The Downtown Writers Jam
Brad King hosts The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast, a discussion with writers about the terrible things in life that led them to join the ranks of the weird and the writerly.
info_outline Episode 38: Julia Scheeres 12/30/2019
Episode 38: Julia Scheeres My friend and former Wired.com colleague Julia Scheeres has written two best sellers: Jesus Land, a memoir of her relationship with her adopted brother David as they grew up in a fundamental Christian household in Indiana, and A Thousand Lives, a heart-wrenching story about the people who were murdered in Jonestown. But her story will blow you away. It’s the story of bravery and perseverance.
info_outline Episode 37: Woody Lewis 02/07/2019
Episode 37: Woody Lewis My friend for nearly twenty years, author Woody Lewis and I sat down for the first time to talk about his book Three Lost Souls: Stories about race, class and loneliness and life. What came out of that: his membership in the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), meeting and playing drums with Jimmy Hendricks, his family’s relationship to Sally Hemings, and the struggle with writing about being black in America.
info_outline Episode 36: Evan Ratliff 01/30/2019
Episode 36: Evan Ratliff We were Wired lackeys during the dotcom boom, but those days are long gone. In the years since we left the magazine, Evan is a two-time National Magazine Award finalist, the co-founder of the Atavist publishing platform, the editor-in-chief of The Atavist Magazine, the co-founder of Pop-Up Magazine, and now the author of what is sure to be the next big bestseller, The Mastermind: Drugs, Empire, Murder, Betrayal.
info_outline Episode 35: Danielle Sepulveres 12/19/2018
Episode 35: Danielle Sepulveres Episode 35: Danielle Sepulveres: Author, actress, and Tweeter extraordinaire, Danielle Supulveres‘ memoir Losing It chronicles how how she lost her virginity in what she believed was a loving relationship. Instead, her journey delves into the medical, emotional, and physical toll that comes from falling in love with the wrong person—and not trusting you own instincts.
info_outline Episode 34: Keri Leigh Merritt 12/13/2018
Episode 34: Keri Leigh Merritt We live in a time when race and class have smashed together in ways that threaten to tear about the social fabric. Historian and author Keri Leigh Merritt has written one of the best books on how we got here. Her book Masterless Men explains the how the social and economic fabric of the “white working class” came to be. And in our interview, she talks about what we need to do to get out of the mess we’re in today.
info_outline Episode 33: George Carlin (Bonus–Circa 2001) 12/07/2018
Episode 33: George Carlin (Bonus–Circa 2001) In 2001, I hosted a thirty-minute interview show as part of Wired.com's strategy to expand into multimedia. Along with my producer Jeremey Barna, we were given free reign to experiment. Most of what we did was not great, but this interview show proved to be popular. In mid-February, I had the chance to sit down with comedian George Carlin. That show—and that interview—was the genesis of The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast.
info_outline Episode 32: Vikki Tobak 12/05/2018
Episode 32: Vikki Tobak Writer, photographer, curator, and storyteller, Vikki Tobak left Detroit for New York City and found herself at the center of the nascent hip-hop scene in 1991. Her new book Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop will change the way you think and talk about the music that shook up America.
info_outline Episode 27: Trisha Borowicz 04/17/2017
Episode 27: Trisha Borowicz In this episode, we went full nerdy-artist-filmmaker smart with Trisha Borowicz, a scientist and documentary filmmaker who raised $20,000 to create her film Science, Sex, and the Ladies: The True Story of the Female Orgasm in 2011.
info_outline Episode 26: Matt Mullins 04/12/2017
Episode 26: Matt Mullins Back from a winter hiatus, the Podcast picks up with more post-election musings between Brad and his guest Matt Mullins, a writer and professor at Ball State. In this episode, the two middle-aged white guys discuss how the election of Donald Trump changed the way they approached writing and storytelling, a theme you'll see resonating through the next several months. As for Matt, he writes screenplays, fiction, and poetry. He also makes videopoems and digital/interactive literature. He is the mixed media editor for the Atticus Review and teaches creative writing at Ball State University. You can check out his videopoems on Vimeo, his short story collection, and his interactive literature.
info_outline Episode 25: Celestine Bloomfield 11/28/2016
Episode 25: Celestine Bloomfield The 2016 Presidential election changed everything about this country. And so it goes with The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast. Host Brad King has gotten political. In this first post-election episode, Storyteller Celestine Bloomfield stopped by to talk about her career as a storyteller, and how she's used those skills in the business world. But she's not about to get hemmed in by the shifting political winds.
info_outline Episode 24: Ben Asaykwee 10/23/2016
Episode 24: Ben Asaykwee Ben Asaykwee left Indiana to pursue his music and returned home to form one of Indianapolis' most interesting and innovative theater companies, Q Artistry. Along the way, he wrote Christian music in Nashville and performed original theater in Chicago. And his show Cabaret Poe has been running for eight years. But his story is really about the need to create.
info_outline Episode 23: Frankie Bolda 10/16/2016
Episode 23: Frankie Bolda Frankie Bolda stopped by the Jam to talk about her improv comedy work at Comedy Sportz, her life as the associate artistic director of the EclecticPond Theater Company, and writing. Yeah, she's one of those theater dynamos who lives in Indianapolis. The twenty-five year old is the associate artistic director of EclecticPond Theater Company, the director of fan services at Comedy Sportz, and has built her entire life around creating and writing (even if I had to convince her that she was a writer).
