Monday, September 11, 2006

I Stand Here iPodding - Part One

Or, a Playlist for Writers Who Have to Do Laundry

I bought my first iPod a few months ago. Not long after, I visited the iTunes Music Store directory and navigated towards Podcasts→Arts→Literature. There I found many offerings whose quality ranged from bad to dreadful, but also a surprising number of worthwhile programs. Not all of the good ones were on iTunes, though. I found them all over the web.

Here are the best podcasts that are of specific use to writers. (On another day I'll list podcasts for literature lovers generally.)

I've supplied links to the relevant websites so you can decide for yourself how and what to download.

I usually start my writing day with Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac. Don't you?

Then I may check for updates on these others:

The journal Creative Nonfiction offers a podcast, called PodLit. In this segment, CNF's founder and editor Lee Gutkind talks with Dinty W. Moore, founder and editor of Brevity, the journal of "extremely brief nonfiction." (I'm a Dinty fan, BTW. I have a piece featured in Brevity right now.) Gutkind has produced ten episodes so far. Some segments are lifted from writers' conferences, some are interviews, and some are creative nonfiction pieces read by actors.

Barbara DeMarco-Barrett, author of Pen on Fire, hosts a weekly program on the writing craft and the business of writing. Writers on Writing can also be accessed from this blog and from the iTunes directory. Just yesterday, I listened to her interview of California writer Carolyn See, whose novel, There Will Never Be Another You, I just finished, and whose 2002 nonfiction book, Making a Literary Life, I read before that. (I've started corresponding with Ms. See, who is also the Friday book reviewer for the Washington Post, and she's delightful.)

The Writing Show is produced by Paula Berinstein ("Paula B"), author of a number of nonfiction books and a veteran researcher. Her show explores the craft of writing and sometimes she exposes her own foibles in a humorous way. She showcases the successes of those who have tried novel approaches to publishing. In fact, as soon as I finish writing this, I am going to find out how to make money on my blog. And then, I am going to listen to today's show, with Jean Tennant, which will tell me how to get published.

There's one from NPR, a podcast called On Words. It's culled from radio segments recorded by the late poet laureate John Ciardi. (A writer should be interested in etymology.)

Poets&Writers' podcast features readings and interviews, and the occasional group discussion. Don't miss it. Boy is this episode good: How to Publish Your Short Story: A Panel Discussion (2.01.06).

And then there are daily podcasts from The Poetry Foundation, featuring recordings of poems, interviews with poets, and poetry documentaries.

Finally, PEN American Center has a podcast. PEN is the world’s oldest international literary organization. Like other media hosts, PEN does not give you everything via the podcast. There's lots more audio to download, but you have to get it directly from the website.

Next time, I'll talk about audio and video formats that aren't iPod friendly, and what you can do about it. I'm no geek, mind you, but i have figured out a thing or two.

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