show episodes
 
Making connections through conversation with the art, literature, and creative work that matters to us, and the people who make it. Hosted by writer and photographer Mike Sakasegawa, Keep the Channel Open is a series of in-depth and intimate conversations with artists, writers, and curators from across the creative spectrum.
  continue reading
 
Loading …
show series
 
For this KTCO “Book” Club conversation, writer Maggie Tokuda-Hall returns to the show to talk about the game Baldur’s Gate 3. In our conversation, Maggie and I talked about what it’s like to experience a story with so many branching paths, how player choices reflect the player’s personality, as well as some standout storytelling moments from the ga…
  continue reading
 
Olatunde Osinaike is a poet based in Atlanta, GA. In his debut full-length poetry collection, Tender Headed, Olatunde explores Black masculinity, both celebrating and interrogating it in his sonically virtuosic poems. We talked about his approach to poetry, what poetic lineage means to him, and the silences inherent in patriarchy. Then for the seco…
  continue reading
 
For this KTCO Book Club conversation, poet and podcaster Rachel Zucker returns to the show to discuss Eugenia Leigh’s poetry collection Bianca. In our conversation, we talked about our approaches to talking about books with their authors, how form shapes how we take in intense subject matter in a poem, and how a book can be a means of connection. S…
  continue reading
 
Gerardo Sámano Córdova is a writer and artist from Mexico City. In his debut novel, Monstrilio, Gerardo draws from both horror and literary fiction traditions to tell a story about grief, family, and self-acceptance. In our conversation, Gerardo and I talked about genre expectations, genre fiction as a site of art, and what it means to be monstrous…
  continue reading
 
Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah is a writer based in the Bronx, NY. In his debut novel, Chain-Gang All-Stars, Nana presents us with a dystopian future America where convicted prisoners fight each other to the death in a televised bloodsport. The book is both a blistering critique of the US carceral system and an insistence on the inalienable humanity of e…
  continue reading
 
Rachel Zucker is a writer, podcast, and teacher based in New York and Maine. Her latest book, The Poetics of Wrongness, is a collection of essays (originally written and performed for the Bagley Wright Lecture Series) delving into her own poetics, motherhood, the history of confessional poetry, and the ethics of “say everything” poetry. In our conv…
  continue reading
 
For our latest KTCO Book Club episode, writer Sarah Gailey joins us for a discussion of H. A. Clarke’s YA novels The Scapegracers and The Scratch Daughters. In our conversation, Sarah and I talked about the ways Clarke’s novels subvert genre expectations, about the quality of teen girls’ rage, and about why these books are “capital-I Important.” Su…
  continue reading
 
Dayna Patterson is a poet, photographer, and textile artist based in the Pacific Northwest. The poems in her latest collection, O Lady, Speak Again, use the voices of the women characters from Shakespeare’s plays to talk about patriarchy, motherhood, sexuality, religion, heritage. In our conversation, Dayna and I discussed her creative process and …
  continue reading
 
Joshua Burton is a poet and educator based in Houston, TX. The poems in Joshua’s debut collection, Grace Engine, ask what grace means in a hostile world of lynchings, mental illness, self-hate, and suicide. These poems offer no solace, yet nevertheless reach toward beauty and peace. In our conversation, Joshua and I talked about what a grace engine…
  continue reading
 
For our latest KTCO Book Club episode, media critic Mel Thomas joins us for a conversation about Holly Black’s YA fantasy novel The Cruel Prince. In our conversation, we discuss the ways that craft in YA fiction is often dismissed or overlooked by both critics and readers, the dynamics of abuse and trauma in the novel, and being able to enjoy art o…
  continue reading
 
Gabrielle Bates is a poet based in Seattle, WA. Throughout Gabrielle’s debut collection, Judas Goat, there is a feeling of quiet, that the poems are almost being whispered to you. And yet it is not a soft or comforting quiet that these poems bring, but rather one that often contains a sense of menace. In our conversation, Gabrielle and I talked abo…
  continue reading
 
Abby Minor is a writer based in central Pennsylvania. In her debut book of poems, As I Said: A Dissent, Abby combines the historical narrative of Ann Lohman—a 19th-century abortion provider in New York City—with personal and family history, creating a collection of poems that challenge the typical notion of an abortion story. In our conversation, A…
  continue reading
 
