. 

 

John Domini  is an Italian-American author, translator and critic who has been widely published in literary and news magazines, including The Paris Review,The New York Times, Ploughshares,The Washington Post, and Literary Hub. He is the author of three short story collections, four novels, and a memoir, The Archeology of a Good Ragu: Discovering Naples, My Father and Myself, available now wherever you buy books. Domini has also published one book of criticism, one book of poetry, and a memoir translated from Italian. He is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. Domini lives in Des Moines with his wife, the science fiction writer Lettie Prell.

Domini has taught American Literature and Creative Writing at many places, including Harvard University and Northwestern University. His work has earned praise from Richard Ford and Salman Rushdie, among many others.

Buy The Archaeology of a Good Ragú Through Amazon 

 

Buy The Archaeology of a Good Ragú Through Bookshop

 

John Domini’s “Cooking the Octopus” from Zone 3 Magazine, 2013-an excerpt from The Archaeology of a Good Ragú

 

John Domini’s Website

 

 

At about 2:00, John talks about his mindset and the experience of releasing a book during the pandemic

 

At about 7:10, John talks about the great gifts bestowed by his father, and the ways in which he allowed his son John to carve his own path and find his own calling; also, John talks about his father and the ways in which he was and wasn’t “Hollywood”

 

At about 9:50, Pete and John discuss John’s book, and great literature in general, as being

 

At about 12:25-14:00, Pete and John discuss their own experience with Italian men, like John’s father and Pete’s grandfather, who buck the trope of the domineering Italian patriarch

 

At about 14:00, John talks about how Stanley Tucci and his CNN show as representative of the shift in understanding of Italian masculinity

 

At about 15:00, John talks about his childhood reading and relationship with the written word, including a huge interest in Roger Angell and Kafka and Hemingway and the magic that mythology held for him

 

At about 18:55, John talks about studying with the great Donald Barthelme, John Barth, Stanley Elkin, and Anne Sexton

 

At about 21:20, John explains the meaning of “dietrologia” and its connections to his life and his book; he also describes why and how he uses Neapolitan aphorisms as chapter titles, and the abundance of Italian dialect 

 

At about 25:35, Pete and John talk about bilingualism and its helpful effect on the speaker’s English vocabulary; the two focus on the etymology and contemporary usage of “mammone”

 

At about 28:40, Pete asks John the connections between bilingualism and one’s writing in his primary language; John cites Nabakov and his views on the “flexibility” of bilingualism

 

At about 36:20, John talks about various times in which he discovered that his writing skills could make him a living and make for a fulfilling career 

 

At about 39:30, John talks about working with the great Susan Orlean at The Boston Globe

 

At about 41:25, Pete and John talk about Naples itself and its vitality and energetic nature, including the tough time Naples has had with COVID-19

 

At about 46:00, John reads and discusses the beginning of the book, including the epigraph from W.S. DiPiero and the first chapter aphorism: “Mo Lo Facc’ ”

 

At about 48:45, John reads from the first chapter

 

At about 51:25, Pete notes beautiful and compelling phrasing from John’s reading and John’s notes 

 

At about 55:30, John shows and describes Pulcinella, a representative of Naples and its ethos

 

At about 56:30, John and Pete discuss the book’s structure and the flashbacks and aphorisms and how they add to the greatness of the book

 

At about 57:55, John talks about “pulling a story out of a mass of material” in deciding that the book would be a memoir

 

At about 1:01:05, Pete and John laugh over an anecdote from the section on “love” in the book, and then talk about John’s father and his view of romance 

 

Pete links the book to the writing of Roberto Saviano, especially his epic Gomorrah

 

At about 1:07:35, John talks about an aphorism used in the book that concerns the octopus

 

At about 1:09:10, John describes the section of the book (the excerpt was published in LitHub) that relates to the aphorism about laughing and crying in relation to the Neapolitan Camorra 

 

At about 1:10:20, John explains his interactions with the artistic side of Naples and his encounter with Paolo Sorrentino 

 

At about 1:15:40, Pete talks about the cornuto being “lost in translation”

 

At about 1:17:00, John discusses the section of the book dealing with the quiet but pervasive reach of the Camorra, even within the lives of John’s relatives

 

At about 1:22:00, John explains the section of the book that deals with the aphorism “Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi” and connects it to contemporary immigration to Italy and his father’s own past and immigration story

 

At about 1:26:00, Pete and John connect the book’s immigration section to the classic Italian movie Lamerica

 

At about 1:28:00, John reflects on what he sees as visits/messages from his father after his father’s passing

 

At about 1:29:05, John discusses on Part V of the book

 

At about 1:30:35, John gives background on the Four Days, an uprising in Naples that left a huge impression on his father and on Naples as a whole; John talks about the experience of seeing the movie with his father, and recommends some good Rossellini post-war movies

 

At about 1:33:45, John connects Los Angeles and Naples and their immigrant histories in talking about his father, him, and his daughter

 

At about 1:35:00, John talks about his family’s religious history, his last name, and the iteration it took on when his father immigrated

 

At about 1:39:00, John talks about future projects and his continuing work

You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave a five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify and on Amazon Music. Follow The Chills at Will Podcast on IG,, where I'm @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1. You can find this and other episodes on The Chills at Will Podcast YouTube Channel. Please subscribe while you’re there.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

Episode 69 with Observant Veteran Sportswriter Based in Tokyo and Author of the Well-Researched and Engrossing Going 15 Rounds with Jerry Izenberg, Ed Odeven

3Aug

Show Notes and Links to Ed Odeven’s Work and Allusions/Texts from Episode 

 

On Episode 69, Pete talks with Ed Odeven about the Tokyo Olympics, Ed’s interesting writing history and work in Japan, and his well-researched and engrossing biography of the great writer Jerry Izenberg.

 

Ed Odeven is a veteran sportswriter based in Tokyo. Currently writing for JAPAN Forward, he spent nearly 14 years at The Japan Times. Odeven, who reported from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Games, served as the sports editor for Arizona State University's State Press and the Arizona Daily Sun.

 

Buy Going 15 Rounds with Jerry Izenberg  (Amazon)

Buy Going 15 Rounds with Jerry Izenberg (Bookshop)

Ed Odeven’s Website

Ed Odeven’s Twitter Page

‘I’m old, not dead’: Columnist Jerry Izenberg’s historic streak of 53 Super Bowls comes to an end - nj.com

Jerry's nj.com archive 

News flashback: Track meet at LBCC in October 1993 – Ed Odeven Reporting

Promoting ‘Going 15 Rounds With Jerry Izenberg’ – Ed Odeven Reporting

 

At about 2:20, Ed talks about covering the Olympics and what stories to write, as well as efforts to postpone/cancel the Olympics (the episode was recorded on June 7), and Pete and Ed talk about the uncertainties

At about 6:35, Ed talks about his relationship with sports and reading as a kid, including his love of daily news in the press; Pete and Ed talk about Dickens’ greatness, Hemingway, particularly his masterful “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” and Roots and The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley

At about 14:25, Ed talks about his interests in reading books that were purely about sports and about books that featured sports in tandem with social issues

At about 15:40, Ed talks about moments in which he realized that he loved and was good at writing 

