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The Deerfield Public Library Podcast

Thoughtful, in-depth conversations with authors of all genres and other notable people from Chicagoland and around the world. A monthly program from the Deerfield Public Library in Deerfield, IL, hosted by Dylan Zavagno. Our archives include episodes from the Library's John Cotton Dana Award-winning series, The Fight to Integrate Deerfield: 60 Year Reflection; our Pride Month series, Queer Poem-a-Day; and our local history audio tours.
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Jun 19, 2021

Randall Mann is the author of five collections of poetry: A BETTER LIFE, PROPRIETARY, STRAIGHT RAZOR, BREAKFAST WITH THOM GUNN, and COMPLAINT IN THE GARDEN. He is also the author of a book of criticism, THE ILLUSION OF INTIMACY: ON POETRY. A three-time finalist for the Lambda Literary Award, he lives in San Francisco. Twitter: @randallmannpoet Instagram: @randallmann 

“Eros” was originally from COMPLAINT IN THE GARDEN. Copyright © 2004 by Randall Mann. Reprinted by permission of Randall Mann.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Jun 18, 2021

Jill McDonough’s books of poems include Here All Night (Alice James, 2019), Reaper (Alice James, 2017), Where You Live (Salt, 2012), and Habeas Corpus (Salt, 2008). The recipient of three Pushcart prizes and fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, NEA, NYPL, FAWC, and Stanford, her work appears in The Threepenny Review and Best American Poetry. She teaches in the MFA program at UMass-Boston and offers College Reading and Writing in Boston jails. Her website is jillmcdonough.com. Jill McDonough’s American Treasure comes out in 2022 with Alice James Books.

“What a Waste” was previously published in Green Mountains Review’s print edition in 2018. 

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Jun 17, 2021

Xandria Phillips is a Whiting Award-winning poet, and visual artist from rural Ohio. The recipient of a LAMBDA Literary Award, and the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging writers, Xandria is the author of HULL (Nightboat Books 2019) and Reasons for Smoking, which won the 2016 Seattle Review Chapbook Contest judged by Claudia Rankine. They have received fellowships from Brown University, Callaloo, Cave Canem, The Conversation Literary Festival, Oberlin College, the Wisconsin Institute for Creative Writing, and are the 2021-2023 Center for African American Poetry and Poetics Fellow. Their current projects include an experimental nonfiction manuscript, a book of ekphrastic poetry, and an ever-growing visual art studio practice. Xandria’s poetry has appeared in Berlin Quarterly Review, BOMB Magazine, Crazyhorse, Poets.org, and Virginia Quarterly Review and anthologies such as Best Experimental Writing (Weslyan Press 2020) and We Want It All: An Anthology of Radical Trans Poetics (Nightboat Books 2020). Their paintings have been featured in Kenyon Review, The Poetry Project, and the cover of American Poets Magazine. For more, visit them at xandriaphillips.com. Instagram: @xandria_phillips Twitter: @xandriaphillips

"Want Could Kill Me" was published in HULL (Nightboat Books)

Check out another recent poem by Xandria Phillips here:  https://poets.org/poem/black-heroism-unskilled-labor

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Jun 16, 2021

Jay Besemer is the author of the poetry collections Theories of Performance (The Lettered Streets Press, 2020), The Ways of the Monster (KIN(D) Texts and Projects/The Operating System, 2018), Crybaby City (Spuyten Duyvil, 2017), Chelate (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2016) and Telephone (Brooklyn Arts Press, 2013). He is a 2021 Lambda Literary Award Finalist for Transgender Poetry, and was a finalist for the 2017 Publishing Triangle Award for Trans and Gender-Variant Literature. Jay was included in the groundbreaking anthology Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics. www.jaybesemer.net Twitter: @THEORIES_PER

“The Window” is from Theories of Performance, published 2020 by The Lettered Streets Press.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Jun 15, 2021

Catherine Pond was born in New York City and grew up in Georgia. She is the author of Fieldglass (Southern Illinois University Press 2021), winner of the Crab Orchard First Book Prize. Her poems have appeared in Best New Poets, Best American Nonrequired Reading, AGNI, The Adroit Journal, Narrative, and other publications. Pond is a PhD candidate in Literature & Creative Writing at the University of Southern California, where she teaches writing. Instagram: @catherine.pond

"Riding the Bus Back to Oxford" was originally published in Lambda Literary: https://www.lambdaliterary.org/2014/09/three-poems-by-catherine-pond/

