READ TO ME with Becky Karush
We read aloud great writing. We listen for what we love. We become more powerful writers. Inspired by Gateless Writing & hosted by Becky Karush.
info_outline READ TO ME from... John Lewis/Alexander Vindman 08/12/2020
READ TO ME from... John Lewis/Alexander Vindman Congressman John Lewis. Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman. We read op-eds from both in today's episode. Why both at once? Because sometimes pieces are like magnets; their poles line up. There’s something they want to say in tandem, or in chorus; some pattern that shows up when one layers over the other. So let's listen to John Lewis and Alexander Vindman, and we see what kind of love these two pieces together reveal.
info_outline READ TO ME from... HORSES IN THE SKY by Kris Delmhorst 08/05/2020
READ TO ME from... HORSES IN THE SKY by Kris Delmhorst Singer-songwriter Kris Delmhorst does this special thing. Ready? She takes melody and rhythm and words and harmony and strings and winds and guitar — and she make glorious ships that she sets out from the harbor of her mind, sailing them to us on the current of her voice. Ready for more? Today I read to you HORSES IN THE SKY from Kris's new album LONG DAY IN THE MILKY WAY (pre-order it, right now). We're going to fly across the waves on consonants, on goddess choruses, on fantasy, on wisdom. It's beautiful, friends. It's magic.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Evie Shockley 07/29/2020
READ TO ME from... Evie Shockley Today we read "a dark scrawl" by Evie Shockley, and get this, get this, get this there is only ONE VOWEL used in every word of this poem. One vowel. The letter A. As a gymnastics move, this is AWESOME, like, she’s flipping, she’s flipping, she’s still flipping!!! SHE IS STILL IN THE AIR FLIPPING. And then, and then — what happens to us when that one vowel sound, that open a and ahh and ahr, pellets us, like bullets in image after image of war? It’s enough to love the artistry, the sheer attitude and talent of having one vowel sound in a poem. But Evie Shockley does more than impress us. Her work has more to do. Lucky, lucky us.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Kristy's Great Idea 07/22/2020
READ TO ME from... Kristy's Great Idea Why do middle grade books last and last and last? Books about wizards, books about twin girls with a red Spider Fiat, books about... babysitters? Because the writing dedicates itself to characters and action, and the best of them hold the author's heart and mind in the white space. Come listen to the warm authority and craft in KRISTY'S GREAT IDEA, the first book in the The Baby-sitters Club series by ANN M. MARTIN.
info_outline READ TO ME from... The Summer Fletcher Greel Loved Me 07/15/2020
READ TO ME from... The Summer Fletcher Greel Loved Me A year ago, I swam in the ocean before breakfast. So did Kelly, so did Elise. Lizbeth, Lisa, Eaddy, Jan. Sage. A clutch of my sister Gateless teachers. We swam to the dock. Lunched on the porch. Wrote in the morning. Improv'd in the evening. And one afternoon, we read aloud from THE SUMMER FLETCHER GREEL LOVED ME by Suzanne Kingsbury. We aren't able to gather this year, so we raise up this book by the founder of Gateless Writing, and we love its lush sorrow. Come swim with us.
info_outline READ TO ME from... The Space Between 07/08/2020
READ TO ME from... The Space Between Today we read an excerpt from THE SPACE BETWEEN by Janine DeBaise. It's an essay from The Hopper, an environmental literary magazine from Green Writers Press. We splash down the St. Lawrence River. We stop and walk below the high-water mark, in the space between environmental science reporting and family stories. We laugh around a campfire. We learn how the body arcs us into meaning, and how a single pronoun makes the reader a character in the story, too. Hop in the boat! I'll row.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Farming While Black 07/01/2020
READ TO ME from... Farming While Black This week on READ TO ME we go to the land! I read from the introduction to FARMING WHILE BLACK: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land by Leah Penniman. We look at the craft of guidebook writing. We savor the craft the global frame, and Penniman's expert use of it. We chomp on nutrient-rich sentences, and we see that mission statements do, in fact, have craft too. And we get to see food systems through the lens of apartheid, racism, freedom, community, and justice. We get to see Black traditions of organic farming and community agriculture. You're going to feel so fed, in every way.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Burial by Ross Gay 06/24/2020
READ TO ME from... Burial by Ross Gay Today we read the succulent poem BURIAL by ROSS GAY. Get this— it's one sentence! It's a poem that travels from ash and roots to plums and a father dancing, and it's one sentence long! Find out how a single line loops into a circle, and feels as cozy as a garden chat, and raises the dead, all casual-like, with fun.
info_outline READ TO ME FROM... Elizabeth Alina 06/17/2020
READ TO ME FROM... Elizabeth Alina Today on READ TO ME I am highlighting another wonderful Gateless writer, Elizabeth Alina, and her piece WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU FELT LONELY, a writing & photography collaboration with her partner, Parker Pfister. Read with me as we experience the delight of a journey that starts with repression but ends in liberation. That starts and ends with a question. That invites you to run with it to freedom. That hangs out in the woods!