At about 20:25, Ed details how he began writing in Japan and connections to the great Hideo Nomo

At about 24:00, Ed discusses the ways in which his physical distance from the US has changed his views of sports in society and its importance, as well as the culture of “Wa”, as shown in the book that Ed recommends-You Gotta Have Wa, by Robert Whiting

At about 28:10, Ed explains the genesis of his book idea about Jerry Izenberg, as well some of the writers, like Peter Vecsey and Peter Kerasotis, Linda Robertson, and Marc Stein, who have inspired him throughout his career and even before

At about 32:45, Ed outlines the book and its first and second part delineations and the blog articles which make up the bulk of the first half of the book

At about 34:20, Pete and Ed discuss some legends who influenced and were influenced by Jerry Izenberg, like Dick Schaap, Stanley Woodward, and Shirley Povich; this leads to Pete asking Ed his thoughts on “old journalism” versus “new journalism” 

At about 40:45, Ed puts Jerry’s writing style into perspective, with respect to a famous quote from Stanley Woodward about “newspaper men” versus journalists and how this phi

At about 43:30, Ed describes how part of Jerry’s greatness comes from the fact that he has straddled different eras and writes with so much depth

At about 45:20, Ed gives background on the connection between Jerry’s religious and ethical concerns and his writing and Project Pride

At about 50:00, Ed speaks about the unique relationship that Jerry had with Muhammad Ali and some of the interesting stories related in Ed’s book

At about 52:00, Pete and Ed discuss Jeremy Schaap, Wallace Matthews, and others and the ways that they praise Jerry in Ed’s book

At about 53:20, Ed recounts incredible Jerry’s Super Bowl streak

At about 57:40, Ed talks about Jerry’s relationship with boxing, as recounted by Wallace Matthews, and how and why Jerry’s obituary written for Muhammad Ali went viral

At about 1:01:55, Ed is asked to speak to Jerry’s legacy and mentions even more lasting relationships that weren’t extremely well-known, including with Roberto Clemente, Yogi Berra, as well as the importance of Larry Doby

At about 1:06:10, Ed talks about the balance of the book being a labor of love but also a long grind

At about 1:08:30, Ed quotes Alex Belth as calling Jerry a “Zelig” in a sporting sense

At about 1:10:00, Ed describes the book’s iconic cover photo and some background 

At about 1:11:00, Ed talks about post-publishing plans and gives contact information for him and for buying his book

 

You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave me a

five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify, Stitcher,  and on Amazon Music. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1. You can watch this episode and other episodes on YouTube-you can watch and subscribe on The Chills at Will Podcast Channel.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

Episode 68 with The Hilarious, Profound, and Talented Writer of the Standout Debut Short Story Collection, Give My Love to the Savages, Chris Stuck

27Jul

Show Notes and Links to Chris Stuck’s Work and Allusions/Texts from Episode 68

On Episode 68, Pete welcomes Chris Stuck, author of 2021’s Give my Love to the Savages. Chris and Pete discuss, among other topics, Chris’ standout debut short story collection, Give My Love to the Savages, the line between “writing what you know” and its opposite, art and its connection to social justice, themes of identity, privilege, and loneliness, and Chris’ aptitude with humor and place.

Buy Give my Love to the Savages Through Amazon 

 

Buy Give my Love to the Savages Through Bookshop

 

Chris L. Terry’s Interview with Chris Stuck for Electric Lit

 

At about 2:25, Chris talks about his experience in the run-up to the July 6 publication of his short story collection

 

At about 3:50, Chris gives background on his childhood relationship with the written word-both in what he read and what he 

 

At about 6:15, Chris reflects on ways in which he did and didn’t feel represented in what he read as a kid

 

At about 7:30, Chris discusses his hip-hop influences and how they, as well as comedians, have impacted his writing and reading 

 

At about 10:30, Chris talks about writers and texts that have given him “chills at will,” including James Alan McPherson, Nafissa Thompson-Spires, Jamel Brinkley, Robert Stone, Roxane Gay, and Charles D’Ambrosio

 

At about 13:00, Chris details what it means on a daily basis to be a writer

 

At about 14:45, Pete asks Chris about his views of art and social justice

 

At about 17:55, Chris explains why he sees James Baldwin’s work as chill-inducing

 

At about 20:00, Chris outlines his journey to published writer, including his time under fellowships and at George Mason University

 

At about 27:35, Chris talks about humor on the page and seeing it as as organic process

 

At about 29:20, Chris discusses any inspirations for his short story collections in connection with the adage “Write what you know”

 

At about 31:55, Chris and Pete fanboy out about epigraphs and Chris explains the significance of his book’s epigraph

 

At about 36:00, Chris talks about the first short story of his collection, as well as why he choose to use second-person 

 

At about 46:30, Chris and Pete discuss identity as a theme in the story collection, including the story “Lake of No Negro” and its connections to Get Out

 

At about 56:35, Chris and Pete talk about privilege and guilt and make connections to Dave Chappelle’s Clayton Bigsby while discussing two stories from Chris’ collection; Chris talks about trope expectations that are often foisted on works by writers of color

 

At about 1:02:45, Pete details some standout lines-both funny, poignant, and thought-provoking-from the collection, and Chris comments on themes that are connected to these stories, especially the titular story

 

At about 1:07:00, Chris discusses the standout story “Cowboys” and one haunting scene

 

At about 1:08:20, Chris and Pete talk “And Then We Were the Norisses” and “This is Music” and their connections, to loneliness and alienation and Pete’s remembrance of Andre Dubus’ “Girls Unpopular Together”

 

At about 1:12:30, Chris explains his grasp of place in his writing

 

At about 1:15:00, Chris reads from his story “Give My Love to the Savages”

 

At about 1:21:00, Chris talks about future projects

You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave me a five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify and on Amazon Music. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

 

Episode 67 with Keen Observer, Fearless Fighter for Justice, and Food and Culture Writer, Esther Tseng

20Jul

Show Notes and Links to Esther Tseng’s Work and Allusions/Texts from Episode 67 

 

On Episode 67, Pete talks with Esther Tseng about her freelance writing, her inspirations, seeing herself and her cultures represented in what she has read and continues to read, her profound article from May 2021 after the Atlanta racist spa murders, how her work centers itself in intersections of food, culture, and much more.

 

Esther Tseng is a Los Angeles-based food, drinks and culture writer available for reported and editorial assignments as well as ghost-written, branded content. She has contributed to the LA Times, Food & Wine, Eater, Civil Eats, LAist, VICE, Time Out, Los Angeleno, and more.

Esther Tseng’s Personal Website

 

Article for Shondaland from July 30, 2020, "Food Justice Impacts Who Eats and Who Thrives"

 

Esther Tseng’s Article from May 20, 2021- “The Silence of my White Friends after Atlanta” for Catapult Magazine 

 

Esther Tseng’s Article from January 28, 2021 in Rsey: LosAngeles-"Uyghurs in America Want to Share Food and Culture. For Them, It’s a Matter of Survival."

