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Between The Covers : Conversations with Writers in Fiction, Nonfiction & Poetry podcast

Between The Covers : Conversations with Writers in Fiction, Nonfiction & Poetry

BOOKS ∙ WORKSHOPS ∙ PODCAST

BOOKS ∙ WORKSHOPS ∙ PODCAST

 

#231

Rae Armantrout : Finalists

The first time Rae Armantrout came on the show, in 2017, we looked at her poetry through the lens of her interest in quantum physics. Now, five years later, with the release of this double collection of poems, we look at her career-long desire to cultivate a poetics that encourages life to interrupt and interject within her poems, to disrupt what her constructing mind desires to write and change the poem’s trajectory. We look at this approach, and the resulting poems, through another of Rae’s longstanding interests: cognitive science, not only how we perceive or think, but how we construct meaning and to what end. This takes us many places, from anthropology to philosophy, but always returns us to the mysteries of language and language-making and to questions of selfhood, voice, and truth. For the bonus audio archive Rae contributes a reading of many poems from her  just-finished manuscript, giving us an early sneak peek of what is coming next for her. This joins bonus readings from Jorie Graham, Alice Oswald, Rosmarie Waldrop, Nikky Finney, Natalie Diaz, Layli Long Soldier, Forrest Gander, Arthur Sze, and many others.  The bonus audio is only one potential benefit of becoming a supporter of the show and joining the Between the Covers community. There are many other gifts and rewards to choose from, all of which you can find at the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . Lastly here is this episode’s [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-rae-armantrout-conversation) with all the books mentioned today. The post [Rae Armantrout : Finalists] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/rae-armantrout-finalists/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

19 Jun 2022

1 HR 53 MINS

1:53:43

19 Jun 2022


#230

Crafting with Ursula : Kim Stanley Robinson on Ambiguous Utopias

Today’s guest, Kim Stanley Robinson, is perhaps the living writer most associated with utopian literature today. And as a student of the philosopher, political theorist, and literary critic Fredric Jameson, Robinson has thought deeply about the history of utopias, the history of the novel, and the strange hybrid form that became the utopian novel. In his mind it was Ursula K. Le Guin who wrote the first truly great utopian novel. We discuss Le Guin’s utopian work alongside his, and contextualize her importance historically. Robinson also shares some incredible anecdotes from his time in the 70s as her student and the ways their lives as fellow writers have intersected over the decades. What is a utopian novel? What is an ambiguous utopia? And why has this genre become a particularly vital form and even a critical tool of the human imagination today? Listen in to find out. And if you enjoy this series consider transforming yourself from a listener into a listener-supporter. Head over to the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) to check out all the potential rewards and benefits of doing so, from rare Le Guin collectibles to bonus audio from SFF luminaries. Lastly, here is the [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-kim-stanley-robinson-s-crafting-with-ursula-conversation) for today’s episode which contains many of the books and stories discussed today. The post [Crafting with Ursula : Kim Stanley Robinson on Ambiguous Utopias] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/crafting-with-ursula-kim-stanley-robinson-on-ambiguous-utopias/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

10 Jun 2022

1 HR 59 MINS

1:59:49

10 Jun 2022


#229

Courtney Maum — The Year of the Horses

Courtney Maum’s latest book, her memoir The Year of the Horses, is about a writer at a rough point in her writing career, in her marriage, as a mother, as a woman, finding a way back to herself in all of these spheres by learning to listen and communicate, outside of language, to another species. What are the therapeutic benefits of learning to be with a horse of all creatures, an animal that is not geared towards comforting us or aiming to please? Why do anxious or traumatized people find help by being with an anxious animal?  And what can a person like Courtney, whose life is word-centric, as a language maker, a writer, bring back to language when returning to the desk from the barn? We discuss these questions, but we also unpack issues of gender and misogyny with regards to how memoir writing is framed, and talk about the status of women and animals in the world of writing and the world of riding both. Lastly, because Courtney is a writing teacher, a writing coach, and the author of Before and After the Book Deal, we talk about agents and editors, drafting and revision, and about useful tips and techniques to take one’s abundance of life material and shape it into story.  For the bonus audio archive Courtney contributes a discussion of an essay by poet, essayist, and psychoanalyst Nuar Alsadir. This joins bonus readings from everyone from Ada Limón to Teju Cole, Sheila Heti to Victoria Chang. To find out how to subscribe to the bonus audio and the many other potential benefits of becoming a supporter of the show head over to the Between the Covers [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . Here is the [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-courtney-maum-conversation) for today’s conversation with all the books mentioned today. The post [Courtney Maum — The Year of the Horses] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/courtney-maum-the-year-of-the-horses/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