info_outline Episode 22: Adam Petty 10/03/2016
Episode 22: Adam Petty Brad King of The Geeky Press hosts The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast, where writers and authors discuss what drives them to tell stories. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, listen on Stitcher, listen on the web, or check out all the podcasts here on the site. You can also sign up for our newsletter to get updates on what we’re doing. Adam Petty is an Indianapolis-based writer. Brad caught up with Adam as he was teaching at Etchings Fest, a free one-day workshop hosted by the University of Indianapolis and Metonymy Media. They discussed the role science fiction played in both of their early writing lives, and why it's so important to create spaces where you can explore deep, thoughtful questions in writing.
info_outline Episode 21: Shannon McLeod 09/26/2016
Episode 21: Shannon McLeod Shannon McLeod is a soft-spoken writer from Michigan who writers stories where characters almost, but not quite. Much like like. Currently, she’s a teacher and writer (although never the two shall meet, as you’ll soon find out). Her work has has appeared in Hobart, NEAT, Word Riot, Cheap Pop, TXTOBJX, Moonsick Magazine, The Billfold, and (R.I.P.)Gawker Her chapbook Pathetic is available from Etchings Press, the student-run publisher of the University of Indianapolis Department of English, and Metonymy Media.
info_outline Episode 20: Kelli Allen 09/19/2016
Episode 20: Kelli Allen Kelli Allen is probably the most traveled, and least likely to be pinned down, writer we’ve had on the Podcast. She's a four-time Pushcart Prize nominee and she’s won awards for both poetry & prose. She’s currently a professor at Lindenwood University, where’s she’s also the poetry editor for The Lindenwood Review. Brad caught up with her at Etchings Fest, a free afternoon of workshops sponsored by Etchings Press. Her chapbook Some Animals is available from Etchings Press, the student-run publisher of the University of Indianapolis Department of English, and Metonymy Media.
info_outline Episode 19: Loren Niemi 09/12/2016
Episode 19: Loren Niemi Brad is still trying to wrap his head around the fact that Storyteller is a career. To help him understand what that means, Loren Niemi stops by the Jam to discuss his life as a Storyteller, his work with businesses, and his background in Philosophy and Visual Arts that prepared him for it all.
info_outline Episode 18: Casey Ross 09/05/2016
Episode 18: Casey Ross Writing is a terrible, terrible trade. But it's also one that can help find the voice we always wanted, but could never muster. Indianapolis playwright Casey Ross stopped by the Jam to talk about how writing plays helped her find herself, and find some measure of closure with her childhood.
info_outline Episode 17: Les Kurkendaal 08/28/2016
Episode 17: Les Kurkendaal Welcome to the first iteration of the second generation of The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast with Brad King. In this episode, we sat down with Los Angeles-based storyteller Les Kurkendaal, who was in town performing "Terror on the High Seas" as the Indy Fringe Festival. But this conversation was really about how Les found his voice as a writer despite the pushback he's gotten from the more traditional theater and acting world. And how his writing has evolved from comedy to theater to storytelling.
info_outline Episode 16: David Blomenberg 08/28/2016
Episode 16: David Blomenberg The last "lost episode" from the vault of The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast. In this episode, Brad talks to David Blomenberg is a kick-ass writer and amazing performer. He participated in the Downtown Writers Jam, Vol. 3 + rocked our world. So Brad wanted to find out what led him into this awful, awful profession of writing.
info_outline Episode 15: Kari McElroy 08/28/2016
Episode 15: Kari McElroy Well we're back from our short hiatus. Which really wasn't short. It's been 18 months since we sat down with Kari McElroy, our favorite graphic novelist. While life has moved on, her story hasn't. And she's STILL the author of Regarding Dandelions, which is both a labor of love and incredibly cool.
info_outline Episode 14: Salvatore Pane 02/04/2015
Episode 14: Salvatore Pane Salvatore Pane is at the center of the small and independent literary scene in Indianapolis. He's a professor at the University of Indianapolis, he's an author, and he's part of Corgi Snorgel Press (along with his fiance Theresa, who is also a big driver of the scene.) Brad and Sal talked about writing, working class sensibilities, and the New York Knicks, three ideas that are more linked than you may think.
info_outline Episode 13: Halle Butler 02/04/2015
Episode 13: Halle Butler Halle Butler's novel Jillian is getting rave reviews. I had the chance to sit down with her last November -- before the book came out -- to talk about writing while drinking tea in the office of Curbside Splendor Publshing in Chicago. It was also her first official interview, which made for an even better time.
info_outline Episode 12: Dmity Samarov 11/24/2014
Episode 12: Dmity Samarov Dmitry Samarov's book Where To? A Hack Memoir chronicles his time as a cab driver by combining narrative stories, visual art, and a 'zine sensibility. But that's not even close to the whole story. His parents left the Soviet Union in 1978, and came to America. Raised in Boston, Dmitry fell into writing while pursuing his passion in painting and visual arts and avoiding the dreaded 9-to-5 job. Now, he's working on a book that chronicles the story of his immigrant parents and their journey in the U.S...kind of.
info_outline Episode 11: Ben Tanzer 11/21/2014
Episode 11: Ben Tanzer Brad visited Curbside Splendor Publishing author Ben Tanzer in Chicago where they had two discussions. The first part of the podcast explored Ben's most recent book Lost in Space, writing, and fatherhood. The second half of the podcast focused on using literature and writing to carve our spaces for men to talk about what it means to be a man in a time when societal roles are evolving. Once you've listened to the podcast, you can check out Ben's performance in The Downtown Writers Jam, Vol. 2.
info_outline Episode 10: Erika T. Wurth 11/16/2014
Episode 10: Erika T. Wurth Curbside Splendor Publishing author Erika T. Wurth stopped by the podcast before her appearance at The Downtown Writers Jam, Vol. 2. We talked about tension, particularly how the tensions from life shape and inform the stories you tell. You can purchase her debut novel, Crazy Horse's Girlfriend, directly from Curbside Splendor Publishing or Amazon and other retailers.