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New KTCO: David Adjmi

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with writer and playwright David Adjmi. In his new memoir Lot Six, David tells the story of how he found himself through art and the theater, growing up feeling like an outsider as a gay, atheist, artistic youth in a small and insular Syrian Sephardic Jewish community in Brooklyn. In our conversation, David and I discussed the craft of memoir, the process of constructing one’s own identity, and why his book isn’t structured like the typical gay narrative. Then in the second segment, we discussed how the pandemic is affecting our ability to make narratives, and how art can function as a 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 at the episode page at the KTCO website.

You can purchase copies of Lot Six at your local independent bookstore, or via bookshop.org. If you'd like to help support David's work, leave a review of his book on Goodreads.

New KTCO: Jessica Eaton

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with photographic artist Jessica Eaton. At first glance, the minimalist compositions in Jessica’s images might seem simple, but the process behind their creation is anything but. Using a series of color filters and a painstaking multiple exposure technique, she is able to use light to construct color. In our conversation, we discussed her photographic technique, her impulse toward iteration, and why her work is not abstract. Then in the second segment we talked about coming to big life changes during a pandemic.

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.

New KTCO: Matthew Salesses

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with writer Matthew Salesses. Matthew’s new novel, Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, is darkly funny, unsettling in the best way, and wholly original, the story of a Korean American man struggling simply to exist as he feels himself literally disappearing. In our conversation, Matthew and I discussed his book, the trap of the first-person perspective, and what it means to take responsibility. Then in the second segment, we talked about the meaning of love.

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 Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear at your local independent bookstore, or via bookshop.org. If you'd like to help support Matthew's work, leave a review of his book on Goodreads or Amazon.

New KTCO: Ross Sutherland

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm talking with writer and podcaster Ross Sutherland. Ross’s podcast Imaginary Advice is one of my favorites in any genre. Blending poetry, essay, and audio fiction with a wonderfully experimental approach to sound design, Imaginary Advice sounds like nothing else. In our conversation, Ross and I talked about what it’s like to make a podcast without a format, how starting with form can lead to unexpected discovery, and what collaboration can open up for a project. Then in the second segment, Ross and I talked about the inherent difficulty of connecting language to bodily sensations, something that's come up in his recent (unsuccessful) attempts to learn yoga via YouTube.

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 Ross's work, you can subscribe to his Patreon campaign.

KTCO Re-run: Richard Georges

This week on Keep the Channel Open, I'm revisiting my 2018 conversation with poet Richard Georges. In his second collection of poems, Giant, Richard gave us a portrait of the BVI through landscape, through its history and its present. In our conversation, Richard and I talked about his book, the aftermath of empire in the BVI, and the relationship between poetry and myth. For the second segment, Richard talked about the particular moment that the BVI faced in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Since we recorded this conversation, Richard has published a third collection, Epiphaneia, which won the 2020 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature just a couple of months ago. I highly recommend picking up a copy of one of his books, which you can order from your local independent bookstore. You can also order each directly from the publisher:

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: 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.

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