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Jun 14, 2021

Cyril Wong has been described by The Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry in English as a confessional poet in Singapore, based mainly on "a barely submerged anxiety over the fragility of human connection and a relentless self-querying". His most recent book is Infinity Diary, published by Seagull Books in 2020. A past recipient of the National Arts Council’s Young Artist Award and two Singapore Literature Prizes, he completed a doctoral degree in English Literature at the National University of Singapore in 2012. His poems have been translated into Bengali, Japanese, Italian, Turkish and German. His writings have also appeared in international magazines as well as anthologies by W. W. Norton and Everyman’s Library. He founded Singapore’s longest-running international poetry webjournal, SOFTBLOW. Instagram: @cyrilsingstheblues

"The Men We Loved" was originally published in the book Tilting Our Plates to Catch the Light (Math Paper Press 2012) 

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Jun 13, 2021

Phillip B. Williams is from Chicago, IL and author of the book Thief in the Interior (Alice James 2016). A recipient of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award, Lambda Literary Award, and Whiting Award, he currently teaches at Bennington College and the Randolph College low-residency MFA. Twitter: PBW_POET Instagram: PBW_POET

"Of Contour, Of Cadence" was originally published in Thief in the Interior (Alice James 2016).

Phillip B. Williams' forthcoming book MUTINY: poems comes out from Penguin Poetry, Sept 7 2021. 

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Jun 12, 2021

Julia Guez is a writer and translator based in Brooklyn. Her essays, interviews, fiction, poetry and translations have appeared in Guernica, POETRY, The Guardian, BOMB, The Brooklyn Rail and Kenyon Review. Four Way Books released her first full-length collection, In An Invisible Glass Case Which Is Also A Frame, in 2019; they will release her second book, The Certain Body, in 2022. For the last decade, Guez has worked with Teach For America New York; she’s currently the senior managing director of design and implementation. She also teaches creative writing at NYU and Rutgers. www.juliaguez.net Twitter: @G_U_E_Z  Instagram: julia.elizabeth.guez Publisher Twitter and IG: @fourwaybooks

Book of Poems in Translation: https://www.afterhourseditions.com/equestrian-monuments

"Forty" is originally published is originally published on Queer Poem-a-Day at the Deerfield Public Library on June 12, 2021. 

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Jun 11, 2021

Rachel Mennies is the author of the poetry collections The Naomi Letters (BOA Editions, 2021) and The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards, the 2014 winner of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry at Texas Tech University Press and finalist for a National Jewish Book Award. Her poetry has recently appeared at The Believer, Kenyon Review, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere. Rachel's essays, criticism, and other articles have appeared at The Millions, The Poetry Foundation, LitHub, and numerous other outlets. Mennies took over in 2016 as the series editor of the Walt McDonald First-Book Prize in Poetry; she also serves as the reviews editor for AGNI. https://www.rachelmennies.com  Twitter: @rmennies, Instagram: @rmennies 

"[unsent draft]" originally appeared at On the Seawall, an online poetry community helmed by Ron Slate.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language.

Jun 10, 2021

Richie Hofmann's new book of poems, A Hundred Lovers, will be published by Knopf in 2022. A former Stegner Fellow, he currently teaches at Stanford University. Twitter: @richiehof, Instagram: @richiehof

"Male Beauty" originally appeared in The Sewanee Review (Summer 2020).

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Jun 9, 2021

Henri Cole was born in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1956. He has published over half a dozen collections of poetry, including Touch, Pierce the Skin, and Blizzard; a memoir, Orphic Paris; and has received many awards for his work, including the Jackson Poetry Prize, the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Rome Prize, the Berlin Prize, the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize, and the Award of Merit Medal in Poetry from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He teaches at Claremont McKenna College. Twitter: @ColeHenri

Audio recorded by Naoe Suzuki.

"Embers" previously appeared in the poetry collection Blackbird and Wolf.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Jun 8, 2021

Chen Chen is the author of When I Grow Up I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities (BOA Editions, 2017), which was long listed for the National Book Award and won the Thom Gunn Award, among other honors. His work appears/is forthcoming in many publications, including Ploughshares, Poem-a-Day, and three editions of The Best American Poetry (2015, 2019, and 2021). He has received a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from Kundiman and the National Endowment for the Arts. With a brilliant team, he edits the journal Underblong. He teaches at Brandeis University as the Jacob Ziskind Poet-in-Residence and lives in Waltham, MA with his partner Jeff Gilbert and their pug Mr. Rupert Giles. Twitter:  @chenchenwrites, Instagram: chenchenwrites

"Summer" was previously published in Poetry Magazine.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Jun 7, 2021

H. Melt is a poet, artist and educator whose work celebrates trans people, history and culture. They are the author of The Plural, The Blurring and editor of Subject to Change: Trans Poetry & Conversation. Lambda Literary awarded them the Judith A. Markowitz Award for Emerging LGBTQ Writers. Their next book, There Are Trans People Here, is forthcoming from Haymarket Books in the fall of 2021. Twitter: @hmeltchicago, Instagram: @hmeltchi

Books are available here: https://hi-buddy.org/search?q=h.+melt or on hmeltchicago.com/books

"Prayer for My Trans Siblings" is originally published on Queer Poem-a-Day at the Deerfield Public Library on June 7, 2021. 

