LIVE Archive

LIVE at the Writers House, episodes 51–51

Episode 100 - 9/30/2013 - LIVE 100th EPISODE!

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Thomas Devaney - Introduction
  3. Thomas Devaney - Performance
  4. Fletcher VanVliet - Introduction
  5. Fletcher VanVliet - Performance
  6. Erin Gautsche - Introduction
  7. Erin Gautsche - Performance
  8. John Carroll - Introduction
  9. John Carroll - Performance
  10. Alli Katz - Introduction
  11. Alli Katz - Performance
  12. Fletcher VanVliet - Introduction
  13. Fletcher VanVliet - Performance
  14. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 99 - 3/25/2013 - Tell Me a Story

From sumo sweatpants to feral cats, iPhone withdrawal to Full House, tonight's episode of LIVE tapped into all the horrors and humors of real life as storytellers, comedians, and singers relayed true stories to an energetic audience. Comedy show host Hillary Rea, a bit of a drama queen, wailed "I'm HOMELESSSS!" from a tree stump after accidentally locking herself out of her house in her "primitive" (ehem, comfy) XXXL sweats and Eagles-adorned fleece slippers in her introductory story. Rather than finding herself exposed to the world in baggy clothes, stand-up comic Carolyn Busa, who punctuated her tale with song, found her college self completely exposed — topless, in fact — to the virtual world. "Toiling in Obscurity" host Jaime Fountaine gasped at Paul McCloud's devotion to Elvis (McCloud even named his son after the man), while K-12 curriculum developer Andrew Whitmore cringed with each of his mother's new "piano baby" doll purchases (think: Elf on the Shelf to a whole new level). Cofounder of Philly Sketchfest Dave Terruso and musical guests Emily and Micah McGraw poked fun at classmates, teachers (a grave mistake), and Philly accents. Bursts of laughter rang out in the Arts Café as our guests told tale after tale of comical mishaps and mistakes.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Hillary Rae - Introduction
  3. Hillary Rae - Performance
  4. Carolyn Busa - Introduction
  5. Carolyn Busa - Performance
  6. Jaime Fountaine - Introduction
  7. Jaime Fountaine - Performance
  8. Emily and Micah McGraw - Introduction
  9. Emily and Micah McGraw - Performance
  10. Andrew Whitmire - Introduction
  11. Andrew Whitmire - Performance
  12. Dave Terruso - Introduction
  13. Dave Terruso - Performance
  14. Emily and Micah McGraw - Performance
  15. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 98 - 2/25/2013 - Apiary

On tonight's episode of LIVE, Apiary, a local magazine devoted to celebrating and nurturing the literary arts, graced the Arts Café with passionate writers from a host of genres. Food writer Christina Perucho, who believes in dance therapy, olive oil, and red lipstick, observed that cranky folks get decaf and boys never actually call you by your real name, while Dorkabetic author Hannah McDonald shrilly warned the audience to never fall in love with boys with common names. In a breathy and passionate voice, author Frank Sherlock proclaimed that public toilets are "rank with territorial piss" and questioned the meaning of life. Eclectic musical guest Strawberry Hands and English teacher Mathew Kay shared melancholic and shutter-inducing songs and poems about life's struggles. Contemporary poet Carlos Soto Roman could only say, say, say, say before an overwhelming beeping cut off his words and left an unsettling silence in the air. The Arts Café truly burst with passion and performance in this evening's LIVE.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Cristina Perachio - Introduction
  3. Cristina Perachio - Performance
  4. Frank Sherlock - Introduction
  5. Frank Sherlock - Performance
  6. Strawberry Hands - Introduction
  7. Strawberry Hands - Performance
  8. Hannah McDonald - Introduction
  9. Hannah McDonald - Performance
  10. Matthew Kay - Introduction
  11. Matthew Kay - Performance
  12. Carlos Soto-Roman - Introduction
  13. Carlos Soto-Roman - Performance
  14. Strawberry Hands - Performance
  15. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 97 - 1/28/2013 - Philly Love Notes

Monday's readers, participants in the online blog project "Philly Love Notes," read to remind Philadelphians how great their city is. John Paul Titlow honored his father's memory polishing off milkshakes at the old-fashioned counter of Little Pete's Diner in Center City, and Andrew Thompson paid tribute to the eco-farm in southwest Philly where life is still made from dirt. Edith Mulhern and Katie Sweeney's love of Philly intertwined with their running routes — Woodland Cemetery, an accessible slice of Philly's rich history, and the Kelly Drive loop, with its rusty water fountain, were not to be overlooked. Gretchen Lohse, whose most inspirational Philly site is her own house in Fishtown, sung "All Around the River" with a voice piercing in its insistence. Shadia Cooper and Visheera Muhammad from Tree House Books, whose mission is to grow and sustain a community of readers, writers, and thinkers in North Central Philadelphia, joined us with their own letters to the city they love: Cooper revealed the dreamland in her head, and Muhammad talked about creamy walls, like Twix ice cream, in her grandmother's bedroom. Emma Fried-Cassorla, creator of the blog, read a story by Emma Eisenberg entitled "The Last City I Loved: Philadelphia." And in each of their testimonies, we saw the truth in Cassorla's claim that "people like to pretend they don't like Philadelphia, but when you get them talking about it they can't stop."

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. John Paul Titlow - Introduction
  3. John Paul Titlow - Performance
  4. Andrew Thomson - Introduction
  5. Andrew Thomson - Performance
  6. Gretchen Lohsi - Introduction
  7. Gretchen Lohsi - Performance
  8. Treehouse - Introduction
  9. Treehouse - Performance
  10. Edith Mullhern - Introduction
  11. Edith Mullhern - Performance
  12. Katie Sweeney - Introduction
  13. Katie Sweeney - Performance
  14. Emma Fried-Cassorla - Introduction
  15. Emma Fried-Cassorla - Performance
  16. Gretchen Lohsi - Performance
  17. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 96 - 11/26/2012 - Emerging Philadelphia Writers

Episode 95 - 9/12/2012 - 10th Anniversary of Quirk Books

Philadelphia publishing house Quirk Books celebrated its tenth anniversary with the Writers House and WXPN at today's edition of LIVE. Eric Smith, Quirk's social media and marketing coordinator, explained the history of Quirk, from The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook in 2002 to The Peanut Butter Cookbook in 2009. Dougie Horner, proclaimed "the funniest guy in Philly" by Philadelphia Magazine, read an excerpt from The History of the Berenstain Bears, proving through snappy one-liners and bizarre plot lines that Philadelphia Magazine chose right. Don Steinberg taught us jokes every man should know, and Caroline Tiger informed us how to spot the serial long-distance dater (hint: "when you joke about his weekday girlfriend, there is a long pause before he laughs"). Musical guest Emily Bate provided lively tunes about her new subject of interest, lady criminals. And Michael Rogalski, creative director at Quirk Books, ended the night by sharing his experience and expertise. While most known for the international bestseller Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the authors and staff at Quirk demonstrated that talent extends to every corner of the publishing house.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Eric Smith - Introduction
  3. Eric Smith - History of Quirk Books
  4. Dougie Horner - Introduction
  5. Dougie Horner - Short Stories
  6. Emily Bate - Introduction
  7. Emily Bate - Performance
  8. Caroline Tiger - Introduction
  9. Caroline Tiger - Reading
  10. Don Steinberg - Reading
  11. Don Steinberg - Introduction
  12. Michael Rogalski - Introduction
  13. Michael Rogalski - Reading
  14. Emily Bate - Performance

Episode 94 - 3/26/2012 - Principal Hand Presents

Local experimental poets from Steve McLaughlin's monthly reading series enlivened the Writers House this March evening in an abundance of exuberant verse. Each performer tipped their hat to their fellow readers, resulting in a number of energetic collaborations as the night progressed. It was difficult to discern the difference between Eddie Hopely's lilting poetry and his ordinary speech; he seemed to edit his work in real-time as he warped language in repetition. Trisha Low claimed that performance studies, a field in which she is pursuing an MFA at Tisch, doesn't really exist, an assertion that was hard to believe as her reading took a surprising theatrical turn. Musical guest Corey Duncan of Oh! Pears showcased spirited acoustics in his song "Under the Olive Trees"; later in the night, his malleable, whinnying voice went soft in a cover of Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony (movement #2). "Corroded philosophic algorithm" John Paetsch evidenced his verbal alacrity in snappy changes of tone, alternating between textbook recitation, gangsta-speech, diatribe, falsetto, stuttered name-dropping, and even interjected song as if flicking through channels on a TV. Cecilia K. Corrigan enlisted the help of the other poets in attendance to pay tribute to HBO's "Luck" with a surreal screenplay about horseracing, intrigue, and threatening poems. Gauss PDF founder Gordon Faylor wrapped up the poetic portion of the night; his voice grew unsettling and gravelly as he spouted medical analyses, creating a diseased effect.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Eddie Hopely - Introduction
  3. Eddie Hopely - Performance
  4. Trisha Low - Introduction
  5. Trisha Low - "Conversation"
  6. Corey Duncan - Introduction
  7. Corey Duncan - "Under the Olive Trees"
  8. John Paetsch - Introduction
  9. John Paetsch - "Novel"
  10. Cecilia K. Corrigan - Introduction
  11. Cecilia K. Corrigan - "Luck"
  12. Gordon Faylor - Introduction
  13. Gordon Faylor - "I've Got a New Hat"
  14. Corey Duncan - "Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony"
  15. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 93 - 2/23/2012 - Philly's Up-And-Coming

A few of Philadelphia's finest young writers read a selection of fiction and poetry in this edition of LIVE. Pattie Russo, who began writing stories while working with lab animals in a cancer research lab, started the evening off with a fresh, dystopian take on a "lost dog" story, while Sam Allingham continued the theme of absence with an exploration of deluded parental dynamics and art museums. The Old-Fashioneds proceeded to charm with their traditional bluegrass style; plucky, heartening fiddle balanced mournful vocals in "Who's Going to Shoe Your Pretty Little Feet?" and "Single Girl." Bridget Talone changed the pace with a measured, mesmerizing reading of Prince-inspired poems. Next, MFA poetry candidate Timothy Leonido delved into inter-workplace tension as it relates to pharmaceuticals, dairy mishaps, and illicit scratch-off dealings. Mathew Jakubowski's "Chilling Out Raya Potta" rounded out the night with gripping character development, both written and oral: the earnestness of Raya Potta, executor of "emblematic public experiences," was clear in Jakubowski's voice.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Pattie Russo - Introduction
  3. Pattie Russo - "Serious Work Indeed"
  4. Sam Allingham - Introduction
  5. Sam Allingham - "Sunflowers," "Field," and "Your Name Here"
  6. The Old Fashioneds - Introduction
  7. The Old Fashioneds - "Whose Going to Show Your Pretty Little Feet"
  8. Bridget Talone - Introduction
  9. Bridget Talone - Nine Poems
  10. Timothy Leonido - Introduction
  11. Timothy Leonido - Short Story
  12. Matthew Jakubowski - Introduction
  13. Matthew Jakubowski - "Chilling Out Raya Potta"
  14. Old Fashioneds - "Single Girl"
  15. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 92 - 01/23/2012 - Friends of the Writers House

For the 92nd episode of LIVE, we invited valued members of the Writers House community to come share their poetry. We were joined by writers Anne-Adele Wight, Frank Sherlock, Susanna Frye, Michelle Taransky, and Ryan Eckes, as well as the musical group Honey Watts, comprised of folk artists Liz Fullerton and Carl Cheeseman. Many of the poets expressed themselves through natural imagery, as in Taransky's "No, I will be in the Woods" and Wigh''s commentary on environmental issues in "Sidestep Catapult." The poets also voiced their concerns with social issues and educating people, as we saw in Sherlock's piece on the Occupy Wall Street movement. We concluded the session close to home, with Eckes' series of poems about Philadelphia, finishing appropriately with a poem exploring what the word "friend" really means.

