16 episodes

How do authors create their masterpieces? What inspires their stories? Join Davin Malasarn, co-founder of the Granum Foundation, as he interviews writers about craft and the writing life.

The Artist's Statement Davin Malasarn

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 9 Ratings

How do authors create their masterpieces? What inspires their stories? Join Davin Malasarn, co-founder of the Granum Foundation, as he interviews writers about craft and the writing life.

    Nicole Sealey: So Much To See

    Nicole Sealey: So Much To See

    Season 2, Episode 3 brings you poet and inaugural Granum Foundation Prize winner, Nicole Sealey. We begin the discussion with Sealey's earlier works, The Animal After Whom Other Animals Are Named (Northwestern University Press, 2016) and Ordinary Beast
    (Ecco, 2017). Sealey recounts her editorial decisions in her first publications, and how they sparked ideas for new work. We also explore her sources of inspiration, including a conversation with her mother, and the role of form in propelling her creations. In the second half of the episode, we discuss her award winning project, "The Ferguson Report: An Erasure," which she describes as "a lyric lamentation on police brutality." The book adapts the pages of the Department of Justice’s 2015 report, which details bias policing and court practices in Ferguson, Missouri, to create an evocative poem that strives to bring to life the stories of those who have suffered from them. 

    She reads "Candelabra with Heads," "In Defense of Candelabra with Heads," "The First Person Who Will Live to Be One Hundred and Fifty Years Old Has Already Been Born," and "Object Permanence." Sealey also provides a preview from "The Ferguson Report: An Erasure."


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    • 53 min
    Julie Otsuka: Swimming Through Memories

    Julie Otsuka: Swimming Through Memories

    Season 2, Episode 2 features Julie Otsuka, best-selling author of When the Emperor Was Divine, The Buddha in the Attic, and her latest novel, The Swimmers. We discuss the inspiration and evolution of The Swimmers, and some of the technical challenges associated with Otsuka's frequent use of the first person plural point of view. She discusses how she became a writer and her work routines, including how they have changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also explore how Otsuka relies on intuition and intellect to create her work. 

    In this interview, Otsuka reads excerpts from The Swimmers, including the opening pages and a selection from her chapter entitled "Belavista."

    Host: Davin Malasarn. Music by Joe Rivers. Artwork by Ayumi Takahashi.

    The Artist's Statement is brought to you by The Granum Foundation. Visit us at granumfoundation.org.


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    • 55 min
    Ben Ehrenreich: The Shape of Time

    Ben Ehrenreich: The Shape of Time

    Season 2 of The Artist's Statement opens with journalist, essayist, and novelist, Ben Ehrenreich, winner of a 2021 American Book Award for his non-fiction work Desert Notebooks: A Roadmap for the End of Time. Ehrenreich discusses the inspiration for this poignant book that followed his time in Palestine and his return to American society under the presidency of Donald Trump. Beginning in the awe-inspiring landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park and moving to the alternative desert of Las Vegas, Ehrenreich reflects on our perceptions of time in the face of change and trauma. He draws on the ancient texts of Mayan, Greek, and Roman civilizations to argue against the myth of inevitable progress. Ehrenreich also talks about his own writing career and his hopes for the future. 

    In this interview, Ehrenreich reads an excerpt from Desert Notebooks.

    Host: Davin Malasarn. Music by Joe Rivers. Artwork by Ayumi Takahashi.

    The Artist's Statement is brought to you by The Granum Foundation. Visit us at granumfoundation.org. 


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    • 52 min
    Claire Vaye Watkins: Novel Forms

    Claire Vaye Watkins: Novel Forms

    In Episode 10 of The Artist's Statement, we chat with Claire Vaye Watkins, author of three works of fiction, including her latest novel, I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness (Riverhead, 2021). Watkins discusses the blurred boundaries between fiction and fact in her new work, and the story threads she brought together to complete it. We explore the impact of her viral essay "On Pandering" and her evolving relationship with writing, and how the influence of classical works can both help and hinder creativity. Watkins shares how she came to work with her agent, Nicole Aragi. She also offers her insights for students as they complete their first major projects.

    In this interview, Watkins reads excerpts from I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness.

    Host: Davin Malasarn

    The Artist's Statement is brought to you by The Granum Foundation.


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    • 56 min
    Marytza Rubio: Mystic Landscapes

    Marytza Rubio: Mystic Landscapes

    Episode 9 of The Artist's Statement features Marytza K. Rubio, author of Maria, Maria, and Other Stories (Liveright/W. W. Norton, 2022). Rubio discusses the inspiration and evolution of her debut collection, and how she shared her vision with her agent and editor. We chat about the occult, the significance and power behind the name "Maria," and the details behind the mystic setting of her centerpiece novella. In the interview, we also talk about the considerations behind Rubio's multilingual writing, her role as the founder of the Makara Center for the Arts, and the impact of her changing life experiences on the revision process.

    Rubio reads an excerpt from Maria, Maria.

    Host: Davin Malasarn

    The Artist's Statement is brought to you by The Granum Foundation.


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    • 40 min
    Michael Emmerich: Writing Across Languages

    Michael Emmerich: Writing Across Languages

    What happens during the translation process of a literary work from Japanese to English? In Episode 8 of The Artist's Statement, we speak with Michael Emmerich, author of more than a dozen literary works in translation, including those by authors such as Nobel Laureate Yasunari Kawabata, Banana Yoshimoto, Genichiro Takahashi, and Hiromi Kawakami.

    Emmerich discusses the role of Japanese literature in American culture, his translation process, and some considerations for authors who will have their work translated. He also details specific examples from Takahashi's novel, Sayonara, Gangsters, and Kawakami's novel, Manazuru.

    The author of The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature, Emmerich shares his views of the impact of the classic Genji monogatari on the world, and the role of translation and replacement in the work's popularity.

    Host: Davin Malasarn

    The Artist's Statement is brought to you by The Granum Foundation.


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    • 57 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

SweetTato ,

Wonderfully Engaging!

Such a thoughtful, carefully created podcast devoted to a wide range of writers. Even if you aren’t a writer, you’ll come away from this show with a greater understanding the creative process. A rare podcast that is both easy to listen to and inspiring!

wheaton3000 ,

This is a great literary podcast

Fantastic interview series here for both students of literature and creative writing and for teachers and practitioners too. Production quality is great and kind of reminds me of something you would hear on NPR. Great questions and hosting, interesting guests. Definitely worth your time.

Micro Podcast ,

Excellent Program

This is a great show. The production quality is excellent and the host, Davin Malasarn, provides pithy and insightful analysis that is reminiscent of David Naimon. The program is both stimulating and calming. Will be listening to each episode.

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