Episode 57: Nasty Women and Bad Hombres

For this episode, editors Deena November and Nina Padolf stop by to discuss their new anthology of poetry entitled Nasty Women and Bad Hombres.  During the course of our conversation we discuss what it means to have community at this moment in history and why it is important for poetry and the arts to confront our contemporary crisis in democracy.  One can get a copy of this great collection of poems through Amazon after November 9, 2017, or better yet message Denna and Neena through the Nasty Women and Bad Hombres Facebook page to get a copy right from the source. One can also pick up a copy of the Nasty Women and Bad Hombres book release party at the Tiki Lounge on the South Side of Pittsburgh on November 9, 2017 at 7PM.  Deena is also the curator of the Staghorn Poetry Series at Staghorn Coffee in Greenfield.

Features strong language and a baby fart.

Episode 56: Love Poems, Nothing but Love Poems

We have four guests this time out to talk about a great new anthology of poems entitled Unconditional Surrender from Low Ghost Press.  We have editors Kristofer Collins and Scott Silsbe, as well as contributors Stephanie Brea and Richard Gegick. Stephanie and Richard read their contributions.  Kristofer and Scott discuss the construction of this beautiful, surprising, sad, and tender collection.  In the process I get on my high horse about being confident in your creativity, we reference Roland Barthes several times, and we find out which of our guests would like to see what Stalin would think of Frank Sinatra.

You can (and really, really freakin’ should) buy the collection at a number of Pittsburgh’s fine independent bookstores as well as directly from Low Ghost Press through Amazon. Also, check out Low Ghost Press on Facebook for details about the December book launch event.

I’m not the only one who swears this time.

Episode 55: You Can’t Go to Heaven Until You Spend Some Time in Hell

Friend of the podcast Bill Toms stops by to discuss his excellent new album Good for My Soul.  In the process of me exploring my geek love for his music, we explore Bill’s musical influences, the difference between love and infatuation, and Bill surprises me with a literary connection that I should have seen all along.

You can find out about all things Bill Toms from his official website. Updates can also be found at Bill’s Facebook Page, and please do consider going to one or both of the Good for My Soul LP Release Shows, on October 20th and 21st in 2017 at Club Cafe in Pittsburgh.

I don’t think we swear, but it’s just too much of a pain to take the explicit tag off in iTunes.

Episode 54: This is Work

“This is Work” is the title of the first poem in Kristofer Collins’ excellent new book Salsa Night at Hilo Town Tavern from Hyacinth Girl Press.  Joining Kristofer and I is Hyacinth Girl Press head Margaret Bashaar.  During this podcast we discuss the book, editorial control, and Roland Barthes’ notion of the death of the author, which was super awkward because he was sitting in the room.

Salsa Night at Hilo Town Tavern will be available for the first time at the book launch party at the White Whale Bookstore in Pittsburgh on Saturday, August 26, 2017 at 7 PM.  It will also be available through the Hyacinth Girl Press webpage. You should also check out the Hyacinth Girl Press Facebook page for more updates, and while you are wasting time on the net, check out the Low Ghost Press blog page, as they have something big in the works.

As always, I swear, though not a lot.

Episode 53: The Almost Sound of Snow Falling

Robert Walicki is a fantastic poet, who also happens to be a plumber.  In this podcast we discuss what it means to be a working class poet, Robert reads a few poems, and we discuss poetry in this era of US history.  Also, we get deep into his creative process for anyone who wants to know how it’s done.

Robert’s latest book is entitled The Almost Sound of Snow Falling, available through Nightballet Press.  His other book is entitled A Room Full of Trees and can be bought from Red Bird Chapbooks.  He is also curator of the Versify Reading Series.  And Robert will be reading with Nancy Chen Long and Angele Ellis at City of Asylum on October 26th at 40 W. North Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15212.

As always, I swear.  Oh and read these poems too, they’re really good.

Episode 52: Intrusions/Poems

Jameson Bayles has lived in Pittsburgh for less than 24 hours, and I thank him for taking time to join us on the podcast during his first Pittsburgh day.  During our talk, he reads some of his poems, we talk about the connection between poetry and place in these troubled times, intimacy in the age of tinder, and I play the roll of freshman orientation leader.

Those who want to hear more, can find Jameson reading at the Hemingway’s Summer Poetry Series Finale on Tuesday, July 25, 2017, and at the White Whale Bookstore on August 4, 2017.  His book Legends of Doe Hoe came out in early 2017 on the Spartan Press.

I can’t not swear.

Episode 51: Pigment on a Surface

Gene Marsh is an artist, educator, and all around nice guy. Unfortunately, Gene had a slight set back with his creative endeavors due to a fire at his studio.  In this podcast we discuss the importance of art and the creative process through looking at his own work.  Along the way we discuss “the hell stage” of creativity, why it takes 20 years to get good sometimes, and Red.

Check out Gene’s Facebook Page for updates on his work and efforts to rebuild his studio space.  Anyone wishing to contribute can go to the Panza Gallery at 6 PM on July 22, 2017 for the Art and Afterparty Fundraiser, or if you are not feeling social, feel free to mail a check to the Millvale Community Development Corporation with “Millvale Studios” in the memo section to MCDC 501 Lincoln Ave. Millvale, PA 15201.

I say the S-word once.

Episode 50: Fumbles Revelations

Four time guest Jason Baldinger is here to promote his new book Fumbles Revelations on Grackle and Crow Press which is affiliated with the Lilliput Review.  Jason is also the co-coordinator of The Bridge Series, a monthly reading series at The Brillobox at 4104 Penn Ave. in Pittsburgh that brings together people from the literary and activist communities on the last Wednesday of every month.  Jason is also author of the excellent books The Lady Pittsburgh, The Studs Terkel Blues, The Whisky Rebellion (with Jerome Crooks), and The Lower Forty-Eight.  Some of these books can be found around Pittsburgh’s fine book shops, but can also be purchased if you email Jason at underwaterculprit@hotmail.com.

The Fumbles Revelations book launch party is Friday, June 30, 2017 at Nine Stories Pittsburgh at 5400 Butler St.

Of course we talk about many other things, and I cannot help but swear.

Episode 49: Muskrat Friday Dinner

Scott Silsbe stops by to talk about his fantastic new collection of poems entitled Muskrat Friday Dinner, and yes, the title really does refer to the act of eating muskrats on Friday for dinner.

Now that’s out of the way, I am also happy to say that we also have a very in depth conversation about the writing and publishing process and Scott proves that he is a great reader of his own poems several times over.

Muskrat Friday Dinner will be available on Amazon.com (I’ll edit in the link when it’s a go), or you could get it from his publisher White Gorilla Press, or better yet, you should buy it at the official book launch party at the Brillobox at 4104 Penn Ave. on Saturday May 27th at 8 PM.  Accompanying Scott’s reading will be his band Pond Hockey, a mummy surf rock outfit called Mummula, and writers Lori Jakiela and Dave Newman will be reading too!

I swear, because of course I do.

Episode 48: It’s Been Recorded

John Charney is an accomplished guitarist and music director.  We are both passionate about our music fandom, but the venn diagram of our musical tastes has very little overlap.  In this podcast (recorded on location in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Loretto, Pennsylvania on a perfect spring afternoon) we have a very civil dialog about what we love about music, what we listen for in music, and what a difference a few years difference in birth year makes.   I also tell the origin story of our friendship, which involves an A-ha song that is not “Take on Me”, and we bond over a mutual disdain of Bruce Springsteen.

I swear, because of course I do.