Podcasts from the Community of Writers

Currently we host KPFK’s Bibliocracy Radio, but this summer, you can stay abreast of our Summer Workshops in Fiction, Nonfiction and Memoir via our podcast feed, and in the Fall, we will be periodically sharing selected Craft Talks and Panels from previous years. Follow our podcast at one of the links below, or search for Bibliocracy Radio wherever you get your podcasts!

New Episodes


Bibliocracy Episode 11: Molly Giles on Life Span

Novelist, short story writer, and acclaimed teacher Molly Giles.  The author, most recently, of the novel The Home for Unwed Husbands, is out with a memoir in short episodes, vignettes, and meditations, built on her life crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.  In Life Span, Giles defines, examines, celebrates, and interrogates her writing life by way of the iconic bridge, each chapter marking a year in her own life. A terrific conceit, this is a joyful, wry, honest autobiography of a person, place, and avocation, the insights of a writer on whom nothing is lost, so much is observed, described, assessed and engaged in economical and poetic language.

Use one of the links above, or search for Community of Writers Podcasts on your favorite app.


Bibliocracy Episode 10: Venita Blackburn on Dead in Long Beach, California

My guest this week is acclaimed short story writer and, now, novelist Venita Blackburn. Her debut novel, Dead in Long Beach, California arrives after two acclaimed short story collections, Black Jesus and Other Superheroes and How to Wrestle a Girl. This new novel is a multi-form, multi-voiced chronicle of loss, self-discovery, of desperately sad if also playful strategies of identity and investigation. Its brilliant premise is matched by its engagement with language, much of it delivered via a collective consciousness which frames the storytelling, a formal device which makes such good sense because the protagonist is an author herself, of a dystopian graphic novel.  Dead in Long Beach, California is also a story of a Black LA family and of life in Southern California. Venita Blackburn’s earlier work has appeared in The Paris ReviewAmerican Short Fiction and the New Yorker online. She is an associate professor in creative writing at Cal State Fresno and founder-president of Live, Write, an organization that offers free creative writing workshops for communities of color.

Use one of the links above, or search for Community of Writers Podcasts on your favorite app.


Bibliocracy Episode 9: Julie Schumacher on The English Experience

My guest today is Julie Schumacher, who will talk about and read from the final book in a trilogy which has earned its place on the shelf with other favorites in the weird, wonderful genre of academic satire, right next to Richard Russo’s Straight Man and, as it happens her first two novels chronicling the cheerfully doomed life of one Professor Jason Fitger, a divorced professor of English and creative writing, stalled-out writer and all-around sour puss…if for good reason, or at least good enough, by which we mean bad. The English Experience, out from Doubleday, follows Dear Committee Members and The Shakespeare Requirement, in which Schumacher engages and exploits and critiques nearly every possible — and impossible — complication or challenge facing our compromised but, in his way, committed hero. Except, hilariously,for a travel abroad program sponsored by Payne University, pronounced “pain,” for which Fitger, exactly the wrong (!) faculty member, is chosen (meaning coerced into) as teacher and chaperone. Julie Schumacher is the author of three Jason Fitger novels, winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, and author of fourth novel, The Body Is Water.  She teaches in the Department of English at the University of Minnesota.

Use one of the links above, or search for Community of Writers Podcasts on your favorite app.


Bibliocracy Episode 8: A Tribute to Dwight Yates Part 2

My guests this week further remember, celebrate, and, today, read from (!) the work of the late short story writer, teacher, friend and mentor Dwight Yates (1945-2023). I am joined in Part 2 of this “tribute” by Susan Straight (Mecca), Victoria Patterson (The Secret Habit of Sorrow), and Gary Amdahl (The Daredevils), all accomplished and acclaimed writers. Dwight Yates was the author of dozens of short stories, many of them available in two award-winning collections, Bring Everybody and Haywire Hearts and Slide Trombones. Note: This podcast is just not big enough to have hosted all the friends and students of Dwight, for which I apologize. By all means, write or host other tributes, and purchase, gift, and recommend his books and stories.  His final gorgeous fiction appears in the newest (spring 2024) issue of the Santa Monica Review. Just sayin!   

I am so grateful for the participation of these fellow Friends of Dwight Yates, and for the opportunity to pay tribute to this excellent writer and exemplary human being. Bring everybody!

Use one of the links above, or search for Community of Writers Podcasts on your favorite app.


Bibliocracy Episode 7: A Tribute to Dwight Yates Part 1

My guests this week remember and celebrate the life and work of the late short story writer, teacher, friend and mentor Dwight Yates (1945-2023). I am joined by Susan Straight (Mecca), Victoria Patterson (The Secret Habit of Sorrow), and Gary Amdahl (The Daredevils), all accomplished and acclaimed writers for the first of a two-part show. Dwight Yates was the author of dozens of short stories, many of them available in two award-winning collections, Bring Everybody and Haywire Hearts and Slide Trombones. This podcast is just not big enough to have hosted all the friends and students of Dwight, for which I apologize. By all means, write or host other tributes, and purchase, gift, and recommend his books and stories.  His final gorgeous fiction appears in the newest (spring 2024) issue of the Santa Monica Review.    

