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A Poetry, Arts and Literature podcast
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Episodes of VS

Friends, we’ve reached the end–Franny, Danez, and producer Daniel say their goodbyes after five wonderful years as the crew of VS. The team reminisces on some of their favorite moments from the show, tells some behind the scenes gems, and gets
On our last guest interview (oh god!), the squad is joined by masterful poet and overall champion Rachel McKibbens. Recording from the spooky, amazing bar she runs in Rochester, Rachel breaks down her comfort with violence, the power of stoppin
We’re dancing in the reflection pool with the inimitable Sarah Kay. On this penultimate interview led by Franny and Danez, the magnificent poet and poetry community member talks about what happened when she turned internal in the pandemic, the
Douglas Kearney is developing some new armor for his people. The visionary poet breaks down how he is exploring the limits and possibilities of poems as protection, how he loves to share what he’s learned across generations, the power of drum m
Cyrée Jarelle Johnson knows how to find satisfaction on the page. The brilliant poet breaks down where satisfaction lives in his poems, where the confessional meets the surreal, how sexy poetic form can be, and much more. NOTE: Make sure you ra
George Abraham is ready to return. The Palestinian-American poet and professor talks with Franny and Danez about the experience of revisiting their first book Birthright, carving a past and future for themselves in the face of colonialism and h
Evie Shockley is ready to bring us together. The poet, critic, and professor breaks down how she builds spaces to gather and exchange in her poems, the lineages she pulls from, balancing her critical and artistic lenses, and much more. Plus, so
Aria Aber knows how to find the space between the buildings, the beauty in the ruins. The poet talks with Franny and Danez about her masterful book Hard Damage, sharing the fragments of her past with her family, writing toward city and landscap
The illustrious francine j. harris is in the proverbial building, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. The award-winning poet breaks down the transformative potential of being a hater, mourning the loss of anonymity at the open mic, championing th
Cynthia Dewi Oka writes across generations, and what emerges is spectacular. The poet talks with Franny and Danez about flipping spectacle on its head as a way of subverting power, bringing both her mother and her son into the creative process,
Destiny O. Birdsong is happy to up to her elbows in the mess of life. The poet, essayist, and fiction writer talks about the joy of creating complex characters, writing auto-fiction, building books from a joke, and much more! NOTE: Make sure yo
Come dance in the unknown with Shira Erlichman! Franny and Danez talk with the brilliant poet and musician about how she’s always thrived in the mystery, what she has learned about transformation from both her mental health journey and meditati
Carmen Giménez Smith is ready to get down to the word. The poet and editor takes a deep dive with Franny and Danez into how she approaches editing, how she pushes writers to build off of the most effective parts of their poems, how she takes in
Tommy Pico might not like games, but he came to play. The poet, screenwriter, and podcaster talks about adjusting to life off of the road, stepping into a role in a TV writers room, beginning to write as a social media practice, instinct vs. ta
Taylor Johnson is listening, and they’re inviting you to listen too. The poet, whose first collection Inheritance was released into the world last year on Alice James Books, talks with our fearless hosts about how they’re listening for the soun
We’re off over the rainbow with the wonderful wizard of this pod, Suzi F. Garcia! The poet and editor takes Franny and Danez on a deep dive into the nuances and oddities of The Wizard of Oz, and it’s a wild wild world. Come down the yellow bric
Monica Sok is on the pod! Franny and Danez talk with the author of A Nail the Evening Hangs On, which came out in 2020 on Copper Canyon, about working through a traumatic collective history and coming out the other side, the delight of learning
torrin greathouse is in the VS house! The author of Wound from the Mouth of a Wound, Torrin talks about queering form with the utmost intention, examining what community actually means, returning to martial arts after many years, searching for
Franny and Danez get to talk to a poet they’ve stanned for many a year–Eduardo Corral! A poet and Professor at NC State, Eduardo’s newest book Guillotine came out last year. He talks about writing into loneliness, sticking with the wound, the s
Franny and Danez get to talk to a poet they’ve stanned for many a year–Eduardo Corral! A poet and Professor at NC State, Eduardo’s newest book Guillotine came out last year. He talks about writing into loneliness, sticking with the wound, the s
The VS fam returns to kick off Season 5! After an announcement about the future of the show, we get into a great conversation with the wonderful poet Ada Limón. We talk birds, epiphanies, loneliness, and much more. Plus, a new game and a goofy-
VS Season 4 wraps up with a whisper, a bang, a smile, and a hug from Naomi Shihab Nye! The legendary poet brings a fistful of sunshine to her conversation with Franny and Danez about learning from her four year-old grandson, holding onto hope a
Franny and Danez get their hands dirty with the inimitable Aracelis Girmay! The prolific and wonderful poet talks about the childhood joy of dirt, parenting in a pandemic, how she centers truth in her poetry, and much more. Plus, we start off w
On this episode, we get to talk on this episode with the legend, superstar, and self-proclaimed “baby yoda” Marilyn Chin. We talk about her long journey toward building Asian-American poetics, being the Nicki Minaj for so many young writers (in
Ladan Osman steps into the stu with a knowledge of her journey and a commitment to share. The poet and filmmaker talks about how she has traversed the complex and scarring world of the poetry industry, the ways that she pushed herself toward ma
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