  1. Erin Gautsche - Opening Remarks
  2. Anne-Adele Wight - Introduction
  3. Anne-Adele Wight - "Sidestep Catapult"
  4. Frank Sherlock - Introduction
  5. Frank Sherlock - "Great Meetings in History"
  6. Susana Frye - Introduction
  7. Susana Frye - Reading
  8. Michelle Taransky - Introduction
  9. Michelle Taransky - "No, I will be in the Woods"
  10. Honey Watts - Introduction
  11. Honey Watts - "No Promises"
  12. Ryan Eckes - Introduction
  13. Ryan Eckes - "Old News"
  14. Honey Watts - "Charlotte"
  15. Erin Gautsche - Closing Remarks

Episode 91 - 11/28/2011 - Leeway Foundation Grant Winners

Episode 91 of LIVE featured grant winners from the Leeway Foundation, a group that focuses on female and transgender artists in Philadelphia who work to promote social change and resist oppression. During the event, the winners described the projects funded by the Leeway grants. These works ranged from books to artistic portraits to plays. The final winner, Reverend Dr. Beverly Dale, performed one-woman shows on women's liberation from sexual opression. Genne Murphy, playwright and grant winner, was unfortunately unable to join us; however, prior to the event, she worked with two actresses – Anjoli Santiago and Leyla Eraslan – on a reading of Scenes Three and Four of her play-in-progress, "Giantess." Poetry by Shari Tobias and Debra Powell-Wright was also shared during this episode, as well as the introduction to Ondartza Polita's "Legend of Nahia."

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Shari Tobias - Introduction
  3. Shari Tobias - "Tomb of the Unkown Mother"
  4. Debra Wright - Introduction
  5. Debra Wright - "Love Letter to Mother"
  6. Debra Wright - "Woman Just Be"
  7. Lizanne Knott - Introdution
  8. Lizanne Knott - "Three Steps Shy"
  9. Genne Murphy - Introduction
  10. Genne Murphy - "Giantess"
  11. Ondartza Polita - Introduction
  12. Ondartza Polita - "Legend of Naya"
  13. Reverand Dr. Beverly Dale - Introduction
  14. Reverand Dr. Beverly Dale - "Buns"
  15. Reverand Dr. Beverly Dale - "Song of Songs"
  16. Lizanne Knott - "Angels"
  17. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 90 - 10/24/2011 - First Person Festival Preview

As a precursor for the 10th anniversary First Person Festival of Memoir and Documentary Art, LIVE hosted its 90th episode with poets and spoken word artists set to perform at the festival. The storytelling began with comedian Hillary Rea sharing stories of her celebrity encounters, told in backwards chronological order. Among the rest of the storytellers were Michelle Myers and Kao Kue, who each performed works that brought out their distinctly Asian American heritage, paying special attention to their ancestors. Erik Thomas shared his funny, captivating, yet emotional poem, "Daddy Issues," which offered his perspective on growing up gay. Hip-hop artist and poet Native Son, as well as musician and self-proclaimed "teaching artist" Jack Drummond, shared stories as well.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Hillary Rea - Introduction
  3. Hillary Rea - "Celebrity Encounters"
  4. Michelle Myers - Introduction
  5. Michelle Myers - Three Poems
  6. Jack Drummond - Introduction
  7. Jack Drummond - "Freedom"
  8. Erik Thomas - Introduction
  9. Erik Thomas - "Daddy Issues"
  10. Kao Kue - Introduction
  11. Kao Kue - Stories and Poems
  12. Native Son - Introduction
  13. Native Son - Poems
  14. Jack Drummond - "Sometimes I Feel like a Motherless Child"
  15. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 89 - 9/26/2011 - Philadelphia Stories Contributors

The Writers House welcomed contributors to the literary journal Philadelphia Stories as well as musician Adrien Reju to the 89th episode of LIVE. To start off the evening, Christina Delia read us her short story "The Robbery" from the journal, as well as a story about dreams called "All Through the Night." Next, we heard James W. Morris's ridiculous yet chilling "The Captive," and Chad Willemborg's creepy and emotionally charged "The Boat." Quaker writer Helen W. Mallon shared a few of her unique stories featuring a spiritually lost, bi-racial mother of twins and a girl's father that refuses to come out of the bathroom for weeks. Finally, Debrah Morkun shared a series of poems called "IDA." With the exceptions of Morkun and Reju, the works read by the writers present can be found in print in Philadelphia Stories.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Christina Delia - Introduction
  3. Christina Delia - "The Robbery"
  4. James W. Morris - Introduction
  5. James W. Morris - "Captive"
  6. Chad Willemborg - Introduction
  7. Chad Willemborg - "The Boat"
  8. Hellen W. Mallon - Introduction
  9. Hellen W. Mallon - "Did You Put the Cat to Bed"
  10. Adrien Reju - Introduction
  11. Adrien Reju - "Under the Moonlight"
  12. Deborah Morkun - Introduction
  13. Deborah Morkun - Performance
  14. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 88 - 3/28/2011 - Philadelphia Noir Contributors

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.

Who knew Philly was so full of intrigue? In this episode of LIVE contributors to the anthology Philadelphia Noir tested the limits of radio with scandalous, suspenseful stories set in delightfully familiar landscapes. Carlin Romano, occasionally adopting a Russian accent for added effect, began with a University City tale about a man with an affinity for seducing real estate agents. Dennis Tafoya revealed his taste for desperation and anxiety in a story about a kleptomaniac, saying, "I'm not a criminal, but I'm a parent, so I understand." Elliot Harvey of A Stick and A Stone introduced the audience to "haunted folk therapy"; enchanting banjo and the raspy edge to his clear soprano lent his music an appropriate level of sorrow and pain. Ansali Solomon followed with a segment from "Secret Pool," in which the disappearance of a teenager's Walkman coincides with her discovery of a shadowy swimming pool. Solomon Jones's emphatic, poetic voice accented the sensory trauma of "Scarred," a short fictional piece brimming with military conspiracy, while Jim Zervanos lightened the mood in "Your Brother Who Loves You," a story rich with satire and comical aspirations to badassery.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Carlin Romano - Introduction
  3. Carlin Romano - Performance
  4. Dennis Tafoya - Introduction
  5. Dennis Tafoya - "Above the Imperial"
  6. A Stick and a Stone - Introduction
  7. A Stick and a Stone - "Moving Slowly"
  8. Ansali Solomon - Introduction
  9. Ansali Solomon - "Secret Pool"
  10. Solomon Jones - Introduction
  11. Solomon Jones - "Scarred"
  12. Jim Zervanos - Introduction
  13. Jim Zervanos - "Your Brother Who Loves You"
  14. A Stick and a Stone - "Muscle Memory"
  15. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 87 - 2/28/2011 - Leeway Foundation Grant Winners

This edition of Live at the Writers House featured the Leeway Foundation's 2010 Arts and Change Grantees. Catzie Villayphonh arrived at the program straight from teaching 5th-7th graders poetry; though she claimed to be underprepared, Villayphonh delivered a confident, high-speed performance of "You Bring Out the Laos in the House," a poem that covered everything from fertilized duck eggs to elephant tattoos. Dr Tanji Gilliam, whose Leeway project was designed to empower women impacted by domestic violence, encouraged those afraid to speak up to "speak in"; as she delivered a troubling and frank family history her voice trembled only twice. Musical guest Emily Ana Zeitlyn – who, host Michaela Majoun explained, was born on a kitchen table in Fairmount Park – sung two of her "lyrically spare... and emotionally volcanic" songs in clear, soft tones. The first of these songs, "Take Me Back," was followed by several poems from Monique E. Hankerson: Hankerson's mild-mannered voice grew righteous and strong as she recounted injustices both universal and personal. Filipino-American Lorelai Narvaja followed with excerpts from family interviews, exploring the conflicting attitudes with which her family regards the past. Finally, Benita Cooper revealed how her grandmother's amazing stories brought her the ability to trust her own voice and ultimately start a large-scale intergenerational storytelling project.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Catzie Vilayphonh - Introduction
  3. Catzie Vilayphonh - Reading
  4. Dr. Tanji Gilliam - Introduction
  5. Dr. Tanji Gilliam - "For Clark"
  6. Dr. Tanji Gilliam - "My Voice"
  7. Emily Ana Zeitlyn - Introduction
  8. Emily Ana Zeitlyn - "Take Me Back"
  9. Monique Hankerson - Introduction
  10. Monique Hankerson - "The Wayward"
  11. Lorelei Narvaja - Introduction
  12. Lorelei Narvaja - "My Cousin"
  13. Benita Cooper - Introduction
  14. Benita Cooper - "One More Story"
  15. Emily Ana Zeitlyn - "Follow"
  16. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 86 - 1/24/2011 - UPenn Excelano Project

Michaela Majoun's voice expressed her excitement about this "return to the classic radio play," and compelling storytelling left the audience, too, hungry for more. Actors Ames Adamson, Zura Athena Johnson, Mary Lee Bednarek, Amanda Schoonover, and Keith Conallen demonstrated their versatility as they shifted from character to character throughout the episode. Rain filled the Arts Cafe in Seth Bauer's drizzly "Umbrella Play," mingling with the sighs of its bewildered, love-struck characters. The precipitation gave way to accents of affluence in a scene from Quinn D. Eli's "The Golden Ladder"; the excerpt ended just as the audience's curiosity peaked. Farm girl Carsie Blanton updated a traditional country sound in her simile-strewn musical interludes, while Jacqueline Goldfinger evoked a deep-South sensibility in her dark comedy "The Terrible Girls." Next, Genne Murphy returned to the local in a Philadelphia play that expertly juxtaposed blas&ecaute; recollections from a former dope addict with trepidation and uncertainty. Classical music characterized the final theatrical piece as a closeted Earth Sciences teacher used Tchaikovsky to bridge an awkward age gap in a scene from Mike Whistler.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Justin Ching - Introduction
  3. Justin Ching - Performance
  4. Marion Smallwood - Introduction
  5. Marion Smallwood - "Pandora"
  6. Matt McAndrew - Introduction
  7. Matt McAndrew - "Motorbike"
  8. Cortney Charleston - Introduction
  9. Cortney Charleston - "Mona Lisa"
  10. Simone Stolzoff - Introduction
  11. Simone Stolzoff - Performance
  12. Alice Liu - Introduction
  13. Alice Liu - "Baby Grand"
  14. Matt McAndrew - "In My Youth"
  15. Tiffany Kang - Introduction
  16. Tiffany Kang - "Home" and "Blasphemy"
  17. Sarah Richter - Introduction
  18. Sarah Richter - "Wakes" and "Museum"
  19. Justin Ching and Marion Smallwood - Introduction
  20. Justin Ching and Marion Smallwood - "Inverse"
  21. Cortney Charleston and Simone Stolzoff - Introduction
  22. Cortney Charleston and Simone Stolzoff - "Everclear"
  23. Matt McAndrew - "Down to You"
  24. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 85 - 11/29/2010 - InterAct Theatre Company Playwrights Forum

