43 episodes

Exploring how stories make a difference in our lives.

Story Made Podcast Matt Sawyer

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 13 Ratings

Exploring how stories make a difference in our lives.

    Chloe Maxmin & Canyon Woodward

    Chloe Maxmin & Canyon Woodward

    Our conversation this week is with Chloe Maxmin & Canyon Woodward. Chloe is the youngest woman ever to serve in the Maine State Senate. She was elected in 2020 after unseating a two-term Republican incumbent and (former) Senate minority leader. In 2018, she served in the Maine House of Representatives after becoming the first Democrat to win a rural conservative district. Canyon is a political strategist, author, and trail runner who served as Chloe's campaign manager in Maine. Together they wrote "Dirt Road Revival: How to Rebuild Rural Politics and Why Our Future Depends On It" and  founded Dirtroad Organizing, where they continue their work empowering the next generation of rural organizers, staff, and candidates. They are both children of rural America, Chloe from Nobleboro, ME and Canyon from Franklin, NC and the North Cascades.
    In this episode we talk about the long history of Chloe & Canyon's special friendship, their deep love of their home, family, and the natural world keeping them grounded, finding their way into organizing and political action at Harvard, the brain-drain in rural places, the circle from going away to coming home, listening to stories as a campaign strategy, curiosity replacing fear, understanding moral communities, telling more unified stories to beget social change, and the great work Chloe & Canyon are doing with Dirtroad Organizing.
    Check out Chloe & Canyon's work: Dirtroad Organizing
    Read their book! Dirt Road Revival
    Chloe's appearance on Big Ideas for a Small Planet: Communities
    Canyon & Chloe in the film Rural Runners
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Making Noise: The Story of a Skatepark by Cecilia Cornejo Sotelo
    The Wandering House — Cecilia Cornejo Sotelo
    How Students Pressured Harvard to Divest From Fossil Fuels
    Howard Zinn
    Marshall Ganz
    Tim McCarthy
    Hollowing Out the Middle by Patrick J. Carr and Maria J. Kefalas
    King Coal
    Weather Reports — Terry Tempest Williams
    Cowee School Arts and Heritage Center

    • 1 hr 17 min
    Hilda Downer

    Hilda Downer

    Our conversation this week is with Hilda Downer. She's an Appalachian poet, retired psychiatric nurse and English instructor at Appalachian State University, member of the Southern Appalachian Writers Cooperative, and most importantly, a child of Bandana, NC. 
    In this episode we talk about Hilda's love for Bandana, the mica and feldspar mines as a haven, seeing beauty in what others see as ugly, walking and tasting nature, seclusion as a reason to get together, an infinite connection through landscapes and music, poets projecting themselves into the future, finding her place at Wiley's Last Resort and SAWC, the life and legacy of Jim Webb, poets as legislators of the world, and attention as the rarest form of generosity. 
    Location: Hilda's home in Sugar Grove, North Carolina
    Read Hilda's work:
    Wiley's Last Resort
    When the Light Waits for Us
    Sky Under the Roof
    Bandana Creek
    Mentioned this episode:
    Groundglass by Kathryn Savage
    Jim Webb
    Wiley's Last Resort
    Battle at Blair Mountain by Hilda Downer
    Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel Literary Magazine
    Mitchell County Historical Society: Bandana
    Roan Highlands Ecology
    The Year of My Life by Issa Kobayashi
    The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot
    Southern Appalachian Writers Collective
    Pauletta Hansel
    Legislators of the World by Adrienne Rich
    Mountaintop Removal 101 - Appalachian Voices

    • 2 hr 11 min
    Vivian Gibson

    Vivian Gibson

    Our conversation this week is with Vivian Gibson. She's the author of 'The Last Children of Mill Creek' - a bestselling memoir about growing up in the 1950s in a segregated St. Louis neighborhood, a life-long entrepreneur, the Missouri Library Association's 2022 Missouri Author of the Year, a 2020 Missouri Humanities Council Literary Achievement Award winner, and most importantly, a child of Mill Creek in St. Louis, Missouri.
    In this episode we talk all about Vivian's memoir, why the story of Mill Creek is so important, writing the story you want to read, the lasting influence of her mother and father, the suprising connections people across the world have to her memoir, sharing Mill Creek through a child's eyes, how Vivian developed her self-definition and confidence, The Last Children making it on syllabi, and the continued fight for recognition and understanding of her home. 
    Location: Vivian's kitchen table | St. Louis, Missouri
    Buy Vivian's book!  The Last Children of Mill Creek
    Check out Vivian's website: vivian-gibson.com
    Go see The Ross Family Exhibition at the Missouri History Museum 
    Watch & listen to Vivian's TED Talk, 'Deferred Storytelling'
    Visit Pillars of the Valley
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Nikwasi Mound in Franklin, NC
    Cowee Mound
    Watauga Town
    Kituwah Mound
    Where's the Reservation? by Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle
    Rondo Neighborhood in St. Paul, MN
    How Interstate 40 changed the face of Jefferson St. in Nashville, TN
    Toni Morrison
    Belt Publishing
    Historian Gwen Moore brings to life a largely untold part of St. Louis' past
    Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
    Harland Bartholomew: Destroyer of the Urban Fabric of St. Louis
    Protest Targets SLU Plan to Tear Down Former Mill Creek Valley Buildings
    Urban Renewal and Mill Creek Valley: Decoding The City

