184 episodes

Host Michael Shields brings you Beyond the Margin, guiding you deeper into the stories told at the online literary and cultural magazine, Across the Margin. Listen in as they take you on a storytelling journey, one where you are bound to meet a plethora of intriguing writers, wordsmiths, poets, artists, activists, musicians, and unhinged eccentrics illustrating the notion that there are captivating stories to be found everywhere.
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Across the Margin: The Podcast Across the Margin / Osiris Media

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 23 Ratings

Host Michael Shields brings you Beyond the Margin, guiding you deeper into the stories told at the online literary and cultural magazine, Across the Margin. Listen in as they take you on a storytelling journey, one where you are bound to meet a plethora of intriguing writers, wordsmiths, poets, artists, activists, musicians, and unhinged eccentrics illustrating the notion that there are captivating stories to be found everywhere.
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Episode 184: Holy American Burnout! with Sean Enfield

    Episode 184: Holy American Burnout! with Sean Enfield

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with Sean Enfield, an essayist, poet, bassist, and educator from Dallas, TX. Currently, he resides in Milwaukee, WI where he is a PhD candidate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He received his MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska-Fairbanks where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of Permafrost Magazine. Now, he serves as an Assistant Nonfiction Editor at Terrain.org. His essays have been nominated for three Pushcarts and he was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered as a finalist for their Three Minute Fiction contest. His debut essay collection, Holy American Burnout!, — the focus of this episode — was the runner-up for the Ann Petry Award, a finalist for The Megaphone Prize, a finalist for River Teeth’s Literary Nonfiction Book Prize, and is available now. Threading his experiences both as a Texan student and later as a first-year teacher of predominantly Muslim students at a Texas middle school, Holy American Burnout! weaves personal essay and cultural critique into the historic fabric of Black and biracial identity. In it, Enfield intersects examinations of which voices are granted legitimacy by virtue of school curriculum, the complex relationship between basketball and education for Black and brown students, his students’ burgeoning political consciousness during the 2016 presidential campaign, and cultural figures ranging from Kendrick Lamar to Hamlet. These classroom narratives abounding in Holy American Burnout! weave around Enfield’s own formative experiences contending with a conflicted biracial family lineage, reenacting the Middle Passage as the only Black student in his 7th grade history class, and moshing in both Christian and secular hardcore pits. As Enfield wrestles with the physical, mental, and emotional burdens that American society places on educators, students, and all relatively conscious minorities in this country, he reaches for an education that better navigates our burnt-out empire.


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    • 56 min
    Episode 183: The Last Repair Shop with Ben Proudfoot

    Episode 183: The Last Repair Shop with Ben Proudfoot

    This episode of Across The Margin : The Podcast presents an interview with Ben Proudfoot, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker most noted as the director of The Queen of Basketball, winner of the 2021 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short Subject. With co-director Kris Bowers he also brought to life the short documentary film A Concerto Is a Conversation, which was an Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Short Subject at the 93rd Academy Awards in 2021. His latest documentary, The Last Repair Shop — the focus of this episode — is nominated at this year's Academy Awards for Best Documentary Short Subject. Once commonplace in the United States, today Los Angeles is by far the largest and one of the last American cities to provide free and freely repaired musical instruments to its public schoolchildren, a continuous service since 1959. The Last Repair Shop grants an all access pass to the nondescript downtown warehouse where a dwindling handful of devoted craftspeople keep over 80,000 student instruments in good repair and in it the film blends the unexpectedly intimate personal histories of the repair people with emotional, firsthand accounts from the actual student musicians for whom their instruments made all the difference. In this episode host Michael Shields and Ben Proudfoot expound upon what music and access to instruments means to the lives of the children in Los Angeles while considering how the power of music has changed the lives of those who passionately labor in the repair shop. They talk about how the promise of the American Dream manifests itself within the documentary, the message of hope that is abounding in the film, and so much more. Ultimately this episode celebrates an inspiring documentary that serves as a passionate love letter to Los Angeles and to those unsung heroes who gave countless others the gift of music. This is an episode that pays tribute to a truly unique program that has produced countless legends from John Williams to Kendrick Lamar.
    Watch The Last Repair Shop here!

