2019 Interviews

  • Adrienne Brodeur
    Guest host Amanda Uhle speaks with Adrienne Brodeur, author of Wild Game (HMH, 2019) about keeping our parents’ secrets, the art of memoir writing, and gourmet meals by the sea. Brodeur co-founded the fiction magazine Zoetrope: All-Story with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, was an editor at Harcourt, and currently serves as Executive Director of Aspen Words, a …

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  • Jac Jemc
    Jac Jemc reads from False Bingo (FSG Originals 2019). We talk about tactical elements of the writing life.  We also talk about being playful, about finding and building community, and about a frog.
  • Arthur Sze
    Arthur Sze reads from Sight Lines, (Copper Canyon Press 2019) the 2019 National Book Award winner for poetry. We talk about poems in a series, the natural world, and language systems.
  • Jonathan Safran Foer
    Jonathan Safran Foer talks about We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2019).  We talk about climate change mattering in our daily lives, about the power of choices, and about burgers, and lions.
  • Safa Al Ahmad
    Freelance journalist/filmmaker and 2019 Wallenberg Medalist Safa Al Ahmad talks about her documentaries, including  Saudi’s Secret Uprising (2014) and Targeting Yemen (2019).  We talk about activism, the power of reporting, access, and editing. We also talk about moral responsibility to the person and the story.
  • Joe Caslin
    Artist and teacher Joe Caslin talks about his latest multimedia project The Volunteers. We talk about creating large scale public murals, activism, and community. We also talk about metaphor and stories and empathy.
  • Jeannie Gaffigan
    Jeannie Gaffigan reads from When Life Gives You Pears (Grand Central Publishing 2019). We talk about memoir, comedy writing and The Imagine Society.  We also talk about family, faith, and healing.
  • Ryan Walsh
    Ryan Walsh reads from his book of poems Reckonings (Baobab 2019). We talk about a poem’s responsibility, connecting across time,  and a spelter zinc plant.
  • Markus Zusak
    Markus Zusak reads from Bridge of Clay (Knopf 2018). We talk about the lives of boys, long projects, structure and redemption.
  • CM Burroughs
    CM Burroughs reads poems from The Vital System (Tupelo Press 2012). We talk about a sister, a red bird, experimental forms, and choosing art. We also get a preview of poems from Master Suffering out in 2020 with Tupelo Press.
  • Michigan Quarterly Review
    Michigan Quarterly Review editor Khaled Mattawa, guest editor Benjamin Paloff and contributor Jeremiah Chamberlin talk about the Fall 2019 issue of Michigan Quarterly Review: What Does Europe Want Now?  We talk about MQR’s mission, its history since 1962, and its future.  We also talk about the issue’s central question, and the poetry, fiction, non-fiction, interviews …

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  • Yevgenia Albats
    Yevgenia Albats talks about her work with The New Times, Absolute Albats and her book The State Within the State (FSG 1994). We also talk about investigative journalism, radio, the KGB, and her role as the inaugural International Institute Distinguished Faculty Fellow for 2019-2020.
  • Lo Dagerman + Nancy Pick
    Lo Dagerman and Nancy Pick read from The Writer and The Refugee (originally published by Norstedts Förlag, Stockholm 2017; English translation 2019). We talk about being a detective in your own family mystery, long term research projects, theater, powerful mothers, inspiration, and translation.
  • Wayétu Moore
    Wayétu Moore reads from She Would Be King (Graywolf Press 2018). We talk about magical realism, origin stories, Liberia, and One Moore Book.
  • Joanna Howard
    Summer host Amanda Uhle talks with Joanna Howard, author of the novel Foreign Correspondent and three short story collections. Her memoir, Rerun Era, is due out in October 2019 from McSweeney’s. We talk about memory and memoir, The Jeffersons, MASH, and growing up in rural America.
  • Gala Mukomolova
    Gala Mukomolov reads poems from Without Protection (Coffee House Press 2019). We talk about fierceness and vulnerability, fairytales, and astrology.
  • Khaled Mattawa
    Khaled Mattawa reads poems from Mare Nostrum (Sarabande Books/Quarternote Chapbook Series #16). We talk about emotion of displacement, forms and songs, narrative and character, and lyric as witness and as call to action.
  • Shelly Oria
    Summer host Amanda Uhle talks with Shelly Oria, author of New York 1, Tel Aviv 0 (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2014), and coauthor of the digital novella, CLEAN, commissioned by WeTransfer and McSweeney’s.  In September of 2019, Indelible in the Hippocampus, an anthology of writings from the #metoo movement, compiled and edited by Oria, will be …

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  • Rebecca Clarren
    Novelist and journalist Rebecca Clarren (KICKDOWN, Skyhorse Publishing, 2018) reads from her novel, a finalist for the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction. Summer host Amanda Uhle and Rebecca Clarren talk about writing with a social cause in mind, journalistically reporting a novel, and the American West. We also consider whether KICKDOWN is maybe part of a …