Michaela Majoun's voice expressed her excitement about this "return to the classic radio play," and compelling storytelling left the audience, too, hungry for more. Actors Ames Adamson, Zura Athena Johnson, Mary Lee Bednarek, Amanda Schoonover, and Keith Conallen demonstrated their versatility as they shifted from character to character throughout the episode. Rain filled the Arts Cafe in Seth Bauer's drizzly "Umbrella Play," mingling with the sighs of its bewildered, love-struck characters. The precipitation gave way to accents of affluence in a scene from Quinn D. Eli's "The Golden Ladder"; the excerpt ended just as the audience's curiosity peaked. Farm girl Carsie Blanton updated a traditional country sound in her simile-strewn musical interludes, while Jacqueline Goldfinger evoked a deep-South sensibility in her dark comedy "The Terrible Girls." Next, Genne Murphy returned to the local in a Philadelphia play that expertly juxtaposed blasé recollections from a former dope addict with trepidation and uncertainty. Classical music characterized the final theatrical piece as a closeted Earth Sciences teacher used Tchaikovsky to bridge an awkward age gap in a scene from Mike Whistler.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Seth Bauer - Introduction to "Umbrella Play"
  3. Seth Bauer, Keith Conallen, and Mary Lee Bednarek - Excerpt from "Umbrella Play"
  4. Quinn D. Eli - Introduction to "Golden Ladder"
  5. Quinn Eli, Ames Adamson, and Amanda Schoonover - Excerpt from "Golden Ladder"
  6. Carsie Blanton - Introduction
  7. Carsie Blanton - "Buoy"
  8. Jacqueline Goldfinger - Introduction to "Terrible Girls"
  9. Jacqueline Goldfinger, Zura Johnson, Amanda Schoonover, and Mary Lee Bednarek - Excerpt from "Terrible Girls"
  10. Genne Murphy - Introduction to "Hope Street"
  11. Genne Murphy, Amanda Schoonover, Zura Johnson, and Keith Conallen - Excerpt from "Hope Street"
  12. Mike Whistler - Introduction to "Nutcracker"
  13. Mike Whistler, Keith Conallen, and Ames Adamson - Excerpt from "Nutcracker"
  14. Carsie Blanton - Closing Performance Introduction
  15. Carsie Blanton - Closing Performance
  16. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 84 - 10/25/2010 - Philadelphia Food Writers

For the 84th episode of LIVE, the Writers House invited food writers from around Philadelphia to share reviews, blog posts, and stories about the art of cooking. Our first guest was food and wine writer Brian Freedman, who shared a negative restaurant review (the restaurant remained unnamed) and an excerpt from a series of essays detailing an embarrassing incident at summer camp involving a vanilla éclair and a cabin full of thirteen campers. Other guests included Kirsten Henri, who told an unconventional story about trying to learn to cook with her Italian grandmother; Drew Lazor, who shared a cleverly titled piece about Philly pizza joints; Felicia D'Ambrosio, who described her growth from a city paper writer to running an online review site by reading pieces from her past and present; and Collin Keefe, who read a series of humorous blog posts describing a highly anticipated food truck's reluctance to open. Also present for the event was musician John Francis, who played his non-food-related but stirring "Who" and "Johnny Cash on the Radio."

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Brian Freedman - Introduction
  3. Brian Freedman - Reading
  4. Kirsten Henri - Introduction
  5. Kirsten Henri - Reading
  6. Drew Lazor - Introduction
  7. Drew Lazor - Reading
  8. Felicia D'Ambrosio - Introduction
  9. Felicia D'Ambrosio - Reading
  10. John Francis - Introduction
  11. John Francis - Performing "Who"
  12. Collin Keefe - Introduction
  13. Collin Keefe - Reading
  14. John Francis - Closing Performance Introduction
  15. John Francis - Performance "Johnny Cash on the Radio"
  16. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 83 - 9/27/2010 - First Person Arts Story Slam Stars

Guest host Erin Gautsche assured the audience that tonight's First Person Arts Story Slam winners were "the best of the best" in this edition of LIVE. Angel Hogan, whose rural childhood consisted of "a heap of multicultural embarrassments," started the night off by detailing the transformation of her white rooster, Mr. Chick, from mild-mannered house-pet to terrifying attack bird. Leah Walton revealed why her typically charming grandfather was nicknamed "Hank the Crank" in a story that recounted their late-night ice-cream-and-casaba-melon run; her gruff, silly grandpa voice added investment to the escapade. Musical guest Ross Bellenoit's deep, resonant guitar was complemented by natural rhyme as he sang about "victories of blood and gold"; a sharp contrast, to be sure, to the cheeseburger song he once wrote for Craig LaBan. Quirky strains of awkwardness punctuated R. Eric Thomas's piece about a road trip with his parents, while Katonya Mosely addressed her complicated bladder in a recollection of her crazy law school days. Mike McCarry's struggles with terminal lateness were almost too incredible to believe in his account of "the day I figured out they were never gonna fire me": his mishaps were balanced by profound reflections in Tre Rials's "How I Spent My Summer Evacucation," in which Rials thanked Katrina for lending him new perspective.

  1. Erin Gautsche - Introduction
  2. Angel Hogan - Introduction
  3. Angel Hogan - "Chicken"
  4. Leah Walton - Introduction
  5. Leah Walton - "Hank the Crank"
  6. Ross Bellenoit - "To Be Free"
  7. Ross Bellenoit - Performance
  8. R. Eric Thomas - Introduction
  9. R. Eric Thomas - "Where Was I?" from "Lost and Found"
  10. Katonya Mosley - Introduction
  11. Katonya Mosley - Reading
  12. Mike McCarry - Introduction
  13. Mike McCarry - "The Day I Figured Out They Were Never Gonna Fire Me"
  14. Tre Rials - Introduction
  15. Tre Rials - "My Summer Evacucation"
  16. Ross Bellenoit - Closing Performance Intro
  17. Ross Bellenoit - "Behind an Open Door"
  18. Erin Gautsche - Closing Remarks

Episode 82 - 3/29/2010 - Mighty Writers Students

LIVE welcomed a different set of readers than typical for this endearing episode. Writing (along with video games and sports) was a shared interested for the 7th and 8th grade alumni of Mighty Writers' "Scary Stories" workshop, and their enthusiasm for the craft was reflected in a series of imaginative readings. Soccer player Imani Kunle's collected air lent an almost cavalier tone to the devastations of an apocalypse story, while Antoniyah Ben T'om's "Deep Roots" made a compelling case against feeding plants tasteless fertilizer. Anthony Oliver's creative similes ("like two bald-headed Milk Duds," among others) were a highlight of "A Walk Down the Street," a story which fused time travel and a near-death experience. Eighth-grader Tiaira Rodgers confronted "Thomas Jefferson with his big mouth" in another time-travel narrative about changing the constitution's stance on slavery; her choice of first person made the tale read like a personal recollection. Musical interludes from Nicole Reynolds showcased the innocent, meandering quality of her voice even as she asked "would you cut off your ear / if I needed it to hear...?" And Naur Collins concluded the readings with a grisly ghost story set in the Eastern State Penitentiary, growling and whispering for additional creepiness.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Imani Kunle - Introduction
  3. Imani Kunle - Reading
  4. Adoniyah Ben T'om - Introduction
  5. Adoniyah Ben T'om - "Deep Roots"
  6. Caroline Bean - Talks about Mighty Writers
  7. Anthony Oliver - Introduction
  8. Anthony Oliver - "A Walk Down the Street"
  9. Tiaira Rodgers - Introduction
  10. Tiaira Rodgers - "The Constitution"
  11. Nicole Reynolds - Introduction
  12. Nicole Reynolds - "Wonderin"
  13. Naur Collins - Introduction
  14. Naur Collins - "Eastern State Penitentiary"
  15. Jonathan Marcin - Talks about Mighty Writers
  16. Nicole Reynolds - "Here Right Now"
  17. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 81 - 2/22/2010 - Leeway Foundation Winners

Another round of Leeway grant recipients graced the Writers House for this edition of LIVE, navigating the depths of documentary and memoir in a night with equal parts emotion and humor. Elizabeth Castiglione illustrated how unsettling the ordinary can become in an exploration of bipolar disorder, equating her situation to a 6th-grade writing assignment involving PB&J. Esteemed gluten-free author Jax Peters Lowell offset the dread of her husband's brain-surgery recovery with a slew of quirky characters – from a Cockney-speaking crossing guard to an elite "Connecticut preppy" – in "Coconuts." Indah Nuritasari asked audience members to pardon her accent as she recounted her migration from Indonesia to Philly, emphasizing the small miracles of everyday life. The Swimmers followed with a fresh take on the synthesizer; the progressive combination and separation of male and female vocals mesmerized. Yowei Shaw, a Penn senior, shared a scene from her radio documentary about The People's Revolutionary Party in Philly, proving that even communists eat cookie cream pie. A reporter's composure and clarity distinguished a final reading from Barbara Ann Grant, in which the humiliation and frustration of securing care for her elderly mother was balanced by small comic details (a 75-year-old boy toy and the redefinition of "HONDA," for instance).

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Elizabeth Castiglione - Introduction
  3. Elizabeth Castiglione - From the first chapter of Stumbling in the Dark
  4. Jax Peters Lowell - Introduction
  5. Jax Peters Lowell - "Coconuts"
  6. Indah Nuritasari - Introduction
  7. Indah Nuritasari - "Relying on Miracles"
  8. Swimmers - Introduction
  9. Swimmers - "Anything Together"
  10. Yowei Shaw - Introduction
  11. Yowei Shaw - Reading
  12. Barbara Ann Grant - Introduction
  13. Barbara Ann Grant - Reading
  14. Swimmers - Closing Performance Introduction
  15. Swimmers - "Save Me From the Brightness"
  16. Michaela Majoun - Closing

Episode 80 - 1/25/2010 - Philly Fiction 2 Contributors

"A deafening audience" joined us this night to celebrate our very own "city of inspiration" and its fiction-writing inhabitants. Christine Flanagan began with a story about an ad man fighting to keep his anger in check in settings ranging from the Schuylkill banks to the local 7-11. Former Writers House fundraiser and experimental mailman John Carroll followed with an amusing account of a Phillies game in which harassment of Cubs fans featured prominently. The young narrator of Elise Juska's "Northeast Philly Girls" drew laughs from the audience as she marveled at the tight-jeans pride of her "grown-up" middle-school cousin. Scotch-Irish "musical cooperative" Flora Lee couldn't seem to help themselves from leaning into a cheerful, sweet, head-bobbing sound, reminiscent of an earlier musical time. Kelly McQuain told an Italian Market tale in which a freehand tattoo undertaking goes horribly awry, while Benjamin Matvey ended on a bizarre note with a story of young love and brains in the Mütter Museum.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Christine Flanagan - Introduction
  3. Christine Flanagan - Reading from "Return to Ithaca"
  4. John Carroll - Introduction
  5. John Carroll - "Baby Blue"
  6. Elise Juska - Introduction
  7. Elise Juska - "Northeast Philly Girls"
  8. Flora Lee - Introduction
  9. Flora Lee - "I'm Beginning to See the Light"
  10. Kelly McQuain - Introduction
  11. Kelly McQuain - "Erasing Sonny"
  12. Benjamin Matvey - Introduction
  13. Benjamin Matvey - "Peace of Mind"
  14. Flora Lee - Closing Performance Introduction
  15. Flora Lee - Untitled Song
  16. Michaela Majoun - Closing