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    • 25 min
    Episode 182: A Father's Promise with Rick Korn

    Episode 182: A Father's Promise with Rick Korn

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with Rick Korn, the founder of In Plain View Entertainment who is a film and TV producer, writer, and director that works with entertainment companies on creating socially conscious documentaries. He was co-founder of Television Production Partners, an award-winning branded entertainment company that was nominated for an Oscar, Emmy and won a Peabody Award for Hank Aaron Chasing The Dream. Rick has produced benefit concerts with Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, Eric Clapton, and Joan Jett. He executive produced the documentary My Old Friend with Paul McCartney and Carl Perkins and Rick and Perkins collaborated on several documentary concerts, benefits, and an album called Go Cat Go which included Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, John Fogerty, and Paul Simon. Recently, Rick directed and wrote the docu-concert Do Something and Vote which included performances from Bruce Springsteen, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Black Puma’s, Nathaniel Rateliff and Alabama Shakes, and featured many prominent activists fighting for a safer and healthier world. The film A Father’s Promise — Rick’s latest documentary — tells the inspirational story of one man’s journey from devastating tragedy to personal triumph. When his young son Daniel is murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a grief-stricken Mark Barden, a world class guitarist, loses all joy in the music that had defined much of his life. But, in time, Mark rewires himself to become a powerful voice for change, becoming the co-founder of Sandy Hook Promise and a tireless advocate for gun violence prevention. Mark is a father on a mission, and, with the help of his many famous music artist friends, he slowly rediscovers himself, eventually playing and performing the music that had always meant so much to him and his family. In A Father’s Promise Rick takes you on Mark’s powerful 10-year journey as he gradually finds his way back to music with the help of friends Sheryl Crow, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Bernie Williams, Jimmy Vivino, the Alternate Routes, and many others. The film impactfully mixes live music performances into the storyline, underlining powerful emotions, as Mark continues to find ways to empower his music with his activism, and vice versa. A Father’s Promise finds Mark honoring his son by working for change, playing his music, and building hope for a better tomorrow. In this episode host Michael Shields and Rock Korn discuss the intriguing story of how Rick came to know Mark Barden and began to work with him to tell his inspirational story.. They dig deeply into what A Father’s Promise says about the power of music to heal and unite and fight for change in the world while also celebrating Mark’s daughter Natalie’s journey into activism. They highlight what Mark’s work with Sandy Hook Promise aims to accomplish, the inspiring work of the Where Angels Play Project and the Artist For Action movement, and so much more.


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    • 45 min
    Episode 181: Brother Outsider with Nancy Kates

    Episode 181: Brother Outsider with Nancy Kates

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with Nancy Kates, the acclaimed filmmaker behind the groundbreaking documentary, Brother Outsider: The Life Of Bayard Rustin. This pivotal work was instrumental in introducing a broader audience to the life of Rustin — an openly gay Black civil rights leader and a driving force behind the March on Washington. Nancy also produced and directed the feature-length HBO documentary Regarding Susan Sontag, about the late essayist, novelist, director and activist. Her other film credits include Castro Cowboy, a short film about the late Marlboro model Christen Haren who died of AIDS in 1996, Joining the Tribe, Married People, and Going to Extremes. During his 60-year career as an activist, organizer, and an angelic "troublemaker," Bayard Rustin formulated many of the strategies that propelled the American Civil Rights Movement. His passionate belief in Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence drew Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders to him in the 1940s and 50s. In 1963, Rustin brought his unique skills to the crowning glory of his civil rights career: his work organizing the March on Washington, the biggest protest America had ever seen. But his open homosexuality forced him to remain in the background, marking him again and again as a "Brother Outsider." Brother Outsider: the Life of Bayard Rustin combines rare archival footage — some of it never before broadcast in the U.S. — with provocative interviews to illuminate the life and work of a forgotten prophet of social change. Rustin's monumental role as a central strategist in the Civil Rights Movement and his unwavering stand for peace and justice casts him as a towering figure in U.S. history. His narrative, particularly as an openly gay advocate in perilous times, has found a renewed resonance in our current socio-political environment. And Nancy’s documentary brings back to life a man who profoundly influenced the course of the civil rights and peace movements. In this episode host Michael Shields and Nancy Kates dig deeply into just how pivotal a figure Bayard Rustin was in the Civil Rights Movement while questioning why he often remained outside the scope of notoriety as a “Brother Outsider.” They discuss what it was like for Rustin to be openly gay in America in the 1960s, his on-and-off relationship with Martin Luther King, how he brought the March on Washington to life, and so much more.


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    • 42 min
    Episode 180: Distant Sons with Tim Johnston