01 Jun 2022

2 HR 21 MINS

2:21:32

01 Jun 2022


#228

Ada Limón : The Hurting Kind

Today’s guest Ada Limón discusses her latest collection of poetry, The Hurting Kind, whose poems ask and explore what it means to be a human animal among animals, and how language can be a means or an obstacle to this desire. We talk about the relationship of joy to death, poetry to praise, and the desire to and challenges of writing with directness, with an aim to connect. We look at the trajectory of Ada’s poetics, one she describes as getting closer and closer to who she really is, and what it means, in language and on the page, to aim for authenticity, for the “I” in your poems to really be, or aim to be, you. We also talk about pizza, groundhogs, and the Argentinian poet Alejandra Pizarnik (and I make an improbable connection between the three!). Pizarnik is a big part of our conversation and for the bonus audio archive, Ada contributes a reading of some Pizarnik poems that she particularly loves. To learn more about how to subscribe to the bonus audio and the other potential benefits and rewards of becoming a supporter of the show, head over to the Between the Covers [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . Lastly, here is the [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-ada-limon-conversation) for today’s episode, with all the books mentioned. The post [Ada Limón : The Hurting Kind] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/ada-limon-the-hurting-kind/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

20 May 2022

2 HR 23 MINS

2:23:34

20 May 2022


#227

Crafting with Ursula : adrienne maree brown on Social Justice & Science Fiction

Today’s conversation with adrienne maree brown begins with the notion that all organizing is science fiction, and thus that social justice and science fiction are intricately linked imaginative acts, acts that have real effects in the world at large. brown looks at works by Le Guin that she considers foundational texts for activists and organizers, and discusses what it means to do the work of imagination, as well as the dangers of not doing that work, of living within a world imagined by others, people who might not fully imagine you. Many of adrienne’s concepts, from ‘emergent strategy’ to ‘fractal responsibility,’ are linked to everything from Le Guin’s interest in anarchism to their shared interest in Taoism. If you enjoyed today’s conversation consider becoming a supporter of the show. Check out all the possible rewards and benefits of doing so, from rare Le Guin collectibles to access to bonus audio by Ted Chiang to N.K. Jemisin, to becoming an early reader for Tin House, receiving books months before they are available to the general public by going to the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . Lastly, here is today’s [Bookshop,] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-adrienne-maree-brown-s-crafting-with-ursula-conversation) which contains the books by Le Guin mentioned today and many of adrienne’s books, from her debut novel Grievers to her books on social activism to the anthology she coedited, Octavia’s Brood. The post [Crafting with Ursula : adrienne maree brown on Social Justice & Science Fiction] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/crafting-with-ursula-adrienne-maree-brown-on-social-justice-science-fiction/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

10 May 2022

2 HR 38 MINS

2:38:39

10 May 2022


#226

Cristina Rivera Garza : New and Selected Stories

Cristina Rivera Garza returns to the show to discuss her New and Selected Stories, which gathers together fiction across thirty years of her writing life. Some are stories translated into English for the first time. Others are stories in English that haven’t yet appeared in Spanish. Still others are new versions, rewritten, retranslated or both. We talk about her lifelong interest in troubling the borders between these two languages, Spanish and English, and the borders between Mexico and the United States, even between writer and translator. But Cristina also undermines the borders of selfhood and identity in such uncanny ways, ways that have implications around gender and the status of women, and around nature and the status of the nonhuman other. In addition we look at some of her more scholarly work on “necrowriting” (writing with the dead) and what it means to have a writing practice of “disappropriation,” one that returns writing to its plural form. Today’s bonus audio is a long-form conversation with Cristina’s longtime translator Sarah Booker. Among the many things we discuss is the unique fashion in which Cristina and Sarah write and rewrite, translate and retranslate each other’s work, a horizontal relationship that redefines authorship and is informed for both of them by a feminist ethics. To learn more about how to subscribe to the bonus audio and to check out the many other potential benefits and rewards of joining the Between the Covers community as a supporter, head over to the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . Finally, here is this episode’s [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-cristina-rivera-garza-conversation) . The post [Cristina Rivera Garza : New and Selected Stories] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/cristina-rivera-garza-new-and-selected-stories/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

