Vita Readings: Lit from the Basement
By Danielle Cadena Deulen & Max Stinson
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This is a podcast in which Professor Deulen introduces short works of literature to her irreverent husband, Max. They discuss it for a bit before the conversation takes on a life of its own and can veer off into politics, parenting, pandemonium, or even alliteration!
||Explicit018 “Visions and Interpretations” by Li-Young Lee||Danielle shares the poem “Visions and Interpretations” by Li-Young Lee with Max. Topics touched upon include elegies, miscommunications, and Mercury in retrograde.||12/3/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit017 "What is the Body" by Hannah Dow||Danielle shares Hannah Dow's poem "What is the Body" from her debut collection Rosarium with Max. Topics touched upon include René Descartes, nesting instincts. and tape worms.||11/26/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit016 "I Watch Her Eat the Apple" by Natalie Diaz||Danielle shares Natalie Diaz’s poem “I Watch Her Eat the Apple” with Max... who gets the poem very, very, very wrong. Topics include Thanksgiving, Oedipus, and some ugly facts about the Pilgrims.||11/19/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit015 "Drift" by Brenda Shaughnessy||Danielle shares Brenda Shaughnessy’s brutally clever poem “Drift” with Max. Topics touched upon include metaphysical poets, paradox, and staying in bad relationships.||11/12/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit014 "Door" by Dana Levin||Danielle explains her personal connection to Dana Levin's "Door," working for a mean art dealer, and the dream that lead her to teaching. Max laments too many choices and, once again, brings up Watership Down.||11/5/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit013 "Ghazal of Dark Death" by Federico García Lorca||By sheer coincidence, our 13th show falls on Halloween week! Danielle sets the Halloween mood with Lorca's Ghazal of Dark Death. Max is a little disappointed to find it has nothing to do with the Ghostbusters antagonist.||10/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit012 "Departure" by Ocean Vuong||Danielle explains what an aubade is to Max by sharing Ocean Vuong's wonderfully dark poem "Departure" with him. Max is thrilled. Maybe too thrilled.||10/22/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit011 "Wishbone" by Richard Siken||Danielle is in Washington, DC with friend Shaun Daniels to discuss Wishbone from Richard Siken's crazy, sexy thrill ride of a book Crush.||10/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit011 "Wishbone" & "Planet of Love" by Richard Siken||In this extended episode, Shaun and Danielle discuss two poems from Richard Siken's Crush (Wishbone and Planet of Love) and how they work together in that crazy, sexy thrill ride of a book.||10/15/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean010 "Rodin's Fallen Caryatid" by Lindsay Bernal||This week we look at Lindsay Bernal's poem Rodin's Fallen Caryatid from her book What It Doesn't Have to Do With, which won the 2017 National Poetry Series. We discuss Danielle's history with the poet, Godzilla studies, and...||10/8/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Clean009 "Be Ahead of All Parting" by Rainer Maria Rilke||We have our first guests! Portland-based Doula Olivia Murphy brings Rilke's poem to the show and tells us why she loves it. Topics touched upon include the 2008 financial crisis, translation, winter in Vermont, Greek myth, and enduring hardship with...||10/1/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit008 "Manistee Light" by Samiya Bashir||September Women Poets month wraps up with Samiya Bashir's poem. We discuss the pastoral tradition and how this poem can be an anti-pastoral work, our poor gardening, and Danielle explains some math terms to Max.||9/24/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit007 "Obedience, or the Lying Tale" by Jennifer Chang||Jennifer Chang's poem leads to a discussion of the "flatness" of fairy tale characters, and how her poem defies it with the complexity of her speaker.||9/17/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit006 "The Explosive Expert's Wife" by Shara Lessley||Lessley's poem prompts D&M to contemplate the geopolitical complexities of love and where to meet in the afterlife.||9/10/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit005 "White, White Collars" by Denis Johnson||To celebrate Labor Day, we share a Denis Johnson poem sure to make you further hate your office job.||9/2/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit004 "Researchers Find Mice Pass On Trauma to Subsequent Generations" by Lisa Fay Coutley||Danielle and Max try to have a glib, upbeat conversation about Lisa Fay Coutley’s poem on inherited trauma…and fail.||8/31/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit003 "Those Winter Sundays" by Robert Hayden||This Robert Hayden poem leads D&M into a conversation about parental love and sacrifice.||8/30/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit002 "Thirst" by Tracy K. Smith||D&M discuss this Tracy K. Smith coming-of-age poem "Thirst," disagreeing on their interpretations.||8/29/2018||Free||View in iTunes|
||Explicit001 "Closing Time - Iskandariya" by Brigit Pegeen Kelly||Danielle uses Brigit Pegeen Kelly’s poem to change Max's opinion of a discovery that he initially found to be unsettling.||8/29/2017||Free||View in iTunes|
Hilarious and thoughtful
These days, it feels like few of the podcasts I listen to actually make me chuckle out loud - and so it was a pleasant surprise to smile and chuckle in the coffeeshop I was in while listening to this podcast for the first time. Max and Danielle are authentic, funny, and let their conversation steer them where it will, keeping the conversation accessible while also teaching us all a thing or two (or ten). Highly recommend!
Wow! Great Podcast!
This podcast is such an antidote for these dark times. Such a pleasure to listen to two people talk poetry in the most real and unpretentious ways. Thanks for helping make the world a brighter place!
A true listening pleasure!
I love everything about this podcast! The poetry selections are fresh and engaging, the topics are fascinating, the discussion is genuine, the personal stories are entertaining and relatable, the format and production are wonderfully refined... in short, excellent from start to finish. It leaves me pleasantly surprised and wanting more, impatiently awaiting the next episode week after week. What more can you ask from a podcast?