Podcasts carry value for writers that goes well beyond entertainment.
They highlight poetry readings. Author interviews. Vivid narratives.
Not just a writer’s goldmine, podcasts are also a platform for showcasing a writer’s work. Most narrative podcasts accept story pitches, and as you publish, podcasters may be interested in interviewing you for a show.
The five podcasts below are hand-picked recommendations from Kyle Dargan, creative writing MFA program director, and offer a solid start for writers’ listening.
Produced by the Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress, this DC-based podcast has featured accomplished AU alumni, including Abdul Ali and Sandra Beasley.
Award-winning poet and playwright Grace Cavalieri hosts the (approximately) monthly podcast. Recent episodes interviewed poet Kwame Alexandre, DC resident and author of 10 books, and Carlos Parada Ayala, recipient of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities Larry Neal Poetry Award.
This monthly podcast explores the ever-present question for writers and artists: how can we balance the relationship between time spent writing and time spent working? Hosted by Scott Pinkmountain and produced by The Rumpus, Make/Work features discussions with both emerging and established artists working in multiple creative mediums—focusing on how they sustain their creative practice.
The most recent episode features Abeer Hoque, a Nigerian-born writer with Bangaldeshi roots who now lives in New York. After recently publishing her new book in India, Abeer discusses the long road to publishing, the publishing landscape in India, and more. Make/Work also sometimes produces more focused sub-series, such as one that zeroes in on the unique challenges and rewards encountered in romantic partnerships between artists.
This weekly podcast from the Poetry Foundation “explores the diverse world of contemporary poetry,” and puts poetry and culture in conversation. Right now, they have a mini series running, in which poets take over mic to discuss hot topics. Recently, Franny Choi and Saeed Jones discussed “Social Media, Race, and Disney Princesses,” and Erika L. Sánchez and Jacob Saenz had an episode on sex in music and poetry. Past episodes include an introduction to Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, and a recommended selection of poems to read at gay and lesbian weddings.
Not just for poets, this podcasts keeps writers immersed in the conversations happening around the writing world.
Produced by Maximum Fun, each episode of RISK! is a place “where people tell true stories they never thought they’d dare to share in public.” The host, Kevin Allison, performed with the TV sketch comedy troupe The State. RISK! featured Janeane Garofalo, Lisa Lampanelli, Kevin Nealon, Margaret Cho, Marc Maron, Sarah Silverman, and many others telling candid, raw stories in entertaining ways.
Hosted by Glynn Washington, this weekly podcast boasts a “stories with a beat.” Glynn told the Guardian, “We want to get into these societal fault lines of race, class, gender, culture. We want to do deep dives to help people really understand another person’s experience. The only way to report that is through storytelling—what happened to one person.”
Recent episodes of Snap Judgment include stories of elementary school crossing guards, the haunting aftermath of a car accident involving a clown car, and a record collector’s best find in decades. This is the perfect podcast for your walking commutes—putting a beat in your step and passing the time with vibrant stories.
Our MFA program is home to a community of interesting people, listening to interesting podcasts (among many other activities). Interested in joining us? Learn more about the creative writing MFA program at AU. We also offer a graduate certificate in audio production for writers who want to produce their own podcasts and other audio recordings.