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

    Fireflies – Suzanne Warren

    Fireflies – Suzanne Warren

    Suzanne Warren’s 2019 Jack Straw Writers Program project is a collection of short stories called In the Country of Husbands that marries domestic realism with magic realism and focuses on the lives of women and girls. In her conversation with curator Kathleen Flenniken, they discuss her background in experimental film, themes of rape culture, and the outsider status of single women. “At one point I actually said to a friend, ‘It’s not like I’m going to go in their houses, f**k their husbands, and drown their babies.’ . . . That kind of satiric, hyperbolic statement—this kind of frustration and rage and paranoia — was the seed for this story.”
    Suzanne is a fiction writer and essayist whose work appears or is forthcoming in Narrative, Gulf Coast, The Cincinnati Review, Memorious, The Prague Revue, Versal, and Post Road, which selected her story “The Raspberry King” to appear in its Guest Folio. Her story “The Country of Husbands” won an Editor’s Reprint Award from Sequestrum. Other writing awards include residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and the Ucross Foundation. Warren lives in Seattle and is currently at work on her first book, a collection of short stories titled The Country of Husbands.
    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 The Bird Tribe Orchestra, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 22 min
    Survivor – Putsata Reang

    Survivor – Putsata Reang

    Putsata Reang’s project for the 2019 Jack Straw Writers Program is a memoir that chronicles her life growing up in rural Oregon and her family’s journey escaping the war and genocide in Cambodia. In her conversation with curator Kathleen Flenniken, they discuss the difficulty of writing a memoir involving people who are living, displacement in its many forms, and Reang’s mother’s love of the television show Survivor. “Growing up, I didn’t really understand why, of all the TV shows, she loved this show so much. . . . I thought, you know, Mom’s, just, being crazy. Well, after I heard the story of how we escaped Cambodia and survived — Actually, I do think she can win.”
    Putsata is a Cambodian-American memoirist and journalist. She has lived and worked globally in countries including Cambodia, Afghanistan, and Thailand, where she trained journalists in investigative reporting and advocated for freedom of expression. She is an alum of Hedgebrook and Mineral School residencies, and currently serves as an alum board member of the Mineral School Artist Residency. Her memoir, forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux in Spring 2020, explores themes of debt, duty, and the double displacement experienced by gay refugees.
    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 The Bird Tribe Orchestra, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 23 min
    Birmingham/Mars – Gabrielle Bates

    Birmingham/Mars – Gabrielle Bates

    2019 Jack Straw writer Gabrielle Bates spoke with curator Kathleen Flenniken about her collection of poems about growing up in the South. In their conversation, they discuss her array of projects, including a poetry comic collection, surrealism in her writing, and finding patience during a project.  “I keep going back, lately, to this great quote in Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, wherein he talks about being an artist isn’t ‘about the day’ . . . It’s about ‘ripening like a tree’ and ‘letting the sap come as it will’ and trusting that ‘the seasons will change.'”
    Gabrielle works for Open Books: A Poem Emporium, cohosts the Poet Salon podcast, and edits for Poetry Northwest, Broadsided Press, and Bull City Press. Her poems and poetry comics have appeared in the New Yorker, Poetry, and New England Review, among other journals. She is originally from Birmingham, Alabama.
    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.

    • 21 min
    Comedy – Josh Axelrad

    Comedy – Josh Axelrad

    Josh Axelrad began his storytelling career on The Moth, and his Jack Straw project is a collection of short stories meant to live in the world of prose rather than performance. In his conversation with curator Kathleen Flenniken, they discuss his circuitous path to becoming a writer, the way we present our lives online, and testing new work in front of a live audience. “The audience really doesn’t lie to you. If there’s something there, they’re going to be with you . . . And if there’s not or if what you’re saying doesn’t seem true emotionally, you’re going to feel it physically.”
    Josh is a writer and performer from Seattle via New York via L.A. via Hays, Kansas. His memoir, Repeat Until Rich, was published by Penguin Press. A regular at The Moth, he’s hosted StorySlams, appeared on stage nationwide, and been featured on The Moth Radio Hour.
    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.

    • 25 min
    Empathy – Michael Schmeltzer

    Empathy – Michael Schmeltzer

    Jack Straw Writer Michael Schmeltzer spoke with curator Kathleen Flenniken about his poems that explore the line between good and bad, and his own history as a biracial Japanese-American man. In their conversation, they discuss the juxtaposition of tenderness and atrocities, the conflicting narratives about the Japanese during war, and the value of empathy and compassion. “You can stand up for what is right and you can fight for justice and equality and all these things that are very much needed — but if you do that at the cost of your own humanity, whatever you were fighting for is lost.”
    Michael was born and raised in Japan. He is the co-author of the nonfiction book A Single Throat Opens, a lyric exploration of addiction and family. His debut book Blood Song was a Washington State Book Award Finalist for Poetry. He is a member of Seattle7Writers and currently serves as the President of Floating Bridge 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 The Bird Tribe Orchestra, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 23 min
    Wet – Leanne Dunic

    Wet – Leanne Dunic

    Leanne Dunic’s project for the 2019 Jack Straw Writers Program is a book of lyric pose called Wet that takes place in Singapore, inspired by the thick haze of forest fires during a writing residency. In her conversation with curator Kathleen Flenniken, they discuss rolling with the punches, the influence of nature, and the overlap between Wet and songwriting for Dunic’s band Deep Cove. “I guess, if I have some themes in my head and . . . some sort of topic I want to write about, I will write about it in all the ways I can write about it — So, songs or poetry or fiction or nonfiction.”
    Leanne is a multidisciplinary artist, musician, and writer. Her work has won several honors, including the Ema Saiko Poetry Fellowship and Alice Munro Short Story Award. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Leanne is the Artistic Director of the Powell Street Festival Society and is the singer/guitarist of The Deep Cove. To Love the Coming End is her first book, and was named one of the best poetry books of 2017 by Entropy Magazine.
    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 The Bird Tribe Orchestra, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

    • 22 min

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