Bennington MFA

Episode 418 – Sven Birkerts

Virtual Memories Show 418: Sven Birkerts “Rather than try to think of a book to write about, why don’t I try to think about where I am in the world, in my life, and my preoccupations, and see if an author announces him- or herself?” Is it unhip to search for a meaningful pattern in…

Read More

Episode 417 – Mark Wunderlich

Virtual Memories Show 417: Mark Wunderlich “Is poetry a place where you want to be restrained, or is a poem where you actually get to exercise some freedom?” A series of deaths and personal losses in 2018 hang over Mark Wunderlich‘s poems in his new collection, God of Nothingness (Graywolf Press). We talk about that…

Read More

Episode 410 – Phillip Lopate

Virtual Memories Show 410: Phillip Lopate “This book is like a tracing of American history through the essay. The essay is way to process ideas. All these problems we face in America I came to realize we had cycled through again and again: immigration, racism, sexism, disabilities. All of these questions of inclusion and exclusion…

Read More

Episode 393 – Betsy Bonner

Virtual Memories Show 393: Betsy Bonner With her new memoir The Book of Atlantis Black: The Search for a Sister Gone Missing (Tin House), author Betsy Bonner explores her sister’s mysterious death by overdose in a Tijuana hotel. We talk about how she knew she was ready to write this story, what it was like…

Read More

Episode 323 – Hugh Ryan

Virtual Memories Show 323: Hugh Ryan “I come to these stories in part because I’m trying to find myself.” Let’s celebrate Pride Month with a conversation with Hugh Ryan, author of When Brooklyn Was Queer: A History! We talk about Brooklyn’s untold queer history and how it reflects the story of Brooklyn itself, the challenge…

Read More

Episode 249 – The Guest List 2017

Virtual Memories Show: The Guest List 2017 It’s time for our year-end Virtual Memories Show tradition: The Guest List! I reached out to 2017’s pod-guests and asked them about the favorite book(s) they read in the past year, as well as the books or authors they’re hoping to read in 2018! Three dozen responded with a dizzying array…

Read More

Episode 244 – Nicholas Delbanco

Virtual Memories Show 244: Nicholas Delbanco “It’s a rare day when I’m not at my desk by 6.” He’s been blackening the blank page for more than 50 years, and now Nicholas Delbanco joins The Virtual Memories Show to talk about writing, teaching, and sleepwalking through life! We get into his new essay collection, Curiouser…

Read More

Episode 231 – Sven Birkerts

Virtual Memories Show 231: Sven Birkerts “There are thresholds or shelves where we go from having incremental change to systemic moments of transformation.” In the ’90s, Sven Birkerts cautioned us about the impact of technology on reading with The Gutenberg Elegies. In 2017, we mute our iPhones to talk about his new book, Changing the…

Read More

Episode 204 – Phillip Lopate

Virtual Memories Show 204: Phillip Lopate “There were times when I was transcribing the tapes and I’d catch my breath and say, ‘Oh, my God.’ I would stop the tape and just sit there, staring into space. Did I hear what I just heard? It was a shocking, dramatic experience.” Is wisdom possible? One of…

Read More

Episode 174 – Ann Patty

Virtual Memories Show #174: Ann Patty “I’m an enthusiast. I think that’s why I was a good editor. I fall in love with things and I get very enthusiastic and I boost them. Now I’m a Latin enthusiast.” Why did former publisher and book editor Ann Patty start studying Latin at age 58? Find out…

Read More

Lynne Sharon Schwartz – Euphonic Sounds

Season 4 episode 16 Euphonic Sounds “In the late 1970s, I wanted to write against the grain, so I wrote about a marriage that lasted a long time, with all the strife and stresses.” Novelist, essayist, poet, short story writer, and translator Lynne Sharon Schwartz sat down with me to talk about her newest essay collection,…

Read More