Dear Oklahoma, a monthly podcast brought to you by the Oklahoma Oral History Research Program at the OSU Library, the Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa, and KOSU radio will feature writers who engage Oklahoma themes in their works.
Episode 11; Dear Tulsa - Rilla Askew
In this episode, Rilla Askew, author of four novels, a book of stories, and a collection of creative nonfiction, reads her essay “Dear Tulsa,” which first appeared in the literary journal AGNI. She talks to Emily and Lindsey about writing “Dear Tulsa,” an essay that brings together a traumatic moment from Rilla’s early twenties and the story of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She also shares her thoughts on writing about place and explains what has kept her going creatively throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dirt Rhodes by Kevin MacLeod
Cold Funk by Kevin MacLeod
Episode 10: Karl Jones - Silver Star
In this live episode, Tulsa Artist Fellow Karl Jones reads from his memoir-in-progress at Curiosity Fest, a daylong festival celebrating literature, history, philosophy, and ethics sponsored by Oklahoma Humanities in Oklahoma City.
Karl, who grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and now lives in Brooklyn, New York, talks about his career as a writer, children’s literature editor at Penguin Random House, performer, and visual artist. While Karl has authored and edited many books for children, his venture into writing a memoir for adults is a new experience. The excerpts he shares with Emily and Lindsey from his memoir-in-progress reflect on moments from his life that explore his sexuality, the rigidity of gender roles, and the vulnerability one must have to write effectively about sensitive topics. He also speaks about the power of silence and how it affects relationships with friends or family, reminisces on his best dance moves at the Silver Star Saloon in the late 1990s, and imagines what a perfect Oklahoma might look like.
Who Likes to Party by Kevin MacLeod
Realizer by Kevin MacLeod
Episode 9: Teresa Miller - Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame
In this live episode, we kick off the second season of Dear Oklahoma and celebrate Teresa Miller’s induction into the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. This induction ceremony features a conversation with Rilla Askew and Teresa Miller. Special guest P.C. Cast, who is a number one New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, introduces Rilla and Teresa and explains why Teresa has been instrumental to her successful writing career.
Teresa Miller is the author of Remnants of Glory, Family Correspondence, and Means of Transit: A Slightly Embellished Memoir. She contributed an essay honoring her friend Pat Conroy titled, “Pat Conroy and Telephone Noir,” in Our Prince of Scribes: Writers Remember Pat Conroy, and is the co-editor of the anthology, Love Can Be: A Literary Collection about Our Animals. Many people also know Teresa for her literary activism. She is the founder of the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers and started the Center’s Celebration of Books event. She hosted the beloved OETA television series “Writing Out Loud,” and interviewed such luminaries as Maya Angelou, Edward Albee, and Isabel Allende. Teresa shares stories about her writing life and about the many writers she has crossed paths with over the years, including Harper Lee and Billie Letts.
Lindsey and Emily chat with Teresa and Rilla about the importance of friendship, the ever-changing publishing industry, and the necessity of taking part in one’s literary community.
Episode 8: John Andrews - A Reason to Stay
In the final episode of Dear Oklahoma, Season 1, poet John Andrews, author of Colin Is Changing His Name (Sibling Rivalry Press) and a 2018 Oklahoma Book Award finalist, reads a poem he created for our podcast and tells us the reason he stays in Oklahoma.
John, who grew up in Sheridan, Arkansas, chats with Lindsey and Emily about his experiences coming of age as a gay man in the south, explains why a text message breakup makes excellent material for poems, and shares how he reconnected with the man who would become his husband after moving to Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Episode 7: Chris Murphy - Annual Report of the Seasons
In this episode, Chris Murphy, whose fiction has appeared in Gulf Coast, This Land Press, The Jellyfish Review, decomP, The Tulsa Voice, among other publications, shares a piece called, “An Annual Report of the Seasons,” that is both moving and timely. Chris, a native of the Boston area, gives Lindsey and Emily his impressions of the Oklahoma weather, explains why he loves firefly season in Tahlequah, and mentions that he likes writing late at night with the window open (weather permitting, of course).
Dinah Cox - The Old-Fashioned Way
In this episode, we’ll hear Dinah Cox, author of the award-winning short fiction collection Remarkable (BOA editions), read a story about Ross and Harriet, who find love, sort of, in “The Old-Fashioned Way.” Dinah gives Lindsey and Emily her take on writing Oklahoma stories, creating characters with an ‘Oklahoma neighbor voice,’ and putting small town strife to good use in her fiction.