16 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

    • Documentary
    • 5.0 • 14 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.

    The Krause Essay Prize (with Jess Kibler)

    The Krause Essay Prize (with Jess Kibler)

    In Episode 5, we welcome Jess Kibler to the show to discuss the Krause Essay Prize, a $10K award given to the best essay of the year, chosen by students in Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. Jess is currently getting her MFA at the NWP, and is a former student of Elena’s at OSU. We discuss the Krause Award winner for 2020, Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s GRASS, as well as why and how the judges chose it, Jess’ path to becoming an essayist, other recent nominees (including Elena’s), and a lightning round about Jess’ home state of Oregon.

    Episode links:

    Follow Jess on Twitter: https://twitter.com/kiblerjess

    Some of Jess’ writing from when she worked at Bitch Media: https://www.bitchmedia.org/profile/jess-kibler

    The Krause Essay Prize, with info on current & past nominees: https://krauseessayprize.org/

    The publisher’s page for this year’s winner, Keum Suk Gendry-Kim’s GRASS: https://drawnandquarterly.com/author/keum-suk-gendry-kim

    Gendry-Kim’s website: https://suksuksuksuk.blogspot.com/

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 1 hr 25 min
    Essays on Film

    Essays on Film

    In Episode 4, we welcome our spouses, David and Bonnie, back to the podcast to talk about movies that might be essays. Also: a very delayed mailbag, a story about three-thousand-dollar Pennsylvania whiskey, Arlo makes a cameo, we all do impromptu Werner Herzog impersonations, penguin suicide, essayistic film moves, and (much) more.

    Links to some things we mention:
    (In response to the question about queer & trans essayists):
    T Fleischmann’s books:
    Time is the Thing a Body Moves Through: https://coffeehousepress.org/products/time-is-the-thing-a-body-moves-through
    Syzygy, Beauty:
    Alex Marzano-Lesnevich’s website, with links to their essays/books: http://alexandria-marzano-lesnevich.com/
    Alex’s Harper’s essay, “Body Language”: https://harpers.org/archive/2019/12/body-language-genderqueerness/
    Berry Grass’ website:
    Sung Yim:
    Jaquira Diaz:
    Sandy Allen:
    Stephanie Burt:
    Wayne Koestenbaum:
    Tommy Pico:
    Jennifer Boylan:
    Eileen Myles:
    Michelle Tea:

    Denry’s latest episode art: https://twitter.com/denrywills/status/1311379250310574080?s=20

    Commenter Andrew Forbes’ website, which Justin totally botched his plug for: https://andrewgforbes.com/

    The 1993 Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107048/

    Dawson City: Frozen Time, the documentary about lost films Justin almost suggested for this episode: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5215486/

    The Act of Killing, the documentary about Indonesian death-squad leaders Elena almost picked for this episode: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2375605/

    Abstract, the Netflix documentary series about design & art: https://www.netflix.com/title/80057883

    The Writer, a very short & odd 6-minute film/trailer we watched by accident while looking for The Rider: https://www.amazon.com/Writer-Xander-Bailey/dp/B08B7QGWDS

    Grizzly Man, the Herzog documentary Justin picked: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0427312/

    The Rider, the Chloé Zhao film Elena picked: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6217608/

    Justin looking like a serial killer on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUL3Cp3w0xg

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    • 1 hr 45 min
    Pet the Whatever: How Essays Become Books (w/George Estreich)

    Pet the Whatever: How Essays Become Books (w/George Estreich)

    In Episode 3, we talk with our friend and colleague, George Estreich--an essayist, memoirist, poet, and Renaissance man--about how essays turn into books. We discuss our own respective experiences with our books’ origins, as well as examples from books we’ve recently read. Also: writing about children, llamas vs. alpacas vs. emus, Comrade Bunny, collectionists, which Beatles we would be, and the lightning round makes its return.