01 May 2022

2 HR 12 MINS

2:12:28

01 May 2022


#225

Caren Beilin : Revenge of the Scapegoat

Today’s guest, Caren Beilin, talks about her latest novel Revenge of the Scapegoat. All four of her books—two nonfiction, two fiction—each stand alone but they each also share recognizable people/characters that travel across books and across genre. How do the fictional versions of the real people in her life—her partner, her parents, her siblings, her friends—relate to their “real selves” and how does this spilling over from one book to the next help Caren engage with shared questions that animate them all? We talk about what it means to write prose with a disability poetics, about pain’s relationship to form, about the unruly body and body humor, and about creating stories that interrogate and undermine destructive systems, from medical and institutional gaslighting to ‘the scapegoat mechanism,’ to the dynamics of the family unit itself. We also talk about sentences, about the pleasure and power of knots of language, as a site for expression, rebellion, and even liberation. For the bonus audio archive, Caren discusses and reads from Flaubert’s final, unfinished novel Bouvard et Pécuchet, the novel whose two grumpy old men, Bouvard and Pécuchet, Caren’s most recent protagonist names her two painful, arthritic feet after. To find out how to subscribe to the bonus audio and to check out all the other potential benefits of becoming a listener-supporter of the show (including a limited number of signed copies of Caren’s Blackfishing the IUD) head over to the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . And finally here is today’s [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-caren-beilin-conversation/) which contains many of the books mentioned today (from those by Sheila Heti, Gustave Flaubert, and René Girard to those by Beilin herself). The post [Caren Beilin : Revenge of the Scapegoat] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/caren-beilin-revenge-of-the-scapegoat/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

20 Apr 2022

2 HR 50 MINS

2:50:45

20 Apr 2022


#224

Crafting with Ursula : Karen Joy Fowler on Experimental Women, Animals, Science & Story

Today’s guest on Crafting with Ursula, the award-winning writer of science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction Karen Joy Fowler, was a longstanding friend of Ursula K. Le Guin. And they both shared a deep interest not only in science, but also in raising questions about the biases deeply embedded in the way we conduct it (species biases, cultural biases, gender biases, etc.). These questions about science enter and animate their stories, stories that examine the foundations of species supremacy, of how we define intelligence (and why), of what qualities we want to reserve and defend as human or humane, of the implications on both animals and women when we feminize certain approaches to knowledge and inquiry and then discount them. This is a great complement to the last Crafting with Ursula with Isaac Yuen, both deeply engaged with questions of the human and nonhuman in storytelling, and yet these two conversations go to very different, if kindred, places. If you enjoyed today’s conversation consider transforming from a listener to a listener supporter of the show. Join the collective brainstorm of who to invite on the show going forward, get the supplementary resources that go out to supporters with each episode, and check out the other potential rewards of doing so, from rare Le Guin collectibles to bonus readings from everyone from N. K. Jemisin to Ted Chiang, at the show’s [Patreon page.] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) Finally here is today’s [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-karen-joy-fowler-s-crafting-with-ursula-conversation/) with many of the books by Le Guin, Fowler, and others mentioned during the conversation. The post [Crafting with Ursula : Karen Joy Fowler on Experimental Women, Animals, Science & Story] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/crafting-with-ursula-karen-joy-fowler-on-experimental-women-animals-science-story/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

