Episode 49: Maw Shein Win, Poet Laureate of El Cerrito

Maw Shein Win

Maw Shein Win

Maw Shein Win is the place where punk and poetry meet. Win is a prolific poet — and the poet laureate for the Bay Area city of El Cerrito. She’s also the former percussionist, along with Mark Dutcher, for Los Angeles post-punk band Pearls Before Swine. She joins us on the GrottoPod this week for a wide-ranging conversation that touches on the many shades of her colorful life, including her long career as an educator, her ongoing collaborations with artists and musicians, her new collection of poems and her experiments with New Wave hairdos during the 1980s.→ READ MORE

Episode 48: Larry & BQ On Managing Your Writing Career

Bridget Quinn and Larry Rosen

Bridget Quinn and Larry Rosen.

What’s your New Year’s resolution? Does it have something to do with writing? Do you want to write and publish more (or less)? Ease into the new year — and your literary resolutions — with Larry and BQ, who toss around some thoughts about how to approach writing, how to keep yourself in the flow and how to manage your writing career.

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Episode 47: Po Bronson & Ethan Watters On Starting a Writers Collective

Po Bronson and Ethan Watters.

Po Bronson and Ethan Watters

For next “best of” GrottoPod episode we return to our roots — and the San Francisco Writers Grotto’s roots — with guests Po Bronson and Ethan Watters. The Grotto co-founders joined us for GrottoPod Episode 2 to discuss the Grotto’s humble beginnings and subsequent growth, tracing a path that traverses more than two decades from a rickety Victorian home to an abandoned pet hospital, and finally, to the present-day Grotto, 100-plus members strong and a fixture of the Bay Area literary community. If you missed this stellar conversation the first time around, now’s your chance to dig into it.READ MORE

Episode 46: Lee Kravetz’s ‘Strange Contagion’ Takes Off

Lee Kravetz

Lee Kravetz

This week, we travel back in time to visit with GrottoPod producer Lee Kravetz as he anticipates the release of his second book, Strange Contagion, last Juneand then return to the present as Lee recaps the mania of his past six months. He talks about endless touring and his efforts to raise awareness of social contagions and their impact. He also shares a few thoughts on finding a renewed enthusiasm about writing — and Hanukkah leather jackets. Yep, they’re a thing.

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Episode 45: Shanthi Sekaran’s ‘Lucky’ Year

Shanthi Sekaran

Shanthi Sekaran

2017 has been quite a year for our inaugural GrottoPod guest, Shanthi Sekeran. Her novel, Lucky Boy, has been named to several “best of” lists, including NPR’s Best Books of 2017, and she’s travelled far and wide — from Nashville to Honolulu to Edinburgh — for readings. In November, Eva Longoria’s production company announced it is developing Lucky Boy as a television series for Universal TV, to be adapted by David Schooner (Do No Harm) and directed by Nisa Ganatra (Transparent, Dear White People). All of this was ahead of her way back in February, though, when she agreed to be the first GrottoPod guest.→ READ MORE

Episode 44: Guinevere de la Mare’s ‘Love Letter to Reading’

Guinevere de la Mare

Guinevere de la Mare

Guinevere de la Mare, author of I’d Rather Be Reading, calls the compilation of art and essays “a love letter to reading.” De la Mare’s life-long love of reading led her to create the Silent Book Club, a “happy hour for introverts” that now has chapters in more than 50 cities worldwide. Listen in as Guinevere explains how a kindergarten rebellion kicked off her love of reading, how her two-year-old indirectly contributed to the birth of the Silent Book Club, how to say “Captain Underpants” in Italian and how to treasure reading in an age of shrinking attention spans.→ READ MORE

Episode 43: Jennifer March Soloway: All About Agents

Jennifer March Soloway

Jennifer March Soloway

How do agents spend their time? This week, Jennifer March Soloway, associate agent at the Andrea Brown Literary Agency, joins her old running buddy BQ and Larry in the GrottoPod to clear up some of the mysteries surrounding the agent-writer relationship. She also talks query strategy, revisions, “the prologue question,” why some query letters receive “radio silence,” how agents work as advocates for their clients — and how an ex-amateur boxer found her bliss by becoming a literary agent.

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Episode 42: Cristina Garcia, From Cuba to Berlin

Cristina Garcia

Cristina Garcia

This week, seven-time novelist Cristina Garcia joins the GrottoPod to discuss the evolution of both her best-selling debut novel Dreaming in Cuban (1992) and herself, tracking her path from Havana to the Bay Area (with stops in New York, Miami, Los Angeles and Frankfurt), from would-be Pampers marketer to Time magazine bureau chief to best-selling author to playwright. Along the way, she discusses stories that cannot be told through journalism; what brought her to Berlin for her latest book, Here in Berlin; how good timing helped make Dreaming in Cuban a literary sensation; Fidel Castro’s basketball obsession and what happens when your mother insists you get your hair done for the national book awards ceremony.→ READ MORE

Episode 41: Larry & BQ At The NaNoWriMo Halfway Point

NaNoWriMo logoHow’s your NaNoWriMo coming? This week, Larry and BQ pause at the annual novel-writing sprint’s halfway point to reflect on their experiences keeping up a 1,700-words-per-day pace, and to discuss the ins and outs of speed-dating your latest writing project. Then, having analyzed the heck out of their respective triumphs and challenges, they dive into the hidden controversies surrounding book blurbs. And don’t miss our recent interview with the man who started it all: the impeccably named Grant Faulkner, who offers some pep talks to get you through the halfway slump.

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Episode 40: Kitty Stryker On Activism, Consent and Juggalos

Kitty Stryker

Kitty Stryker

Activist, sex worker, lecturer, Juggalo, editor and writer Kitty Stryker has no shortage of interests and no trouble staying busy. Already a widely-published journalist and essayist, her new book Ask: Building Consent Culture, shows that she’s also no stranger to excellent timing. The anthology features work from other activist writers, including Carol Queen and Virgie Tovar. Kitty brings her effervescent personality to the GrottoPod this week to discuss her unique life and outlook — and equally unique approach to a book tour.

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