Ally Wright is a fiction writer whose short story, As a Widow Throws a Lasso, is a meditation on grief and the grieving process. Ally grew up in a house full of books, and always loved words. Now she’s just been accepted to the Creative Writing sub-concentration at the University of Michigan. In this segment, we talked about making the familiar unfamiliar, an ancient jackal god of death called Wepwawet, Animorphs, and finding inspiration in everyday places, like Snapple caps.
Drew Maron is a writer of short fiction, but we never really got to that part. We talked about “making literature accessible” as a mark of a good professor, free will, and what 50 Shades of Grey and Paradise Lost have in common as fan-fiction.
George Hodgman is a veteran magazine and book editor who was worked at Simon & Schuster, Vanity Fair, and Talk magazine. His writing has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Interview, W, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other publications.
A few years ago, Hodgman returned to his hometown of Paris, Missouri, for his mother Betty’s ninety-first birthday, for what he thought would be a brief visit. He soon discovered that his mother had lost her driver’s license and her in-home help, and desperately needed the assistance she would rather die than ask for.
Despite his doubts and total lack of cooking skills, Hodgman left New York City and moved back in with his mother, facing the juncture that every son or daughter understands, the reversal of roles that rarely goes smoothly as a parent grows older and both struggle to hold on to what once was. Bettyville is an exquisitely written memoir about the complicated but deeply genuine love a son feels for his courageous, headstrong, vulnerable mother in the twilight of her life.
Photographers got it easy, right? All they have to do to tell their stories is point their magic box at their subject and hit click. Cartoonists, on the other hand, have to create the reality of their work from scratch. Surely photographers have zero insights to offer cartoonists.
Of course we know that’s a bunch of troll talk. So this time I’ll be joined by photographer and designer Peter Baker. Together we’ll talk about how cartoonists might benefit from looking at how photographers tell stories through their medium.
Links mentioned in this episode (thanks to Eric Klooster for collecting the links!):
Juliana Roth is a writer from New York and a senior in the creative writing program. She’s finishing up an Honors Thesis that will be in the form of a collection of short stories. We discuss her story “Appraisal” in terms of topics like the 1.5 year mark in a relationship, Macguffins, and a world of fine china, PF Chang's, and rivers that wind through the desert.
Liz Swaynie is screenwriter and writer of short fiction. She finished up her major in creative last year and is currently working on getting into the world of network TV comedy and drama. We discuss her spec script for Bob’s Burgers, as well as what a spec script actually is, teleplays as a medium, and an idea for a second season of Words the Podcast, set in Las Vegas.
Chris Aldridge is a poet and journalist. He’s a reporter with the Huron Daily Tribune by day, and a inquisitive poet by night. He reads seven of his poems. We discuss his creative process, the ephemerality of the moment, and how to properly conduct an ambush in a Nerf gun fight.
Abrar “Raad” Haider is a senior and pre-med student at U-M. He brings in a current project that draws heavily from what he studies. His short story places Dr. Akiesha Palta in the middle of a dire conflict: her pharmaceutical company is the most successful vaccine company in the world, but it’s also producing many of the world’s most potent viruses.
A nonprofit publisher of classic American literature, the Library of America was founded in 1979 and has published well over 200 hundred volumes by a wide range of authors, including Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Raymond Chandler, Flannery O’Connor, and Kurt Vonnegut. Geoffrey O’Brien has served as Editor-in-Chief at the LOA since 1988 and is also an accomplished poet, book and film critic, translator, and cultural historian.
This week The Michigan Daily published its annual literary issue of its weekly insert The Statement. It featured 13 works of short fiction and poetry. We spoke with The Statement editor Ian Dillingham and three of the literary issue contributors (including Words' own Phil Witteveen!)
Martin talks to author Gareth Murphy about his new book Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry. While music is an integral part of our daily lives, very little is known about the revolutionary men and women on both sides of the Atlantic who founded and shaped this enduring industry. From the invention of the earliest known sound-recording device in 1850s Paris to the CD crash and digital boom today, Murphy takes readers on an immensely entertaining and encyclopedic ride through the many cataclysmic musical, cultural and technological changes that shaped a century and a half of the music business. The interview was recorded on January 19, 2015.
Jeremy Berkowitz is a filmmaker. His story, Catherine the Caterpillar, is about an insect that burrows inside the heart of young boy, and has to decided whether it wants to burst out of the boy’s heart.
Jack Bologna is the creator of Words the Podcast, and he brought a mic to the radiology department for a recent CT scan of his heart. His dad, James, helps tell the story I Hope I Have a Broken Heart.