 

At about 1:45, Esther talks about her childhood relationships with food and with the written word, including the interesting ways in which Taiwanese and English and assimilation played roles in her early life

At about 8:30, Esther talks about the fraught relationship of Taiwanese to Chinese governing and how her parents came from a time of censorship/language policing

At about 9:45, Esther is asked if she felt represented in what she read as a kid, and she

At about 11:25, Esther discusses her reading list from when she was a kid

At about 12:35, Esther outlines her journey to becoming a writer, with her start on a food blog, inspired by Jonathan Gold’s “Counter Intelligence” and others

At about 14:55, Esther explains why Jonathan Gold was so inspirational for her, and Pete and Esther trace some of his powerful writing to his patented second-person style

At about 17:20, Esther talks about chill-inducing literature for her, including Cathy Park Hong

At about 19:15, Esther talks about “Eureka” moments in believing in her writing talents

At about 20:20, Esther talks about contemporary food and culture writers who thrill her, including Tejal Rao, Bettina Makalintal, Nicole Clark, and Alicia Kennedy

At about 21:40, Esther discusses how she “pitches” articles and comes up with writing ideas 

At about 23:50, Esther responds to Pete’s inquiries about maintaining objectivity in her writing, especially in doing food reviews

At about 27:20, Esther discusses the “Yelp Effect”

At about 28:55, Esther responds to Pete’s questions about if and how food is an unifying item that brings people and cultures together

At about 31:00, Esther and Pete discuss Esther’s writing about intersections of food and other topics and if she ever gets resistance to writing about these supposedly-disparate topics

At about 33:10, Esther talks about her writing that deals almost exclusively with food

At about 34:10, Esther explains the background and details of her enlightening article about Dolan’s, a rare Uighur restaurant in the United States, and the amazing stories associated with it

At about 39:35, Esther and Pete chat about her article dealing with “food justice” and its disparate meanings 

At about 43:30, Esther discusses her recent personal essay that she wrote for Catapult, “The Silence of My White Friends After Atlanta”

At about 50:05, Pete and Esther discuss her writing about indifference and how recent pieces by R.O. Kwon and Nicole Chung illustrate Esther’s focus on the importance of building coalitions to minimize emotional labor

At about 53:30, Esther reads an excerpt from “The Silence of My White Friends After Atlanta”

At about 1:00:00, Esther reads her article about Dolan’s Restaurant, and Uighurs in America

At about 1:03:20, Esther talks about future projects, including an article that highlights mezcal grown outside of Oaxaca

At about 1:04:26, Esther shouts out a restaurant that she’s been excited about recently in the LA-area: Nossa, a Southern Brazilian restaurant  

 

You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave me a

five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify, Stitcher,  and on Amazon Music. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1. You can watch this episode and other episodes on YouTube-you can watch and subscribe to The Chills at Will Podcast Channel.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

Please check back in for Episode 68 on July 27, with Chris Stuck, whose debut short story collection, Give My Love to the Savages, has been recently released to rave reviews.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

Episode 66 with Deep-Thinker, Aesthete, and Passionate Poet and Podcaster, Gabrielle Bates

13Jul

On Episode 66 of The Chills at Will Podcast, Pete has the pleasure to speak with Gabrielle Bates, poet and podcast host. The two discuss the voracious reading that has characterized her life, allegory and symbolism and “deciphering” poetry. Gabrielle also reads and discusses two of her stunning poems and talks about The Poet Salon, the dynamic podcast she co hosts. 

 

Gabrielle Bates is a writer and visual artist originally from Birmingham, Alabama. Her work has appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, jubilat, Gulf Coast, Mississippi Review, Black Warrior Review, the Best of the Net anthology, and BAX: Best American Experimental Writing, and her poetry comics have been featured internationally in a variety of exhibitions, festivals, and conferences.

Formerly the managing editor of the Seattle Review and a contributing editor for Poetry Northwest, Gabrielle currently serves as the Social Media Manager of Open Books: A Poem Emporium, a contributing editor for Bull City Press, and a University of Washington teaching fellow. She also volunteers as a poetry mentor through the Adroit teen mentorship program and teaches occasionally as a spotlight author through Seattle's Writers in the Schools. With Luther Hughes and Dujie Tahat, she co hosts the podcast The Poet Salon.

Show Notes and Links to Gabrielle Bates’s Work

 

Gabrielle Bates's Personal Website

 

"In the Circus" Poetry Comic from Poetry Foundation

 

Assorted Poems from Adroit Journal

 

Subscribe and listen to The Poet Salon Podcast!

 

You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave me a five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify and on Amazon Music. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

I’m excited to share Episode 66 on July 20 with Esther Tseng. Esther is a freelance writer who covers the intersection of food and culture, and food justice.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

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

At about 2:20, Gabrielle talks about being a recent finalist for the Bergman Prize, judged by Louise Gluck and Gabrielle’s poem being published in The New Yorker

 

At about 4:10, Gabrielle discusses her childhood and literary influences, including early formative readings of Zora Neale Hurston and being transfixed by poetry starting in college; she explains that her grandparents  

 

At about 6:45, Gabrielle posits on how much her early spiritual reading has influenced her later reading and writing; allegory and symbolism are clear

 

At about 8:15, Gabrielle focuses on how she was shaped and inspired by Zora Neale Hurston, and Pete brings up an amazing work by Zora about her childhood in Eatonville, Florida-“How it Feels to be Colored Me”

 

At about 10:35, Gabrielle discusses works and writers that have given her “chills at will,” including Brigit Pegeen Kelly, Linda Gregg (All of It Singing), and Vievee Francis

 

At about 14:20, Gabrielle talks about the genres she works in, and how she would define herself as an artist

 

At about 15:25, Gabrielle talks about her reading habits and reading for pleasure and for craft

 

At about 17:20, Gabrielle outlines her trajectory to professional and acclaimed writer and some “Eureka” moments along the way that convinced her that she was a talented writer; this includes her really exploring poetry for one of the first time in class  through Richard Siken’s Crush, introduced by Keetje Kuipers

 

At about 22:20, Gabrielle responds to questions about her being labeled as a writer, how her two main “homes” of AL/WA complement each other, and who she feels her audience(s) is

 

At about 26:20, Gabrielle talks about common themes in her work and any tangential or not connections to Southern writers like William Faulkner

 

At about 28:30, Gabrielle shouts out contemporary Southern writers who are “knocking it out of the park,” including Jericho Brown, Natasha Trethewey, Rickey Laurentiis, Derrick Austin, Tiana Clark

 

At about 30:40, Gabrielle responds to Pete’s question about her thoughts on “deciphering” poetry

 

At about 35:05, Gabrielle explains the concept of “poetry comics” and the work she does in the genre

 

At about 38:30, Gabrielle reads her poem “Little Lamb” and discusses the unique formatting

 

At about 45:35, Gabrielle reads her poem “In the Dream in Which I am a Widow” and discusses its genesis and the idea of “pre-elegy” as done by Natasha Trethewey

 

At about 56:30, Gabrielle discusses the background, format, incredible guests, etc. of the awesome poetry podcast she hosts with Luther Hughes and Dujie Tahat, The Poet Salon 

 

At about 1:03:35, Gabrielle outlines some future projects

Episode 65, with Natalie Lima, Master Essayist and Chronicler of the Universal and the Personal

6Jul

          On Episode 65 of The Chills at Will Podcast, Pete has the pleasure to speak with Natalie Lima. The two discuss Natalie’s childhood, her relationship to language and the always-welcoming library, A Separate Peace, Song of Solomon, We the Animals, and other chill-inducing literature, the writers who have inspired her, and the inspirations behind some of her most well-known works.

