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.
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
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
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
Featuring interviews with and conversations about some of the finest writers and books of our days.
Recommended listening: Tayari Jones
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”
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.
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
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
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
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
Melissa Koss is a Senior Associate Fiction Editor for The Flexible Persona.