SoundPages

SoundPages is produced by Jack Straw Cultural Center as part of the Jack Straw Writers Program. This podcast features interviews and live readings from artists in the Jack Straw Writers Program. Each year a series of twelve episodes is produced featuring the current Jack Straw Writers and curator.
  • Body – Danielle Bero

    2018 Jack Straw writer Danielle Bero is working on a chapbook of poetry about her relationship to her body and queer identity. She and curator Daemond Arrindell talk about finding passion and connection with an audience, the rhythm of her writing, and working in schools. “Even my own students, you know, I want to get them excited. In a land of Twitter age, where it’s like, ‘I got a hundred and forty characters to make me kind of shine,’ I want them to start thinking about language that pops, thinking about wordplay, thinking about how things play off of each other, and how language can be really like . . . how everything is poetry.”

    Music by Amy Rubin and Dawn Clement, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

  • Grief - Dujie Tahat

    Dujie Tahat‘s project as a 2018 Jack Straw Writer is a chapbook length manuscript about grief in relationships and the political sphere. In his conversation with curator Daemond Arrindell, they discuss what grief teaches, the grief within immigrant experience, and fatherhood. “I think the relationship between turning and facing yourself—I think that’s what teaches you empathy. I don’t think you need empathy to do that. The core thing is being able to look at yourself.”

    Music by Amy Rubin and Dawn Clement, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

  • Belonging - Natasha Kochicheril Moni

    Jack Straw writer Natasha Kochicheril Moni spoke with curator Daemond Arrindell about her collection of poetry and creative non-fiction, As a Dark Bird in a Light Egg. Their conversation covers the duality of being biracial, the idea of home, and her experiences as a naturopathic doctor. “It’s this feeling of belonging: How do I belong inside myself? And then how, depending on what your belief system is, how do we belong to one another—whether it’s a country or whether it’s just us, humanity.”

    Music by Amy Rubin and Dawn Clement, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

  • SYG - Juan Carlos Reyes

    Juan Carlos Reyes’s project for the 2018 Jack Straw Writers Program is a collection of stories that investigates father-son relationships. In his conversation with curator Daemond Arrindell he discusses cultural norms, contradictions, and the celebrations of group and individual identity. “Every story, eventually, is about that little place and about our moving away from that place, but always having to return to it to negotiate.”

    Music by Amy Rubin and Dawn Clement, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

  • Colluvium - Meredith Clark

    2018 Jack Straw writer Meredith Clark writes about the experiences of the body, both known and unknown. In her conversation with curator Daemond Arrindell, they discuss queer identity, the difficulty of embodiment, and documenting experiences before perspective unfolds. “I think embodiment is, at least for me, and I think for a lot of people, not necessarily a natural state because the body holds so much, and the body encounters so much, and the body is a site of so much held experience.”

    Music by Amy Rubin and Dawn Clement, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

  • Hypomania - Corbin Louis

    Corbin Louis’s zine poetry project “Hypomania” investigates mental illness, addiction, and chronic pain. In his conversation with curator Daemond Arrindell, he discusses his subversive approach to poetry, the toxicity of American culture, and the Via Dolorosa. “In the land of commercials, in the land of big studio movies, in factory-made clothes . . . anything that speaks authentically against that is an effort toward subversion. Me, specifically, I try to have this approach of, like, radical honesty. I think it’s the artist’s job to say crazy, fucked-up shit and keep people on their toes, you know what I mean?”

    Music by Amy Rubin and Dawn Clement, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

  • Respek - Kamari Bright

    2018 Jack Straw writer Kamari Bright spoke with curator Daemond Arrindell about her poetic film project “Respek” and the myth of a post-racial America, the visibility of black female writers, and the methodical nature of her work. “A lot of what I do focuses on understanding of yourself and of your surroundings. I think there are a lot of distractions and misinformation in our society. And, for me, it’s important to kind of strip those things away and to show the truth of the situation.”

    Music by Amy Rubin and Dawn Clement, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

  • Silver Cliffs – Bryan Edenfield

    2018 Jack Straw Writer Bryan Edenfield’s contribution to the 2018 Jack Straw Writers Anthology is a collection of opening paragraphs to books that have never been written to create a literary history of a fictional community that reflects the history of America. In his conversation with curator Daemond Arrindell, he discusses the inspiration behind this project, the fragmentary nature of writing, and getting at the truth of American history. “I was worried that I was getting too negative and critical, rather than imagining beautiful, fanciful. . . . If you can dream it, often it can inspire people, so I think that I wanted to do that. There’s a strong tendency towards people who are trying to make the world a better place in the book.”

    Music by Amy Rubin and Dawn Clement, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

  • Holy - Ashlan Runyan

    Ashlan Runyan’s project for the 2017 Jack Straw Writers Program combines an essay, “All That Is Seen and Unseen,” exploring the creation of work and healing with a poem/quilt project entitled nothing is sacred, everything is holy. Her conversation with curator Jourdan Imani Keith covers religion in modern times, finding the sacred in the everyday and mundane, and how the fabric of words can knit us back together in a time when we are increasingly torn apart. “I think that the big space of a church or a cathedral especially is . . . a good place to let go of a lot of things that maybe are too big to be held anywhere else.”

    Music by the Steve Griggs Ensemble, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.

  • Victim, Survivor, Warrior – Hera McLeod

    2017 Jack Straw writer Hera McLeod’s memoir in progress chronicles her experience of surviving an abusive relationship and her fight to protect both herself and her son. In her conversation with curator Jourdan Imani Keith, Hera discusses her journey, the process of discarding illusions, and using her voice as a warrior. “I can’t protect anyone if I don’t stick up for myself . . . no one’s gonna come and save you, you know? You have to do something yourself.”

    This podcast includes discussion of domestic violence and the death of a child.

    Music by the Steve Griggs Ensemble, produced as part of the Jack Straw Artist Support Program.