Literature

Scott Blackwood

Author Scott Blackwood talks about his new novel “See How Small,” with host Owen Egerton.

Amanda Eyre Ward

Amanda Eyre Ward on compassion, gratitude and “The Same Sky.”

In this episode of The Write Up, Amanda talks with host Owen Egerton about the calling of telling stories of the voiceless and powerless, the importance of looking past politics and statistics to the faces of real people, and the ways in which exploring the lives of these courageous children has impacted her own life.

We discuss the unpredictable creative process. Amanda celebrates “circling confusion” and even the unexpected blessing in abandoning a “broken book.”

We also touch on the gift of good readers, challenges of balancing writing and family, and the glory of Texas barbecue.

Artificial Intelligence

In this edition of In Perspective we teamed up with KUT’s Views and Brews for a discussion on various elements of and debates over Artificial Intelligence. What does it actually mean to think? How does understanding how computers work inform what we understand about the brain? And what is on the horizon for us in the world of Artificial Intelligence?

Listen back as KUT’s Rebecca McInroy discusses all things AI with: Dr Galen Strawson, philosophy professor and author of  Locke on personal identity: Consciousness and Concernment; Dr. Peter Stone, professor of computer science and author of: Keyframe Sampling, Optimization, and Behavior Integration: Towards Long-Distance Kicking in the RoboCup 3D Simulation League; and novelist and poet Dr. Louisa Hall, whose latest novel Speak takes the reader through 5 decades of building an AI doll.

 

 

Carrie Fountain

Always Remain a Beginner

Interviews on the Write Up come out more as conversations than a scripted line of questioning. The authors who are featured bring their own spirit and personality into the discussion and the conversation spins to wonderfully surprising places. Our episode with award-winning poet Carrie Fountain is a perfect example. Talking with Fountain is like grabbing a coffee with a dear friend you who leaves you feeling thrilled and more awake to the world about you.

During our talk, Fountain and I explore parenting, mysticism, craft, and her extraordinary new poetry collection Instant Winner. Whether it’s writing her next poem or facing a new parenting challenge, Fountain strives to “always remain a beginner.”

Carrie Fountain’s poems are prayers. Like prayers they carry the earthbound to heaven. Her poems are born from daily life — experiences of motherhood, marriage, traffic and trash trucks – but quickly rise up to questions of spirit and desires for divine connection.

Fountain earned her MFA at the James A. Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin where she began work on what would become her debut collection Burn Lake. That book received the 2009 National Poetry Series winner and was published in 2010 by Penguin.

Her latest collection, Instant Winner, is a sly prayer book of winking meditations and wry observations. Fountain has a gift for finding the miraculous in the mundane, the tremendous in the ordinary. Capturing a fragment of life, a passing moment, Fountain highlights the endless magic moments that fill an average day. Like the best of poetry, her pieces inspire new views on a world we believe we know.

Balancing a family and a writing career can be an incredible trial. Fountain and I chat about becoming a mother and how that has impacted her life and poetry. Fountain is married to acclaimed playwright Kirk Lynn. We chat about how a household of two creatives works and how the two have inspired, supported, and challenged each other.

Fountain has taught at the university level for several years and is now the writer-in-residence at St. Edward’s University. We chat about mentoring younger poets and her love for poets who have inspired her.

Much of poetry in Instant Winner describes encounters with the spiritual. Fountain shares some her own experiences with organized religion and where she stands now on questions of faith, God, and religion. She also discusses the role writing poetry plays in her spiritual life.

We touch upon Fountain’s own process in approaching writing: When she writes, how she seeks inspiration, and the discipline needed to sculpt a career in the arts. She also gives us a peek at how she approaches a blank page. Fountain hopes her style never outshines her poem, instead she aims for what she calls an “invisible craft.”

So brew a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and join us for a conversation on this edition of The Write Up.

Jason Neulander

On this installment of The Write Up host Owen Egerton interviews and the co-creator, writer and director of the Intergalactic Nemesis, Jason Neulander. Neulander’s story is one to inspire adventurers everywhere to take just one more climb up the mountain or trip out to sea. He bravely fought the forces of rationality to go on to produce one of the most successful radio plays of our time.

V&B: Tenessee Williams

In this Views and Brews Remix on Becoming Tenessee Williams professor Charlotte Canning , joins director Norman Blumensaadt and actress Jennifer Underwood for a discussion of the life and work of Tenessee Williams.

When Thomas Lanier Williams found theater, he didn’t just become Tennessee Williams, he allowed us to imagine our lives differently, anew ,” writes Canning in her essay, Tennessee Williams Becomes Us .

His goal as a writer was to ‘capture the constantly evanescent quality of existence,’ and the work he left behind continues to do this in ways that astonish us no matter who we are—students, professors, artists, audiences, writers, or critics. When he became Tennessee Williams he offered us a chance to transform as well. His becoming became us .”

Don’t miss this unique look at the life and work of a literary genius.