Episode 79 - 11/30/2009 - Local Fiction Writers

This episode of LIVE demonstrated the benefits of listening locally in a tribute to the city's homegrown literary talent. Jeff Bender defined Jesus Christ's character by his prowess on the wrestling mat, while Rachel Cantor turned an in-flight flirtation into a desperate, operatic confrontation. Tim Leonido's "Difference Tone" channeled all of the precision of an automaton in its playfully overwrought vocabulary. Rachel Carpenter, originator of such words as "faukward" and "expatitis," preoccupied the audience with the past in a reading from The Return of Mr. Davies. Zach Djanikian's speaking voice was transformed by song: its emphatic fluidity met simple, soothing guitar. Finally, novel-juggler Jeremy Rosenberg drew laughter with the musings of a pro-pyramid-scheme cheese-factory worker and a loony amateur astronomer.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Jeff Bender - Excerpt from The Weight
  3. Rachel Cantor - Introduction
  4. Rachel Cantor - "White Sky"
  5. Tim Leonido - Introduction
  6. Tim Leonido - "Difference Tone"
  7. Rachel Carpenter - Introduction
  8. Rachel Carpenter - "Things Begin Again" from The Return of Mr. Davies
  9. Zach Djanikian - Introduction
  10. Zach Djanikian - I Think They're Out to Destroy
  11. Jeremy Rosenberg - Introduction
  12. Jeremy Rosenberg - "Pyramid Scheme" and "Moon"
  13. Zach Djanikian - Closing Introduction
  14. Zach Djanikian - Love of My Life
  15. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 78 - 10/26/2009 - "Local Journalists Write Philadelphia" Features

Some of Philadelphia's most intriguing stories hit the radio waves in this episode of LIVE, which was comprised of feature articles from local journalists. Daniel Denvir's opening piece was ringed with a sad, twisted humor as he detailed the desensitized virtual violence of a "military Dave and Buster's"; Mattathias Schwartz followed with an appetizing look into an old-style bakery (South Philadelphian dialects rose through slowly, like dough). Penn PhD candidate David Faris explained that "one-hundred and fifty dollars goes away much more smoothly when you kiss it goodbye in stackable red chips" in his underground exploration of illegal no-limit poker, while Bruce Schimmel extolled the merits of driving a "mature vehicle." Twin brothers Rich and Rob Kwait of Cabin Dogs provided a musical interlude about a ghost train before Tara Murtha took a dark look at the abuses and paradoxes of the teen prostitute "game" in the US. Isaiah Thompson managed to lighten the mood by chronicling South Philly residents' cohabitation with a self-sustaining feral chicken pack; fittingly, Cabin Dogs concluded the night with a plaintive song inspired by the sunset on a chicken farm.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Opening Remarks
  2. Daniel Denvir - Introduction
  3. Daniel Denvir - "Game Theory"
  4. Mattathias Schwartz - Introduction
  5. Mattathias Schwartz - "Nothing Fancy"
  6. David Faris - Introduction
  7. David Faris - "Take it to the Limit"
  8. Bruce Schimmel - Introduction
  9. Bruce Schimmel - "Driving Down"
  10. Cabin Dogs - Introduction
  11. Cabin Dogs - "Blue Train"
  12. Tara Murtha - Introduction
  13. Tara Murtha - "Traffic Stop"
  14. Isaiah Thompson - Introduction
  15. Isaiah Thompson - "Coop d'état"
  16. Cabin Dogs - Closing Intro
  17. Cabin Dogs - "Twilight"
  18. Michaela Majoun - Closing Remarks

Episode 77 - 9/21/2009 - Keystone Chapbook Prize Winners

Pennsylvania poets exhibited the fruits of their prize-winning chapbooks in tonight's episode of LIVE. Harry Humes started the night off in deep tones, his poems evocative of the coal-mining country where he was raised. The music began early in the episode with singer-songwriter-cardiologist Suzie Brown's soothing "Side Streets"; later, Brown warned against falling for a drifter in her Johnny-Cash-inspired "Longest Road." Katherine Bode Lang's work addressed overheard vegetable chopping, divorce, her mother, and the view from her front porch; her "Lament for Pluto" was an audience favorite. Lisa Sewell read from her series of book-inspired poems and arrested listener attention with a bleak look into the Super Dome during Hurricane Katrina; Deborah Burnham concluded with snow, peaches, migraines, and mirror metaphor.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Harry Humes - Introduction
  3. Harry Humes - Reading
  4. Suzie Brown - Introduction
  5. Suzie Brown - Performance
  6. Katherine Bode Lang - Introduction
  7. Katherine Bode Lang - Reading
  8. Lisa Sewell - Introduction
  9. Lisa Sewell - Reading
  10. Deborah Burnham - Introduction
  11. Deborah Burnham - Reading
  12. Suzie Brown - Closing Remarks
  13. Suzie Brown - Closing Performance
  14. Michaela Majoun - Closing

Episode 76 - 3/23/2009 - Young Local Fiction Writers

The writers featured in this episode of LIVE defied age expectations with the maturity of their captivating prose. Former Writers House staffer Sam Allingham appealed to listener imagination by distinguishing between the peculiar pulsations of love-stricken buildings, while Wharton speech-writer Katherine Hill intimated potential recycling conspiracies in a humorous story of purge. Shannon Pelcher's voice managed to be both feathery and syrupy as it meandered alongside a pleasantly bumbling bass. A poetic sensibility permeated Adrian Khactu's reading as he paused amongst maternal dysfunction and an enigmatic Mexican savior. French fries loomed large over Mecca Sullivan's obesity-clinic twist on a mother-daughter piece, while Penn senior Vince Levy touched upon polar bears, suicide, and the beauty of imminent danger in "Swim Lessons."

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Sam Allingham - Introduction
  3. Sam Allingham - "Buildings, A Love Story"
  4. Katherine Hill - Introduction
  5. Katherine Hill - "Waste Disposal"
  6. Shannon Pelcher - Introduction
  7. Shannon Pelcher - "Peculiar Pain"
  8. Adrian Khactu - Introduction
  9. Adrian Khactu - "Mexico"
  10. Mecca Sullivan - Introduction
  11. Mecca Sullivan - Piece from "Blue Talk and Love"
  12. Vince Levy - Introduction
  13. Vince Levy - "Swim Lessons"
  14. Shannon Pelcher - Closing Performance Introduction
  15. Shannon Pelcher - "Daydream"
  16. Michaela Majoun - Closing

Episode 75 - 2/16/2009 - Leeway Foundation Award Winners

Chlamydia, Darby, cats shitting on the lawn: Leeway Foundation award-winners filled the Writers House this Monday with poems and stories of prison, family, and domestic animals. Writer and teacher Alison Harris started off the evening painting pictures in calm even tones of those at the bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, a reflection of the foundation's mission to promote expression that amplifies the voices of the marginalized. Valerie Harris, a teaching artist aiming to assist individuals in appreciating "the cultural landscape of their communities," gave a human face to Darby Borough, and Stephanie Yuhas, by literally adopting the voice of her Transylvanian mother, gave a complete picture of that human face. Courtney Fairchild gave us a different sort of lyricism with musical performances from her new album "11 Chances," a mix of percussion and buttery smooth tonality. Ann Marie Kirk and Winifred Coller-Bolkus, by different means and in varied voices, finished the night by expressing the triumph of human spirit against adversity: one through stories of burnt sheets and burnt lungs, and the other by way of a frog with a prosthesis. With unyielding voices in their advocacy for economic and social justice, our five female readers provoked thought and laughter throughout the evening.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Allison Harris - Introduction
  3. Allison Harris - Reading
  4. Valerie Harris - Introduction
  5. Valerie Harris - Reading
  6. Courtney Fairchild - Performance
  7. Ann Marie Kirk - Introduction
  8. Ann Marie Kirk - Reading
  9. Stephanie Yuhas - Introduction
  10. Stephanie Yuhas - Reading
  11. Winifred Collier-Bolkus - Introduction
  12. Winifred Collier-Bolkus - Reading
  13. Courtney Fairchild - Performance
  14. Michaela Majoun - Closing

Episode 74 - 01/26/2009 - Writers and Actors from InterAct Theatre Company

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.
Full program

"If only you could speak her language …" the voice of Kelly Lundgren Pietrucha's protagonist expresses all of the regret and limitation that each of the writers' characters is made to feel at some point in these three pieces of short fiction. Pietrucha presented her short story along with fellow writers Liz Abraham and Jonathan Liebson. In this month's installment of LIVE, however, the Kelly Writers House did not see the performance of these pieces by their authors, but rather by professional actors from the InterAct theatre company. The company, which celebrated its tenth season in 2008/2009, is known for giving voices to the region's writers. Lilian Rozen started off the evening with a performance of Liz Abraham's short story: a mix of docility and hospital beds, starting with shouts and ending in whispers and silence. Jonathan Liebson's short story, performed by Dan Hodge, was one of hatred, unease, and knife blades biting into flesh. In a change of tone from Liebson, Mark Silever and the Stone Throwers, the evening's musical performers, gave a more upbeat feel with an acoustic guitar and indie vibe. Jared Delaney ended the night with Pietrucha's storm and attempts to gain control. This Monday, the Kelly Writers House was able to showcase arts both written and performed, and the blend between strengthened each.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Lillian Rosen - Reading
  3. Jonathan Liebson - Introduction
  4. Jonathan Liebson - Commentary
  5. Jonathan Liebson (read by Dan Hodge) - Reading
  6. Mark Silver - Performance
  7. Kelly Lundgren Pietrucha - Introduction
  8. Kelly Lundgren Pietrucha (read by Jared Delaney) - Reading
  9. Mark Sliver - Introduction
  10. Mark Silver - Performance
  11. Michaela Majoun - Closing

Episode 73 - 11/17/2008 - Sage Writers

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.
Full program

The inside world of prison came out in this episode of LIVE. The program included a variety of inspirational, unsettling, and thought-provoking poems and prose. Founder and director Judith Trustone who began the publishing program after teaching a creative writing course at a local prison, noted stark views of prisoners (they are but "a squirt of sperm") in her poem "A Kinder, Gentler Murder." Trustone's readings of works from prisoners themselves also explicitly demonstrated the atrocities within prison. One such poem, "Twenty-first-century Dawn's Early Light," addressed today's injustices while seamlessly intertwining the lyrics of the National Anthem into with its own, causing the book in which it resides to be banned in Pennsylvania's prisons. Cameron Holmes, who had twenty years inside, addressed patriotism in his poem "The World is Round" — an account of his perspective of 9/11 while behind bars. The desire for freedom rung true in the poems of Patrick Middletone, the first prisoner in the US to earn his BA, MA, and PhD behind bars, and Anton Forde, a native Jamaican who maintains his innocence. Both prisoners are "lifers." The clamorous music of Oh! Pears, founded by Corey Duncan, complemented the poets' messages with their own haunting chants — music which ultimately believes that words, and sometimes only words, can heal us.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Judith Trustone - Introduction
  3. Judith Trustone - Reading
  4. Cameron Holmes - Introduction
  5. Cameron Holmes - Reading
  6. Oh! Pears - Introduction
  7. Oh! Pears - Performance
  8. Patrick Middletone - Introduction
  9. Patrick Middleton (read by Judith Trustone) - Reading
  10. Anton Forde - Introduction
  11. Anton Forde - Reading
  12. Oh! Pears - Performance
  13. Michaela Majoun - Closing