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Jun 6, 2021

Ruben Quesada is the author of Revelations and Next Extinct Mammal. His writing has appeared in the Best American Poetry, Harvard Review, American Poetry Review, and other anthologies and journals. He is a blogger at The Kenyon Review, the founding director of the monthly Mercy Street Readings. He lives in Chicago. Twitter: @rubenquesada. https://www.rubenquesada.com/

"Billow of Thistles" originally appeared in Mumber Magazine, Issue 2. Dec. 2020.

Ruben Quesada's chapbook Revelations is recently out from Sibling Rivalry Press: https://siblingrivalrypress.bigcartel.com/product/revelations

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Jun 5, 2021

Andrea Cohen's poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, The Threepenny Review, and elsewhere. Her most recent poetry collections are Everything, Nightshade and Unfathoming. Cohen directs the Blacksmith House Poetry Series in Cambridge, MA. https://www.andreacohen.org/

"Eavesdropping on Adam and Eve" was originally published in Copper Nickel.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Jun 4, 2021

Gala Mukomolova is a Moscow-born, Brooklyn-raised, poet and essayist. Her full length book, Without Protection, is available through Coffee House Press. Her chapbook, One Above One Below: Positions & Lamentations, is available with YesYes Books. She is a recipient of the 2016 Discovery Prize from 92nd St Y & Boston Review and has held residencies at Vermont Studio Center, Pink Door, and ASYLUM Arts. Gala currently writes astrology articles for Refinery29 , co-hosts Big Dyke Energy Podcast, and is one of the creators of QueerHealers.com. She is a founder and part of The Cheburashka Collective.

https://galacticrabbit.com

"Ana I Don't Forget" was originally published in Home is Where You Queer Your Heart Anthology, https://foglifterjournal.com/product/home-is-where-you-queer-your-heart-anthology/

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Jun 3, 2021

Sam Herschel Wein (he/they) is a Chicago-based poet who specializes in perpetual frolicking. Their second chapbook, GESUNDHEIT!, a collaboration with Chen Chen, was part of the 2019-2020 Glass Poetry Press Series. He co-founded and edits Underblong. Recent work can be found in Moon City Review, Sundog Lit, and Bat City Review, among others. Instagram: @samforbreakfast, samherschelwein.com.

"Nature Poem" is originally published in Queer Poem-a-Day at the Deerfield Public Library on June 3rd, 2021. 

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Jun 2, 2021

Derrick Austin is the author of Tenderness, forthcoming from BOA Editions in Fall 2021, and Trouble the Water (BOA Editions). He is a 2019-2021 Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. He currently lives in Oakland, CA. Twitter: @ParadiseLaust, Instagram: @ParadiseLaust

“Is This or Is This True as Happiness” was previously published in Tin House.

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Jun 1, 2021

Shelley Wong is the author of As She Appears (YesYes Books, 2022), winner of the 2019 Pamet River Prize, and the chapbook RARE BIRDS (Diode Editions, 2017). Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Gulf Coast, Kenyon Review, and The New Republic. She has received a Pushcart Prize and fellowships from MacDowell, Kundiman, and Vermont Studio Center. She is an affiliate artist at Headlands Center for the Arts and lives in San Francisco. 

Twitter: @shhelleywong, Instagram: @poetshelley, www.shelley-wong.com 

“Pride Month” was previously published at the Kenyon Review Online. 

Text of today’s poem and more details about our program can be found at: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday/

Find books from participating poets in our library's catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our series is from Excursions Op. 20, Movement 1, by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by a generous donation from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

May 20, 2021

For Pride Month we are reinventing our regular podcast interview series as a new daily poetry podcast featuring poems written and read by contemporary queer poets. We intend this series as a sort of "literary Pride Parade"; a celebration of the vitality and variety of queer poetry today. Whether you’re a poetry fan, a student or educator, or just curious, Queer Poem-a-Day will connect you to this vibrant world of literature. 

A transcript of this introduction episode is available here.