    Episode 180: Distant Sons with Tim Johnston

    This episode of Across The Margin : The Podcast features an interview with author Tim Johnston, author of the novels Descent, The Current, the story collection Irish Girl, and the young adult novel Never So Green. He is the recipient of the 2015 Iowa Author Award and his latest novel — Distant Sons — is the focus of this episode.
    What if Sean Courtland’s old Chevy truck had broken down somewhere else? What if he’d never met Denise Givens, a waitress at a local tavern, and gotten into a bar fight defending her honor? Or offered a ride to Dan Young, another young man like Sean, burdened by secrets and just drifting through the small Wisconsin town?
    Instead, Sean enlists Dan’s help with a construction job in the basement of a local—the elderly, reclusive Marion Devereaux — and gradually the two men come to realize that they’ve washed up in a place haunted by the disappearance of three young boys decades earlier. As Sean and Dan’s friendship deepens, and as Sean gets closer to Denise and her father, they come to the attention of a savvy local detective, Corrine Viegas, who has her own reasons for digging into Dan’s past — and for being unable to resist the pull of the town’s unsolved mystery. And with each chance connection, an irreversible chain of events is set in motion that culminates in shattering violence and the revelation of long-buried truths.Gripping and immersive, this crime novel by bestselling author Tim Johnston becomes so much more: a book about friendship and love and good hard work — and a masterful read about how the most random intersection of lives can have consequences both devastating and beautiful.
    This episode is hosted by educator and author Douglas Grant, author of the novels Preemptive and Imaginary Lines.
    Grab a copy of Tim Johnson’s Distant Sons here!


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    • 58 min
    Episode 179: The Black Angels with Maria Smilios

    Episode 179: The Black Angels with Maria Smilios

    This episode of Across The Margin: The Podcast presents an interview with Maria Smilios, a New York City native who has a Master of Arts in religion and literature from Boston University, where she was a Luce Scholar and a Presidential Scholar. Smilios spent five years at Springer Science & Business Media as development editor in the biomedical sciences, and has written for The Guardian, American Nurse, The Forward, Narratively, The Rumpus, and DAME Magazine. Her book, The Black Angels — the focus of this episode — tells the untold story of the nurses who helped cure tuberculosis. Nearly a century before the COVID-19 pandemic upended life as we know it, a devastating tuberculosis epidemic was ravaging hospitals across the country. In those dark, pre-antibiotic days, the disease claimed the lives of 1 in 7 Americans. In the United States alone, it killed over 5.6 million people in the first half of the twentieth century. Nowhere was TB more rampant than in New York City, where it spread like wildfire through the tenements, decimating the city’s poorest residents and communities of color. The city’s hospital system was already overwhelmed when, in 1929, the white nurses at Staten Island’s Sea View Hospital began quitting en masse. Pushed to the brink of a major labor crisis and fearing a public health catastrophe, city health officials made a call for Black female nurses seeking to work on the frontlines, promising them good pay, education, housing, and employment free from the constraints of Jim Crow. Spanning the Great Depression and moving through World War II and beyond, The Black Angels puts these women back at the center of this riveting story by spotlighting the twenty-plus years they spent battling the disease at Sea View. Using first-hand interviews and never-before-accessed archives, Smilios details how they labored under inconceivable conditions, putting in 14-hour days caring for people who lay waiting to die or, worse, become “guinea pigs” to test experimental (and often deadly) drugs at a facility that was understaffed, unregulated, and marred by rampant racism. Their narrative is interspersed with the parallel story of the tuberculosis cure, a miracle of public health policy that couldn’t have happened without the work of the nurses at Sea View. In this episode host Michael Shields and Maria Smilios explore just how terribly tuberculous was riddling the United States (and particularly New York City) and the birth of the Sea View treatment center in Staten Island where a cure was eventually brought into being. They celebrate the Black Angels, Black nurses who worked at the hospital who answered a call to help, and eventually changed the world. They discuss how racial discrimination affected the nurses, both in the deep South also upon their landing in New York. They also discuss the drug trials that led to the cure, the patent wars that followed, and so much more.


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    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Daddy Unscripted Podcast ,

Fascinating Minds, INDEED!

There are so many excellent episodes to choose from with this podcast. And, I don't just find myself going to the ones that I immediately think: "Oh, yeah... that's in my wheelhouse". And bonus: the ones that aren't maybe something I would necessarily imagine myself being wowed by... I am usually very pleasantly surprised! Can't wait to see where else this podcast goes down these roads!

letsbabbleon ,

A podcast and a road trip

We were getting out of DC and driving to a new hiking location in VA. We decided to listen to Beyond the Margin's first podcast. As we were traveling through the winding roads of VA, the segment The Banjo came on. I could picture the father and son sitting on the porch of the houses we were passing by and I quickly got lost in the story. When we got to our location we had not finished the podcast. It was a sunny day out so we laid on the ground, starred up at the sky and listened to the segment Pinwheel. We sat around for awhile, not even realizing that the podcast had ended. We were both deep in our thoughts about a bond with a family member, a 30 second segment of our day and a chance encounter when we realized that we should start our hike.

We cannot wait for the next podcast and see where it will take us. Maybe it will be the next soundtrack to our road trip.

chazferrari ,

Wonderful story telling

For fans of The Moth, This American Life, and other story telling / journalistic shows with a bit more of an artistic flair. Great accompaniment to their online publications, which are also worth checking out. Looking forward to see how future episodes develop!

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