Molly Spencer is a poet based in Michigan. The poems in her collections In the House and Hinge engage with chronic illness, divorce, domesticity, motherhood, and the ways that our lives don’t always work out the way we expected them to. In our conversation, we talked about dissolution, the uses of poetry, ways of knowing, and speaking unlovely trut…
  continue reading
 
Luther Hughes is a poet based in Seattle, WA. The poems in Luther’s debut collection, A Shiver in the Leaves, are tender, erotic, vulnerable, erudite, at times dark, and at times ecstatic. In our conversation, we talked about power dynamics in sexual encounters, different forms of love, and writing as a way of understanding oneself. Then in the sec…
  continue reading
 
André Ramos-Woodard is a photographic artist originally from Texas and Tennessee. In their series BLACK SNAFU, André combines photographs celebrating Blackness with appropriated illustrations from racist cartoons as a way of confronting the history and present reality of American racism. In our conversation we discussed appropriation, questions of …
  continue reading
 
Amanda Marchand is a Canadian, New York-based photographer. Amanda’s Lumen Notebook series is a body of elegant and strikingly beautiful images that nevertheless layer deep meaning within their seemingly simple compositions. In our conversation, Amanda and I talked about her process in creating these photograms and how working within strict constra…
  continue reading
 
Fatemeh Baigmoradi is a photographic artist originally from Iran. In her series It’s Hard to Kill, Fatemeh works with archival family photos from Iran, using fire to obscure or destroy portions of the image—connecting to the way that her own family and many others burned their photos after the Iranian Revolution to protect themselves or others in t…
  continue reading
 
Sarah Hollowell is a writer based in Indiana. Sarah’s debut novel, A Dark and Starless Forest, is a YA contemporary fantasy story centered on a family of foster sisters learning about their magic, until suddenly they start disappearing. In our conversation we talked about the difference in process between short stories and novels, how her novel por…
  continue reading
 
Ayesha Raees is a poet and hybrid artist based in New York, Miami, and Lahore. In her debut book of poetry, Coining a Wishing Tower, she explores death, grief, culture, religion, separation, and return in a hybrid form that is part poetry, part narrative, part fable, and entirely remarkable. In our conversation, we talked about her book, her writin…
  continue reading
 
Anahid Nersessian is a professor and critic based in Los Angeles, CA. In her latest book, Keats’s Odes: A Lover’s Discourse, Anahid takes the reader through close readings of John Keats’s six Great Odes, providing cultural context and explicating their themes of sexual violence, melancholy, and the seductiveness of beauty. More than that, though, t…
  continue reading
 
For this installment of the KTCO Book Club, writer and podcaster Maggie Tokuda-Hall joins us to discuss Susanna Clark’s 2020 novel Piranesi. A relatively slim volume, Piranesi is surprisingly difficult to summarize but, like its labyrinthine setting, with patience and attention the book will reveal its profound beauty and kindness. (Conversation re…
  continue reading
 
There’s a way in which the end of a serious relationship can shake your entire concept of yourself, and through your grief you have to find yourself again. Yanyi’s latest book of poems, Dream of the Divided Field, braids poems about heartbreak and implied emotional violence with poems about transition and immigration. Each has a similar but distinc…
  continue reading
 
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is a writer based in London, UK. Rowan’s second novel, Starling Days, is a beautiful story about the complex love between the book’s two protagonists, Mina and Oscar, and their respective challenges in the wake of Mina’s suicide attempt. Starling Days explores family and love in many forms, and how people both connect and sepa…
  continue reading
 
Farrah Karapetian is an artist based in California. Known for her large-scale photograms, Farrah’s wide-ranging practice incorporates sculpture, performance, and different forms of mark-making to stretch the photographic medium as she is driven by her intense and rigorous curiosity. In our conversation, Farrah and I talked about the appeal of the p…
  continue reading
 
Tucson-based photographer Ken Rosenthal's work has always stuck in my mind for both its striking visual style and the way that he uses images to represent and explore his internal emotional and psychological state. Whether he's looking at landscapes or family members or familiar objects, his photographs resonate because they represent the personal.…
  continue reading
 
