You May Contribute A Verse

Sinopsis

Conversations giving voice to creators, their process, their struggles, and the celebrations of their work.

Episodios

  • Ausma Zehanat Khan, Author, Khorasan Archives

    Ausma Zehanat Khan, Author, Khorasan Archives

    23/05/2020 Duración: 52min

    Ausma Zehanat Khan is the author of two series that we talk about in our conversation today. She’s got an incredibly storied and qualified history as a former professor and current Ph.D in International Human Rights. Her debut, the first in her mystery series starring Toronto detectives Rachel Getty and Esa Khattak, was released in 2015 and deals with the aftermath of the 1995 Bosnian Srebrenica massacre as the central investigation, with a lot more to it that we’ll get into during our chat. Khan also has a fantasy series wrapping up this year. It’s a quartet of novels, originally planned at three but expanded in the style of George RR Martin, set in a fantastical version of the Muslim world. The Khorasan archives, incredibly, are an epic fantasy series that have come out one per year, starting with 2017’s Bloodprint and concluding with this year’s Bladebone. The books, starring Arian, Sinnia, and Daniyar, on a quest to right wrongs, depict an all too familiarly adjacent anti-intellectual setting, with the he

  • Carlin Trammel, Podcaster, Nerd Lunch

    Carlin Trammel, Podcaster, Nerd Lunch

    04/05/2020 Duración: 52min

    Carlin Trammel and I have been planning on having a chat about his long running podcast, Nerd Lunch, put together by both carlin as well as his two buddies, Jeeg and Pax, for many moons now   Nine years this podcast has run, and the occasion of my conversation with Carlin – or CT as he’s known on the podcast – was the end of that podcast. We talk a lot in our conversation about transition, finality, and the passion it takes to keep something going so consistently for so long. By comparison, I made the first season of verse show run from April to September, then took a break for as long as the show ran. Much love and many props to Pax, Jeeg, and CT, who have weathered a lot of changes to their personal life, as well as to how the internet works, over those nine years. #VerseShow comprises conversations that give voice to creators, their process, their struggles, and the celebrations of their work. It's an interview podcast with a bend toward curiosity about the creative process.

  • Joyce Wan, Author-Illustrator, Dream Big

    Joyce Wan, Author-Illustrator, Dream Big

    12/09/2019 Duración: 01h21min

    Children’s board books seem simple, right? In a sense they are. A handful of page turns to make sure you don’t lose the smallest of attention spans from the smallest among us. Simple illustrations and not a lot of words so kids can grasp broad concepts and explore pictures at a pace that suits them. If you’re not in the children’s publishing (#kidlit) world, you might also think a discussion related to books aimed at an audience of babies might not interest you. Joyce Wan is here to tell you that’s absolutely not the case. Our conversation today focuses on her path from architecture student through her entrepreneurship and ownership of her greeting card company and on to children’s book authorship and illustration. Joyce has, at time of recording, two dozen children’s books to her name. Over the course of her ten-year career in publishing, she’s picked up a lot of universal advice to share not just within this industry, but in any industry whatsoever. She’s learned that you have to find your strengths and you

  • Jeff Miller, Singer-Songwriter, Looping Guitarist

    Jeff Miller, Singer-Songwriter, Looping Guitarist

    06/09/2019 Duración: 01h19min

    Jeff Miller and I go way back – back to the days before cell phones, when MTV played music videos, before the Matrix, before YouTube and the internet as we know them were invented. Back in OUR day, all we had were trumpets and trombones and marching band trips. And we liked them! The best way I can introduce you to Jeff Miller and his work is, I think, through the lens of how I re-introduced myself to him over the years as lots of high school friends do, by liking precisely one facebook photo of the other person per year, just enough for it to not be creepy. I’ve seen for the better part of the past two decades what Jeff is as a singer-songwriter – touring, putting in the work, playing for intimate crowds, releasing albums steadily. What I didn’t understand before our conversation I do now, or at least I think I do a bit better. Jeff is a multi-instrumentalist primarily playing looping guitar, which will make more sense as a concept once you’ve listened to our chat. I am an unbiased journalist when I say he’s

  • Paige Walden-Johnson, Dancer and Founder, CommUNITY Arts St. Louis

    Paige Walden-Johnson, Dancer and Founder, CommUNITY Arts St. Louis

    15/08/2019 Duración: 01h02min

    Paige Walden-Johnson is a dancer, an Ohio native who has made St. Louis her home. She’s the founder and director of the local St. Louis arts, education, violence remediation, and community unification nonprofit appropriately titled CommUNITY Arts St. Louis. The third annual CommUNITY Arts Festival and Concert are happening on September 7th and 8th, 2019! As we enter a discussion of what CommUNITY is and what Paige and her team are hoping to do with the festival, some level-setting and history is necessary. We start our chat talking about a woman named Rain Stippec. Rain is a St. Louis dancer and was the victim of a random act of gun violence in February of 2017. She was shot eight times. Rain has since made a great recovery and I don’t want to spoil any of the conversation, but I think I need to in order to give context to who and what Paige and I talk about. The CommUNITY Arts Festival was set up to support Rain in her recovery in the festival’s first year, occurring over two weekends in late Summer 2017. Th