 

Show Notes and Links to Natalie Lima’s Work

 

Natalie Lima's Personal Website

 

 For a Good Time, Call,” essay for Guernica, September 2020

 

Snowbound,” essay for Brevity, September 2019

 

Men Paid Me To Eat,” fiction for The Offing, June 2019

 

“Fly”-Fiction from Paper Darts, May 2017

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

 

At about 2:35, Natalie talks about influences growing up, including her experience speaking Spanish and her ideas of “home”

 

At about 4:50, Natalie talks about her relationship with the written word growing up and into adolescence, including her love of the public library 

 

At about 6:50, Natalie discusses the pivotal high school reading years, including a favorite of Pete and Natalie’s, A Separate Peace by John Knowles

 

At about 10:40, Pete asks Natalie if she saw herself and her various cultures/subcultures in what she read growing up 

 

At about 12:45, Natalie describes a few of her favorite books, including Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street and White Oleander by Janet Fitch

 

At about 13:35, Natalie outlines Song of Solomon and Toni Morrison’s impression on Natalie

 

At about 15:25, Natalie talks about contemporary writers who continue to thrill her, including Roxane Gay and her Bad Feminist and Justin Torres and his We the Animals, Myriam Gurba, Jhumpa Lahiri, T Kira Madden, Esmé Weijun Wang, Michelle Tea, Lindy West, Samantha Irby, and Jaquira Diaz

 

At about 20:10, Natalie details the moment(s) that made her believe in her ability to write professionally and successfully, including how Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird and Julia Cameron’s The Right to Write helped her rekindle her writing passion and how her professor Colette Sartor gave feedback that energized Natalie

 

At about 28:35, Natalie discusses her target audience(s) and the success and how she was surprised how many people were moved by “Fat Girl Cries Herself to Sleep” 

 

At about 30:45, Natalie talks about sharing personal information in her writing, as well as how certain works of her have affected her and her readers

 

At about 34:35, Natalie discusses “For a Good Time, Call,” her powerful essay about the “party line” and the essay’s many layers; Pete and Natalie make connections to teenage chaos/malaise and to an NPR article about avatars and Walter Thompson Hernández and Yesika Salgado on California Love

 

At about 42:35, Natalie discusses the background and events and writing of “Snowbound” from Brevity Magazine and the event where college dorm gossip upset Natalie 

 

At about 49:25, Natalie discusses her fiction piece, “Men Paid Me to Eat” and its inspiration, including its genesis with a class writing prompt

 

At about 53:10, Natalie reads from “Snowbound” and  “For a Good Time, Call”

 

At about 58:40, Natalie outlines her upcoming projects

 

 

You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave me a five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify and on Amazon Music. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1. You can watch this episode and other episodes on The Chills at Will Podcast YouTube Channel. Please like, subscribe, and share while you’re there.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

Be sure to check out the next episode on July 13 with poet extraordinaire Gabrielle Bates.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

Tim Riehl Memorial Day Basketball Contest for Scholarship Fundraising

29Jun

Hi all,

Please see this flier for info on the 2nd Annual Tim Riehl Memorial Free Throw Golf Competition. Do not hesitate to contact John Riehl (jpriehl@gmail.com) with any questions. And we will hold out hope for an in-person event soon!

Lots of pressure on the returning champs, the Anderson father and son combo, Joe and Gus! Best of luck!

Thanks,
John Riehl

P.S. One clarification to increase drama and incentive for all to try their hardest: The Commissioner will be the only one to view scores and I will not circulate like last year so no one will know final scores until deadline day.

 

Episode 64 with Director, Producer, Writer and Passionate, Award-Winning Storyteller for ESPN’s 30 for 30 and E60, Martin Khodabakhshian

29Jun

Show Notes and Links to Martin Khodabakshian’s Work and Allusions/Texts from Episode 64

On Episode 64, Pete welcomes Martin Khodabaskshian, an award-winning senior producer at ESPN. The two talk about the process of writing for the medium of television/documentary, Martin’s incredible work with E60 and 30 for 30, the craft of building tension/interest, some of his trademark stories, and what drives him to continue bringing profound and emotional stories to the screen.

30 for 30: War Eagle/Roll Tide Trailer

 

Star Wars, Evolution of the Lightsaber Duel from SC Presents on ESPN

 

Martin Khodabakshian’s IMDB Page

 

E60: Silent Night Lights 

At about 4:45, Martin talks about his childhood and family history in Iran, London, and Minnesota, before coming to Jesuit High School, as well as his reading life in adolescence 

 

At about 9:00, Martin talks about his language background, growing up with Armenian as his first language, and how he gravitated towards powerful storytellers in his family and English class

 

At about 13:30, Pete and Martin talk about great storytelling and how it draws people in, even if the subject matter does not seem to be an immediate hook, such as Strongman: Beyond the Mountain on E60

 

At about 19:30, Martin talks about the idea of “the big revealing” as a storytelling technique

 

At about 22:40, Pete and Martin talk about in medias res, and the similar idea of giving away the ending at the beginning; Martin gives examples of films that played with narrative like Pulp Fiction and ESPN’s documentary on wrestler Richard Jensen

 

At about 26:40, Martin talks about chill-inducing texts in his life, including Star Wars, Tom Rinaldi’s Red Bandanna, and “The Falling Man” by Tom Junod-Pete and Martin talk about the brilliance of the piece, and Martin about the passion that comes from working with incredible subjects and colleagues 

 

At about 32:00, Pete talks about the phenomenon of remembering where you were when you read an influential piece

 

At about 33:00, Martin shouts out the influential teacher, Mr. Ed Trafton, and remembering the incredible experience of reading Catcher in the Rye

 

At about 37:30, Martin discusses the power of collaboration, as well as how difficult it can be at times to not take constructive criticism and input as personal

 

At about 41:05, Martin talks about his current duties and proper nomenclature for his job

 

At about 44:15, Martin shares his “origin story” about how he got into writing and producing and directing, with an assist from a UC Davis professor and his internship at KOVR 13 in Sacramento

 

At about 48:30, Martin explains his Roll Tide, War Eagle experience, as he made this documentary in award-winning fashion after working together on the self-funded Breathe

 

At about 54:50, Martin gives background on Silent Night Lights, the engaging film about California’s School for the Deaf’s powerhouse football team that was done virtually with dialogue or sound of any type

 

At about 1:02:45, Martin talks about upcoming projects, including follow-ups with Drew Robinson and work in promoting Black Widow and a story on the Moneymaker sisters, some of the most sought-after stuntwomen

 

At about 1:04:45, Martin gives a little tour of his cool awards and toys that he’s received through his work

You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave me a five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify and on Amazon Music. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

Episode 63 with Detail-Oriented, Master Storyteller about Sports and Beyond, and Author of Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between, Eric Nusbaum

22Jun

Show Notes and Links to Eric Nusbaum’s Work and Allusions/Texts from Episode 63

 

On Episode 63, Pete talks with Eric Nusbaum about his freelance writing for such publications as VICE, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN the Magazine. The two then talk in great detail about Eric’s powerful new book, Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between, which deals with the communities forced to move to make room for Dodger Stadium. This discussion

 

Eric Nusbaum is a writer and former editor at VICE.  His work has appeared in Sports Illustrated, ESPN the Magazine, The Daily Beast, Deadspin, and the Best American Sports Writing anthology. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he has also lived and worked in Mexico City, New York, and Seattle. He now lives in Tacoma, Washington with his family.