For this installment of the KTCO Book Club, poet and podcaster Gabrielle Bates joins me for a conversation about Brigit Pegeen Kelly’s 1994 poetry collection Song. In our conversation, Gabrielle and I talked about how Kelly builds the worlds of her poems, how the poems layer metaphor, and how the poems manage to be simultaneously (and paradoxically…
  continue reading
 
Kary Wayson is a poet based in Seattle, WA. The poems Kary’s latest collection, The Slip, are wonderfully slippery in both form and feeling, in a way that demands attention and rewards deep engagement. In our conversation we discussed what a poem can do, how we approach “meaning” in poetry, and how life changes affect our art. Then in the second se…
  continue reading
 
My friend Paula Riff passed away recently, after having been ill with cancer for two years. Paula was a wonderful, kind, generous, and enthusiastic person, and a brilliant artist whose work pushed the boundaries of the photographic medium. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to talk with her about that work for the show. In our conversation, P…
  continue reading
 
For this installment of the KTCO Book Club, writer Wm Henry Morris joins me for a conversation about Sofia Samatar’s 2017 story collection Tender. The stories in this collection range from fairy tale and folklore to dystopian sci-fi to (almost) contemporary realism, but all have in common Samatar’s impeccable prose, attention to detail, and excepti…
  continue reading
 
Kazim Ali is a writer based in San Diego, CA. Kazim’s latest poetry collection, The Voice of Sheila Chandra, uses sound to explode meaning and explore silence and voicelessness, bringing together history, philosophy, spirituality, and personal experience to create something truly profound. In our conversation, Kazim and I discussed the divine in ar…
  continue reading
 
Rizzhel Mae Javier is a photographer and installation artist based in San Diego, CA. I first met Rizzhel when we were both participating in the portfolio reviews at the Medium Festival a few years ago, and her stop-motion, flipbook-style pieces immediately caught my attention. More recently, Rizzhel was named one of the 2017 emerging artists by the…
  continue reading
 
José Olivarez is a poet living and working in Chicago, Illinois, and is also co-host of one of my all-time favorite podcasts, The Poetry Gods. In our wide-ranging conversation we talked about how The Poetry Gods came to be, toxic masculinity in the poetry world, and how discovering poetry allowed José to find his artistic voice. In the second segme…
  continue reading
 
Esmé Weijun Wang's debut novel The Border of Paradise was one of my favorite books of 2016. A multigenerational epic centered on an interracial family, the Nowaks, this book touches on so many profound topics, from mental illness to intergenerational trauma to culture clash to the very question of what it means to be a family, all done in stunningl…
  continue reading
 
Jordanna Kalman is a fine art photographer who lives and works in New York. Jordanna’s work explores loneliness, femininity and individuality, and the images are highly personal. In her series Little Romances, she rephotographs prints of earlier images of hers which had been stolen and misused. By considering the prints as objects and adding new el…
  continue reading
 
For this installment of the KTCO Book Club, I’m joined by writer Alyssa Harad for a conversation about Tove Jansson’s 1982 novel The True Deceiver. Despite the slimness of the volume, Jansson’s novel yet contains a surprising degree of depth and complexity, not to mention psychological tension, in a story that challenges the reader to consider the …
  continue reading
 
Maggie Smith is a poet and essayist based in Bexley, Ohio. Maggie’s new book Keep Moving: Notes on Loss, Creativity, and Change was born out of a difficult life change; it both discusses and is an example of resilience and hope in the face of an unknown future. In our conversation, we talked about the book’s origins in a series of social media note…
  continue reading
 
In the inaugural KTCO Book Club episode I’m joined by writer and podcaster David Naimon, host of the literary podcast Between the Covers. For our conversation, David selected Teju Cole and Fazal Sheikh’s hybrid photo/prose book Human Archipelago. In their collaboration, Cole’s writing and Sheikh’s images support each other in a way that expands the…
  continue reading
 
