10 episodes

Featuring live readings, interviews, and profiles on artists in the Jack Straw Writers Program

Jack Straw SoundPages Jack Straw SoundPages

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.3 • 3 Ratings

Featuring live readings, interviews, and profiles on artists in the Jack Straw Writers Program

    A Resurrection – Rob Arnold

    A Resurrection – Rob Arnold

    Rob Arnold’s project for the 2020 Jack Straw Writers Program is a poetic memoir that tackles the complex legacies of familial trauma. In his conversation with curator Anastacia-Renée, they discuss cross-genre writing, the distance and connection created by language, and matching linguistic precision with visual expansion. “I started thinking about these things in a much more in-depth way. Every single noun became like a hyperlink, like I could dive in deep into the history. So, I was able to kind of turn my poems from these tiny, little jewels into much more developed pieces.”
    Rob’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Gettysburg Review, Poetry Northwest, Hyphen, RED INK, Yes Poetry, and The Ocean State Review, among others. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has received support from the Somerville Arts Council and Artist Trust. He is a Program Director and Curator of Events at Hugo House.
    SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at www.jackstraw.org. Music by SassyBlack, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 24 min
    Breath – Ching-In Chen

    Breath – Ching-In Chen

    2020 Jack Straw writer Ching-In Chen’s project is a series of experimental prose poems inspired by their relationship to breath, and the Texas Tax Day Flood of 2016. In their conversation with curator Anastacia-Renée, they discuss their process of creating in a hybrid genre, representation in art, and creating within community. “What surprised me is I never knew what people would get out of my work. The people who I never would have imagined would respond to my work, would start talking to me and coming up to me . . . it sparked these conversations with other artists or with community members or, you know, folks.”
    Ching-In is a genderqueer Chinese American hybrid writer, community organizer, and teacher. They are author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi/Red Hen Press) and recombinant (Kelsey Street Press; winner of 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry), as well as the chapbooks how to make black paper sing (speCt! Books, 2019) and Kundiman for Kin :: Information Retrieval for Monsters (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs and a Finalist for the Leslie Scalapino Award). Chen is also co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011; AK Press 2016) and Here Is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets (Achiote Press, 2009). They have received fellowships from Kundiman, Lambda, Watering Hole, Can Serrat and Imagining America and are part of Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundation writing communities. They are currently Assistant Professor at the University of Washington Bothell.
    SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at www.jackstraw.org. Music by SassyBlack, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 21 min
    Giant – Michelle Goodman

    Giant – Michelle Goodman

    Michelle Goodman’s project for the 2020 Jack Straw Writer’s Program is a creative nonfiction piece that deals with dying and grief. In her conversation with curator Anastacia-Renée, they discuss navigating the balance between telling the truth and what remains untold, shaping nonfiction, and writing as an act of understanding. “I’ve always liked telling true life stories. I think it helps us make sense of life and the world and helps other people feel less alone when they read and relate to a story that speaks to them.”
    Michelle is a journalist and creative nonfiction writer. Her personal and reported essays have appeared in the Washington Post, Seattle Times, Salon, Narratively, Magenta, Proto, and several anthologies. She is author of the books The Anti 9-to-5 Guide and My So-Called Freelance Life, both published by Seal Press. She has been a writer in residence at Artsmith, Hedgebrook, Playa, and Whiteley Center. Although she is most known for writing about work, in 2016 she turned her attention to writing about death, grief, and the decaying body.
    SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at www.jackstraw.org. Music by SassyBlack, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 22 min
    Insubordinate – Ebo Barton

