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New KTCO: Kary Wayson

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with poet Kary Wayson. The poems Kary’s latest collection, The Slip, are wonderfully slippery in both form and feeling, in a way that demands attention and rewards deep engagement. In our conversation we discussed what a poem can do, how we approach “meaning” in poetry, and how life changes affect our art. Then in the second segment, we talked about time and our human perception of duration.

Here are some links where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript at the episode page on the KTCO website.

You can purchase a copy of The Slip directly from the publisher, or from an independent bookstore like Open Books in Seattle, The Book Catapult in San Diego, or your own local bookstore.

KTCO: Remembering Paula Riff

My friend Paula Riff passed away recently, after having been ill with cancer for two years. Paula was a wonderful, kind, generous, and enthusiastic person, and a brilliant artist whose work pushed the boundaries of the photographic medium. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to talk with her about that work for the show. In our conversation, Paula and I talked about what photography is to her, why she’s attracted to alternative processes, and how her work is ultimately autobiographical. Then for the second segment, we talked about the value of physical art spaces. In honor of her memory, I’m re-sharing our conversation today.

If you haven't experienced Paula's work before, I'd like to encourage you to do so. In order to see all of the subtle detail, texture, layering, it's really best to see it in person if you can. I'm not sure when or where it will be on walls in the future but if you get the chance, please take it. In the meantime, you can see it on her website at paulariff.com, including her newest series Cut, Paste, Breathe, Repeat, which she worked on right until the end.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

New KTCO: KTCO Book Club - Tender (with Wm Henry Morris)

On this week's episode, the KTCO Book Club returns with a conversation with writer Wm Henry Morris about Sofia Samatar's 2017 story collection Tender. The stories in this collection range from fairy tale and folklore to dystopian sci-fi to (almost) contemporary realism, but all have in common Samatar’s impeccable prose, attention to detail, and exceptional readership.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript at the episode page at the KTCO website.

You can purchase paper copies of Tender at your local independent bookstore, or you can purchase a DRM-free ebook version directly from the publisher. You can find links to Wm Henry Morris's work at his website.

New KTCO: Kazim Ali

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with writer Kazim Ali. Kazim’s latest poetry collection, The Voice of Sheila Chandra, uses sound to explode meaning and explore silence and voicelessness, bringing together history, philosophy, spirituality, and personal experience to create something truly profound. In our conversation, Kazim and I discussed the divine in art, what the sound of poetry can embody and enact, and the fundamental oneness of human life. Then for the second segment, we talked about music.

Here are some links where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript at the episode page on the KTCO website.

You can purchase a copy of The Voice of Sheila Chandra directly from the publisher, or at your local bookstore. Kazim's new memoir, Northern Light: Power, Land, and the Memory of Water, is forthcoming in March 2021 and is now available for pre-order.

KTCO Re-Run: Rizzhel Javier

For the last KTCO of 2020, I'm revisiting my 2017 conversation with artist Rizzhel Javier. Rizzhel Javier is a photographer and installation artist based in San Diego, CA. I first met Rizzhel when we were both participating in the portfolio reviews at the Medium Festival a few years ago, and her stop-motion, flipbook-style pieces immediately caught my attention. More recently, Rizzhel was named one of the 2017 emerging artists by the SD Art Prize for her "Unmentionables" project, creating new art out of old mementos. We had a great conversation for the show about her artistic process, what she loves about making mistakes, and her experience as a teacher. For the second segment, Rizzhel chose the Philippines as her topic.

Since we recorded our conversation, Rizzhel has become the Managing Director of the AjA Project, a community arts education organization here in San Diego. You can support the AjA Project by buying one of their STEAM OnDemand workshop boxes, and for each box you buy, the organization will donate one to a student in the community. Or you can make a donation directly. Donations in any amount are appreciated, but if you can swing it, a $500 donation will cover workshop boxes for 30 students:

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

KTCO Re-run: José Olivarez

This week on Keep the Channel Open I'm revisiting my 2017 conversation with poet José Olivarez. In our wide-ranging conversation, José and I talked about how his podcast The Poetry Gods came to be, toxic masculinity in the poetry world, and how discovering poetry allowed José to find his artistic voice. In the second segment, we talked about beginnings and endings.

Since we recorded our conversation, José has released two books: his debut poetry collection Citizen Illegal, and the anthology he co-edited, The BreakBeat Poets, Vol. 4: LatiNEXT. You can order either from your local independent bookstore, or you can buy them directly from the publisher, Haymarket Books, who is having a 40% off sale through January 4, 2021:

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

KTCO Re-run: Esmé Weijun Wang

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm revisiting my 2016 conversation with writer Esmé Weijun Wang. Esmé's debut novel The Border of Paradise was one of my favorite books of 2016. A multigenerational epic centered on an interracial family, the Nowaks, this book touches on so many profound topics, from mental illness to intergenerational trauma to culture clash to the very question of what it means to be a family, all done in stunningly beautiful prose. Esmé and I had a great conversation about her book in the first segment, and in the second segment we chatted about our favorite social media platform: Twitter.

Since we recorded our conversation, Esmé has also published an award-winning collection of essays, The Collected Schizophrenias. If you haven't read her books yet, I highly recommend ordering copies from your local independent bookstore. You can also order them via the following links:

If you're interested in supporting Esmé's work while also learning about restorative journaling, you can purchase Esmé's guided e-course The Rawness of Remembering via her website. Through the end of 2020 you can get over 30% off by using the coupon code GOODBYE2020 at checkout.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript on the episode page at the KTCO website.

New KTCO: Jordanna Kalman

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with photographer Jordanna Kalman. Jordanna’s work explores loneliness, femininity and individuality, and the images are highly personal. In her series Little Romances, she rephotographs prints of earlier images of hers which had been stolen and misused. By considering the prints as objects and adding new elements, she creates a new narrative, examining the anxieties of being a woman and creating a form of protection for the image. In our conversation we discussed prints as still-life subjects, what anger can accomplish, and our mutual dislike of “mean” photography. Then in the second segment we discussed a recent Instagram dust-up between two photographers, and how it’s relevant to our larger society.

Here are some links where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript at the episode page on the KTCO website.

You can purchase a copy of Jordanna's Little Romances book as well as select prints at her BigCartel shop.

New KTCO: KTCO Book Club - The True Deceiver (with Alyssa Harad)

On this week's episode, the KTCO Book Club returns with a conversation with writer Alyssa Harad about Tove Jansson's 1982 novel The True Deceiver. Despite the slimness of the volume, Jansson’s novel yet contains a  surprising degree of depth and complexity, not to mention psychological  tension, in a story that challenges the reader to consider the nature of  truth, honesty, and different forms of deception.

Here are some links to where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript at the episode page at the KTCO website.

You can purchase copies of The True Deceiver at your local independent bookstore, or via bookshop.org. If you'd like to help support Alyssa's work, purchase a copy of her memoir, Coming to My Senses, and leave a review via GoodReads.

New KTCO: Maggie Smith

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm pleased to welcome poet Maggie Smith back to the show! Maggie’s new book Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change was born out of a difficult life change; it both discusses and is an example of resilience and hope in the face of an unknown future. In our conversation, we talked about the book’s origins in a series of social media notes-to-self, about becoming an essayist after having been a poet for so long, and about finding agency through language. Then for the second segment, we talked about community and connection via social media.

Here are some links where you can listen to the episode:

You can also listen to the full episode and find show notes and a transcript at the episode page at the KTCO website.

You can purchase copies of Keep Moving at your local independent bookstore, or via bookshop.org. If you'd like to help support Maggie's work, consider leaving a review of Keep Moving on Goodreads.

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