Episode 72 - 10/20/2008 - Arts Sanctuary

Produced and hosted by Erin Gautsche.
Full program

The Arts Café overflowed with the voices of Arts Sanctuary poets, musicians, storytellers, and actors this Monday night, each drawing power from the inner city and reinfusing it in order to transform individuals, unite groups, and enrich lives. Leslie Banks, an expert in multiple genres, began the night with an excerpt from "Minion," a story about seduction and deep-South vampires. Solomon Jones, spoken-word artist and author, read excerpts from political thriller "C.R.E.A.M" and "The Mission," the latter a warning for single men about walking the feminine hygiene aisle. Twin poets Al and Nnamdi, devoted to the empowerment of the community via social work and spoken word, followed with the poem entitled "Why I Write." The brothers gave their powerful voices to all those without ("I write to share my love affair of words with the children / Because God is on my tongue and the world is in need of healing"). Monnette Sudler, our musical guest for the evening, continued the theme of healing with "The Healing Song," a combination of African thumb piano and soft cries of "heal me." Ed Shockley, artistic director of the Philadelphia Dramatics center, ended the night with an echo of "Oh Freedom" from his performance of "Slave Narrative."

  1. Erin Gautsche - Introduction
  2. L.A. Banks - Introduction
  3. L.A. Banks - Reading
  4. Solomon Jones - Introduction
  5. Solomon Jones - Reading
  6. The Twin Poets - Introduction
  7. The Twin Poets - Reading
  8. Monette Sudler - Introduction
  9. Monette Sudler - Performance
  10. Ed Shockley - Introduction
  11. Ed Shockley - Reading
  12. Monette Sudler - Performance

Episode 71 - 9/22/2008 - Local Poets

Produced and hosted by Erin Gautsche.
Full program

From puppets to acrostics, ghost stories to mental illnesses, and Beowulf to polar bears, Philadelphia's local poets filled the Arts Café with their passionate poetry in this episode of LIVE. The evening began with readings from Thomas Devaney, one of the cocurators for Edgar Allan Poe's 200th anniversary exhibit. His daringly dark poetry (a result of Poe, perhaps?) drew inspiration from acrostics and YouTube videos. Influenced by her personal trials, Trapeta Mayson, who enjoys teaching young people the importance of creative venues, chilled the room with thoughts of her ill mother, immigration, and the "Liberian English" dialect. Bypassing dialect for translation in "Ship Burial," Randall Couch, a regular panelist on PoemTalk, seamlessly interwove excerpts of Beowulf into his own work. Hezekiah Jones then presented a folky, mellow song taken from a letter written from the future. Back to the present, Ish Klein, a self-taught film- and puppet-maker, allowed her puppets to speak for themselves, while Scott Edward Anderson, writer of The Green Skeptic Blog, spoke for those that cannot speak in his environmentally conscious poetry and bitingly sarcastic description of his knee. Hezekiah Jones's strumming song about baked goods, "Cupcakes for the Army," fittingly concluded the inspirational evening with a tale of hopes, dreams, and childhood innocence.

  1. Erin Gautsche - Introduction
  2. Thomas Devaney - Introduction
  3. Thomas Devaney - Reading
  4. Trapeta Mayson - Introduction
  5. Trapeta Mayson - Reading
  6. Randall Couch - Introduction
  7. Randall Couch - Reading
  8. Hezekiah Jones - Introduction
  9. Hezekiah Jones - Performance
  10. Ish Klein - Introduction
  11. Ish Klein - Reading
  12. Scott Edward Anderson - Introduction
  13. Scott Edward Anderson - Reading
  14. Hezekiah Jones - Performance

Episode 70 - 03/31/2008 - Mad Poets Society

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.
You can hear a recording of the entire program here.

Rather than being clinically insane or deranged, the Mad Poets Society believe themselves to be "a little crazy, but not someone you'd move away from on the bus." This episode of LIVE featured several mad poets and their deeply moving, wildly humorous, and utterly chilling poetry. Director Eileen D'Angelo expressed a range of true and imagined fears, regrets, and desires, while self-proclaimed "humorous and serious poet" Steven Delia reflected both his sincerity and wit. Appreciative chuckles and guffaws sputtered out during Delia's self-deprecating "4 AM Commercial" and slightly scandalous "Ode to Cecily." Unlike Delia, who could only think of Cecily's underwear, a frustrated Missy Grotz could not take her mind off of her mouth's searing pain in "Advil Isn't Cutting It." Musical guest Devin Greenwood then sent a shiver through the audience with his strumming guitar and successive "mmm's." In a sprightly voice, Autumn Knopka next read a selection of poetry that "met FCC regulations." Breaking the trend of introducing his poem with an anecdote, Dan Maguire, who "doesn't do anything" but "takes a long time doing it," comically noted his poem's literary features (if you're wondering — unrhymed iambic hexameter with enjambment and slant rhyme). His smooth voice filled the room like a lullaby as he fittingly read a poem about mental illness. Greenwood's final song, "Dragon City," characterized by an atmospheric puccalo, finished the evening with a bittersweet and mystic tale — one which you'd have to be, well, mad to believe.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Eileen DAngelo - Introduction
  3. Eileen DAngelo - The Failings of Memory
  4. Eileen DAngelo - Marksman
  5. Eileen DAngelo - August, Perseids Meteor Shower
  6. Eileen DAngelo - For Eric
  7. Eileen DAngelo - Love Letter to a Moody Sea
  8. Stephen Delia - Introduction
  9. Stephen Delia - Easter
  10. Stephen Delia - Roadside Sideshow
  11. Stephen Delia - 4 AM Commerical
  12. Stephen Delia - Perception
  13. Stephen Delia - Ode to Cecily
  14. Stephen Delia - Winter Night on 2nd Street
  15. Stephen Delia - Angel Gloss
  16. Stephen Delia - When I Get Married
  17. Missy Grotz - Introduction
  18. Missy Grotz - Do You See My Face
  19. Missy Grotz - Can I Be Myself
  20. Missy Grotz - Creativity
  21. Missy Grotz - Advil Isnt Cutting It
  22. Missy Grotz - Morning Paper Guy on 12th and Curlan
  23. Missy Grotz - Who Do I See But What Do I Care
  24. Devin Greenwood - Introduction
  25. Devin Greenwood - This Over Here
  26. Autumn Konopka - Introduction
  27. Autumn Konopka - The Stuff of Poems
  28. Autumn Konopka - Potato Salad Isnt Only for Picnics
  29. Autumn Konopka - Couplets for William and Abigail
  30. Autumn Konopka - Paper Boy
  31. Autumn Konopka - Hush
  32. Dan Maguire - Introduction
  33. Dan Maguire - The Lateness of the Day
  34. Dan Maguire - Reprise
  35. Dan Maguire - Finding the Words
  36. Devin Greenwood - Dragon City

Episode 69 - 02/25/2008 - Leeway Award Winners

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.
You can hear a recording of the entire program here.

Leeway Award winners flooded the Writers House this evening, crossing boundaries between people and places. Judith Truthstone, founder of Sage Writers, traversed the hidden world of prison to uncover "toxic masculinity." In order to dissuade them from listening to what she considers to be poisonous music, hip hop artist Kameela Waheed introduced students in Camden to Funk and James Brown. Architect Rachel Goffe, Renaissance woman Michelle Posadas, and writer Wakzani Mhute traveled within and outside of the US, questioning the interplay of identity and change. In an interview with the elderly Carolyn Thomas, Rachel Goffe's buttery voice unveiled the horrors of eminent domain, while Posadas's journal shed light on the oppression faced by Filipinos. In Zimbabwe, women suffer from the "unnamed disease that embarrasses everyone," as detailed in Mhute's rhythmic poem. Musical guest Paper Trees mesmerized the room with Allison Polans's deep and sultry voice as she, too, sang of identity and men. The award winners will surely inspire transformation with their art, as they have already done so this night in the Arts Café.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Rachel Goffee - Introduction
  3. Rachel Goffee - Interview
  4. Kameelah Waheed - Introduction
  5. Michelle Posadas - Introduction
  6. Michelle Posadas - Journal Excerpts
  7. Paper Trees - Introduction
  8. Paper Trees - Pretender
  9. Wakzanai Mhute - Introduction
  10. Wakzanai Mhute - Short Illness
  11. Wakzanai Mhute - The Torrent
  12. Judith Truestone - Introduction
  13. Judith Truestone - Imagine
  14. Judith Truestone - A Kinder, Gentler Murder
  15. Paper Trees - Seesaw Shuffle

Episode 68 - 01/28/2008 - Youth Poets from the Arts and Spirituality Center

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun
You can hear a recording of the entire program here.

The Kelly Writers House and WXPN hosted the talented poets of the Arts and Spirituality Center, an interfaith and nonprofit community of artists and activists. Cathy Cohen, founder and program director of We the Poets, which teaches children how to write, read, and present poetry, revealed the interaction of art and faith in her poems "Speak a New Language" and "Walk on Fire." thirteen-year-old Safi Aziz talked about the the heart as our essence and seventeen-year-old Brandon Ramirez echoed this idea of expression in his poem "Speaking My Soul." Bernard Collins, a teacher and poet amongst other things, explored the connections between poetry and visual arts in his poems "Red" and "Warmth." Mary Francis and Jan Jeffries performed "Akiwowo," the sound of maracas cut up by a hand hitting a drum, the beats coming closer and closer together as Francis raised an octave and allowed the audience to feel the full weight and power of her voice. Magda Martinez, winner of the Leeway Foundation Transformation Award, mixed Spanish and English in "Cuentito peludo" and "Untitled Poems," where the journey for identity and the immediacy of Martinez's voice sent shivers down the spine. Fifteen-year-old Tammy Miller ended the night with poems inspired by events in her life. With a mix of veteran writers and newly proclaimed poets, the house was roused by voices of excitement and passion.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Cathy Cohen - Introduction
  3. Cathy Cohen - Girl On Fire
  4. Cathy Cohen - Rose At The Door
  5. Cathy Cohen - Lines Of Your Journey
  6. Cathy Cohen - Speak A New Language
  7. Cathy Cohen - Walk In White
  8. Safi Aziz - Introduction
  9. Safi Aziz - Let Me Write
  10. Bernard Collins - Introduction
  11. Bernard Collins - Red
  12. Bernard Collins - The Conversation
  13. Bernard Collins - Warmth
  14. Bernard Collins - Two Thoughts
  15. Bernard Collins - Trains
  16. Marcy, and Jan Jeffries Francis - Akiwowo
  17. Brandon Ramirez - Introduction
  18. Brandon Ramirez - Speaking My Soul
  19. Brandon Ramirez - Love Choice and Trust
  20. Magda Martinez - Introduction
  21. Magda Martinez - Cuentito Peludo
  22. Magda Martinez - Untitled Poems
  23. Tammy Miller - Introduction
  24. Tammy Miller - Mother Where Are You
  25. Tammy Miller - As I Grew Up
  26. Tammy Miller - Man On That Wave
  27. Marcy, and Jan Jeffries Francis - Thank You For This Day
  28. Michaela Majoun - Ending

Episode 67 - 11/26/2007 - Winds of Change: Philly Politics 2007

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun
You can hear a recording of the entire program here

When Mayor Michael Nutter assumed office in 2008, Philadelphia had the highest homicide rate in the country, along with other less-than-savory issues. In this episode of LIVE, some of Philadelphia's most prominent political writers detailed the host of challenges facing the mayor. Chris Satullo, who spent a year teaching in France and writes the "Center Square" column for The Inquirer, and Dave Davies, a welder and cab driver who now reports for the Philadelphia Daily News, questioned whether Nutter was ready for the job and whether his supporters' patience would fray. Dan Urevick-Ackelsberg, who was taking a leave from Penn Law in hopes of joining the 2008 Olympic rowing team, urged citizens to take responsibility in choosing a "muppet-voiced" mayor while defiantly arguing against the implementation of "Jetson-like" sky-ways in Center City. Musical guest The Spinning Leaves focused more on the present — singing about homeless people, schizophrenics, pigeons, and love — while Mighty Writer Tim Whitaker referenced the past "lame ducks" of Philadelphia. Amidst the criticism and concern, however, the hope for Philadelphia's future remained apparent within these writers' perceptive prose.