    Insubordinate – Ebo Barton

    2020 Jack Straw writer Ebo Barton’s poetry project is both a printed work and an audiobook. In their conversation with curator Anastacia-Renée, they discuss the differences between spoken word and page poetry, the pressure on artists to constantly produce, and what it means to share work aloud. “When I say the stage is my church, it actually is my church and that’s what I’m doing for me at that point in time. And if somebody grabs onto it, cool, but I’m gonna keep going.”
    Ebo is a Black and Filipino, Transgender and Non-Binary, poet and educator. Currently residing in Seattle, Washington by way of Los Angeles, California. For the past 12 years, they have participated in national and international poetry slam competitions as a representative of Seattle. Their most notable poetry slam accolade is placing 5th in the world in 2016. You may have seen Ebo’s work in Adrienne: A Poetry Journal by Sibling Rivalry Press, Thriving While Trans: A Love Manual, Natasha Marin’s Black Imagination, Write About Now, Button Poetry, and All Def Poetry. They and their work have been featured in Seattle Weekly, Seattle Gay News, Seattle Review of Books, and Crosscut. Their work touches on political issues from a personal point of view and often is birthed from the struggles of living in the identities that they are. Ebo believes in the power of language and art as a tool for revolution.
    SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at www.jackstraw.org. Music by SassyBlack, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 23 min
    Body – Wryly T. McCutchen

    Body – Wryly T. McCutchen

    Wryly T. McCutchen’s project for the 2020 Jack Straw Writer’s Program is part of a “drag-a-licious” show of “of weird, solo, interdisciplinary, poetry-fueled content.” In their conversation with curator Anastacia-Renée, they discuss the physical nature of their work, their destructive poetry practice, and the importance of sharing one’s work. “Poetry offers the opportunity to use language in this way that breaks it and messes it up. . . . And also there’s often an emphasis on what’s not there or what’s been taken out . . . it’s something that I’ve been thinking about, in terms of life values and political values, too. What do we build . . . what do we remove? What do we take down? What do we destroy?”
    Wryly is a hybrid writer, community educator, and interdisciplinary performance artist. Their art centers on themes of body, loss, and spirit. They are trans, queer, and crazy; so too are all the glinting possibilities they slice into being. Wryly has lived most of their life on the unceded lands of the Puget Sound Salish peoples. Recipient of the Lil Elbe scholarship, Wryly attended LAMBDA Literary’s Emerging Writers Retreat as a Poetry Fellow in 2018. Their debut poetry collection My Ugly and Other Love Snarls, came out in 2017. Their work speaks directly (through the mouth) and moves abstractly (through the rest of the body and the spaces it inhabits). Wryly conjures multi-media, visceral experiences which challenge the harmful boundaries imposed by cisgender and heterosexual gatekeepers. This art resurrects trans ancestors and makes space for deep queer healing.
    SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at www.jackstraw.org. Music by SassyBlack, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 20 min
    Ezekiel – Elaina Ellis

    Ezekiel – Elaina Ellis

    2020 Jack Straw writer Elaina Ellis’s poetry project could be described as a book-length exploration of the story of Ezekiel, but that’s just the beginning. In her conversation with curator Anastacia-Renée, they discuss bringing one’s whole self to the creative process, love-bombing, and the multiple resonances, from the erotic to the traumatic, that can be found in both sacred texts and modern life. “That is how the book of Ezekiel opened up for me this etymological rabbit hole — and then this image of an angel lifting somebody up by a lock of his hair. But it wasn’t like that story isn’t about punishment, necessarily — It’s like he gets lifted up to talk to God about something.”
    Elaina is the author of Write about an Empty Birdcage (Write Bloody Publishing) and the recipient of fellowships from Lambda Literary, Tent, Vermont Studio Center, Mineral School, and Jack Straw, as well as an ArtistTrust GAP Award. She is at work on a second collection, I’m Only Praying to Believe What’s True, which responds to the text and impulses of the biblical Book of Ezekiel. She earned her MFA at Antioch University Los Angeles, and works as an editor at Copper Canyon Press.
    SoundPages was produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. All of the writers heard in this series are published in the Jack Straw Writers Anthology, and featured online at www.jackstraw.org. Music by SassyBlack, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 23 min

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