Episode 23: The White Episode

December 14th, 2016

This week’s piece led to a lot of great discussion! While we analyzed our favorite and not-so-favorite moments in this story, our table discussed fiction as a genre: its purpose and the functions it must serve for its readers. With lingering depictions of artwork and thoughts on the process of grief, this story certainly provided conversation. However, did “White” do it for us? Listen and find out!

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Episode 022: Tea Leaves and Tastykake

November 30th, 2016

we’re transported to the sunny beaches of “Bora Bora,” where we find ourselves with some trouble in paradise. We follow that off trying to decipher “The Walrus in the Tea Leaves,” where we’re left with more questions than answers. And finally, we throwback to The Eagles’ “Hotel California” with “Déjà Vu.” Even though we do check in, we’re not so sure if we ever want to leave!

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Episode 021: Alabama Field Holla

November 16th, 2016

In reaction to the events of November 8, this week’s episode begins with local Philly poet Cynthia Dewi Oka reading “Post-Election Song of Myself.” We first heard it at our Reading at the Black Sheep Pub on Monday, November 12, and we were so moved we had to ask her to share it with you.

In Episode 21 of Slush Pile, we discuss two poems by Harold Whit Williams.
Our small group of three begin the episode with “Hawk Pride Mountain Nocturne,” a piece that Marion feels, “breaks [her] heart from line one.” With an incantatory and rhythmic tone, we are swept back in time to a liminal spot of dreams and melodrama. Our vote was unanimous, but we are requesting a few “gentle” edits.

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Episode 020: Boxed Wine and Slush Piles

November 2nd, 2016

Welcome, welcome, welcome to Episode TWENTY of Slush Pile! We thank all of our listeners, writers, and guest speakers for supporting this podcast and its mission.

We first launched Slush Pile at the end of March at the 2016 AWP Conference. We were thrilled with the enthusiastic response, yet confused at
how many times people asked if we were related to Slush Pile Magazine, also debuting at 2016 AWP! We had never heard of this publication, so we hunted down their booth and were blown away by the ladder and a very tall stack of papers. We had the pleasure of meeting M. Rachel Branwen, Slush Pile Magazine’s founder and editor, and we invited her back to our booth for some boxed wine and great conversation! Then, we convinced her to come on air.

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Episode 019: The Dinosaur-Robot Episode

October 19th, 2016

For this episode, we have two “creepy” poems submitted for our Monsters Issue by Sarah Kain Gutowski.
Sarah Kain Gutowski can’t keep succulents alive and is easily distracted by all things blue and shiny. Find her on Instagram @sarahkaingutowski to follow her annual #domesticviolenceawareness project during the month of October, or at her blog, where she keeps a messy, irregular, sometimes profanity-laced record of her life as a writer, academic, and mother of three.

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Episode 018: Jersey Guernsey, a Frenchman, and 2 Ho’s

October 5th, 2016

This episode is extra special because we had guest, Erika Meitner, winner of the National Poetry Series and professor at Virginia Tech. She is currently working on a “documentary poetry project” on the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland for Virginia Quarterly Review.

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Slush Pile: Episode 017: “Let’s Kill The Slush Pile”

September 21st, 2016

Today we have a very different episode; instead of discussing submissions from our own slush pile, we talk about whether a “slush pile” is even the best way to find writing and writers at all! Joining us is Jim Hanas, author of the essay “Let’s Kill the Slush Pile,” which details how open submissions really work, under what premises, and the advantages of scouting for work over open submissions. In a world where Facebook and Wordpress have made sharing writing easier than ever, does a slush pile still have the value that it once had? Are Editors who strictly pick from submissions nothing more than literary Gatekeepers? We sit down for this episode ready to defend our democratic slush pile as the obvious way to go, but Jim’s arguments left us questioning our own methods (unless you’re Jason).

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Slush Pile: Episode 016: Consumption

September 7th, 2016

Hello and welcome to Episode 16 of our podcast! Today we discussed fiction for the second time: Hunger by Kerry Donoghue. You can read the story before or after you listen to the podcast, but: SPOILER ALERT; you will hear us discuss all of the major plot points!

Kerry Donoghue once launched a falcon from her arm so it could snatch a pigeon head in mid-air, which seems really random to mention to you right now, but when you’ll read the story you’ll see: she’s obsessed with consumption: what we put in our mouths, all the different infidelities we allow. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, her little girl, and a distressing capacity for cheese (See? It’s all connected.)

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Slush Pile Episode 015: The Schneiderman Tingle Episode

August 24th, 2016


On today’s podcast we discussed four poems, all part of a “polyvalent” poetry series by Jayson Iwen. These poems were unique because they could be read two different ways, horizontally and vertically.

Jayson lived in Beirut, Lebanon for four years where he served as the “Hare-Raiser” for the Beirut Tarboush Hash House Harriers (yeah, we had to look it up, too). He wrote his first two books on a Smith Corona WS250 when he was in high school, and dropped out of pre-med to become a writer. In college he played Petruchio in an S&M, black box version of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew (eat your heart out E.L. James).

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Slush Pile Episode 014: Martinis are Just Like Testicles

August 11th, 2016


Welcome to Episode 14 of our podcast! We’re having so much nerdy fun with these and hope you are, too. This week we discussed one poem a piece by Hilary Jacqmin, Keith Woodruff, and Kierstin Bridger, each submitted for different issues. Another Slush Pile first! We read poems that focused on topics from boredom to Frankenstein to growing up in a reformatory town.

Over the years, PBQ often accepts work, contacts the authors, and then gets told there’s been a revision. Almost always, the original is better than the revision. We discussed why this might happen, and how difficult it is to know when your own work is “finished.”

Let us know what you think—do you continue to work with your work once you’ve sent it out?

You can let us know your thoughts on this episode on our Facebook discussion page, and then rate us on our iTunes!

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