Buy Stealing Home: Los Angeles, the Dodgers, and the Lives Caught in Between (Bookshop.org)

 

Stealing Home Book and Eric Nusbaum Personal Website

 

August 2020 Eric Nusbaum NPR Interview about Book

 

"Dodger Stadium's Shameful Origin Story"-Interesting Info and Background on Abrana and Manuel Aréchiga 

 

At about 1:45, Eric talks about his early days writing for Deadspin

At about 3:00, Eric talks about his reading life as a child, living in a “print-rich environment” and reading local and legendary Los Angeles Times writers like Jim Murray and Bill Plaschke and Sports Illustrated for Kids and Sports Illustrated

At about 6:10, Eric discusses formative moments that led to him becoming a writer

At about 6:55, Eric discusses texts and writers that have given him “chills at will,” including the USA trilogy of John Dos Passos

At about 8:30, Eric details his Dodger fandom

At about 10:45, Eric traces his evolution into a professional writer; he recognizes some of his great and inspiring professors/teachers along the way, including Richard Kenney and Lou Matthews; he also references a huge building block in his writing life-his and Ted Walker and Patrick Dubuque’s baseball blog-Pitchers and Poets

At about 13:10, Eric describes the piece he wrote that was included in 2010’s The Best American Sports Writing-the essay was “The Death of a Pitcher”

At about 13:45, Eric discusses the balance between reading for a pleasure and reading with a critical eye

At about 15:00, Eric describes the “surreal” feeling of writing for magazines that he idolized as a kid

At about 16:25, a random note about language and “realizarse”

At about 17:00, Eric talks about his book Stealing Home and the importance of a descriptive subtitle

At about 18:00, Eric details how a school visit by Frank Wilkinson and other events started the wheels in motion for Eric to write and publish Stealing Home

At about 21:00, Eric outlines some background and history from the book, especially the three neighborhoods-La Loma, Bishop, and Palo Verde-that make up “Chavez Ravine”

At about 21:50, Eric explains ideas of trust, burden, trauma, and responsibility in making sure that he got the important story correct

At about 24:00, Eric talks about the research process and talking to family and friends of those involved in the book’s events/history, as well as reconstructing dialogue and events from the 1940s/50s, etc.

At about 27:00, Pete and Eric discuss the skillful ways in which Eric wove together so many apparently disparate stories-from that of General Santa Anna, Veracruz, MX, Abner Doubleday, etc.

At about 28:45, Eric details the myriad connections between the events of the book and today’s world

At about 29:50, Eric recounts the anecdotes that link baseball, its origins, and General Santa Anna

At about 32:20, Eric gives the rationale for his successful usage of 72 (!) chapters, mostly about “creating tension” and why he decided to avoid using academic-style footnotes

At about 34:20, Eric reads from page five, the last paragraph in the book’s Preface

At about 36:50, Eric and Pete discuss the relationship between sports fandom and the need to acknowledge how society’s inequities play out in sports as well-i.e., the shameful treatment of Colin Kaepernick, the shameful ways in which Dodger Stadium was built on others’ homes

At about 41:00, Pete and Eric discuss the shameful and racist histories often associated with early Los Angeles figures, many of whom are still memorialized today in street names, and in the book; Pete shouts out a book about 1900s LA-John Fante’s Ask the Dust

At about 43:00, Eric and Pete discuss the lack of salient villains in the book’s storyline, and Eric discusses his focus on people’s motivations in writing the book

At about 45:00, Eric talks about the complicated legacy of Frank Wilkinson

At about 49:00, Eric details the life in the three neighborhoods razed to make room for Dodger Stadium before the team even thought of moving them

At about 52:00, Eric reads the end of the book, focused on Abrana Aréchiga, the matriarch of the pioneering family, and a symbol of the neighborhood pre-Dodger Stadium

At about 54:25, reads from the last paragraph of Page 208, which serves as a wonderful summary of the myth of sport and its connection to the book

At about 56:00, Pete recounts some great recent books, like Eric’s, like Pete Croatto’s From Hang Time to Primetime: Business, Entertainment, and the Birth of the Modern-Day NBA and Bradford Pearson’s The Eagles of Heart Mountain: A True Story of Football, Incarceration, and Resistance in World War II America, that are not just about sports

You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave me a

five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify, Stitcher,  and on Amazon Music. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1. You can watch this episode and other episodes on YouTube-you can watch and subscribe to The Chills at Will Podcast Channel.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

Episode 62 with Poet, Activist, Actor and Powerful Performer, Donté Clark, Inspiration for Romeo is Bleeding

15Jun

On Episode 62 of The Chills at Will Podcast, Pete has the pleasure to speak with Donté Clark. Donté and Pete discuss Donte’s growing up in North Richmond, CA, his childhood memories-both beautiful and traumatic, his work in the movie Romeo is Bleeding, his poetry, his teaching, and his poetry collection, Close Caskets.

 

Donté Clark is a poet, actor, and community activist from unincorporated North Richmond, California who works with youth organizations throughout the Richmond area.

As a student in high school, Clark was recruited by his English teacher Molly Raynor who was founding a youth arts program, RAW Talent. Clark became the artistic lead of the program's first play, Té's Harmony, which examined local issues through the structure of Romeo and Juliet. The performance was introduced by poet Luis J. Rodriguez. The 2015 documentary Romeo Is Bleeding follows Clark in the process of writing and performing Té's Harmony.

In July 2014, Donté Clark and two others, Lincoln Bergman and Brenda Quintanilla, were made poets laureate of Richmond for a two year period. They were preceded as poet laureate by Dwayne Parish, and succeeded by Daniel Ari, Ciera-Jevai Gordon and Rob Lipton.

Clark's mentoring of the community's youth has led to some becoming mentors and teachers themselves, including poet and actor DeAndre Evans who appeared with Clark and Will Hartfield reciting poetry for a PBS story about housing in Richmond.

Clark has a supporting role in the 2016 film Kicks, the 2018 film Code Switch, and stars in the web series The North Pole

 

 

 

Show Notes and Links to Donté Clark’s Work

 

Buy Donté ’s Close Caskets Here

 

Donté Clark's Wikipedia

 

The Creative Independent Interview with Donté by Ambrose Mary Gallagher

 

Close Caskets Interview with Richmond Pulse

 

Edutopia Article about Romeo is Bleeding

 

Donté Clark Discusses Romeo is Bleeding

 

Romeo is Bleeding Trailer

 

Watch Romeo is Bleeding through YouTube

 

Donté performs his work, “Let Me Breathe” in 2014

 

Donté in Season 1, Episode 1 of Series The North Pole

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

 

At about 2:50, Donté talks about Richmond, CA, and his background there, and how he sees it as a “small city” and its interconnectedness and history of families

 

At about 5:30, Donté talks about one of his poems “600 Banks Drive” and its connection to the innocent days of his childhood

 

At about 10:40, Donté talks about shifts in his life, where innocence was lessened through his middle school days and looking back at possible traumas, and how he felt forced to make adult/serious decisions at a young ages

 

At about 14:35, Donté talks about the idea of “growing up too fast” and “growing up backwards”

 

At about 17:30, Donté talks about the dynamics between certain parts of Richmond

 

At about 23:40, Donté talks about his poem “Bus Stop” and how “exhausting” life can often be when you have to be vigilant so much of the time and how this hypervigilance has impacted Donté in his later life

 

At about 28:20, Donté talks about how he got into the Renaissance Man life-being an actor, poet, performer, etc., when he had at one time, according to Romeo is Bleeding, wanted to “be the best dope dealer.”