I am so grateful for the participation of these fellow Friends of Dwight Yates, and for the opportunity to pay tribute to this excellent writer and exemplary human being. Next week, Part II, featuring more discussion and short readings (!) from his work.

Use one of the links above, or search for Community of Writers Podcasts on your favorite app.


Bibliocracy Episode 6: Amber A’Lee Frost on Dirtbag

My guest this week is the writer, activist and podcaster from Chapo Trap HouseAmber A’Lee Frost. Her debut book Dirtbag is a personal memoir, a journalistic account, a political autobiography, a take-apart of grassroots collective action, an insider look at Democratic Socialists of America, Occupy Wall Street, the Bernie campaign and, yes, podcast culture — all offered with great stories, wicked humor and yet smart, sincere analysis which defines the best of the so-called “dirtbag left.”

Use one of the links above, or search for Community of Writers Podcasts on your favorite app.


Bibliocracy Episode 5: Theresa Bonpane on Sister Rebel

My very special guest is Theresa Bonpane, a legendary Southern California peace and justice, anti-war and anti-intervention activist. Her memoir, Sister Rebel, is out now from Red Hen Press, and she speaks with me about her life, sharing stories and poems and more. Because this is a fund drive edition, KPFK is happy to offer you a thank-you gift for your support.  Thanks to Theresa and Red Hen Press, claim your gift of a copy of the memoir for a $75 pledge. 

Use one of the links above, or search for Community of Writers Podcasts on your favorite app.


Bibliocracy Episode 4: Katherine Haake on What Books Press

My guest is novelist and short story writer Katherine Haake, a co-founder of What Books Press. Celebrating fifteen years, this collectively run publishing outfit has worked collaboratively with prose and poetry writers to create dozens of gorgeous books, and each featuring cover art by the legendary artist Gronk.  For  more on What Books Press see WhatBooksPress.com. For more on writer Katherine Haake see her website, KatherineHaake.com. 

 Use one of the links above, or search for Community of Writers Podcasts on your favorite app.


Bibliocracy Episode 3: David Kipen on Dear California

My guest today is David Kipen.  He needs no introduction because he is himself the introducer, the anthologizer, the cultural historian, the literary booster and all-around celebrant of writers and literary culture for our state and our region. Book review editor, Director of Literature at the NEA, critic at large at the Los Angeles Times and, of course, founder-director of Libros Schmibros Lending Library. He’s one of a handful of go-to spokespersons for literary California, but he’s done that by being a sort of scholarly medium, a reviver, a teller of stories told by others, sometimes forgotten, urgently needing to be told.  He wrote the introductions to four classic WPA Guides and edited the now landmark Dear Los Angeles: The City in Diaries and Letters, 1542 to 2018. For this show he talks about and reads from the brand-new Dear California: The Golden  State in Diaries and Letters.  It’s a moment of celebration for readers, and for Bibliocracy

 Use one of the links above, or search for Community of Writers Podcasts on your favorite app.


Bibliocracy Episode 2: Reid Sherline on Rapture

In his prizewinning novella Rapture, debut writer Reid Sherline has with a very small book made an outsized contribution to the literature of dark, weird Southern California, a place (and moment) where the recklessness, confusion, disengagement of adults turns their ignored or innocent children into perversely exaggerated walking, talking, misbehaving monster versions of themselves.  Set in the Valley  in the early Seventies — Viet Nam war, drugs, social upheaval, divorce, cars — Rapture considers everyday suburban violence, religion, politics, and neglect from the perspective of a young protagonist whose experiences seem to mark those of a generation. A charismatic combat vet leads our anti-hero on a Book of Revelation-inspired journey in a coming-of-age story which seems to explain so much of our own current moment of fundamentalist religion, White Christian nationalism, conspiracy theories, endless war, and the infantilization of our politics. A moving and spooky and pitch-perfect novella, it’s the winner of the Harvard Review Chapbook Prize.

Use one of the links above, or search for Community of Writers Podcasts on your favorite app.


Bibliocracy Episode 1: Kelly Sather on Small in Real Life

This week my guest is Drue Heinz Literature Prize-winner KELLY SATHER. Her collection, Small in Real Life, features stories which are darkly funny, what I’d call a sort of Southern California feminist noir, but with sincerely and politically insightful portraits of women, as girls, as wives, as friends, as enemies. They are often set in real or comically dangerous settings, sometimes hard to tell which, and their pitch-perfect idiom is spooky, coercive, naïve or knowing.  Sometimes it seems the characters, the authorial voice, or readers might not know which, not until the story ends, and even then! Thanks for tuning in for my discussion with her, and to hear Sather read.

Use one of the links above, or search for Community of Writers Podcasts on your favorite app.

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