  • MiniVerse 2: A Moment of Silence

    MiniVerse 2: A Moment of Silence

    09/08/2019 Duración: 09min

    Bear witness to the dead, to those who may no longer contribute a verse. Today's episode is an essay meditating on the mass shootings - the terrorist attacks - that occurred in El Paso and Dayton on August 3. The victims of these attacks, and all like them whose lives are cut short, deserve for us to hear their names and pause to reflect how fortunate we are to have the chance to keep creating, keep changing the world. Why write a novel or make a movie or make music? Why try to advance equality for all, or make some small change to what seems like a doomed environment? Why even try to keep one bullet from taking an innocent life? Surely we can’t change things. Surely we can’t change things if we don’t try. I do find it helpful to look for the good in the world. Small things. Look for the helpers, as Fred Rogers tells us. Not just the helpers, but any place where you can find light shining on the world or shine some light in your own way. In trying, crying, stressful, messy times, look to the helpers in whatev

  • Lindsay Amer, Creator, Speaker, Activist, Queer Kid Stuff

    Lindsay Amer, Creator, Speaker, Activist, 'Queer Kid Stuff'

    01/08/2019 Duración: 01h12min

    Lindsay Amer is someone we all should be aware of. Their TED talk, launched in June 2019, surpassed one million views within just a few weeks. This seven-minute video, which you should watch or listen to as soon as you can, begins with Lindsay singing and playing the theme song to their four-season YouTube video series called Queer Kids Stuff and ends with a very real entreaty for better LGBTQ+ representation in media and better conversations with kids, to arm them with a better understanding of the world outside the mainly heterosexual-presenting and cis, or normal, gender environment that makes up most media consumed by both kids and adults. The Queer Kid Stuff video series is very different from the Minecraft streams and political vitriol that makes up a lot of what uncurated YouTube has become. It’s fresh, bright, friendly, upbeat, welcoming, entertaining, and educational. All done with Lindsay, the engaging host, and their co-host, a voiced-over teddy bear, behind a desk covered in letter blocks that spe

  • Samantha Berger Pt 2, Childrens Book Author, TV Writer

    Samantha Berger Pt 2, Children's Book Author, TV Writer

    25/07/2019 Duración: 40min

    My guest this week needs no introduction. That’s partly because she is a force of nature, a wonderful presence, an engaging encourager, and a real pleasure to talk to, but it’s also because I introduced her last week in part 1 of our conversation! If you haven’t already, do go back to last week’s episode and listen to the beginnings of my conversation with Samantha Berger, where we cover a lot of her history in children’s media, from working at Nickelodeon to her years at Scholastic to zine publishing to independent picture book authorship. We start this week by talking about more of her books – specifically in the follow up to talking about the sloth-love show Snoozefest at the end of last episode, we discuss the touching and therapeutic Rock What Ya Got, and go into why a book called Glam-Ma is so necessary for proper representation. Later in the conversation we talk about one of my favorites of hers, What If..., and why you should always create. Finally, do stick around for our discussion of Samantha’s wor

  • Samantha Berger Pt 1, Childrens Book Author, TV Writer

    Samantha Berger Pt 1, Children's Book Author, TV Writer

    18/07/2019 Duración: 54min

    For those who may not know Samantha Berger, you’re missing out on a real good and delightful person. It would be impossible for me to track down all EIGHTY-some of her children’s books to read, as some of them aren’t even published under her name proper, but the recent ones are really good and usually pretty close at hand at your local library or bookstore. It’s also impossible to track down all the rest of the TV, illustration, voiceover, and other miscellaneous – yet critical – writing threads that make up the Samantha Berger tapestry. The more I read and learned about her as I prepared for our conversation, the more I felt intimidated by compressing all her writing experience – and otherwise! – into just one chat. We do manage to cover in this conversation the gamut from differences with your parents to zine publication to corporate culture to supporting peers to heavier backdrops informing more joyous works. Samantha Berger’s words in an email she wrote to me, "Believe in yourself and your work. Get it to