 

At about 35:20, Pete asks Donté about chill-inducing writers, and Donté references several, including Amir Sulaiman, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Jesmyn Ward, Chinaka Hodge, Lauren Whitehead, and Molly Raynor 

 

At about 39:45, Donté talks about Molly Raynor and how she gained his respect when he was 17 and how the two began working together 

 

At about 47:50, Donté describes reactions from him and others when he did his first poetry performances and his thoughts on the subject matter and how when he’s teaching, checking in with students comes first

 

At about 54:25, Pete and Donté discuss some powerful lines from the documentary Romeo is Bleeding and Donte and “being in tune” with the words he reads and with the audience

 

At about 57:20, Donté discusses the Romeo and Juliet links to Romeo is Bleeding and the incredible feelings after presenting the work to an audience; he also talks about early casting 

 

At about 1:06:40, Donté talks about Luis Rodriguez’s help and support for Romeo is Bleeding and Donté’s work as Poet Laureate of Richmond

 

At about 1:14:25, Donté talks about some of his acting work, including The North Pole YouTube series

 

At about 1:16:55, Donté explains the meanings and background of the title of his poetry collection, Close Caskets, as well as how Karla Brundage and Pacific Raven Press became the publishers

 

At about 1:20:00, Pete reads an excerpt of the poetry collection’s foreword from Dr. Khalid White

 

At about 1:24:00, Pete and Donté discuss themes from the poetry collection, including loss, poverty, hunger, as seen in “33 Reasons,” “Gimme,” “Today, I…”

 

At about 1:26:25. Donté talks about the poem “Orgy” and its inspiration from the history of white America’s obsession with and violation of black bodies, as well as from the murder of George Floyd and the slow and public way in which he was killed

 

At about 1:32:40, Donté connects “Orgy” to some of his other work and discusses the deep-seat racism that exists 

 

At about 1:35:05, Donté discusses the rationale behind the form, style, and structure in some of his poetry, including in “Before Becoming,” “Hell is All I Know,” and “The Math”

 

At about 1:38:50, Donté reads his poem from Close Caskets-“Studying Don’t Solve Sorrows”

 

At about 1:41:00, Donté reads his poem from Close Caskets-“Today, I”

 

At about 1:43:30, Donté reads “Blessed Be”-his poem from Close Caskets

 

At about 1:44:20, Donté talks about his future ideas and projects

Episode 61 with Humor Writer for The Onion, Mad Magazine, and More: Funnyman, Dave Croatto

8Jun

 

 

Show Notes and Links to Dave Croatto’s Work

On Episode 61, Pete is honored to talk with Dave Croatto about writing for The Onion, Mad Magazine, and many other publications. Dave talks about the freelance writing life, his literary and comedy influences, and what makes good humor writing.

Dave Croatto is a freelance writer who has contributed to Mad Magazine, The Onion, The New Yorker, and many other publications.

 

 

The Onion article from 2008-“Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet”

 

Buy Dave Croatto’s Books on Amazon

 

Dave Croatto’s Mad Magazine Page with Links

At about 2:10, Dave talks about his childhood reading loves, particularly comic strips, and later, authors like Dave Barry

 

At about 5:00, Pete uses an anecdote about a Simpsons episode to ask Dave about how he looks at “childish” and adult humor as he has gotten older and watched his son confront the humor

 

At about 7:00, Dave talks about his connections and background in appreciating and absorbing and mimicking comics

 

At about 8:10, Dave talks about his reading interests as a kid

 

At about 10:40, Dave talks about comedy and “punching up and down”/mean spirited humor; he talks about wanting to “laugh with” and not “laugh at”

 

At about 13:30, Pete and Dave talk about satire and irony in the current era

 

At about 14:30, Dave talks about the feeling a person gets, the “high” he has gotten when people are enjoying his laughter and the encouragement he received to keep doing humor, 

 

At about 16:50, Dave talks about his work for Mad Magazine, including his start as an intern as a college freshman

 

At about 18:10, Dave talks about the experience of editing in the humor writing world and Mad Magazine’s ethic/philosophy-he calls the publication “the fun uncle”

 

At about 24:20, Dave talks about his experience writing for the vaunted The Onion, including his contribution- article from 2008-“Al Gore Places Infant Son In Rocket To Escape Dying Planet”

 

At about 30:30, Dave talks about the times when 

 

At about 32:45, Dave talks about The Onion and its serious headline and article that has come around gun violence and its work after 9/11

 

At about 33:30, Dave talks about his writing for children, particularly superhero-themed work

 

At about 34:10, Dave talks about being published in The New Yorker

 

At about 36:30, Dave talks about his TGIF Friday’s parody for Mad Magazine and his Batman/Joker work in The Bystander

 

At about 39:35, Dave talks about shows and humorists he enjoys in 2021-including John Mulaney, Desus & Mero, Bob’s Burgers, and Drunk History

 

At about 43:00, Dave talks about the balance between art and commerce in doing his work, as well as future projects

 

If you have enjoyed The Chills at Will Podcast, go to Apple Podcasts to leave me a nice review, and subscribe, subscribe, subscribe! 

You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify, Stitcher, and on Amazon Music. Also, The Chills at Will Podcast YouTube Channel has this episode and other episodes-please subscribe to my channel. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

Episode 60 with the Immensely Cerebral and Passionate Poet Andrew Liu, Creator of California Metaphysics

1Jun

On Episode 60 of The Chills at Will Podcast, Pete has the pleasure to speak with the talented writer Andrew Liu. The two talk about Andrew’s poetry, which is multifaceted and inspired by so many disparate people and art and experiences and traditions. Andrew speaks to both the cerebral and emotional in his poetry and its connections to the idea of the muse, the Kaguya tradition, writing about paradox, and so much more.  