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  • Sarah Vowell
    Summer host Amanda Uhle talks with historian, author, journalist, essayist, and actress Sarah Vowell. Vowell has written seven nonfiction books on American history and culture, was a contributing editor to This American Life  from 1996 to 2008, and was the voice of Violet Parr in the animated film The Incredibles and its sequel. We talk about what it …

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  • Simon Callow
    Frank Uhle talks with actor, director, and writer Simon Callow, author of the memoir Being an Actor and acclaimed biographies of Charles Dickens, Richard Wagner, and Charles Laughton. Callow is working on the fourth and final volume of his definitive account of the life of Orson Welles for Jonathan Cape/Viking. They discuss life on the British …

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  • 826michigan Student Writers
    Summer host Amanda Uhle talks with 826michigan students Hanako, Ashley Camila, and Ofelia who read their original writing, recently published in an 826michigan chapbook. Amanda and Program Coordinator Megan Gilson talk about writing for an audience or for oneself and the creative energy of writing in a community of other writers There are also book recommendations from …

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  • Emmy Kastner
    Summer host Amanda Uhle talks with Emmy Kastner about her book series Nerdy Babies (Macmillan 2019).
  • Lisa Taddeo
    Summer host Amanda Uhle talks with Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women (Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster 2019), about women’s desire and how it’s intertwined with judgement from others, how to build layered and complicated characters as a journalist, and the incredible feat of reporting on the lives of these three American women over the course …

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  • Cristina Henríquez
    Summer host Amanda Uhle talks with Cristina Henríquez, author of The Book of Unknown Americans (Vintage 2014). Her other work includes The World in Half and the short story collection Come Together, Fall Apart. We talk about writing from multiple points of view, immigration policy, meeting one’s readers in person, and supporting youth writers in the 826 network …

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  • Ocean Vuong
    Guest host Amanda Uhle talks with Ocean Vuong author of On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press 2019) about poetry, memory, masculinity, language, newcomers to America, and finding a sense of home and belonging.
  • Aisha Sabatini Sloan
    Aisha Sabatini Sloan reads from DREAMING OF RAMADI IN DETROIT (1913 Press 2017). We talk about interconnectedness, vulnerability,  art, Galway Kinnell, and a Detroit ride-along.
  • Eugene Huskey
    Eugene Huskey reads from Encounters at the Edge of the Muslim World: A Political Memoir of Kyrgyzstan (Rowman & Littlefield 2018). We talk about revolutions, fledgling democracy, friendship and the twists of fate.
  • Patti F. Smith, Britain Woodman, and Michael Andreoni
    Triple the fun on Living Writers with guests Patti F. Smith and Britain Woodman talking about Vanishing Ann Arbor (The History Press 2019) and Michael Andreoni talking about his short story collection The Window Is A Mirror (bhc Press 2018). We talk about Ann Arbor’s story, then, and now; putting together a long form history; paths to being a writer; and, …

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  • David Maraniss
    David Maraniss reads from his twelfth book A Good American Family: The Red Scare and My Father (Simon & Schuster 2019). We talk about what it means to be American, the Spanish Civil War, 1952 and now, HUAC, and his father’s typed imperfect S. We also hear his father’s full statement that he was not allowed to …