info_outline READ TO ME from... Soul of an Octopus 06/10/2020
READ TO ME from... Soul of an Octopus Today on READ TO ME, I read from THE SOUL OF AN OCTOPUS by Sy Montgomery. Sy's love for animals and the earth goes out beyond her skin into millions of other people’s minds, into their bodies, so they sit crying on the sofa reading, and are so grateful for the heartbreak, and all the smoke it clears away. Come see how this love happens on the page.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Rubeena Ianigro 05/27/2020
READ TO ME from... Rubeena Ianigro This week I'm reading MASKED BLESSINGS by RUBEENA IANIGRO. This sensuous poem charts an evolution from passion to ecstasy, to rage to little hip checks of jokes (via a clock!) to a spiritual evolution on the narrator's terms. What?!? How does all that happen in one poem? Come hear Rubeena wield power on the page — and hear how I ended up sitting next to her on a couch in New York City.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Toni Morrison Was the Greatest American Writer 05/20/2020
READ TO ME from... Toni Morrison Was the Greatest American Writer Today on READ TO ME I read and love TONI MORRISON WAS THE GREATEST AMERICAN WRITER by Damon Young. He wrote it just after her death in August 2019. It's 700 words — and it goes from song lyrics to an ecology of black art to Toni Morrison as American literature itself to the central relationship of Toni Morrison and black people to America is it is today to Toni Morrison's legacy and directive. IN 700 WORDS. Devotees literature, disciples of truth, lend me an ear. There's a lot to love. Plus, we have a mini treatise on how this white woman can read and love this stupendous work by this black man without white supremacy stealing the show (and everything else). Maybe lend two ears?
info_outline READ TO ME from... Food Can Hurt 05/13/2020
READ TO ME from... Food Can Hurt Today on READ TO ME we pull up a chair for Food Can Hurt by Rene Denfeld, a new essay published in the new online magazine WE FOUND TIME from Zibby Owens. Reading to you from the backyard shed, I love up commas and clauses, grains of salt and the authority of the body, and arcs to meaning that build and build. Lucky you! You get to savor Rene Denfeld's words!
info_outline READ TO ME from... Ramona Quimby, Age 8 05/06/2020
READ TO ME from... Ramona Quimby, Age 8 Today on READ TO ME, we cook dinner with the greatest heroine in children's literature. Heck, all of literature! Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary. I wonder if Beverly Cleary chased after Ramona, like a mom gasping after a fast toddler. Or I wonder if writing Ramona was like coming to a buffet table always full. Either way, reading Ramona taught me to write, and Clearly gave solace to every independent heart.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Beneth Sauer 04/29/2020
READ TO ME from... Beneth Sauer Today on READ TO ME, we read the poem SMALL-TOWN MONTANA, 2019 by Beneth Goldschmidt-Sauer. An accomplished, award-winning writer, Beneth's work is exquisite, sly, mischievous, and bold. And so smart. My goodness, so smart. And in direct lineage from Jane Eyre, the patroness of singular, passionate minds. Come with us into the grace of attention as we love this compressed and flaring jewel.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Jane Eyre [Replay] 04/22/2020
READ TO ME from... Jane Eyre [Replay] I think we could listen in again to this passage from Jane Eyre because it shows the strength of the narrator while fulling immersing me into the scene. This is writing at its best, writing that took me away from the current pandemic, even if was just for a few minutes. -- To the moors, to the moors we go! O, romantic and foreboding mists! O fierce upwelling of green! O proto-feminism, mettle, and a singular communion with God! O, O, Jane Eyre!
info_outline READ TO ME from... Untamed 04/15/2020
READ TO ME from... Untamed The week on READ TO ME I read from UNTAMED by Glennon Doyle. We're here for three reasons. Ready? 1) Glennon, like so many artists, had big plans for the launch of this new book. So we're helping throw the party! 2) Imagining Glennon Doyle at a Gateless Writing salon—with the safety, the wild talent, the admiration for the work, the chocolate, and the Thai head massage—is an absolute mind delight. 3) Glennon gives us polar bears to love, and sensitive souls to venerate with patient, tender, humble cheer.
info_outline READ TO ME FROM... The Mammals 04/08/2020
READ TO ME FROM... The Mammals This week on READ TO ME, we're sitting on the porch with a song, "If You Could Hear Me Now," by The Mammals. Can you hear the bluejays and swallows in the background? They came around because The Mammals sing in the language of the earth. They put their verses together so that you fly on them, like a bird, in dips and swings. They take you to the horizon and spin it around, in harmony. Come learn how.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Mary Gauthier and Tennessee Williams 04/01/2020
READ TO ME from... Mary Gauthier and Tennessee Williams This week on READ TO ME, we have two pieces, "Esmeralda’s Prayer" by Tennessee Williams and Drag Queens and Limousines by Mary Gauthier. It wasn't my genius to put them together. Mary did that, in honor of New Orleans, and artists and outcasts, and queer kids and dreamers, and that which lives on a hard edge, with a heart edge, and makes beautiful things. Enjoy.