  1. Chris Satullo - Reading
  2. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  3. Dave Davies - Reading
  4. Dan Urevick-Acklesberg - Reading
  5. The Spinning Leaves - Try, Try, Try
  6. Tim Whitaker - Reading
  7. The Spinning Leaves - Bridges For Free

Episode 66 - 10/29/2007 - From Vaudeville to Video: 1812 Celebrates 100 Years of Comedy

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun
You can hear a recording of the entire program here.

David Jadico told us what it's like to be "on top of a performer" (or else something rephrased to give a slightly less racy impression). Joining Jadico were comedians Jennifer Childs, Tony Braithwaite, Mary Carpenter, and Scott Greer, members of the 1812 Theatre company (along with all of the characters they brought with them). This performance of "From Vaudeville to Video: 1812 Celebrate 100 Years of Comedy" started with two baritones and a little strumming; two more people and a few decades earlier and you'd think you were listening to a barbershop quartet. Following were comedic sketches by our five guests: Jennifer Childs turned Bell Barth got friendly with the audience when she asked two in the crowd, "hey how ya doin, you togetha? You two togetha?" And then in a slightly higher pitch: "you three togetha?" She and Tony continued their sketch with soup, sex, and laughs from "the best audience [they've] ever had." The team showed their real comedic genius when they improvised an old-time radio show, taking suggestions from the audience to give us "the Smith Brothers Potato Peelers Comedy Club." After getting a little political and literally slowing things down with the STOA (slow talkers of America), the cast chatted with Michaela Majoun and revealed that the job is indeed as fun as it looks.

  1. Tony Braithewaite - A Conversation
  2. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  3. Mary Carpenter - A Conversation
  4. Jennifer Childs - A Conversation
  5. Scott Greer - A Conversation
  6. Dave Jadico - A Conversation
  7. Various - Belle Barth impersonation
  8. Various - Bob & Ray impersonation
  9. Various - George & Gracie impersonation
  10. Various - Improvised radio show
  11. Various - Opening vaudeville-style song
  12. Various - Political humour mock news segment
  13. Various - Shel Silverstein song

Episode 65 - 09/24/2007 - Pocket Myths presents The Odyssey

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun
You can hear a recording of the entire program here.

Homer's heroic epic, The Odyssey, received a playful makeover in this edition of LIVE. Featuring local poets, Pocket Myths unleashed the characters of the Odyssey through poetry, stories, and artwork. Writer and artist Emily Abendroth slurped, lashed, and tumbled into the character of Charybdis in her poem, "Rather Than Things to Her Mouth, She Brought Her Mouth to Things." Temple professor Justin Audia flew to the sky (a result of blatantly stealing from Chapman, Gertrude Stein, and Kirk Cameron) in his piece about Aeolus, the wind king. Echoing her dual identity (Californian and Australian), poet Julia Bloch took on the soulful personas of both Anticlea and Persephone. New music then swept speech away in a cacophonous and writhing, yet melodious, piece performed by My Invisible and Jack Grauer. In a more contemporary setting, CA Conrad shared a "Frank Poem," which contained traces of Odysseus's character, while poet Ryan Eckes read shorter myths of local content that echoed the theme of father and son — or, of Laertes and Odysseus. The evening finished with a haunting, wistful song from My Invisible — a song which Odysseus may even have sung as he wandered the Earth, hoping only to return home.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Emily Abendroth - Introduction
  3. Emily Abendroth - Rather Than Things to Her Mouth, She Brought Her Mouth to Things
  4. Justin Audia - Introduction
  5. Justin Audia - A Torrid Eye
  6. Julia Bloch - Introduction
  7. Julia Bloch - Persephone
  8. Julia Bloch - Anticlea
  9. Julia Bloch - I Dream of the Death of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
  10. My Invisible - Introduction
  11. My Invisible - Jelly
  12. CA Conrad - Introduction
  13. CA Conrad - Frank Poems
  14. Ryan Eckes - Introduction
  15. Ryan Eckes - Laertes
  16. Ryan Eckes - Stolen Car
  17. Ryan Eckes - Rite of Passage
  18. Ryan Eckes - Caption
  19. Ryan Eckes - If I Speak
  20. Ryan Eckes - Immortality
  21. My Invisible - Cypher

Episode 64 - 03/26/2007 - Philadelphia Zine Writers

Produced and hosted by Erin Gautsche.
You can hear a recording of the entire program here.

The Kelly Writers House and WXPN invited a writers of Philadelphia-based zines, small-circulation publications, typically self-created and/or handmade. Katie Haegele, the evening's first zine writer, talked about Helen's Hands. Casey Grabowski took inspiration from his work as a civil engineer in his zine Reverse Engineering, and King Wenclas read excerpts from his 2001 zine novel, a post-9/1 satire. With chants of USA and then moments of silence, his reading was one full of war hysteria: "KILL BLOOD DEATH WAR GET 'EM." Justin Duerr gave us similar imagery in his zine number 54 with "a world … inhabited by lonely war-ridden bodies … where death stalks openly in dimly lit avenues." Philly-born talent Birdie Busch changed the tone of the evening with her folk/indie-esque songs expressing her love and appreciation for Philadelphia with "South Philly" and then … "North Philly." Kate continued on the Philadelphia theme with her zine about Freemasons (and their books made of human skin).

  1. Katie Haegele - Introduction
  2. Katie Haegele - Breakdancing for the Pope
  3. Katie Haegele - Helen's Hands
  4. Katie Haegele - Ode to New Life
  5. Katie Haegele - The Lesson
  6. Katie Haegele - Stearocyte
  7. Casey Grabowski - Introduction
  8. Casey Grabowski - Reverse Engineering, Redevelopment...
  9. King Wenclas - Introduction
  10. King Wenclas - War Hysteria
  11. King Wenclas - Expedition to Mars
  12. Birdie Busch - Introduction
  13. Birdie Busch - South Philly
  14. Birdie Busch - The Hub Singers
  15. Kate Amock - Introduction
  16. Kate Amock - on Stonemasons
  17. Justin Duerr - Introduction
  18. Justin Duerr - from Issue 54
  19. Justin Duerr - from Issue 51
  20. Justin Duerr - from Issue 50
  21. Julia Bloch - Anticlea

Episode 63 - 02/26/2007 - Penn Grad Student Poets

Produced and hosted by Erin Gautsche.
You can hear a recording of the entire program here.

A few of Penn's very own grad-student poets were featured in LIVE at the Kelly Writers House this Monday. Starting off the evening with letters to Kelly Clarkson and an appeal to "reflect — drink a big chipped mug of compunction" was Julia Bloch. Before coming to Penn to study twentieth-century poetry and poetics she worked in independent and progressive publishing, held staff and freelance gigs for various magazines and publications, and won a number of prizes for her writing. Dorothea Lasky, a School of Education student and coeditor of the Katalanche Press chapbook series followed with appeals to the Lord and claims to be the crusader. Jason Zuzga, an English Literature PhD student and 2005—2006 Merrill Writer-in-Residence in Stonington, Connecticut, offered video transcripts about making butter and Grotto Hill, as well as original works such as "City Life" and "Sea Horse." Philadelphia singer-songwriter Adam Arcuragi drew us in with free-flowing, introspective lyrics and compelling harmonies as he sang "Broken Throat" and "1981." Caroline Whitbeck, a Comparative Literature and Literary Theory PhD student, shared a number of poems ranging in topic from the dying pope to love. Playwright and poet Shonni Enelow added in a mix of theatrics when she performed "unnamed" and "He Was National Jimmy…," the urgency of her words revealed through pants and stutters.

  1. Erin Gautsche - Introduction
  2. Julia Bloch - Introduction
  3. Julia Bloch - from Letters to Kelly
  4. Julia Bloch - Persephone
  5. Julia Bloch - Anticlea
  6. Julia Bloch - Sky Time
  7. Julia Bloch - Ruinic
  8. Julia Bloch - Manhattanic
  9. Dorothea Lasky - Introduction
  10. Dorothea Lasky - On Old Ideas
  11. Dorothea Lasky - Outside Chattanooga, Tennessee
  12. Dorothea Lasky - Portrait of Me and Vladimer Mayakovsky
  13. Dorothea Lasky - The Fire That Burns the Bird
  14. Dorothea Lasky - Memories
  15. Dorothea Lasky - The Process of Explication
  16. Dorothea Lasky - The Animal
  17. Jason Zuzga - Introduction
  18. Jason Zuzga - Making Butter
  19. Jason Zuzga - City Life
  20. Jason Zuzga - Sea Horse
  21. Jason Zuzga - Diet
  22. Jason Zuzga - Documentary
  23. Adam Arcuragi - Introduction
  24. Adam Arcuragi - Broken Throat
  25. Adam Arcuragi - 1981
  26. Caroline Whitbeck - Introduction
  27. Caroline Whitbeck - Choke Cherry
  28. Caroline Whitbeck - They're All Out of Storm Names
  29. Caroline Whitbeck - See Daddy Make a Deal
  30. Caroline Whitbeck - Death Watch
  31. Caroline Whitbeck - from Inheritance
  32. Shonni Enelow - Introduction
  33. Shonni Enelow - Monologues
  34. Shonni Enelow - He Was National Jimmy...
  35. Shonni Enelow - unnamed
  36. Shonni Enelow - 1947 Washington High School...

Episode 62 - 01/22/2007 - Leeway Foundation Award Winners

Produced and hosted by Erin Gautsche.
You can hear a recording of the entire program here.