  • Jack Forman, Musician, Recess Monkey

    Jack Forman, Musician, Recess Monkey

    11/07/2019 Duración: 01h12min

    My guest this week has been in my ears for almost the entirety of my time as a father, from the days of taking my older daughter for walks accompanied by the sub-genre he helped build, kindie music – that’s kid plus indie. Jack Forman is an educator, hailing from Seattle, born and raised. His work as an educator and entertainer of kids quickly evolved from formal teaching to family-friendly music with pals Drew Holloway and, later, Korum Bischoff. Together, the three of them comprise Recess Monkey. Recess Monkey has been around and hitting it hard for almost fifteen years. And when I say they hit it hard, I mean that in the band’s tenure thus far, they’ve released fourteen studio albums. Jack himself has released two in the last several years. Recess Monkey’s ponderous music catalogue is joy-filled, catchy, and at the same time relatable to current as well as former kids. While Jack plays bass and does vocals in Recess Monkey, he’s a talented multi-instrumentalist and audio engineer, producing his solo albums

  • Kamal Bell, Farmer-Educator, Sankofa Farms

    Kamal Bell, Farmer-Educator, Sankofa Farms

    04/07/2019 Duración: 54min

    Kamal Bell is championing one of the most noble and traditionally patriotic American pursuits I could think of. It’s a fantastic conversation to have for the 4th of July. Through his ownership of the Durham, North Carolina-based Sankofa Farms, he’s looking to do a lot. He has worked since 2016 to render a dozen wild acres arable, while also balancing being a middle school teacher, raising his two boys, and bringing direct benefit to his community through Sankofa’s Agriculture Academy program as well as directly addressing our American food desert problem. #VerseShow comprises conversations that give voice to creators, their process, their struggles, and the celebrations of their work. It's an interview podcast with a bend toward curiosity about the creative process.

  • Uzma Jalaluddin, Writer, Ayesha At Last

    Uzma Jalaluddin, Writer, Ayesha At Last

    27/06/2019 Duración: 01h03min

    Uzma Jalaluddin is my guest for this episode! Uzma is an English teacher in Toronto, a parent of two boys, a columnist for the Toronto star with a regular parenting feature called Samosas and Maple Syrup, and a novelist with her debut work, Ayesha At Last, just having dropped in the US. If there’s anything I’ve learned from the initial handful of conversations making up this show, it’s that you pursue creativity best when it’s something you believe in with your whole heart. Where your heart goes, so goes your interest, passion, and time. Uzma first started work on Ayesha At Last in 2007. That’s a dozen years working on getting this story right, working around kids and a job about which she’s passionate, working through a dozen or so drafts, and a lot of patience. And editing. The passion, care, attention, and heart comes through in the writing of Ayesha At Last. It’s a love story perfect for the summer, with pages that fly by as the novel’s characters work through their arcs, both interwoven and distinct. Aye

  • Karie Fugett, Writer, Editor, Memoirist

    Karie Fugett, Writer, Editor, Memoirist

    21/06/2019 Duración: 01h06min

    Birds chirping in a blue sky, the wind whistling through the trees. The crunch of footsteps on freshly chewed Oregon grass. Somewhere, a dog barking. This is the pastoral Oregonian backdrop for my conversation with Karie Fugett. I hesitate to announce her as 'writer' Karie Fugett since, as our conversation alludes, you don’t always define yourself as one thing. We contain multitudes. Karie is a writer, though, among other things, and you can find her writing, including bits of her upcoming memoir, already available online. If you haven’t met Karie, or don’t know her online, or haven’t read her work already… her story is amazing and deserves to be told. At 17, Karie was a high school dropout. At 24, Karie became a widow. Her husband Cleve was injured by an IED in the Iraq war, later lost his leg, eventually to succumb to an overdose. Nine years after Cleve’s death, Karie works as a writer, editor, and memoirist, traveling to live in Oregon from her home in Alabama, telling their story through her words and exp

  • Rachel Bodi and Robert Poe, Ballet 314

    Rachel Bodi and Robert Poe, Ballet 314

    13/06/2019 Duración: 01h16min

    If you’re curious about what a dance company is or what goes into the seamless, flowing performances by well-rehearsed professional dancers that we’ve all seen, this conversation is for you because there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than you might think. Thanks to Rachel Bodi and Robert Poe, artistic directors of nonprofit ballet company Ballet 314, I now understand a little bit better what it takes to make a dance company. Experience, passion, support, a collaborative spirit. The right opportunity and the right network. The right vision to recognize the right time to make something new happen. Their care and passion for creating opportunities for local dancers while also connecting as directly as possible with the community fuels everything about Ballet 314. #VerseShow comprises conversations that give voice to creators, their process, their struggles, and the celebrations of their work. It's an interview podcast with a bend toward curiosity about the creative process.

