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 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 45: The Human Canvas

Lori Howsare performs under the moniker The Mad Muse, and part of her madness is to explore the fringes of what is acceptable, which in these times means such crazy ideas as unconditional love.  This exploration includes spoken word, grand guignol theatre, and writing things on naked people.

We talk about all of these things, plus the value of risk and empathy in art.  We also become grumpy old people before your ears.

To keep up with The Mad Muse, check out The Mad Muse Official Facebook Page, The Made Muse website, and become her Patreon.

As always, we swear.

Episode 44: Bridges of Poetry

The extremely talented Jason Baldinger and Kristofer Collins stop by to discuss The Bridge Series, a series of poetry readings and public gatherings to raise money for, and spread the word about, organizations that are helping people in the Trump era.

The first of the series is occurring Wednesday, February 22nd 2017 at 8 PM at the Brillobox at 4104 Penn Ave. in Pittsburgh, and it will benefit Be Well Pittsburgh, an organization dedicated to helping folks without healthcare get access to healthcare.

You can find more out about this particular reading (featuring Tony Norman, Jan Beatty, and Adriana Ramirez) from The Bridge Series event on Facebook.  Further readings (until at least November 2017) will occur at the Brillobox on the last Wednesday of the month.  You can stay up to date by following The Bridge Series on Facebook.

Also, Jason and Kristofer read us some of their fantastic poetry. Jason gets unapologetically radical, and we discuss the meaning of poetry in the age of Trump.

Jason Baldinger is the author of several books, and you can hear him read more at Jason’s Bandcamp page.  Kristofer Collins is the editor of Low Ghost Press when he is not writing his own fantastic books of poems.

As always we swear.  Jason swears a lot and says many other things not for the faint of heart.


Episode 42: Scott Silsbe’s Handprints

Scott Silsbe is a fantastic poet.  He also edits The New Yinzer.  In our time together we discuss his fantastic books of poetry The River Underneath the City on Low Ghost Press and Unattended Fire on Six Gallery Press.  Scott reads his fantastic poems including “What a Sad Christmas,” I pontificate about cave paintings in France, and what it means to move to Pittsburgh.  Finally, we realize that someday you will only be able to hear this podcast on vinyl.

As always, I swear.

Oh and don’t smoke in bed.

Episode 37: For the Love of Poetry

Dessie Bey is an accomplished poet by her own right, but on this episode she discusses the collection she edited called Know Thyself: An African American Poetic Journey.  It is a collection of poems that tells the history of the African American experience that counteracts the cultural violence of colonialism in a way that reclaims the worth and dignity of a people whose history and culture have been marginalized.

In this conversation we also talk about Donald Trump (he was in town the day before we recorded this-forgive us), gentrification in Pittsburgh, and why it’s time for reparations.

The best way to buy Know Thyself is through Dessie Bey’s Lulu store.  You may also get it through Amazon if you must.  Dessie Bey’s website is here, and you can contact her about readings and educational projects at dbonpointpub@gmail.com.

As always, I swear.


Episode 30: Writing/Politics

Robin Clarke is a poet, activist, and professor.  In this episode, we talk about how poetry can provide a counter to the prevailing narratives of business and development.  We also talk about some of the unfair changes we are witnessing in Pittsburgh, how organizing gives people hope, and the superiority of Snorks over Smurfs.

Her award winning collection of poetry, Lines the Quarry, can be purchased through the Omnidawn Press.

Robin swears like a sailor.

Episode 29: My Whole Life is about Obsolete Formats

For this episode, our guest is Jason Baldinger, poet, musician, working stiff, and all around swell guy.  In this episode, we talk about creating and appreciating art in the age of austerity, or at least we meant to talk about that.  We do however end up talking about Jack Kerouac’s blind spots, St. Francis of Assisi’s dining habits, how Reagan ruined everything, and how to save gas when you’re already out.

Jason also reads some poems for us.  You can hear more at Jason’s Bandcamp page.  You really should find out more about his books The Studs Terkel Blues and The Lower Forty-Eight via his publishers NightBallet Press and Six Gallery Press.  You can buy these books from the man himself by dropping a line to theunderwaterculprit@gmail.com. He’s also in a band called Pond Hockey.

As usual there’s swearing, and this time I did have to censor something Jason said.  However, my editing skills are so sharp you will have no clue anything has happened.