10 Apr 2022

1 HR 55 MINS

1:55:05

10 Apr 2022


#223

Sheila Heti : Pure Colour

Sheila Heti returns to Between the Covers to discuss her latest unclassifiable novel Pure Colour. When something happens in your life that upends everything you thought you knew, that changes what you notice and value, something that is hard, if not impossible, to put into language, that mystifies you even now, how do you find a new form to reflect this? We discuss what it is to write books influenced less by other books than by other art forms (what does it mean to try to write more like a painter paints or sculptor sculpts?), about the role of criticism and inviting other writers into the process of a book becoming itself, about the art critic characters in her new book that are imagining a future world better than this one, and much more. For the bonus audio archive Heti discusses and reads from her serialized Oulipian project, taking her diary entries from the past ten years and alphabetizing the sentences (this joins a previous contribution by Sheila, a reading of her essay “My Life is a Joke”). To learn how to subscribe to the bonus audio and about the many other potential benefits and rewards of joining the community of Between the Covers supporters, head over to the show’s [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . Finally here is the [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-sheila-heti-conversation/) for today’s episode with many of the books mentioned. The post [Sheila Heti : Pure Colour] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/sheila-heti-pure-colour/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

01 Apr 2022

1 HR 31 MINS

1:31:50

01 Apr 2022


#222

Alejandro Zambra : Chilean Poet

Today’s guest is Chilean novelist, essayist, literary critic, and poet Alejandro Zambra, talking about his latest novel Chilean Poet, a novel brimming over with, yes, Chilean poets and poems, but also with love and laughter, artistic dreams and failures, and the desire to find language for things deeply felt that have no name. This conversation, one about everything from writing itself to translation, cats to parenthood, Mexico to Chile, Roberto Bolaño to Nicanor Parra, and poetry to prose, is ultimately one wondrous love letter to literature, those who make it and those who read it. Whenever a guest comes on the show for a book they wrote in another language than English, I try to do a second long-form conversation with the translator for the bonus audio archive. The bonus audio (one of the potential benefits of becoming a listener-supporter of the show) is full of a wide variety of supplemental material (from readings to craft talks) but the most robust material, often hour-long conversations, are these conversations with translators. These include Sophie Hughes (translating Fernanda Melchor), Kurt Beals (translating Jenny Erpenbeck), Suzanne Jill Levine (translating Cristina Rivera Garza), and Emma Ramadan (translating Abdellah Taïa). Today’s translator conversation is with Megan McDowell, who has translated Alejandro since his 2nd book and who translates many other South American writing luminaries (e.g. Samanta Schweblin and Mariana Enriquez).  To learn more about the potential benefits of becoming a supporter of the show, including the bonus audio, head over to the Between the Covers [Patreon] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) page. And here is the [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-alejandro-zambra-conversation/) for today’s conversation with many of the books mentioned during it. The post [Alejandro Zambra : Chilean Poet] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/alejandro-zambra-chilean-poet/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

20 Mar 2022

2 HR 33 MINS

2:33:38

20 Mar 2022


#221

Crafting with Ursula : Isaac Yuen on Writing Nature & Nature Writing

Today’s “Crafting with Ursula,” a conversation with nature writer Isaac Yuen, explores Le Guin’s writing of the nonhuman other in her fiction. Why might we consider decentering the human within our stories and how do we do so? How does one evoke a truly alien intelligence (i.e. that of a plant or an insect) but using human language for a human readership? Looking closely at three of Le Guin’s short fictions, “The Direction of the Road,” “Bones of the Earth,” and “The Author of the Acacia Seeds and Other Extracts from the Journal of Therolinguistics,” Isaac and David discuss the various strategies Le Guin uses to evoke a world that is more than human, and that stretches past human comprehension. We place these stories alongside stories and essays of Isaac’s to find the ways Le Guin and Yuen’s work speak one to another. This episode’s [Bookshop] (https://bookshop.org/lists/books-from-isaac-yuen-s-crafting-with-ursula-conversation/) contains all the Le Guin books mentioned in today’s conversation along with Yuen’s  favorite touchstone books of nature writing in both fiction and nonfiction. If you enjoyed today’s conversation, consider becoming a supporter of the show. Check out all the potential benefits and rewards, including Le Guin collectibles, bonus audio from iconic SFF guests, and more at the Between the Covers [Patreon page] (http://patreon.com/betweenthecovers) . The post [Crafting with Ursula : Isaac Yuen on Writing Nature & Nature Writing] (https://tinhouse.com/podcast/crafting-with-ursula-isaac-yuen-on-writing-nature-nature-writing/) appeared first on [Tin House] (https://tinhouse.com) . ... Read more

10 Mar 2022

1 HR 37 MINS

1:37:33

10 Mar 2022