    • 1 hr 57 min
    Annie B. Jones

    Annie B. Jones

    Our conversation this week is with Annie B. Jones. She's the owner of The Bookshelf, an independent bookstore in Thomasville, Georgia, host of the 'From the Front Porch' podcast, and child of Tallahassee, Florida. 
    In this episode we explore the power of ordinary stories, the beauty and challenges of small-town life and business, how faith built The Bookshelf, her evolution as a From-Away in Thomasville, work as humility, her wonderful team of booksellers and communal support, an honest (and refreshing) take on Amazon, and the strength given by "weak ties" inside a bookshop. 
    Visit The Bookshelf in Thomasville!
    Listen to the From the Front Porch Podcast
    Mentioned in this episode:
    An Old Fashioned Girl and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
    God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
    The Chumscrubber
    Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House
    Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
    Wendell Berry
    Nora Ephron Documetary - Everything Is Copy
    Dragonfly Books in Decorah, Iowa
    Ernest & Hadley Booksellers in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, North Carolina
    A Novel Escape in Franklin, North Carolina
    Independent bookstores turn a new page on brick-and-mortar retailing
    Hollowing Out the Middle by Patrick J. Carr and Maria Kefalas
    James 1:2 - 4
    The Fifth Chinese Daughter by Jade Snow Wong
    Boswell Book Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    The From-Aways and The Crane Wife by CJ Hauser
    I'm nobody! Who are you? by Emily Dickinson
    Sundog Books in Seaside, Florida
    Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward

    • 1 hr 42 min
    John T. Edge

    John T. Edge

    Our first conversation of 2024 is with John T. Edge. He's an acclaimed author, the host of TrueSouth on ESPN/SEC Network, Director of the Mississippi Lab at the University of Mississippi, the founding director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, resident of Oxford, Mississippi and child of Jones County, Georgia. 
    In this episode John T. takes us back to his childhood in Clinton, Georgia, talks about the infuence his mother and father have had on his life, explores the vicissitudes of his career, shares his fascination with lost worlds and underworlds and Underground Atlanta, gives us a lesson on change, and recounts how Oxford, MS became his true homeplace. 
    All things John T. Edge:
    TrueSouth on ESPN
    The Mississippi Lab 
    Southern Foodways Alliance
    Mentioned in this episode:
    A Brief History of Thought: A Philosophical Guide to Living by Luc Ferry
    My Mother's Catfish Stew by John T. Edge | Oxford American
    The Angolite, Prison Acitivist Resource Center
    William Price Fox
    The Third Life of Grange Copeland by Alice Walker
    White Trash Cooking by Ernest Matthew Mickler
    God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater by Kurt Vonnegut
    Alberto Cruz Art
    General Alfred Iverson's Birthplace Historical Marker - Clinton, Jones County, Georgia
    Senator Iverson's Speech - January11, 1860
    Janisse Ray
    King Coal by Elaine McMillion Sheldon
    Blair Hobbs - University of Mississippi
    Remembering Emmett Till by Dave Tell
    Gorilla by Lee Stockdale
    Underground Atlanta 
    Dante's Down the Hatch
    Natasha Trethewey
    A Place Like Mississippi by W. Ralph Eubanks
    Clinnesha Sibley - Story Made Podcast

    • 1 hr 46 min
    Garrett Martin

    Garrett Martin

    Our conversation this week is with Garrett Martin: award-winning filmmaker, owner of VentureLife Films production company, and child of Hamilton, Virginia. 
    Martin has worked on numerous documentaries with his last feature, UNBOUNDED, receiving multiple international awards and has been shown around the world. His current feature, THE RIVER RUNS ON, is making its rounds through the film festival circuit and will premiere in 2023. His clients include organizations such as BBC, The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, National Parks Conservation Association, Eastern Band of Cherokee and more.
    Listen to us talk about Garrett's journey to becoming a filmmaker, the mystery and magic of nature, learning to break the rules, chasing after god, searching for meaning and identity with a camera, learning to film while hitchhiking from Newfoundland to Canada, sharing happiness, stories of unreal human generosity, the adventure of a lifetime on the Greater Patagonian Trail, and using film to open people up to the magic of the world. 
    Location: Garrett's home | Asheville, NC
    Mentioned in this episode:
    Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
    Time Away From Time by Eliza Edens
    Werner Herzog Films
    Crumb - A film by Terry Zwigoff
    Jan Dudeck - The Quest to Complete the Greater Patagonian Trail 
    Mile...Mile & a Half (2013)
    Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Revised Plan Finalized (February 17, 2023)

    • 1 hr 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

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Fantastic podcast for book nerds

Thoughtful literary interviews.

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