25 episodes

Intellectual, accessible, and provocative literary conversations.

Bookworm KCRW

    • Arts
    • 4.4 • 562 Ratings

Intellectual, accessible, and provocative literary conversations.

    Friends of Michael

    Friends of Michael

    Longtime friend and editor of Bookworm, Alan Howard, returns to host this episode, the last of 10 shows to journey through Bookworm’s 33 years and offer a retrospective look at Michael’s accomplishments on behalf of writers and readers. For decades Michael has read almost all of a writer’s work, not just the book which has been most recently published. Howard has watched writers glow as they realize that they’ve been seriously witnessed by the ultimate Bookworm. All of the writers on today’s show have become friends of Michael’s and of Bookworm. We’ll hear from rock band Sparks (brothers Ron and Russell Mael), Art Spiegelman, Françoise Mouly, Ann Beattie, Susan Sontag, and Dennis Cooper.

    • 54 min
    Chapter 9: Grief and Loss

    Chapter 9: Grief and Loss

    Close friend of Michael Silverblatt’s and Bookworm editor for 30 years, Alan Howard guest hosts this episode on grief and loss. When the two met more than 33 years ago, Michael’s first words were, “What are you reading?” It was a question that brought Howard back to literature. Over the years, Michael did the same for thousands of listeners. With Bookworm, he was determined to return literary fiction and poetry to the center of the zeitgeist. In the process, he faced the realities of loss and grief. In conversation after conversation with writers he was forging collegial friendships with, loss itself was a frequent topic of those friendships and conversations. We’ll hear from Marilynne Robinson, Joan Didion, Jim Krusoe, Steve Erickson, Dave Eggers, and Mary Ruefle.

    • 40 min
    Poetry

    Poetry

    Poet, author, and co-founder of The Song Cave , Alan Felsenthal guest hosts this episode’s focus on poetry. As a close friend and mentee of Michael Silverblatt’s, Felsenthal recalls Michael’s revelation that he had trouble finding his way into poetry until he had several formative experiences, including one he described in 2019 during a Walt Whitman tribute. We’ll hear from that tribute with poet Pattiann Rogers reading Whitman. We’ll also hear from poets John Ashbery, Coral Bracho, Forrest Gander, and Lucille Clifton.

    • 34 min
    The Story of America, Pt. 3

    The Story of America, Pt. 3

    Prolific author Dave Eggers, founder of McSweeney's, co-founder of 826 National, and other significant projects, first met Micheal Silverblatt in 2000, upon the publication of his first book –– a critically acclaimed memoir whose title he calls, "obnoxious." They formed a friendship over 22 years of conversation. This episode, the third in a series to examine what novelist Russell Banks called the Story of America, is guest-hosted by Eggers. We’ll hear excerpts of Bookworm shows that discuss this story from E.L. Doctorow, Valeria Luiselli, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Gore Vidal.

    • 33 min
    The Story of America, Pt. 2

    The Story of America, Pt. 2

    Prolific author Dave Eggers, founder of McSweeney's, co-founder of 826 National, and other significant projects, first met Micheal Silverblatt in 2000, upon the publication of his first book –– a critically acclaimed memoir whose title he calls, "obnoxious." They formed a friendship over 22 years of conversation. In this episode, Eggers picks up the thread through what novelist Russell Banks called the Story of America. We’ll hear from Edward P. Jones, Honorée Fanonne Jeffers, and Marilynne Robinson as they speak about slavery, race, and history.

    • 31 min
    The Story of America, Pt. 1

    The Story of America, Pt. 1

    Claudia Rankine, award-winning poet and author of Citizen: An American Lyric, a book-length poem about the pernicious racism of American daily life, hosts the first of a three-part episode on the story of America, as told through literary fiction. Over the decades Michael Silverblatt spoke with hundreds of writers about America — its foundation, its history, its challenges, and its culture. This episode reveals the story of America as the story of race. We’ll hear from David Foster Wallace, Russell Banks, Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, William H. Gass, Joan Didion, and Claudia Rankine herself.

    • 37 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
562 Ratings

562 Ratings

hana ziggy ,

I Love Bookworm

Thank you so much for this lovely latest Arc episode.

cleareyedgirl ,

Come back. More episodes please!

Praying all is well.

Bigassttttrfch ,

Where in the world is Michael Silverblatt?

Is everything okay? Why is nobody talking about this? I’ve scoured the internet for anything remotely resembling bafflement at where our bookworm has gone! Give us a sign, Michael! Blink twice if you need rescuing!!!

Top Podcasts In Arts

Fresh Air
NPR
The Moth
The Moth
McCartney: A Life in Lyrics
iHeartPodcasts and Pushkin Industries
99% Invisible
Roman Mars
Fantasy Fangirls
Fantasy Fangirls
The Magnus Archives
Rusty Quill

You Might Also Like

Between The Covers : Conversations with Writers in Fiction, Nonfiction & Poetry
David Naimon, Tin House Books
The New Yorker: The Writer's Voice - New Fiction from The New Yorker
WNYC Studios and The New Yorker
The Book Review
The New York Times
The LRB Podcast
The London Review of Books
The New Yorker: Fiction
WNYC Studios and The New Yorker
The Paris Review
The Paris Review

More by KCRW

KCRW's Left, Right & Center
KCRW
Good Food
KCRW
The Business
KCRW
Life Examined
KCRW
Lost Notes
KCRW
Nocturne
Vanessa Lowe