Authors, readers, and resident city builders gather in BOOK CITY ★ Roanoke to discuss how the written word shapes our identity and helps us act in the world. BOOK CITY ★ Roanoke projects explore engagement and equity at the intersection of books and place.
★ Kissing a Tree Surgeon with Eleanor Levine (Episode 3.4)
A conversation with author Eleanor Levine is as wide ranging and unexpected as her stories. Following her book of poetry, Waitress at the Blue Moon Pizzeria (Unsolicited Press, 2016), Levine now offers Kissing a Tree Surgeon from Guernica World Editions. We dig into the stories, unrequited love, and our theme, "Alone / Together in a conversation that we just couldn't cut short.
The BOOK CITY ★ Roanoke podcast is sponsored by our good friends at Roanoke's independent book store, Book No Further. Purchase Kissing a Tree Surgeon here.
Reader Thomas Fellers ★ Building community through social infrastructure (Episode 3.3)
Roanoke resident Thomas Fellers offers two books for a conversation on social infrastructure as we continue an exploration of Alone / Together: What draws us into community and sets us apart.
Books discussed in this third episode of the season are Chang-rae Lee's On Such a Full Sea (Riverhead Books, 2014) and Palaces for the People by Eric Klinenberg (Broadway Books, 2018). On investing in a strong locality, Fellers says, "Everyone who's a part of it has a seat at the table and feels there's going to be enough." That, he says is what social infrastructure can help do.
Hear the full conversation wherever you get your podcasts, and pick up a copy from an independent book seller like our podcast sponsor, Book No Further.
The Power of Disruption ★ Brad Stephens on Ann Patchett's BEL CANTO (Episode 3.2)
In season 3, we ponder the theme Alone/Together: What pulls us into community and stands us apart. In Ann Pachett's Bel Canto (HarperCollins, 2001), the overtaking of a Vice President's home in an unnamed country after the performance of an opera singer at the birthday of a powerful Japanese businessman. As Patchett weaves through the perspectives of the characters in this tightly set tale of unlikely compatriots, we see them each affected by the others, by music, by the disruption of their worlds.
Brad Stephens joins the conversation to talk about the power of that disruption in helping us set and change the course of our days and lives.
You can catch Brad's latest podcast: Quarantine Conversations with My Friends.
Brad Stephens spends his days working in the world of workforce development and has spent many years working with the social change and entrepreneurship community in Roanoke, helping build innovative community solutions. Along with being the founder of Big Lick SOUP, a co-founder of Noke Codes and putting on CityWorks (X)po, he is always looking for new community development projects that can help improve the lives of the people that call this community home.
Brad and his wife, Sarah, moved to the Roanoke Valley years ago while he was working on his M.S. in Forestry at Virginia Tech with a focus on community collaborations in sustainable development. Ever since, this community has felt like home. They have grown to love the authenticity of this dynamic place. He wants to build communities that work for people.
SCHOLARSHIP BOY Larry I. Palmer ★ On kinship and success (Episode 3.1)
Larry I. Palmer, the author of Scholarship Boy: Meditations on Family and Race (Paul Dry Books, 2020), attended Phillips Exeter Academy at 14, boarding at the prestigious school, worlds away from his large St. Louis Family. Now his coming-of-age memoir highlights the strength of a family, the determination of parents, and, of course, the lessons of youth -- all in an era of dramatic upheavals and gradual change, spanning school desegregation and the fight for civil rights in the 1950s and 60s.
In a BOOK CITY ★ Roanoke conversation leading up to a 10/13/2020 Roanoke County Public Library author event, Palmer reflects on this season's theme: Alone/Together--on that which connects us and stands us apart.
Kris Spisak ★ Empowerment in the editing process
Roanoke native Kris Spisak writes, edits, and coaches writers through professional services, a podcast, a blog, two books, and creative workshops. In this conversation with BOOK CITY Roanoke's Douglas Jackson, Spisak discusses the thought process, common mistakes made by beginning writers, why grammar matters, and how it just might be fun.
Spisak is most recently the author of The Novel Editing Workbook. A former college writing instructor, having taught at institutions including the University of Richmond and Virginia Commonwealth University, Kris is now an active speaker, workshop leader, and freelance editor. She is the board chair of James River Writers and is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors, the Virginia Writers Club, and the Women’s Fiction Writers Association.
This season of the BOOK CITY Roanoke podcast is sponsored by www.Booknofurther.com.
Book No Further's Doloris Vest ★ Behind the scenes at Roanoke's independent book store
We caught up with Doloris Vest, proprietor of Book No Further, the independent book store on Roanoke's historic city market to get a glimpse behind the scenes. She talks about the area reading community, the strength of local authors, the support of Southern Independent Booksellers Association, and most recently what she's doing to keep the cash register ringing amidst the COVID-19 shut down.
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So Appreciate This Podcast
I have so enjoyed being able to overhear these thoughtful and inspiring conversations. They end up being about so much more than books: about community and bettering oneself and continued learning. I can't wait for Season 2!