    Links to some things we mention:
    Check George’s website for more about him and his books: http://www.GeorgeEstreich.com
    George’s Salon essay is here: https://www.salon.com/2014/02/12/when_my_daughter_was_diagnosed/
    And his NYT piece is here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/27/opinion/i-dont-speak-for-laura.html
    George’s band, Mule on Fire: http://muleonfire.com/music
    Esmé Weijun Wang’s The Collected Schizophrenias: https://www.graywolfpress.org/books/collected-schizophrenias
    Eula Biss’ essay “White Debt”: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/06/magazine/white-debt.html
    Eula Biss’ new book, Having and Being Had: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/580422/having-and-being-had-by-eula-biss/
    James Baldwin’s book The Evidence of Things Not Seen: https://bookshop.org/books/the-evidence-of-things-not-seen-reissued-edition/9780805039399
    Roy Scranton’s Rolling Stone essay “Back to Baghdad”: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/back-to-baghdad-life-in-the-city-of-doom-99814/
    Scranton’s book, We’re Doomed. Now What? https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/567505/were-doomed-now-what-by-roy-scranton/

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    • 1 hr 24 min
    Don't Write Checks Your Facts Can't Cash

    Don't Write Checks Your Facts Can't Cash

    In Episode 2, we talk about a thorny issue in nonfiction: the fact check. We discuss a recent essay on the subject by Emma Copley Eisenberg in Esquire, among other things relevant and not: our fact-checking experiences, recent controversies on the subject, John D’Agata, facts vs. truth, journalistic standards vs. creative nonfiction standards, Hanif Abdurraqib’s 68to05 project, Sylvester Stallone’s oeuvre, and more.

    Links to some things we mention:
    Emma Copley Eisenberg’s essay: https://www.esquire.com/entertainment/books/a33577796/nonfiction-book-fact-checking-should-be-an-industry-standard/
    Eisenberg’s book: https://www.hachettebooks.com/titles/emma-copley-eisenberg/the-third-rainbow-girl/9780316449205/
    Benjamin Dreyer’s book: https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/232363/dreyers-english-by-benjamin-dreyer/
    John D’Agata’s Lifespan of a Fact: https://wwnorton.com/books/The-Lifespan-of-a-Fact/
    David Hayes & Sarah Weinman’s essay “The Worthy Elephant,” from Hazlitt: https://hazlitt.net/feature/worthy-elephant-truman-capotes-cold-blood
    Janet Malcolm’s recent essay in the New York Review of Books: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2020/09/24/jeffrey-masson-trial-second-chance/
    Hanif Abdurraqib’s 68to05 project: https://www.68to05.com/about
    Joe Berlinger’s Cold Blooded doc series: https://www.sundancenow.com/series/watch/cold-blooded-the-clutter-family-murders/a8eab7e25278eb00

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    • 1 hr 2 min
    Bad Idea Essays

    Bad Idea Essays

    To kick off Season 2, we discuss what essayistic things we’ve been up to over the summer--including our spinoff podcast--before moving on to the “Bad Idea Essay,” a term coined (we think) by S1E3 guest Ander Monson. Our example essay is David LeGault’s “On Excess” (link below), an essay we both wound up liking, for reasons we try to explain. Also: our own attempts at Bad Idea Essays, famous examples of the form, and more.

    Links to some things we mention:
    David LeGault’s essay, “On Excess”: https://thespectacle.wustl.edu/?p=262
    David LeGault’s book, 10,000,000 Maniacs: http://outpost19.com/OneMillionManiacs/
    Follow David on Twitter: https://twitter.com/legaultd
    Sex in the Living Room: https://sex-the-living-room.pinecast.co
    Great Outdoors Steak Scene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gc_5tx7xRlg
    Elena’s “bad idea essay” about the Stella shouting contest: https://www.oxfordamerican.org/magazine/item/1154-this-is-yelling
    Justin’s “bad idea essay” about Capote: https://tinhouse.com/murder-tourism-middle-america/
    Will Slattery’s essay about Elena’s March Fadness essay: https://www.essaydaily.org/2017/04/a-close-reading-of-essayist-under-self.html

    This podcast is powered by Pinecast.

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Publishing Paid Us/The Fire This Time

    Publishing Paid Us/The Fire This Time

    In Episode 11, we discuss the recent #PublishingPaidMe conversation, talk about our own advances and experiences with the publishing industry, and discuss a few essays from The Fire This Time, a recent anthology by Jesmyn Ward.

    • 1 hr 11 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

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

Honest Ace ,

Fantastic podcast!

Wonderful podcast

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