 

Andrew Liu is a 2020 MFA graduate of CSU Long Beach’s Creative Writing - Poetry program. He is published in two student magazines: East Los Angeles City College’s Milestone and CSU Long Beach’s Riprap. You can read his MFA thesis, California Metaphysics, which collects some of his best poems, on CSULB’s thesis database (https://www.proquest.com/docview/2455809945/C36DDE5A65C748F1PQ/1). You can also view a recording of a virtual reading of selected poems organized by Andrew Liu and his friend Jesse Tovar on Youtube: https://youtu.be/duw83IwH5fk

Show Notes and Links to Andrew Liu’s Work

 

Andrew Liu’s Cal State Long Beach Thesis-California Metaphysics

 

Andrew performs on Jan 8, 2021: My Place Cafe Events

 

At about 3:15, Andrew talks about growing up in the San Gabriel Valley, learning English as a second language, and the eventual eclipsing of Taiwanese by English; he also talks about his “contentious” relationship with languages and the precarious Taiwanese 

 

At about 9:45, Andrew talks about his linguistic history and how it might affect his writing; in addition, this leads to his discussion of language as a barrier and an enhancer of imagery

 

At about 12:00, Andrew hones in on how he saw himself as a poet through his varied interests as a child, as well as through help from Ms. Burkhart and the YAWP (Young Aspiring Writers Program)

 

At about 13:30, Andrew discusses writers who have given him “chills at will,” including Edgar Lee Masters, whose work connected to Andrew’s ruminations on identity

 

At about 17:30, Andrew comments on the times at which when he saw himself apply the form to the imagination, including community college as an freeing and formative experience 

 

At about 22:00, Andrew talks about the hierarchy of “manly” vs. “unmanly,” gay vs. straight, childhish vs. “grown up” and how his work plays on these opposites

 

At about 27:00, Andrew talks about the tropes of the “manchild” and the patriarchal control that shrugs and says, “boys will be boys” and how he writes to combat these as forms of protest

 

At about 30:00, Andrew talks about writing in the “surreal” time of Trumpism

 

At about 31:00, Andrews draws connections between childhood and adulthood, and his view of the fluidity of the two

 

At about 32:25, Andrew talks about the search for his writer’s autonomy and a transformational experience in hearing a high school classmate’s commanding performance, as well as his response poem in 12th grade in a “classics slam” to Ha Jin’s poem, “Ways of Talking”

 

At about 36:00, Andrew discusses inspirations for his thesis poetry collection-”California Metaphysics”

 

At about 39:00, Andrew talks about muses in his writing, particularly the problematic ways in which it is often used

 

At about 41:00, Andrew talks about his appreciation of Kaguya, particularly The Tale of the Princess Kaguya and the triumphs, resolve, and tragedies of Princess Kaguya; he connects the passivity and activity of the princess and its connection to his view of the muse 

 

At about 44:15, Andrews reads an excerpt from “Ossified Landscape w/ Faceless Girl, alt. Kaguya”

 

At about 46:30, Pete and Andrew discuss the idea of Takahata and others “interpreting” the traditional and ancient Kaguya storyline, and Andrew talks about his concerted use of parentheses in his poem

 

At about 52:05, Pete and Andrew discuss The Eternal Sunshine of the Mind, and its role as one of Andrew’s favorite movies and connections to Andrew’s work, specifically “Ossified Landscape…”

 

At about 54:40, Pete details craft successes from Andrew and asks Andrew for feedback; Andrew discusses erasure and identity and the ephemerality, with regard to the two movies mentioned above, as well as Jeremy Renner’s Arrival, based on Ted Chiang’s short story “Story of your Life”

 

At about 1:03:00, Andrew talks about ephemerality as seen in art, as well as his use of the moon as a symbol in his work

 

At about 1:07:55, Andrew connects the “paradise myth” to Danez Smith’s epic poem, “summer, somewhere”

 

At about 1:09:00, Pete and Andrew discuss Andrew’s poem “ ‘C’ for California” after Andrew reads it; Andrew talks about the poem as part of the academic tradition of poetry and the influence of Stand Up Poetry, pioneered by Andrew’s Cal State Long Beach mentor, Charles Harper Webb; the conversation then delves into nature’s connections to Andrew’s and other literature

 

At about 1:22:15, Andrew talks about future projects and the potential for his thesis

You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave me a five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify, Stitcher, and Amazon Music. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1. This episode and other episodes are featured on “The Chills at Will Podcast” YouTube Channel.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode is “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

Episode 59 with The Standout Crime Fiction Writer and Creator of Countless Compelling Characters, Tod Goldberg

25May

Show Notes and Links to Tod Goldberg’s Work and Allusions/Texts from Episode 59

 

      On Episode 59, Pete talks with Tod Goldberg about his influences, his literary family, and his incredible run of commercially-successful and critically-acclaimed crime fiction. The two discuss all kinds of fun topics, from the singular settings that are part of his writing-The Salton Sea, Palm Springs, among others-Tod’s research for such compelling and sometimes-despicable characters, crime fiction as a genre, and themes fleshed out in Tod’s work. Much of the conversation revolves around Tod’s most-recent publication, the stellar short story collection, The Low Desert.

Also, Pete toes the line between just-the-right-number and too many Godfather/Mario Puzo references.

TOD GOLDBERG is the author of more than a dozen books, including Gangsterland, a finalist for the Hammett Prize; The House of Secrets, which he coauthored with Brad Meltzer; and the crime-tinged novels Living Dead Girl, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and Fake Liar Cheat, plus five novels in the popular Burn Notice series. He is also the author of the story collection Simplify, a 2006 finalist for the SCIBA Award for Fiction and winner of the Other Voices Short Story Collection Prize, and Other Resort Cities. His essays, journalism, and criticism have appeared in many publications, including the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Review of Books, Las Vegas Weekly, and Best American Essays, among many others, and have won five Nevada Press Association Awards. He lives in Indio, California, where he directs the Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Riverside.

 

Buy The Low Desert by Tod Goldberg

 

Buy any of Tod Goldberg’s Work Here!

 

Los Angeles Times Book Review of The Low Desert

 

Starred Review of The Low Desert from Publishers Weekly

 

Tod Goldberg’s Burn Notice Book Series

At about 4:35, Tod talks about the differences in publishing a book during the pandemic, as well as the future of the traditional book tour 

 

At about 6:25, Tod talks about his childhood relationship with the written word and his family business of writing

 

At about 9:25, Tod talks about writing that has given him “chills at will”-The Maltese Falcon, “Diving into the Wreck” by Adrienne Rich, and “The Concord Hymn” by Ralph Emerson are mentioned (Tod recites the Emerson at 9:15-impressive!)

 

At about 12:35, Tod talks about how his childhood dyslexia affected his learning style and the effects of the time period on his later life, including the ways in which he still sees the connection between sound and rhythm 

 

At about 15:20, Tod talks about how he saw writing as a path forward in his formative years, including Ms. Kaine, his teacher, giving him great encouragement and alternative assignments that helped him to improve his skills

 

At about 19:30, Tod talks about his early novels and the success that came particularly with his second novel, Living Dead Girl

 

At about 21:15, Pete talks about Mario Puzo’s balancing act between commerce and art and the assumption by many that he had to have had a background in Mafia life to have written about it so expertly; Tod then discusses his research into/relationship with the often scary and immoral/amoral characters of his books, including the formative experience of watching a horrific boxing match that ended in a death and the sordid history of Palm Springs

 

At about 25:40, Tod meditates on whether or not being labeled a “crime writer” is appropriate/desired for him, and uses Dennis Lehane’s history as a crime novelist as a an example of the genre’s freedom

 

At about 26:40, Tod shouts out the incredible book by Steph Cha, Your House Will Pay, and its connection to genre

 

At about 29:40, Tod and Pete discuss the way in which Tod “populates a universe” with repeat characters in his various books

 