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  • Ken Mikolowski
    Michigan’s own Ken Mikolowski talks about 50 Years of The Alternative Press. We talk about free poems + functional art, mission and passion. We also talk history, stories and humor. https://umich.box.com/shared/static/znoamlhjaxpcr6c175f0x58v39ye65b6.mp3 Download Audio   Free Poems and Functional Art: 50 Years of The Alternative Press Exhibit in the Audubon Room of Hatcher Graduate Library.
  • Carolyn Forché
    Carolyn Forché reads from What You Have Heard Is True: A Memoir of Witness and Resistance (Penguin Press 2019). We talk about El Salvador, keeping notebooks, what poetry can do in the world, and what people are called upon to do. https://umich.box.com/shared/static/4o0djyxb2i6l9w2rr6bnu2viiokcm6fy.mp3 Download Audio  
  • Polly Rosenwaike
    Polly Rosenwaike reads from her debut stories Look How Happy I’m Making You (Doubleday 2019). We talk about stories, motherhood, characters, agents and babies. https://umich.box.com/shared/static/87qh3sb08ci8zesx83q6g5ja5k4y2fqp.mp3 Download Audio
  • Jessica Abel
    Jessica Abel reads from her latest book Growing Gills: How to find creative focus when you’re drowning in your daily life (2017). We talk about radio, podcasts, graphic novels, comics, self-publishing, creative focus and doing what you believe in. https://umich.box.com/shared/static/qh0kisj6cum0iuqh8dmiokujpbjf1l6c.mp3 Download Audio photo credit: Jessica Abel
  • Ellen Muehlberger
    Ellen Muehlberger reads from Moment of Reckoning: Imagined Death and Its Consequences in Late Ancient Christianity (Oxford University Press 2019). We talk about the postmortal, compulsion, morality and violence. We also talk about working on the big project, the making of a new idea– and then the making of the book. https://umich.box.com/shared/static/vgkodaqukzxdsopq0dgfbfk0ge60qy2b.mp3 Download Audio
  • Fulla Abdul-Jabbar
    Fulla Abdul-Jabbar talks about her work with the 57th Ann Arbor Film Festival. We also talk about experimental film art, spoken word, Green Lantern Press, and Exquisite Dogs. https://umich.box.com/shared/static/jhp73sw3mg74fgvusa24sbui99q9au2o.mp3 Download Audio  
  • Neutral Zone
    Neutral Zone presents the NEA Big Read in Ann Arbor, Claudia Rankine’s Citizen: An American Lyric. This episode with Fernanda Gonzalez, Monét Madoula-Bey, Julianna Morano, John Buckley and Molly Raynor, Neutral Zone‘s Literary Arts program manager. We talk about Neutral Zone events connecting to Citizen and hear new poems by young poets! https://umich.box.com/shared/static/knhmyikc44eubkk0ph3gae2edyrzci7w.mp3 Download Audio  
  • Matt Doe of Too Many Zooz
    Guest host The Liz talks with Matt Doe, trumpet player of Too Many Zooz.  They talk about brass house music; they also talk about starting out playing in the subway and now playing music around the world. https://umich.box.com/shared/static/7qtta9ksbookk4syww5w17edwz1nfnvt.mp3 Download Audio photo credit: Too Many Zooz
  • Nate Powell
    Nate Powell talks about his graphic novel Come Again (Top Shelf Press 2018).  We talk about starting out in comics, DIY and punk, imagining another world, and working with Congressman John Lewis and Andrew Aydin.   https://umich.box.com/shared/static/babnfhl8mne5hf1bzind026lu1iws49g.mp3 Download Audio  
  • Mabel O. Wilson
    Mabel O. Wilson reads from Begin With the Past: Building the National Museum of African American History and Culture (Smithsonian Books 2016). We’ll talk about design, dissertation to book, museums, making, Virginia, and Who Builds Your Architecture? https://umich.box.com/shared/static/9qprffmxa7al28y96ao44n5wxa940ubw.mp3 Download Audio
  • Fundraiser 2019 Edition
    Here’s a special Fundraiser 2019 edition of Living Writers with wonderful guests George Cooper, Brent Bryan of Big Love Recording Collective, Angie Berkley + Gina Brandolino of the podcast Behind the Scaffolding, and Scott Beal from Skazat! https://umich.box.com/shared/static/n3dsmhaj404ixpkalix49rdqns389edd.mp3 Download Audio Fun-Fundraiser 2019: any pledge big or small counts greatly to us. Donate online here!  
  • Carol Jacobsen
    Carol Jacobsen reads from For Dear Life: Women’s Decriminalization and Human Rights in Focus (University of Michigan Press 2019). We talk about social justice documentaries, the Michigan Women’s Justice and Clemency Project, feminism, human rights, survival, and art. https://umich.box.com/shared/static/hfsyyl3ymem83e9dfmihus4l7fkakcma.mp3 Download Audio
  • Katie Cook
    Cartoonist Katie Cook talks about her current project Nothing Special (webtoons.com). We talk about drawing, process, characters, story creation, Star Wars, My Little Pony and fantasy. And, of course, about Nothing Special: “A Girl. A Boy. A Hot Mess. A Radish. An Adventure.”   https://umich.box.com/shared/static/uub04u8bzh8q66ttrhbc2kjhm0ql1dxy.mp3 Download Audio
  • John Ganiard
    A conversation with Literati Bookstore’s John Ganiard. We talk about upcoming events and ways to be involved at the bookstore as well as some winter book picks and what’s on the horizon (is it too early to look forward to spring?). We also read Mary Oliver poems and talk typewriters.   https://umich.box.com/shared/static/pv67y0xagvy3g4rk3x83bantvrley2e6.mp3 Download Audio  
  • Gina Brandolino
    Gina Brandolino reads from her latest essay The Monster Inside: Frankenstein’s Legacy (2018).We talk about horror, the devil, films, monsters, and things you can’t unsee. https://umich.box.com/shared/static/tra86vfvd2jzxt6jyb4apfndpn75rpb9.mp3 Download Audio  
  • Bob Hicok
    Bob Hicok reads from Hold (Copper Canyon Press 2018). We talk about the making of a poem and removing stops between things, like our minds do. We also talk about violence and stories and feeling invincible while writing. https://umich.box.com/shared/static/q2x8jzck03e5ep3b4xfnlteqbr7qiuof.mp3 Download Audio    
  • Leland de la Durantaye
    Guest host Amanda Uhle talks with Leland de la Durantaye, author of Hannah vs. the Tree (McSweeney’s 2018). A Michigan native, De la Durantaye is currently a professor, critic, and translator based in Los Angeles. They talk about the book’s Michigan setting, the power of families in novels, and much more. https://umich.box.com/shared/static/a1mnv4m707l61w5e6qrc14l8xglkyz4e.mp3 Download Audio photo credit: Rosalie Atkinson