Just as Thelma Shelton Robinson's gift of storytelling was passed down to her through her father, so too were the Leeway Foundation Award Winners' storytelling gifts passed on to the Writers House this evening. Seventy-four-year-old Robinson delivered a fervent account of Corinne Sites, a twenty-year old maid who was unceremoniously declared innocent of murder only after being sentenced to the electric chair twenty-five years earlier. Felicia Webster, founder of the self-love tour "With Love, Felicia," performed a singsong poem about, well, love. The audience joined in with their own rhythmic snapping as Webster's voice ebbed and flowed with emotion. Musician Maudeline Swaray sung an upbeat tune, hoping to spread peace and to unite communities with her lively music. Also hoping to fuse communities, performance artist Davina Stewart demonstrated a historical double dutch jingle that would "spread like wildfire" amongst children. Gwynne Sigel, who is working on a multi-year oral history project, spun out tales of golden peacocks, winter, and man in a selection of translated Yiddish poetry, while Maudeline Swaray allowed French to influence her final song. These award winners truly delivered an equally chilling and inspiring night at the Arts Café.

  1. Erin Gautsche - Introduction
  2. Thelma Shelton Robinson - Introduction
  3. Thelma Shelton Robinson - The Story of Corinne Sights
  4. Felicia Webster - Introduction
  5. Felicia Webster - Love?
  6. Maudeline Swaray - Introduction
  7. Maudeline Swaray - Let's Come Together Once More
  8. Maudeline Swaray - The Ring Song
  9. Gwynne Sigel - Introduction
  10. Gwynne Sigel - The Golden Peacock
  11. Gwynne Sigel - Frumla
  12. Gwynne Sigel - How Man Was Created
  13. Davina Stewart - Introduction
  14. Davina Stewart - from "Ciam Lakey"

Episode 61 - 11/13/2006 - Plan B Press

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.

Poets from Plan B Press, a publication dedicated to publishing contemporary poetry by beginning authors, emerged at the Writers House in this evening's edition of LIVE. With reflections of hope, surrealism, family, Philadelphia, and the beyond, their poems covered a range of topics. A soothing, meditative voice arose out of documentary filmmaker Daniel Collin as he read "The Zen Man Seldom Held a Pen," a voice that starkly contrasted that which he used while delivering his political poem, "Unthink, Unstop, Everywhere Blues" (with, ehem, strategic bleeping). A bit more family-friendly, Jim Mancinelli's Dalí-influenced poems told tales of his Italian immigrant grandfather, Vincenzo, and his miller father. Philadelphia native Ryan Eckes took us home to the City of Brotherly Love as we travelled down Market Street, to the "Bhagavad" CVS, and then finally out the window. Motorcyclist Samantha Barrows voyaged to Louisiana Route 82, sweating all the way through. Sandy Crimmins, who recently collaborated with a fire-eater and some flamenco dancers, reflected on mangled bird legs and death, while musician Joshua Herd Park debated whether he should stay or go. If only this episode didn't go by quite so quickly!

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Daniel Collins - Introduction
  3. Daniel Collins - The Zen Man Seldom Held a Pen
  4. Daniel Collins - After
  5. Daniel Collins - Unthink, unstop, everwear blues
  6. Jim Mancinelli - Introduction
  7. Jim Mancinelli - Ask
  8. Jim Mancinelli - Vincenzo
  9. Jim Mancinelli - A Mill Life
  10. Jim Mancinelli - Saying Good-Bye
  11. Jim Mancinelli - from chapbook "Indeed"
  12. Ryan Eckes - Introduction
  13. Ryan Eckes - Market Street
  14. Ryan Eckes - Bus
  15. Ryan Eckes - Cover Letter
  16. Ryan Eckes - Development
  17. Ryan Eckes - Stolen Car
  18. Ryan Eckes - CVS
  19. Ryan Eckes - Natividad
  20. Ryan Eckes - Paying Respects
  21. Ryan Eckes - Out the Window
  22. Joshua Heard Park - Introduction
  23. Joshua Heard Park - Quilt
  24. Joshua Heard Park - One Wish
  25. Sandy Crimmins - Introduction
  26. Sandy Crimmins - The Element of Air
  27. Sandy Crimmins - Bird Wings
  28. Sandy Crimmins - John Paul
  29. Sandy Crimmins - on migranes
  30. Sandy Crimmins - Momento More
  31. Samantha Barrows - Introduction
  32. Samantha Barrows - Dish
  33. Samantha Barrows - Watered-Down Red
  34. Samantha Barrows - Louisiana Route 82

Episode 60 - 10/30/2006 - Philadelphia Stories

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.
You can hear a recording of the entire program here.

This installation of LIVE brought us back to the much-anticipated pre-bedtime ritual of childhood, story time (albeit one where parents are award-winning writers and regular contributors to literary journals). Writers Robin Parks, Curtis Smith, Marc Schuster, Raima Evan, and Scott Glassman from Philadelphia Stories, a region-specific literary magazine, as well as musical guest the Baird Sisters, came to share their original works. Parks, winner of the Raymond Carver Short Story Award, read "identifying marks" with a quiet intimacy that made us feel like recipients of some long-kept secret. Smith, a published novelist, told us "the prettiest lie," one he wished to whisper in the ears of all the men and women who were cradled as babies once too. Curator of Philly's INVERSE reading series, Scott Glassman created imagery that dislocated and invited listeners into a strange world, the kind he prefers. The Baird Sisters joined in with acoustics and a mix of traditional Appalachian ballads and original pieces, starting off with "Sugar Babe" and ending with "Willie Moore." Raima Evan, a playwright and UPenn PhD, invited us into the world and mind of "Giddle Goldberg," who finds herself with a talking carp, and founder of the Elliot Court Writers Workshop, Marc Schuster, expressed his deep dismay at being the only one in the world who doesn't know Kurt Vonnegut. Each of the five authors shared a unique perspective and offered a fully formed world.

  1. Robin Parks - Introduction
  2. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  3. Robin Parks - Identifying Marks
  4. Curtis Smith - Introduction
  5. Curtis Smith - The Prettiest Lie
  6. Scott Glassman - Introduction
  7. Scott Glassman - Day One: Postmark
  8. Scott Glassman - Day Two: Burrough
  9. Scott Glassman - Day Three: Corporeal
  10. Scott Glassman - Day Five: Dunes
  11. Scott Glassman - Day Ten: Eminence
  12. The Baird Sisters - Introduction
  13. The Baird Sisters - Sugar Babe
  14. The Baird Sisters - Willie Moore
  15. Raima Evan - Introduction
  16. Raima Evan - untitled
  17. Marc Schuster - Introduction
  18. Marc Schuster - Everybody Knows...

Episode 59 - 09/25/2006 - Dish: Food Writers Read

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.
You can hear a recording of the entire program here.

Our taste buds tingled during tonight's episode of LIVE. Food connoisseurs filled the Arts Café with their humorous tales, providing not only laughter, but also health tips, to a well-seasoned audience. Jason Fagone, author of Horsemen of the Esophagus, chronicled Bill L. Wingadore's fight to victory at the Wing Bowl, noting that the victory cost (or won?) him 38,500 calories and 4,000 grams of fat for a bowl of saucy and not-so-meaty chicken wings. Carolyn Wyman, a tour guide at Reading Terminal Market, also offered health advice — claiming that "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!" spray is the "dieter's version of heaven," and that spam contains everything and anything an eater could want. Restaurant critics Craig Laban and Alyssa Ludwig revealed their four-bell rating system and love of strip mall restaurants, respectively, while Philadelphia native Rick Nichols predicted the next food trend in Philly. Musical guest Red Heart the Ticker finished the night off with a sweet voice and country tune about drinking.

  1. Michaela Majoun - Introduction
  2. Jason Fagone - Introduction
  3. Jason Fagone - On History of the Chicken Wing
  4. Caroline Wyman - Introduction
  5. Caroline Wyman - History of "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter"
  6. Caroline Wyman - On Pez
  7. Craig Laban - Introduction
  8. Craig Laban - Down the Wildwood Boardwalk
  9. Red Heart the Ticker - Jack Knives
  10. Red Heart the Ticker - Steel-Toed Drinking
  11. Alyssa Ludwig - Introduction
  12. Alyssa Ludwig - Local Food and the 100-Mile Diet
  13. Rick Nichols - Introduction
  14. Rick Nichols - Baker's Dilemma
  15. Rick Nichols - In the Searon of Love, and Maybe War

Episode 58 - 04/24/2006 - Spring Celebration

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.

Writers and professionals Tracy Byford, Mike McGrath, Dr. Tomasz Anisiko, Moira Sheridan and Ilene Sternberg joined us this Monday to share stories, columns, and wisdom in celebration of spring. Tomasz Anisiko, who holds a doctorate in horticulture, read an excerpt from his book Plant Exploration for Longwood Gardens, where we are transported to a picturesque hillside covered in boxwood in Tbilisi, Georgia. Tracy Byford shared the story of how she got into gardening when she brought us to her backyard, starting with a bleeding heart that was gifted to her at the age of five and continuing to her current position as manager of the bio pond. Musical guest Kevin James Holland offered a different tribute to the spring in his song "Anyone Will Do But Me," where with a buoyant melody and a melancholic tone he sang of love and devotion. Mike McGrath, host of WHYY 91FM show "You Bet Your Garden," gave a mix of nostalgia and incredulity as he told the story of "The Little Willow That Could." Moira Sheridan read one of her backyard gardener columns and explained her confusion at the concept of gardens as a place to relax, and Ilene Sternberg exclaimed with perturbation that when the neverending lawn mowers and leaf blowers finally quiet, "I fear I've gone deaf," but such is "life on a large lot." From history lessons to childhood explorations, spring was brought to life in the Arts Café.

  1. Tomasz Anisiko - Introduction
  2. Tomasz Anisiko - Return of the Argonauts
  3. Tracy Byford - Introduction
  4. Tracy Byford - How I Got Into Gardening
  5. Kevin James Holland - Introduction
  6. Kevin James Holland - Anyone Will Do But Me
  7. Kevin James Holland - Pushing Up Daisies
  8. Mike McGrath - Introduction
  9. Mike McGrath - The Little Willow That Could
  10. Moira Sheridan - Introduction
  11. Moira Sheridan - Backyard Gardener
  12. Ilene Sternberg - Introduction
  13. Ilene Sternberg - Life on a Large Lot

Episode 57 - 03/27/2006 - Leeway Foundation Grant Winners

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.
You can hear a recording of the entire program here.

This LIVE at the Writers House featured 2005 Leeway Foundation grant winners; the foundation awards grants to women, transgender, transsexual, and genderqueer artists working for social change. Suzanne Povse's story focused on the struggles and triumphs of being a skilled blue-collar female in an almost all-male occupation, speaking for those who are or were in similar positions. Taina Asili raised a different battle cry in "The Birth of Yuppies," where with an infusion of jazz and blues as a backdrop Taina sang and yelled and repeated: "I'm giving birth to a miracle, breathe, pushing him past genocide, breathe," letting "breathe" become a mantra in resisting colonialism. Ham'diya Mu's work, "The Visit," reflected the pain inflicted by incarceration and the prison industrial complex, which she fights to change. Musical guests Josh Marcus and Josh Newman performed "Coloured Smoke" with a banjo and a folk/country feel, reflecting our propensity to not fully be present. Patience Rage, who empowers women by coaching them through telling their stories of incest, told her own story of fear, pain, and confusion. Tamika Nwalipengam, creator of a performing arts program for young single mothers, provided encouragement and hope to women by recounting her own struggles and how she overcame them. The Arts Café resonated with voices of triumph and pain with stories that truly embodied the Leeway Foundation's mission.