David Adjmi is a writer and playwright based in Los Angeles, CA. In his new memoir Lot Six, David tells the story of how he found himself through art and the theater, growing up feeling like an outsider as a gay, atheist, artistic youth in a small and insular Syrian Sephardic Jewish community in Brooklyn. In our conversation, David and I discussed …
  continue reading
 
Jessica Eaton is a photographer based in Montreal, Quebec. At first glance, the minimalist compositions in Jessica’s images might seem simple, but the process behind their creation is anything but. Using a series of color filters and a painstaking multiple exposure technique, she is able to use light to construct color. In our conversation, we disc…
  continue reading
 
Matthew Salesses is a writer based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Matthew’s new novel, Disappear Doppelgänger Disappear, is darkly funny, unsettling in the best way, and wholly original, the story of a Korean American man struggling simply to exist as he feels himself literally disappearing. In our conversation, Matthew and I discussed his book, the trap o…
  continue reading
 
Ross Sutherland is a writer and podcaster based in Peterborough, UK. Ross’s podcast Imaginary Advice is one of my favorites in any genre. Blending poetry, essay, and audio fiction with a wonderfully experimental approach to sound design, Imaginary Advice sounds like nothing else. In our conversation, Ross and I talked about what it’s like to make a…
  continue reading
 
Richard Georges is a writer, editor, and lecturer in the British Virgin Islands. In his second collection of poems, Giant, Richard gives us a portrait of the BVI through landscape, through its history and its present. In our conversation, Richard and I talked about his book, the aftermath of empire in the BVI, and the relationship between poetry an…
  continue reading
 
Alanna Airitam is a portrait photographer based in San Diego, CA. In her series "The Golden Age," Alanna makes portraits of African Americans in the style of the Dutch Realism Golden Age of painting, images full of grace and beauty representing black people in a fine art context, a context from which they are all too often excluded. In our conversa…
  continue reading
 
Leah Huizar is a poet originally from Southern California. Leah’s collection Inland Empire juxtaposes personal history with California history, excavating different layers of colonialism and centering Mexican-American women. In our conversation, we talked about what it means to own or be of a place, the stories behind California history, and what p…
  continue reading
 
In solidarity with the ongoing protests against police violence, Keep the Channel Open is postponing our regular episode this week and participating in the #PodcastBlackout. Resources: National Bail Fund Network Campaign Zero Showing Up for Racial Justice Scene on Radio - Seeing White Robin DiAngelo - White Fragility Ijeoma Oluo - So You Want to Ta…
  continue reading
 
Maggie Tokuda-Hall is a writer and podcaster based in San Francisco, CA. Maggie’s debut YA novel, The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea, is a swashbuckling pirate fantasy, and it’s also a nuanced and subversive story about colonialism, the power of storytelling, and the cost of violence. In our conversation, Maggie and I talked about her love of work…
  continue reading
 
Sarah Gailey is a writer based in Los Angeles, CA. Sarah’s latest novel, the YA fantasy When We Were Magic, is a wonderful story about teen friendship, magic, and queer love. In our conversation, we talked about the importance of representation and sensitivity edits, writing YA that respects teens, and how it’s okay to take up space in one’s relati…
  continue reading
 
Celeste Ng is a writer based in Cambridge, MA. Celeste's first novel, 2014's Everything I Never Told You, is, without exaggeration, one of the most important books of my life. When I read it in 2016, it gave me my first real glimpse at what representation in fiction could mean, and it was revelatory. Celeste's newest novel, which was just released …
  continue reading
 
Last month, I was scheduled to moderate a panel at the annual AWP Conference called “The Craft of the Literary Podcast Interview,” featuring Rachel Zucker of Commonplace, Dujie Tahat of The Poet Salon, and David Naimon of Between the Covers, three of my favorite literary podcasts. Due to the coronavirus, we ended up having to cancel our appearance …
  continue reading
 
Julian K. Jarboe is a writer based in Massachusetts. Julian’s debut story collection, Everyone on the Moon Is Essential Personnel, is a mix of body-horror fairy tales, mid-apocalyptic science fabulism, and blue-collar queer resistance. The stories grapple with body dysmorphia and transformation, and the realities of laboring under late capitalism. …
  continue reading
 
Loading …

Quick Reference Guide