  • Melanie Lee, Author, The Adventures of Squirky the Alien

    Melanie Lee, Author, The Adventures of Squirky the Alien

    06/06/2019 Duración: 01h48s

    Melanie Lee is a Singaporean freelance writer and author of the interview-based spiritual text Quiet Journeys as well as the six-book children's serial The Adventures of Squirky the Alien, helping children understand what it means to be adopted. Melanie works across genres, formats, lengths, and disciplines. She would probably be too humble to say this, but she’s serene, self-assured, and seems well aware of her place and position in the creative world. As with many of the folks I’ve talked to for this show, I’ve known Melanie for a long time - almost two decades. That being said, aside from social media connections she and I legitimately haven’t spoken for 19 years. I’ve always been curious as to what’s been behind her creativity, and I’m glad to be able to record and represent Melanie Lee’s work. #VerseShow comprises conversations that give voice to creators, their process, their struggles, and the celebrations of their work. It's an interview podcast with a bend toward curiosity about the creative process.

  • Kelly Light, Childrens Book Author, Louise Loves Art

    Kelly Light, Children's Book Author, 'Louise Loves Art'

    30/05/2019 Duración: 01h30min

    Kelly Light’s primary works, the ones for which she’s know the best, are two picture books for young kids called Louise Loves Art and Louise and Andie and the Art of Friendship, about an earnest girl named Louise who can’t put her pencil down for love of drawing. The art in these two books is expressive, animated, and dynamic. Like Kelly, Louise is at her best and happiest when she’s making art. The story we tell through our conversation touches on Kelly’s quick ascent to something some might call fame and glory, but also what’s more important about that mountain peak: the work it took to get to the top, and also a realistic look at what it takes to stay there, as well as what happens when you stumble from your peak. #VerseShow comprises conversations that give voice to creators, their process, their struggles, and the celebrations of their work. It's an interview podcast with a bend toward curiosity about the creative process.

  • Rob Nunn, Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street

    Rob Nunn, Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street

    23/05/2019 Duración: 53min

    Rob nunn has written a Sherlockian pastiche – that is, a fictionalized reimagining of the Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle – called The Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street.  After this conversation, I have a better appreciation for the ways in which being a fan of something can evolve into a more considered exercise in historical context, critical analysis, and debate. What Sherlockians do is what you might have observed in the Stranger’s Room of the Diogenes Club as part of the Sherlock canon. Considered discussion and intellectual exercise and creative expression with a shared experience. Rob’s creative exercise would have come to nothing – and likely wouldn’t even have started - without his deep passion and analysis. The passion that fuels so many people in their creative pursuits, the pure fandom of whatever it is you’re doing, takes just a slightly different spin here with a Sherlockian context. #VerseShow comprises conversations that give voice to creators, their process, their struggle

  • MiniVerse 1: Forgiveness

    MiniVerse 1: Forgiveness

    15/05/2019 Duración: 06min

    This is a mini-episode! I’ve spent five episodes now talking about the desire to create, the process by which we get individually to places where we’ve recorded podcasts, written stories, developed movies, recorded albums, and made wonderful picture books. What’s common among those conversations, and all the ones I have planned for the future, is that despite what comes your way in life, sometimes there’s a pull from somewhere in the back of your head to make something new come into the world.  When you can’t do that, it’s frustrating. Not in the sense that it takes anything whatsoever away from the other parts of your life, but there’s a part of you that still wants to make. #VerseShow comprises conversations that give voice to creators, their process, their struggles, and the celebrations of their work. It's an interview podcast with a bend toward curiosity about the creative process.

  • Robby Zar, Musician, Writer, Partist

    Robby Zar, Musician, Writer, Partist

    08/05/2019 Duración: 01h08min

    By any objective measure, Robby Zar and I have wonderful lives with small gaps where the creativity goes. Though some of the artistic disciplines are different, our take on being creative is the same, whether it’s music or writing or picture taking or speaking. We find time for it when we can, but it’s not our whole selves, nor even among our highest priorities. What comes first both in this conversation and in our lives is using our creative energies in support of helping our children grow into creative, self-actualized people in the same ways our own parents paved the way for us to be who we are today. I’m very grateful to Robby for his encouragement as well as his willingness to have this conversation, and to provide its musical backing. #VerseShow comprises conversations that give voice to creators, their process, their struggles, and the celebrations of their work. It's an interview podcast with a bend toward curiosity about the creative process.

  • Steve Light, Childrens Book Author

    Steve Light, Children's Book Author

    01/05/2019 Duración: 01h04min

    My guest for this week is Steve Light, a children's book author based in New York City. Steve has authored and illustrated at least as many children's books as years he's been working in the industry roughly twenty years ago. #VerseShow comprises conversations that give voice to creators, their process, their struggles, and the celebrations of their work. It's an interview podcast with a bend toward curiosity about the creative process.

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