35 episodes

The high-art low-brow minds behind Bloomsday Literary bring you interviews with the creatives you should know, but don’t. Poets, novelists, memoirists, & short story writers join co-hosts Kate and Jessica as they take a respectful approach to investigating the writer’s art and an irreverent approach to getting the nitty-gritty on the hustle for publication and exposure. Most of us writers making a living by the pen occupy somewhere between the ubiquitous bestsellers and the people who want to write but bemoan the lack of time to do it. So let Terry Gross interview the top 1%. We’ll set to work making community with everyone else.

F***ing Shakespeare Bloomsday Literary

    • Books

The high-art low-brow minds behind Bloomsday Literary bring you interviews with the creatives you should know, but don’t. Poets, novelists, memoirists, & short story writers join co-hosts Kate and Jessica as they take a respectful approach to investigating the writer’s art and an irreverent approach to getting the nitty-gritty on the hustle for publication and exposure. Most of us writers making a living by the pen occupy somewhere between the ubiquitous bestsellers and the people who want to write but bemoan the lack of time to do it. So let Terry Gross interview the top 1%. We’ll set to work making community with everyone else.

    Jericho Brown, poet

    Jericho Brown, poet

    Photo credit: John Mitchell












    On this episode of F***ing Shakespeare, our guest is the one and only Jericho Brown. Poets, lovers, and one who desires to hear beautiful language spoken by a beautiful voice, this episode is for you. We talk about Brown’s duplex, a poetic form he created for his new book “The Tradition,” his passion for his work and how he also doesn’t drive a Bentley. I’m not going to ruin the surprise or anything, but Jericho sings. That’s all I’m gonna say; just listen.
















    US cover, Copper Canyon Press












    Jericho’s loving and wonderful works:
    His latest collection, “The Tradition”, can be purchased here
    While you’re reading his work, check out his other collections, “The New Testament” and “Please”
    His work also appears in issue 6 of The Bennington Review, the NYT, no. 226 of The Paris Review, and elsewhere.
    If you cannot get enough of his reading voice, he’s also read his poems:
    “The Card Tables” and “Trojan” on Poetry Foundation.
    And “Night Shift” and “Colosseum” on The New Yorker.
    Honorable mentions:
    Jericho discovered Laura “Ralphi” Burgess’s work and used it for as a cover for “The Tradition.”
    Shout out to Jericho’s fantastic colleagues at Emory, such as T Cooper, Hank Klinbanoff, Joseph Skibell, Tayari Jones, Tiphanie Yanique, Robyn Schiff, and Heather Christle.
    Visit Jericho’s website for more about him and/or follow him on Twitter to see other events he’s involved in or for a daily Jericho Brown dosage.

    Bryan Washington, novelist

    Bryan Washington, novelist

    In today’s episode we have the 100% on-fire novelist, Bryan Washington, penning effing beautiful and raw stories straight out of the streets of Houston for his story collection Lot. He shares his ridiculously envy-enducing publishing journey for you, adding another to the longitudinal study that proves the traditional path to publication is a mythical creature in line with the hippogriff, the Lochness, and the chupacabra. Other topics of discussion include: chupacabras, the Katy suburb of Houston, and it’s food scene (yes! There IS one) and the importance of finding an amazing agent and editor who really get your work, and — perhaps most importantly — why if you want to be a writer you shouldn’t be an a*****e, and if you are a writer you should also not be an a*****e.
    Buy/read all the things from Bryan Washington:
    His short story collection, Lot, is available here.
    Bryan’s most recent NYer story, “Visitor” and this gem of an interview (also from the NYer) on “stories that don’t make you feel worse”
    His new novel, Memorial, (forthcoming fall 2020) draws on his work in No.6 Fiction Issue, SPOOK magazine.
    Finding holiness in noodles from his Catapult series on Houston
    Ben Rybeck (former Houstonian now with The Center for Fiction) interviewed Bryan here for Lithub

    Honorable Mentions:
    Some of Bryan’s influences w/r/t place-as-character
    American Son by Bryan Ascalon Roley
    Real World by Natsuo Kirino
    A Good Fall by Ha Jin
    Vida by Patricia Engel
    The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
    Also loves:
    Short story collection, Fly Already by Etgar Keret (Riverhead Books)

    Visit Bryan’s website for more about him and/or his Twitter for updates on his short stories, interests, and the food he’s digging.



















    Photo Credit: David Gracia




























    US Cover, Riverhead Books




























    UK cover, Atlantic Books

    • 52 min
    Mark Haber, novelist

    Mark Haber, novelist

    In the studio today to open SEASON 4 of the show—that’s right y’all F***ing Shakespeare is on our 4th season! To celebrate we have Houston’s own lit genius, Mark Haber. He’s our first returning guest, so we must be doing something right. He’s definitely doing all the things right. He’s here to talk Tolstoy’s dog problem, melancholy, the fun-house mirror situation that is eastern European and central American literary scenes. His rich new novel Reinhardt’s Garden is discussed, as well as how to compel the authors who blurb you to use the word ‘genius.’ (Just kidding, not that one. He’s keeping that secret.) But we do get a bit of a bonus material-round makeover this season with a Haber-inspired esoterica category of questions to round out the show.
    Msrk’s influences are numerous, but click links below to expand your literary taste. You will not be disappointed:
    Roberto Bolaño’s By Night in Chile
    Thomas Bernhard 
    César Aira
    László Krasznahorkai’s double-novella set, The Last Wolf and Herman
    New Directions’ championing of Latin American writers in the early aughts
    Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol, Chekhov
    Clarice Lispector

    Things we learned:
    How to write humid
    What’s wrong with Florida
    How to write believable man-splaining (LOL)
    How to end a publishing journey in tears, the good kind
    How a bad translation is like a bad cheeseburger

    Shout-outs
    World Editions, feminist press
    Brazos Bookstore

















    Photo credit: Nina Subin

    • 51 min
    Season 4 Announcement

    Season 4 Announcement

    • 1 min
    PSA-Houston Writers Coalition 2

    PSA-Houston Writers Coalition 2

    • 1 min
    Sarah Stankorb, journalist

    Sarah Stankorb, journalist

    Read all of Sarah’s work, but if we were forced to choose, here’s the place to start:
    Until We All Have Voices in Catapult
    Fabric of a Community, Gone Threadbare: A Tour of Ohio’s New Trump Country in Catapult
    The Crusading Bloggers Exposing Sexual Abuse in Protestant Churches in The Washington Post Magazine
    Teaching My Daughter That God Might Be a Girl in The Washington Post
    Rebecca Todd Peters take on male-dominated speech in the church
    Getting Elected Upended My Home Life. But Here’s What I Hope I’m Teaching My Kids
    I Made Up Xennial 3 Years Ago, So Why is a Professor in Australia Getting All the Credit?

    Honorable Mentions:
    Sex abuse bloggers and activists Sarah mentions: Ashley Easter, Wartburg Watch, & Watch Keep
    Several Houston Chronicle stories on the sex abuse scandals linked here, here, and here
    The awesomeness that is Kevin McFadden, aka Christopher Pike (Remember these? I have very vivid memories of checking these out of the school library and tearing through them like a fiend, battling any kid in my path who was after the new one.)
    The Problem of Dirty Hands
    Susan Orleans The Library Book
    Emily Nussbaum and anything she writes, but also her new book I Like to Watch
    Alexandria Petri and any of her opinion pieces in The Washington Post, but especially this one called “On Giving Up”

    • 1 hr 3 min

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