info_outline READ TO ME from... The Raven King 03/25/2020
READ TO ME from... The Raven King This week on READ TO ME, we drop into two pages from THE RAVEN KING by Maggie Stiefvater. Is there a better genre to read right now that young adult fantasy? No. There is not. Earnest, funny, delicate, with enough desire and longing to burn an ocean... and, in this passage, a crow for a pet and Tarot cards, too. It's the writing of terror and hope. Of being tested. Of finding your friends. Of pushing on, because you love too much to let go. Enjoy!
info_outline READ TO ME from... American Spy 03/18/2020
READ TO ME from... American Spy This week on READ TO ME I am reading from AMERICAN SPY by Lauren Wilkinson. The book operates on several different layers of reality at once, and the words are written in a way that so masterfully lets us experience each one. American Spy provides us with a context, a woman spy in the middle of a UN speech, that is fascinating, with jolts of some of the most powerful types of energy. This book took me out of a state of anxiousness of our current politics and decision making, and took me to a place of interest, thrills, and passion. I hope it does the same for you.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Friendship 03/11/2020
READ TO ME from... Friendship This week I read from FRIENDSHIP by Lydia Denworth, a new friend of mine. In the opening pages, Lydia sidles us up to the science behind friendship by completely immersing us in scene. We learn how to locate the reader in the body. We see the beautiful shape of a non-fiction book's introduction. And you get to hear me in bliss, in an NYC hotel room, after the kindest party of my life, at which I exchanged friendship bracelets and ate apricot-studded cheese.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Notes from a Yarmulke Wearer's Wife 03/04/2020
READ TO ME from... Notes from a Yarmulke Wearer's Wife This week on READ TO ME, I read NOTES FROM A YARMULKE WEARER’S WIFE, a piece by my friend Dvora Rabino. We see how a brilliant, watchful woman's heart becomes her compass. We see anti-semitism and racism, and a man in a yarmulke as the living definition of "indefatigable." We see complexities and contradictions without answers. If you're walking with many tough truths at once, let Dvora's writing light up your path.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Bleachers 02/26/2020
READ TO ME from... Bleachers On the newest episode of the podcast, I’m reading from BLEACHERS: Fifty-Four Linked Fictions by Joseph Mills. Set at a pair of youth soccer games, the stories dip into the minds of the parents who shuttle their little athletes around. I read from "Interrobang," two pages filled with funny, frank buoyancy, hard-earned heart, and glorious, diverse farting. (Laugh now, but you’ll see. And then laugh some more.)
info_outline READ TO ME from... Alma 02/18/2020
READ TO ME from... Alma In this episode, I’m reading from a picture book, ALMA AND HOW SHE GOT HER NAME by Juana Martinez-Neal. A first for READ TO ME! I talk about the deliciousness of simplicity, how to listen for beauty, and why paying attention to your attention is the first step to mastery of craft.
info_outline READ TO ME from... Holiest Day and Psalm 77 02/12/2020
READ TO ME from... Holiest Day and Psalm 77 READ TO ME is the podcast to listen for what we love, inspired by the Gateless Writing method. In this episode, we step into the most lyrical crises of faith in the song HOLIEST DAY by Rachel Ries, who performs as Her Crooked Heart, and PSALM 77 by a man named Asaph, maybe. Plus, an exquisite bonus interview with Vermont pastor and READ TO ME friend Matt Miller on what Psalm 77 means to him.
info_outline READ TO ME from… She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman 02/05/2020
READ TO ME from… She Came to Slay: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman READ TO ME is the podcast to listen for what we love, inspired by the Gateless Writing method. In this episode, we celebrate World Read Aloud Day with SHE CAME TO SLAY: The Life and Times of Harriet Tubman by Erica Armstrong Dunbar. We get to love a middle-grade nonfiction book with driving action, pairs of nouns that start fires, scenes of historical violence that do not fetishize or dismiss Black pain, and Black history right at the heart of American history.
info_outline READ TO ME from… Presque Très Bien 01/29/2020
READ TO ME from… Presque Très Bien READ TO ME is the podcast to listen for what we love, inspired by the Gateless Writing method. In this episode, we read from PRESQUE TRÈS BIEN, a memoir cookbook. We get to love how Barbara Michelson writes stories as she cooks food — with elegance and slyness, balancing the clarity of instruction with the complexity of flavors (and the vast and funny truth of family).
info_outline READ TO ME from… Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address 01/22/2020
READ TO ME from… Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address READ TO ME is the podcast to listen for what we love, inspired by the Gateless Writing method. We begin Season 2 with the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address — also known as the "Words That Come Before All Else."
info_outline READ TO ME from ... Double Fudge by Judy Blume 12/24/2019
READ TO ME from ... Double Fudge by Judy Blume READ TO ME is the podcast where we listen for what we love, inspired by the Gateless Writing method. In this episode, co-host Christopher and I read and love up a passage from DOUBLE FUDGE by Judy Blume. It's a wild, parrot poop-filled story, with much to love.