51 episodes

A podcast about the literary essay: what it is, why we like it, and which ones are our favorites. Co-hosted by Elena Passarello and Justin St. Germain, who are both creative nonfiction professors and acclaimed writers in the genre.

I'll Find Myself When I'm Dead Elena Passarello, Justin St. Germain

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 27 Ratings

A podcast about the literary essay: what it is, why we like it, and which ones are our favorites. Co-hosted by Elena Passarello and Justin St. Germain, who are both creative nonfiction professors and acclaimed writers in the genre.

    Get In the Cage

    Get In the Cage

    For our Season 4 finale, we watched the new Nicholas Cage movie The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Elena’s idea) and talked about it for more than two hours. Also: acting methods, Michael Syrah, Bob Dylan, email signatures, Goodreads, bad date movies, David’s recent experience on a TV set, the Nic Cage of sports, knuckleballs, Nick Cave, Elena sings some hits, Dracula, Elena’s going on tour, Justin drops his laptop near the end, Elvis hair, and (lots) more!

    • 2 hr 12 min
    Revision

    Revision

    This week, we’re talking about revision. We discuss a chapter of Stephen Koch’s The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop that’s one of the better nuts-and-bolts revision guides, common drafting issues, the role of feedback and workshops, why revision is often taught poorly or not at all, and what our processes look like. Also: our recent appearance on a more professional podcast, some sports talk, Mary Karr, Ecco Homo, Van Halen, and more!

    Some things we mention:

    Book Fight! – https://bookfightpod.com 

    Justin’s interview with Tim States for Words & Sports: https://www.wasquarterly.com/offseason/tailgating-with-justin-st-germain# 

    Stephen Koch’s The Modern Library Writer’s Workshop (we read Chapter 7: Working and Reworking): https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/94583/the-modern-library-writers-workshop-by-stephen-koch/

    • 1 hr 47 min
    March Faxness: the Final Four

    March Faxness: the Final Four

    This week we’re checking in with March Faxness again, now that the field has narrowed to four songs/essays (including David’s!). We discuss the recent games, preview the semifinals, and make our picks for who’s going to win. Also: Elena takes up a new instrument, we’ve met a lot of Xness writers since our last episode—one of whom, Tim States, we include a mini-interview with—some AWP Philadelphia/Tucson Book Fest talk, a long tangent about the worst movies we’ve ever seen, David’s day on the Indigo Girls tour bus, Neil Gaiman’s wardrobe, and more!

    Some things we mention:

    All March Faxness essays are available on the site: http://marchxness.com 

    Follow March Xness on Twitter: https://twitter.com/marchxness 

    Follow David on Twitter: https://twitter.com/elturk7 

    Follow Tim States on Twitter: https://twitter.com/epmornsesh

    • 1 hr 10 min
    March Faxness Round 1 Recap

    March Faxness Round 1 Recap

    This week we’re talking about possibly the best essay-related week of the year: March Faxness round 1, in which 64 essays about cover songs faced off in a tournament. We try to touch on our favorites—although we probably missed some—and discuss the bracket and upcoming games. Also: Elvis Costello gets spicy on Twitter, we all get spicy about the Mountain Goats, dork rodeos, community college bowl, Denry’s back(!), Drake’s reading list, Kamp Kilmer, Justin tries to understand NFTs, Elena explains the Chicken Van, some country music talk, is the shopping cart a dance?, roof-raising techniques, and Elena does mini-covers of Evan Dando, Snow’s “Informer,” and Tom Jones’ “Sex Bomb.”

    Some things we mention:

    All March Faxness essays are available on the site: http://marchxness.com 

    Follow March Xness on Twitter: https://twitter.com/marchxness 

    March Faxness Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3rNwexRZ9dmA0nvssrPlDK 

    Denry’s March Fadness essay on Snow’s “Informer”: http://marchxness.com/snowvsedwinmccain

    • 1 hr 18 min
    March Faxness Preview

    March Faxness Preview

    This week we’re talking about the real reason this podcast exists: the annual March Xness essay/song tournament, which is about cover songs this year.

    Some things we mention:

    March Faxness (and the previous tournaments): http://marchxness.com 

    Follow March Xness on Twitter: https://twitter.com/marchxness 

    March Faxness Spotify playlist: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3rNwexRZ9dmA0nvssrPlDK 

    Joan Jett’s “Crimson & Clover”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXFra7gjElw 

    Tiffany’s “I Think We’re Alone Now” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6Q3mHyzn78 

    The Cover Me episode about “I Think We’re Alone Now”: https://covermepodcast.podbean.com/e/i-think-were-alone-now-tommy-james-and-the-shondells/

    • 1 hr 20 min
    There's No I in Essay

    There's No I in Essay

    This week we’re talking about essays that aren’t in the first person. Elena picked one example, Eliot Weinberger’s “The Rhinoceros,” and Justin picked another, an excerpt from Claudia Rankine’s Citizen. Also: the new Macbeth, the acting role Elena was recently offered, Elena recites some Lady Macbeth, some Arnold Palmer talk, and a mini-spelling bee.

    Some things we mention:

    Eliot Weinberger’s “The Rhinoceros”: http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/pdf_files/120/1206206707.pdf

    Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: https://www.graywolfpress.org/books/citizen

    Brian Doyle’s “Joyas Voladoras”:
    https://theamericanscholar.org/joyas-volardores/

    • 1 hr 59 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
27 Ratings

27 Ratings

madeleinejw ,

Brilliant

Simply one of the best literary podcasts around (and way more fun than the norm!)

marleswilliams ,

An awesome literary podcast

An informative and entertaining deep dive into the literary essay form! Justin and Elena are amazing hosts who remain fun and personable in their nuanced discussions of craft, literature, and academia. A must-listen for creative non-fiction writers everywhere.

Daveiii ,

I’ll find myself when I’m in bed

Which is where I listen to IFMWID. It’s great drifting off to sleep content. 11/10 would recommend

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

iHeartPodcasts
Glennon Doyle & Cadence13
This American Life
iHeartPodcasts
New York Times Opinion
B. Simone & Megan Brooks

You Might Also Like

City Arts & Lectures
On Being Studios
New York Times Opinion
NPR
WNYC Studios
Be Here Now Network