The Poetry Saloncast

 

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Kelli Russell Agodon: Why Poets Need Restrictions

How can you cope with anxiety? Try writing a book about it. In this interview Kelli Russell Agdon discusses her latest book. Originally she tells us that the book began with two separate manuscripts melding into one. One book was a collection of poems about the broken world, and another about the broken self. Together they become her manuscript, Dialogues with a Rising Tide, out from Copper Canyon Press. Hear Kelli discuss the way she channels anxiety into writing, how she uses constraint to help her choose titles for her poems, and why she has more fun and ease when writing with friends. 

 

Diannely Antigua: Speaking the words that are not allowed


Were there certain topics that were off limits to talk about when you were growing up? Any words you weren’t allowed to say? In this interview Diannely Antigua discusses her book Ugly Music, a book where the speaker explores her complicated relationship to sexuality against a strict religious background. Antigua tells us about her transformation from being a girl who didn’t want to fall asleep having impure thoughts to becoming a poet who can use the word p***y and d**k. If you have taboos to break in your writing, you’ll be able to relate.  

Tanaya Winder: When Poetry Makes Music

In this interview Tanaya Winder discusses the way she has combined poetry and performance with social advocacy to help others feel seen in real life and on the page. Once a student at Stanford driven to pursue a degree in law, Tanaya eventually turned to poetry seeing it as a way to help marginalized communities and survivors of trauma find their voices. Coming from a life rooted in music and ceremony she also tells us about the way she uses song and sound to help her access her poems and honor her own heritage. Find out more by listening to this podcast or watching Tanaya’s TED talk here.

Meghan Sterling: Every Child I have birthed

In this interview Meghan Sterling, author of These Few Seeds (Terrapin Books, 2022), passionately discusses the complexities of love and how profound that experience is as a mother of a four-year-old girl. She says love is, “An enormous braid of hope, fear, longing, joy, exhaustion, disappointment, exhilaration and feeling like a fraud.” People limit themselves because loving is so frightening. “In the veins of love runs the iron of fear,” but for her, writing poetry keeps her honest. Even in seemingly “mundane” events, there is a voice that says, “This means more than what you see on the surface.” If you give it space, the poem tells you what it means – that the tree is cut down, that your jeans don’t fit. The poems are under the surface of your skin.

 

Kai Coggin: Making the Moments Holy

In this wide-ranging interview, Kai Coggin tells her story of meeting Sandra Cisneros along with her middle school English class and how the famous author encouraged her to make time for her own writing as well as bringing writing to others. Now Kai Coggin on her fourth book Mining for Stardust, uses poetry to “freeze time”, recording the darkness and tempering it with the power of the light. She introduces young people to the kinds of poems that help them find and define their own identity and shows them that poetry is meant for everybody. This interview is packed with wisdom and insight to inspire any writer.

Welcome Doug Manuel and Season Preview

Oct 8, 4:41 PM
Big Announcement for the podcast:  Kelly Grace Thomas is stepping aside as co-host with Tresha Faye Haefner. Kelly has a new baby! With an infant in the house she’s focusing on being a new mother, and stepping into her prodigious shoes is creative powerhouse and high-spirit extraordinaire Doug Manuel, author of Testify.  Join us as Tresha catches up with what Doug has been doing since our interview with him a few years ago, and then the two of them preview the Saloncast interviews ahead! Welcome Doug!

Brian Sonia-Wallace: Poetry in Service

“What does it mean to call every stranger friend?” That’s a question poet and innovator Brian Sonia-Wallace asks as he discusses his unusual journey writing spontaneous poetry at events. In his twenties Brian Sonia-Wallace put out a typewriter on the street to write poetry for strangers and has been doing it ever since. He is the founder of “Rent Poet” and travels the world to write for others, including at a residency at The Mall of America. You can read about his adventures in his new book from Harper Collins, The Poetry of Strangers. In this interview, he discusses the ways that he, and others who write poetry for strangers find commonalities with their clients, how they write poems that reflect their feelings and the feelings of their clients. This is a rich interview with intriguing insights from the Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, and one of the more original, poet-entrepreneurs writing today.

Recommended readings and Poets Referenced
Danez Smith
Sam Sax

GUSTAVO HERNANDEZ: LETTING THE BOOK TELL YOU WHAT IT WANTS TO BE

Lynne Thompson: Embracing the Unknown

Sonia Greenfield: Balancing Grief and Gratitude

Nancy Lynee Woo: Living Your Creative Mission

Jon Pearson: Unhinging your mind

Creatives in quarantine

Season Two Recap!

A Writing Prompt You Can Use Everyday

Dorothy Chan: Food, Sex and Sonnets

Terrie Silverman: The Magic of Mentoring Storytellers

Alexis Rhone Fancher: Work-Ethics, Sex and Power, and the Writing Community

Brendan Constantine: Defending the Moon, Making Big Mistakes, and Finding the Momentum in a Poem

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