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KTCO Re-run: Alanna Airitam

For today's episode of Keep the Channel Open, I'm re-releasing my 2018 conversation with photographer Alanna Airitam. In her series The Golden Age, Alanna makes portraits of African Americans in the style of the Dutch Realism Golden Age of painting, images full of grace and beauty representing black people in an art history context, a context from which they are all too often excluded. In our conversation we talked about that series, as well as her Being Heard project, which began as a response to seeing how different marginalized women were being excluded from the mainstream activist narrative. Then for the second segment, Alanna and I had a wide-ranging conversation about the roots of social injustice in our society.

I wanted to re-share this episode because, listening back, the things we talked about are just as relevant today as they were two years ago. These conversations turned out to be especially urgent here in the San Diego arts community, when recently a local museum's treatment of Alanna and her work showed that we still have a lot of work to do on racial equity.

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: Leah Huizar

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with poet Leah Huizar. Leah’s collection Inland Empire juxtaposes personal history with California history, excavating different layers of colonialism and centering Mexican-American women. In our conversation, we talked about what it means to own or be of a place, the stories behind California history, and what parts of history we carry forward to the next generation. Then in the second segment, we discussed the value of creative endurance.

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.

If you'd like to support Leah's work, you could buy a copy of her poetry collection Inland Empire.

New KTCO: Maggie Tokuda-Hall

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with writer and podcaster Maggie Tokuda-Hall. Maggie’s debut YA novel, The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea, is a swashbuckling pirate fantasy, and it’s also a nuanced and subversive story about colonialism, the power of storytelling, and the cost of violence. In our conversation, Maggie and I talked about her love of working in multiple forms and genres, the presentation of race in her novel, and writing the horrificness of violence. Then in the second segment, we discussed how to talk to our kids about problematic books and authors.

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.

If you'd like to support Maggie's work, you could buy a copy of her YA novel The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea or her children's picture book Also an Octopus. You could read her column at Catapult, Fear and Loathing In Utero, or check out her hilarious animal facts podcast, Drunk Safari.

New KTCO: Sarah Gailey

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm pleased to welcome writer Sarah Gailey back to the show. Sarah’s latest novel, the YA fantasy When We Were Magic, is a wonderful story about teen friendship, magic, and queer love. In our conversation, we talked about the importance of representation and sensitivity edits, writing YA that respects teens, and how it’s okay to take up space in one’s relationships. Then for the second segment, we talked about something that’s been on all of our minds lately: food.

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: Celeste Ng

Tonight, the final episode of the limited series Little Fires Everywhere is available to stream on Hulu, and in honor of the occasion I'm re-releasing my 2017 conversation with Celeste Ng. It's been so much fun watching this show and seeing how it was adapted from the book, not to mention a thrill to see Celeste's name in the credits of every episode. In our conversation we talked about both Little Fires Everywhere and her first novel, Everything I Never Told You, which was one of the most important novels of my reading life. Then for the second segment we had a fun discussion about Celeste's former phobia of octopuses, and why she finds them fascinating now.

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: The Craft of the Literary Podcast Interview

Last month, I was scheduled to moderate a panel at the annual AWP Conference called “The Craft of the Literary Podcast Interview,” featuring Rachel Zucker of Commonplace, Dujie Tahat of The Poet Salon, and David Naimon of Between the Covers, three of my favorite literary podcasts. Due to the coronavirus, we ended up having to cancel our appearance at the conference, which makes it all the sweeter to be able to bring you this podcast version of our panel. In this wide-ranging coversation, Rachel, Dujie, David, and I talked all about the “how”s and the “whys” of interviewing, including the importance of establishing rapport with our guests, questions about the ethics of interviewing, and what the role of the host ought to be.

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 LikeWise Fiction: "Seasons of Glass and Iron," by Amal El-Mohtar

Episode 12 of LikeWise Fiction features "Seasons of Glass and Iron," by Amal El-Mohtar.

In her 2017 WisCon Guest of Honor speech, Amal El-Mohtar described the genesis of this story, which came about when her seven-year-old niece asked for a fairy tale. “I wanted nothing more than to do so,” said El-Mohtar, “but what crowded my mouth were stories of women isolated, women won as prizes, women hating each other, step-mothers at their daughters’ throats. I was violently struck by how I knew stories full of firebirds and golden apples and djinn but somehow, more impossible to conceive of than all of these was the notion of two women talking to each other about something other than a man.” The result was this powerfully feminist and utterly beautiful story, a story that centers conversation and love between women, and in which women rescue each other. It’s one of my all-time favorite stories.

Listen to the story at:

New KTCO: Julian K. Jarboe

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with writer Julian K. Jarboe. Julian’s debut story collection, Everyone on the Moon Is Essential Personnel, is a mix of body-horror fairy tales, mid-apocalyptic science fabulism, and blue-collar queer resistance. The stories grapple with body dysmorphia and transformation, and the realities of laboring under late capitalism. In our conversation we talked about different communities responses to the climate crisis, the frustration of white feminism, and “science fabulism” as a genre. Then in the second segment, we talked about different aspects of food and community.

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 LikeWise Fiction: "Evangelina Concepcion," by Ani Sison Cooney

Episode 11 of LikeWise Fiction features "Evangelina Concepcion," by Ani Sison Cooney. A young Latina woman growing up in Los Angeles struggles with grief after her mother is killed in a car accident.

Listen to the story at:

New KTCO: Jon Sands

This week on Keep the Channel Open I'm talking with poet Jon Sands. I first became acquainted with Jon as one of the co-hosts of the podcast The Poetry Gods, one of my all-time favorites, and the poems in his latest collection, It’s Not Magic,  are both exuberant and profound. In our conversation we talked about  being braver on the page, about balancing self-love and accountability,  and about writing toward growth. Then in the second segment we talked  about how having kids changes how you see other people, and we talked  about the work of Aracelis Girmay and how she uses personification in  her poems.

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.

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