At about 31:00, Tod discusses the importance of the place in his work, including The Salton Sea

and its interesting history 

 

At about 36:25, Tod and Pete talk about themes of identity and new beginnings/redemption, particularly through the character of Morris, Blake Webster (“Goon Number #4”-written in response to an entreaty by the great Lawrence Block), and Jacob Soboroff

 

At about 42:20, Tod explains how the story “The Spare” serves as a pivot point for the Cupertine saga

 

At about 44:40, Pete and Tod talk about the ironically beautiful last scene of “The Spare,” and its similarities to podcast godfather Tobias Wolff’s “Bullet in the Brain” and how the author creates feelings of empathy for characters you wouldn’t normally feel for

 

At about 46:15, Tod discusses the pivotal and memorable character of Tanya in Low Desert and the ordinariness of evil, as seen in his short story collection and in the contemporary world

 

At about 50:25, Tod discusses themes of faith and fate in his writing and what/who 

 

At about 55:20, Tod and Pete discuss themes of death and morality and “the world passing us by”

 

At about 59:55, Tod introduces and reads the story “Palm Springs”-page 73 of The Low Desert

 

At about 1:04:40, Tod talks about future projects, including Gangsterland, the tv version,

 

At about 1:05:35, Tod talks about his April 2021 appearance at The LA Times Book Festival-video can be found here

 

You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave me a

five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Spotify, Stitcher,  and on Amazon Music. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1. You can find this episode and other episodes on “The Chills at Will Podcast” YouTube Channel.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

Episode 58 with The Talented Writer and Comic Genius (and also WWE’s Dr. Shelby!) Mike Aspinwall

18May

       On Episode 58, Pete is thrilled to speak with friend, former colleague, and comedy writer and actor with The Groundlings, Michael Aspinwall. Mike and Pete talk about Mike’s formative years involving comedy, his inspirations, his days with The Groundlings, what he looks for in good comedy writing, his incredible run on WWE as Dr. Shelby, and some of his own writing and writing process. 

 

         Michael Aspinwall was inspired to move to Los Angeles and become an actor after a very successful performance in a Paris Gibson Middle School play entitled Tied to the Tracks in his home town of Great Falls, Montana.  Many of his mom’s friends said he was good, and Michael took them seriously.  He went on to high school where he really fell in love with theatre, which further solidified his desire to act, direct, and write professionally, while simultaneously solidifying his social position in the caste system that is high school. 

Michael attended UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film, and Television, and while there, he studied performance primarily, in John Hall’s Musical Theatre Workshop.  He appeared in John’s productions of Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party and West Side Story (not by Andrew Lippa).  He was the 2004 recipient of the Carol Burnett Award for Outstanding Male Performer. 

In 2005, Michael earned his Master’s degree from UCLA’s TFT under the guidance of Dr. Pat Harter.  He created a program that paralleled the California Arts Bridge program, using theatre and art to help younger students access the core curricula. 

After college, Michael began his career as an actor by waiting tables at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company, where he performed Forrest Gump themed trivia nightly, and acted as though he cared about whether the temperature of the guests’ fare was to their liking.  He worked a slew of odd jobs, became a certified yoga teacher and a credentialed high school English teacher, and eventually found his home as an actor at The Groundlings’ Theater in Hollywood.  

Michael found The Groundlings at a moment when the LA audition process was taking its toll.  That place and the people in it breathed life back into a ten-year-old kid who used to stay up to watch SNL, then perform Mike Myers’s bits in front of his fourth grade class.  At The Groundlings, Michael met his sketch group, Big Boss Comedy, and a slew of other mind-blowingly talented people he gets to call his friends. 

Since his turn in the Groundling’s Sunday Company, Michael continues to write and produce original work with his writing partner and fellow Sunday Company Alum, Patric Cagle.   He has toured Southern California with Kevin Broberg’s Quote/Unquote show, was a featured performer at Chicago Sketch Fest 2014 with Big Boss Comedy, and he appeared on television as WWE’s anger management specialist, Dr. Shelby. 

 

Allusions and References from Episode 58

 

Mike Aspinwall’s IMDB Page

 

Dr. Shelby’s Wiki

 

Dr. Shelby talks about Kane & Daniel Bryan's progress getting over their anger issues during the commercial break of Raw (Video)

 

Dr. Shelby “Enough” Meme

At about 3:20, Mike talks his early influences, including his hilarious father and his lifelong love for Saturday Night Live

 

At about 6:45, Mike talks about his early forays into writing comedy sketches

 

At about 8:00, Mike talks about his early innocent humor and how he realized the pull of dark comedy, too

 

At about 9:20, Mike talks about early comedy influences

 

At about 10:15, Mike talks about observational humor and its draw

 

At about 11:50, Mike talks about gratuitous humor, lowbrow humor, and different kinds of comedy

 

At about 13:30, Mike discusses crafting a joke without making people think about it too much, thereby lessening the humor

 

At about 14:45, Mike recounts the story of a “eureka” moment when he felt much more confident that he could do comedy work-the “oasis” that was The Groundlings-with a story involving the great Mikey Day

 

At about 18:45, Mike talks about his comedy training at The Groundlings

 

At about 20:00, Mike uses the example of an everyday observation through a Trader Joe’s trip as an an illustration of comic voice and tone

 

At about 24:45, Mike talks about taking reactions to autobiographical comedy “personally,” and the gift of “sitting in silence,” and being resolute in one’s comedy, as seen with friends and colleagues Allison Dunbar and Stephanie Allynne 

 

At about 28:20, Mike shouts out some of his favorite comedy writers, like Tina Fey and Jordan Peele, Danny McBride

 

At about 30:35, Mike and Pete discuss the comedy ethic of “punching up, not down”

 

At about 33:00, Mike helps out Pete, who has always wondered what exactly it means that “the writing is so good” in a tv show, etc.

 

At about 36:00, Mike talks about his thrilling run as Dr. Shelby on WWE

 

At about 40:45, Mike talks about the incredible adrenaline rush involved in taking part in WWE

 

At about 43:20, Mike talks about the later iteration of Dr. Shelby, including his being immortalized as a meme

 

At about 46:00, Mike talks about the video for Funny or Die that he performed in and wrote-“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

 

At about 49:30, Mike talks about the sketch that he wrote that plays off the questionable lyrics of “Alone,” covered by multiple artists

 

At about 54:50, Mike talks about whether or not some laughs are undesirable and problematic, and how he likes “losing people at the turn” in the sketches he writes

 

At about 57:50, Mike reads from his storytelling piece, “Surprises are Foolish Things,” and he also discusses some of the background of the piece

 

At about 1:09:15, Mike discusses upcoming creative projects

 

You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, and leave me a five-star review. You can also ask for the podcast by name using Alexa, and find the pod on Stitcher, Spotify, and on Amazon Music. Follow me on IG, where I’m @chillsatwillpodcast, or on Twitter, where I’m @chillsatwillpo1.

This is a passion project of mine, a DIY operation, and I’d love for your help in promoting what I’m convinced is a unique and spirited look at an often-ignored art form.

The intro song for The Chills at Will Podcast is “Wind Down” (Instrumental Version), and the other song played on this episode was “Hoops” (Instrumental)” by Matt Weidauer, and both songs are used through ArchesAudio.com.

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