Literary Podcast Round-up

If we subscribe to the notion that the writer’s life is a solitary one, I try to ease the solitude by eavesdropping on conversations about writing and not-writing, reading and books. Here’s a round-up of ten podcasts with interesting conversations and good sound quality.

Between The Covers by David Naimon 

Frequency: weekly

Host David Naimon comes prepared to interview his guests. He’s done ample research about what other reviewers have said, what writers have said about their own works. It’s an intelligent exchange.

Recommended listening: Carmen Maria Machado: Her Body and Other Parties

First Draft: A Dialogue on Writing

Frequency: weekly

Every wonder what your favorite author’s favorite word is? Host Mitzi Rapkin leads writers on interesting conversations, and at the end of each episode is a lightning round of questions.

Recommended listening: George Saunders

The Greenlight Bookstore 

Frequency: roughly monthly

Many recordings are made in their Brooklyn bookstore in front of a live audience, or at the nearby St. Joseph College.

Recommended listening: Jesmyn Ward 

LA Review of Books

Frequency: weekly

Featuring interviews with and conversations about some of the finest writers and books of our days.

Recommended listening: Tayari Jones 

The New Yorker: Fiction 

Frequency: monthly

Listening in to The New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman talk with various authors about another writer’s work.

Recommended listening: David Sedaris reads Wells Tower’s “Leopard”

The New Yorker: The Writer’s Voice 

Frequency: weekly

I like to listen to The Writer’s Voice as a companion to the print / online text versions of The New Yorker’s weekly stories. There’s something magical about hearing a writer read his or her own work.

The New York Public Library Podcast

Frequency: weekly

While not all episodes are literary, they are filled with ideas and thinkers like Masha Gessen, Tayari Jones, Phillip Glass, Nick Cave, Tracy K. Smith, et al.

Recommended listening: unapologetically, Sliding Off the Couch with George Saunders 

Slate Audio Book Club 

If you’ve ever finished a book and not known how you feel about it, the Slate Audio Book Club is there to help. The host recently left, so I suspect they are at least taking the summer off. The perfect chance to catch up on other podcasts!

Recommended listening: again, unapologetically Her Body and Other Parties

World Book Club

Frequency: monthly

Listening to host Harriett Gilbert interview writers and conduct the World Book Club is a little like listening to your best friend / fangirl try to smother a squeal.

Recommended listening: Annie Proulx

Writers on Writing 

Frequency: weekly

I especially like how the episodes are divided in two sections, because sometimes I don’t have 40 minutes to devote.

Recommended listening:  Luis Alberto Urrea


Written by Melissa Koss

Melissa Koss is a Senior Associate Fiction Editor for The Flexible Persona.

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