  1. Taina Asili - Introduction
  2. Taina Asili - The Art of Trust
  3. Taina Asili - The Birth of Yuppis
  4. Joshua Marcus - Introduction
  5. Joshua Marcus - Coloured Smoke
  6. Joshua Marcus - Introduction to "Man Threatening Pipe Wrench"
  7. Joshua Marcus - Man Threatening Pipe Wrench
  8. Ham'diya Mu - Introduction
  9. Ham'diya Mu - The Visit
  10. Ham'diya Mu - A Mother's Anguish to Children Incarcerated Everywhere
  11. Tamika Nwalipenga - Introduction
  12. Tamika Nwalipenga - My Story
  13. Susanne Povse - Introduction
  14. Susanne Povse - Draw Press to Machinist
  15. Patience Rage - Introduction
  16. Patience Rage - My First Kiss

Episode 56 - 02/20/2006 - Love: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.
You can hear the recording of the entire program here.

In tonight's episode of LIVE, an eclectic group of poets, scholars, and novelists came together to write about this crazy little thing called love. Hopelessly devoted, the aptly named Gweny Love sensually yearned for her "own man," one that would make her "part of his daily routine." Penn history PhD student, Greg Downs, didn't let words bring his characters down as each one told the other that they were beautiful. In his second story, "Adam's Curse," the women told the men to hit the road — for they had made a pact to live entirely without men. When the sun went down and the stars came up, high-school student Lee, from author Curtis Sittenfeld's bestselling novel Prep, was thrilled that her longtime crush, reeking like sweet beer, came into her room … and her bed. In a delicate and soft country voice, singer Amy Pickard feared that her heart would be filled with ashes before love could grow. After walking 135 square miles, Nathaniel Popkin realized that Philadelphians were deeply and tragically in love with their city, while scholar Niama Williams just wanted to hold the hands (ehem) of Law and Order star Vincent D'Onofrio and the Piazza Honda guy. Tonight's writers certainly surrendered their hearts and souls to love and all of its aspects — the good, the bad, and the ugly.

  1. Gweny Love - You're Part of My Daily Routine
  2. Michaela Majoun - introduction of Greg Downs
  3. Greg Downs - The Second Mile
  4. Greg Downs - Adam
  5. Michaela Majoun - introduction of Curtis Sittenfeld
  6. Curtis Sittenfeld - from Prep
  7. Amy Pickard - Ashes
  8. Michaela Majoun - introduction of Nathaniel Popkin
  9. Nathaniel Popkin - from The Deep Was Round About Me
  10. Michaela Majoun - introduction of Niama Williams
  11. Niama Williams - Merging
  12. Niama Williams - For Vincent D'onofrio
  13. Niama Williams - Twin
  14. Niama Williams - Piazza Honda
  15. Niama Williams - For E
  16. Michaela Majoun - introduction of Gweny Love
  17. Gweny Love - I Need Love
  18. Amy Pickard - Cut From the Hopeless

Episode 55 - 12/12/2005 - Women Music Writers

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.

Female music writers took center stage on this evening's production of LIVE as they told tales of music obsessions and failures. Rather than "romanticizing guys with guitars," Columbia graduate student Daphne Carr worshipped Christian rock, while Princeton assistant professor Daphne Brooks lauded black women rockers. Maura Johnston, editor at, failed to be properly obsessed with rock-and-roll as a fifteen-year-old — she didn't even wear a denim skirt or sip beer! In a silky, sultry, and hesitant voice (quite the opposite of a rock-and-roller), Buried Beds sang of innocence and maturity. Doree Shafrir, former A&E editor at Philadelphia Weekly, drew parallels between indie rock and skinny Jewish boys, while wig collector Sara Sherr couldn't help but compare her work as a record retailer to a horror film. Demonstrating knowledge in a variety of musical genres, these women brought humor and scholarship to their stories.

  1. Daphne Brookes - Introduction
  2. Daphne Brookes - All You Can't Leave Behind
  3. Buried Beds - Camellia
  4. Buried Beds - Song
  5. Buried Beds - Insomnia
  6. Daphne Carr - Introduction
  7. Daphne Carr - Why on Earth or Elsewhere
  8. Maura Johnston - Introduction
  9. Maura Johnston - Untitled
  10. Doree Shafrir - Introduction
  11. Doree Shafrir - The Shiva of Indie Rock
  12. Sara Sherr - Introduction
  13. Sara Sherr - Adventures in Record Retail

Episode 54 - 10/06/2005 - 2-1-5 Literary Festival

Produced by Erin Gautsche, hosted by Michaela Majoun.

WXPN and the Writers House hosted the 2-1-5 Literary Festival this Monday. Founded in 2001, the festival celebrates written, spoken, and visualized word. Ron Swegman started the night with an excerpt from his novel Philadelphia on the Fly, telling us that he writes and fishes for "a specific kind of solitude … a desire to experience the new, alone." Fellow author Lord Whimsy swore allegiance with animation and vigor to the color green: "bringer of balance" and "the color divine." The Absinthe Drinkers, making a different tribute to green in their band name, performed their original pop and funk songs. With voices deep, sonorous, and vibrating like a bass guitar, the group sang in unison of Macbeth, love, and murder. Christian Bauman read an excerpt from his novel "voodoo lounge" with power and authenticity; he spoke with the voice of his female protagonist, an army sergeant standing naked in the window. CA Conrad used the strength of his own voice in his poem to the president (who he has yet to hear back from): "I have a lot of love Mr. President, and I just want to press against you sometimes to let you get a little of it." Jim Gladstone used fictional elephants Babar and Celeste to remind us of the uplifting power of ideals. Authors were able to both showcase their talent and give us a peek at the vibrant Philadelphia community they've come from.

  1. Absinthe Drinkers - Introduction
  2. Absinthe Drinkers - Macbeth
  3. Abscinthe Drinkers - Agamemnon's Return
  4. Christian Bauman - Introduction
  5. Christian Bauman - Exerpt from Woodoo Lounge
  6. CA Conrad - Introduction
  7. CA Conrad - To the President
  8. Jim Gladstone - Introduction
  9. Jim Gladstone - Elephants Who Need Elephants
  10. Lord Whimsy - Introduction
  11. Lord Whimsy - Green: The Color Divine
  12. Ron Swegman - Introduction
  13. Ron Swegman - Philadelphia on the Fly

Episode 53 - 04/05/2005 - All New York City Poets Live

Produced by Tom Devaney with assistance from Jeff Lieder, directed by Beth Warshaw, and hosted by Michaela Majoun.

The Kelly Writers House bit into the Big Apple in tonight's edition of LIVE. New York City poets graced the Arts Café with their reflective and humorous poems. John Coletti paired seemingly random phrases together (steady sage, grade grubbing) to produce complex layers of meaning. Columnist for The Constant Critic Jordan Davis criticized his parents for their naming choices (Horace, and then Jordan) and even spurred the audience into repetitively chanting "good for you." Though it may have appeared as though Jordan Davis was a hypnotist, teacher Sharon Mesmer could better claim that title — she is a relative of the man who invented hypnosis! Mesmer, in the guise and skins of others, rapidly changed her identity with each poem. Elinor Nauen, who enjoys writing about cars and baseball, presented a lively tale about "pink highways." Finally, "little bit of everything" musician Edmund Berrigan performed sweetly melancholic songs and left the task of revealing their meanings to the audience. A thought-provoking evening, this LIVE demanded the audience to consider questions of identity, character, and the universe.

  1. Edmund Berrigan - Caught in the Human Shredder
  2. Edmund Berrigan - Introduction
  3. Edmund Berrigan - Mostly Harmless
  4. Edmund Berrigan - Once I Had an Earthquake
  5. John Coletti - A New Round of Touche
  6. John Coletti - Champ Little Groom
  7. John Coletti - Everyone I Want to Be
  8. John Coletti - Human Flower
  9. John Coletti - Introduction
  10. John Coletti - It's a Substitute for Thinking
  11. John Coletti - Lost Weekend
  12. John Coletti - Old Black Boots
  13. John Coletti - Siphon
  14. Jordan Davis - A Brother on the Baltic
  15. Jordan Davis - Almost Named Horrace
  16. Jordan Davis - Chanting Monotonously
  17. Jordan Davis - Distance Learning
  18. Jordan Davis - How Are You I Am Fine
  19. Jordan Davis - Introduction
  20. Jordan Davis - Ira Will Not Be Attending the Meeting
  21. Jordan Davis - Relaxing Poems
  22. Sharon Mesmer - Gait Signatures
  23. Sharon Mesmer - I Wanted to Compose a Canticle of Exaltation and Praise
  24. Sharon Mesmer - Introduction
  25. Sharon Mesmer - My Juice
  26. Elinor Nauen - Introduction
  27. Elinor Nauen - Pink Highways

Episode 51 - 01/31/2005

Produced by Tom Devaney.

In this episode of LIVE, the Arts Café featured a cross-section of Philadelphia writers whose stories broke the city limits. Author J.C. Hallman read an excerpt from his book, The Chess Artist, in which he and his close friend, Glen, travel to Russia to discover the birth of chess. Native Philadelphian Octavia McBride-Ahebee dedicated her heart-wrenching poems to the suffering women of Africa. One poem, "The Water God," brought to life the chilling death of a young child who was discarded for the benefit of the group. Temple professor Pattie McCarthy described the sometimes-embarrassing effects of intersecting cultures in her poem "Otherwise (an eke name)," while editor of Hinchas de Poesía, Will Esposito, shared new words ("Hako" which translates to box) and places (Hyde Park) in his reflective and sweeping poems. Ian Keenan, who is six years into his Künstlerroman, read a series of poems rooted in punny wordplay — the most effective of which, "Super Sestina," concerned football and using adjectives as adverbs. Cynthia G. Mason's haunting voice then swelled in the Arts Café as she performed melancholic and mystical songs with her good friend Larry. Throughout the show, these writers poignantly traversed cultures, boundaries, and expectations.

  1. William Esposito - Introduction
  2. William Esposito - City Life
  3. William Esposito - A Season in Galiso
  4. William Esposito - Hako
  5. William Esposito - Elephant
  6. William Esposito - Keshigomu
  7. William Esposito - Moon Boom
  8. William Esposito - Untitled
  9. William Esposito - Untitled
  10. William Esposito - Untitled
  11. William Esposito - Untitled
  12. William Esposito - Untitled
  13. William Esposito - Untitled
  14. William Esposito - Untitled
  15. William Esposito - Untitled
  16. J.C. Hallman - Introduction
  17. J.C. Hallman - Excerpt from The Chess Artist
  18. Ian Keenan - Introduction
  19. Ian Keenan - Poem with a Latter in the Back
  20. Ian Keenan - Poem with Cars
  21. Ian Keenan - Super Sestina
  22. Cynthia Mason - Introduction
  23. Cynthia Mason - Suede
  24. Cynthia Mason - Wit's End
  25. Octavia McBride-Ahebee - Introduction
  26. Octavia McBride-Ahebee - Homesick Spirits
  27. Octavia McBride-Ahebee - Sweetness of Pineapples
  28. Octavia McBride-Ahebee - The Water God
  29. Pattie McCarthy - Introduction
  30. Pattie McCarthy - Otherwise (an eke name)