Episode 21: The Season 1 Mixtape

As we wrap up our first season, and prepare to move our studio to Philadelphia, Citizen Lit is proud to present some of our favorite moments from the podcast year in this extended mix. On today's show, you will hear from writers including: Marlon James, Kathleen Rooney, Charlotte Pence, Adam Prince, as well as music from Beach Slang. This episode ends with a previously unreleased recording featuring poet Ross Gay from The Voices of the Middle West '16 opening night reading at Literati Bookstore.


About the Guests:

Marlon James (Episode 5) was born in Jamaica in 1970. His most recent novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, won the 2015 Man Booker Prize. It was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and won the OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature for fiction, the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for fiction, and the Minnesota Book Award. It was also a New York Times Notable Book. James is also the author of The Book of Night Women, which won the 2010 Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Minnesota Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction and an NAACP Image Award. His first novel, John Crow’s Devil, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for first fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was a New York Times Editors’ Choice. James lives in Minneapolis.

Jasmine An (Episode 15.5) is a queer, third generation Chinese-American who comes from the Midwest. Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and raised in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, she has also lived in New York City and Chiang Mai, Thailand, studying poetry, urban development, and blacksmithing. Her soulmate and forever muse is Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in numerous publications such as HEArt Online, Stirring, Heavy Feather Review, and Southern Humanities Review. After graduating from Kalamazoo College, she was awarded a writing residency at the Sundress Academy for the Arts in Tennessee where her most important jobs were feeding the chickens, giving treats to the sheep, emotional support to the donkey, and occasionally writing poems. As of 2016, she lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand continuing her study of the Thai language and urban resiliency to climate change.

Jill Christman (Episode 7) is the author of Darkroom: A Family Exposure (AWP Award Series in Creative Nonfiction winner), Borrowed Babies: Apprenticing for Motherhood (Shebooks 2014), and essays in magazines and journals such as Brevity, Fourth Genre, Iron Horse Literary Review, Literary Mama, Oprah Magazine, River Teeth, & Brain, Child. She serves on the board of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) and teaches creative nonfiction writing in Ashland University’s low-residency MFA program and at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, where she lives with her husband, writer Mark Neely, and their two children. Visit her at www.jillchristman.com.

Charlotte Pence’s (Episode 16) poetry merges the personal with the scientific. Her first book, Many Small Fires (Black Lawrence Press, 2015), is a finalist for Foreword Reviews' INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award. The book explores her father’s chronic homelessness while simultaneously detailing the physiological changes that enabled humans to form cities, communities, and households. A professor of English and creative writing at Eastern Illinois University, she is also the author of two award-winning poetry chapbooks and the editor of The Poetics of American Song Lyrics (University Press of Mississippi, 2012).

Born and raised in Southern California, Adam Prince (Episode 16) has since lived in New York, South Korea, Arkansas, Nicaragua, and Knoxville, Tennessee. His award-winning fiction has appeared in The Missouri ReviewThe Southern Review, and Narrative Magazine, among others. In 2011, Narrative Magazine named him one of the best twenty new writers. He is married to the poet Charlotte Pence and is currently at work on a novel that takes place in Jakarta, Indonesia. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Tennessee and is the author of a collection of stories called The Beautiful Wishes of Ugly Men (Black Lawrence Press).

Robert James Russell (Episode 1) is the author of the novel Mesilla (Dock Street Press) and the chapbook Don't Ask Me to Spell It Out (WhiskeyPaper Press). He is the co-founder and Managing Editor of the literary journal Midwestern Gothic and the founder of the online literary journal CHEAP POP. You can find him online at robertjamesrussell.com or @robhollywood.

Ben Tanzer (Episode 15) is the author of the books Orphans, which won the 24th Annual Midwest Book Award in Fantasy/SciFi/Horror/Paranormal and a Bronze medal in the Science Fiction category at the 2015 IPPY Awards, Lost in Space, which received the 2015 Devil's Kitchen Reading Award in Prose Nonfiction, The New York Stories and SEX AND DEATH, among others. He has also contributed to Punk Planet, Clamor, and Men's Health, serves as Senior Director, Acquisitions for Curbside Splendor and a Lecturer in the Lake Forest College Loop program, frequently speaks on the topics of messaging, framing, social media, blogging, fiction and essay writing and independent publishing and can be found online at tanzerben.com the center of his vast lifestyle empire.

Kathleen Rooney (Episode 6) is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who do commissioned poetry on demand. Co-editor with Eric Plattner of The Selected Writings of René Magritte, forthcoming from Alma Books next year, she is also the author of seven books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including, most recently, the novel O, Democracy! (2014) and the novel in poems Robinson Alone (2012). With Elisa Gabbert, she is the author of the poetry collection That Tiny Insane Voluptuousness (Otoliths, 2008) and the chapbook The Kind of Beauty That Has Nowhere to Go (Hyacinth Girl, 2013). She lives in Chicago with her husband, the writer Martin Seay, and teaches at DePaul. Her criticism appears in The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times Book Review and elsewhere. Follow her @kathleenMrooney.

Hilary and Mike Gustafon (Episode 11) are the owners and co-founders of Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Prior to opening Literati, Hilary worked as a sales representative for Simon & Schuster, after earning a degree in politics and international relations from Scripps College. Mike Gustafson, originally from Lowell, Michigan, is a former freelance journalist and video producer. The couple lives in Ann Arbor.

James Alex (Episode 4) writes songs and sings them for Beach Slang. He plays a really cheap guitar, reads really brave books and thinks way too much. When he's not making loud things, he's probably being really quiet. His book Even Trash Has A Place (2015) is now available from the Beach Slang store.

Ross Gay (Episode 14) is the author of three books: Against Which; Bringing the Shovel Down; and Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude, winner of the 2015 National Book Critics Circle Award and the 2016 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award. Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude was also a finalist for the 2015 National Book Award in Poetry and nominated for an NAACP Image Award.  Ross is the co-author, with Aimee Nezhukumatathil, of the chapbook Lace and Pyrite: Letters from Two Gardens, in addition to being co-author, with Richard Wehrenberg, Jr., of the chapbook, River.  He is a founding editor, with Karissa Chen and Patrick Rosal, of the online sports magazine Some Call it Ballin', in addition to being an editor with the chapbook presses Q Avenue and Ledge Mule Press.  Ross is a founding board member of the Bloomington Community Orchard, a non-profit, free-fruit-for-all food justice and joy project. He has received fellowships from Cave Canem, the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference, and the Guggenheim Foundation. Ross teaches at Indiana University.  


Music for today's episode provided by:

You Are A Pipe Chris Zabriskie | 

Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us | Beach Slang (Polyvinyl & Bandcamp) | Used with permission from the band