You’ll be able to read the text of the poems and find more information about our poets on our special series website: deerfieldlibrary.org/queerpoemaday. Additionally, you can find books and ebooks by our participating poets in our Library’s catalog

Queer Poem-a-Day is founded and co-directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Library and host of the Deerfield Public Library Podcast.

Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by The Friends of the Deerfield Public Library. Music for our special podcast series is from the first movement of Excursions, Op. 20 by Samuel Barber, performed by pianist Daniel Baer

Apr 15, 2021

Dr. Jason Oliver Chang is Associate Professor of History, as well as Asian and Asian American Studies at the University of Connecticut. We use Dr. Chang's zine “Unmasking Yellow Peril” (co-written with Turner Willman and the group 18 Million Rising) as a jumping-off point for discussing the history and present of exclusion, discrimination, and violence against Asian Americans, as well as the field of Asian American Studies more generally.

In this time of rising anti-Asian rhetoric and violence, many have looked for educational resources. As Dr. Chang tells us, the lack of familiarity with this history is itself a familiar dynamic because of the “perpetual foreigner” stereotype, which leaves out Asian Americans from the American story. For Dr. Chang, Asian American Studies isn’t only about adding another lost chapter to history, but also about interrogating how our “common sense” historical narratives depend on the absence of certain stories. 

We also discuss Dr. Chang’s 2017 book Chino: Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico 1880-1940 as well as his support for a recent push to get Asian American Studies in Connecticut public schools. A similar effort is currently underway here in Illinois.

You can download the zine Unmasking Yellow Peril for free or pick up a copy from the Deerfield Public Library’s Podcast Collection shelf. You can also find Asian America: A Primary Source Reader (co-edited by Dr. Chang) in our collection, as well as many other resources here at the Library. Dr. Chang can be found @chinotronic on Twitter.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

Follow us: Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube 

Mar 18, 2021

Stateway’s Garden by our guest Jasmon Drain is a debut collection of linked short stories that explore characters who live in and are shaped by the Chicago public housing project Stateway Gardens, which was torn down in 2007. 

We discuss how a writer navigates the responsibility and expectations involved in writing about a real place. Jasmon also reveals the careful craft of weaving markers of time, nature, and Chicago political history into the lives of his characters. Our conversation is a celebration of the short story as a way of knowing about the world. 

We at the library think this book is a major contribution to the literature of Chicago. But you don’t have to take our word for it--Sandra Cisneros says of Jasmon Drain’s work “I bow to this writer in gratitude.”

You can check out Stateway’s Garden at the Deerfield Public Library, or find it at your local library or bookstore. 

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

Follow us: Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube 

Feb 11, 2021

The Loop: The “L” Tracks that Shaped and Saved Chicago by our guest Patrick T. Reardon argues that the rectangular loop of elevated train tracks in downtown Chicago is the single most important structure in Chicago’s history. The Loop traces the development of the physical structure, but also the effect of the idea--bringing a diverse and divided city together in one concentrated, shared area of commerce, government, culture, and recreation. Though derided over the years as a nuisance--and often threatened to be razed--the loop tracks have become so important and identified with the city, that they lent downtown its name. 

Reardon was the urban affairs writer and a feature writer at the Chicago Tribune during a 33-year career at the newspaper. He is also an essayist, poet, literary critic and Chicago history expert and brings many disciplines together for a fascinating study that invites you to consider what makes Chicago a unique world city. 

You can check out The Loop: The “L” Tracks that Shaped and Saved Chicago here at the Library. Or learn more about our guest on his website: patricktreardon.com

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

Follow us: Facebook Twitter Instagram YouTube 

Jan 14, 2021

The Math Campers is Dan Chiasson’s fifth book of poetry. He is the poetry critic for The New Yorker, a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books, and teaches English at Wellesley College. 

You can checkout The Math Campers at the Deerfield Public Library, and find Dan Chiasson on Twitter @dchiasso

The Math Campers has a thrilling and unique structure. Imagining a reader who narrates her correspondence with a poet named Dan Chiasson, the book contains poetic scraps, drafts, and blank spaces, which only sometimes lead to more completed poems. This “making-of” structure coincides with Chiasson’s continued investigations into his childhood and adolescence, as his sons enter adolescence themselves. Add a science fiction plot about a group of teen summer campers trying to stop time, and you have a collection both zany and elegiac that questions the nature of art. 

We discuss where these ideas come from, and why poetry does what it does. You’ll also hear Dan read some of his poems and reflect on the lineage of poets cited in this book, including T.S. Eliot, James Merrill, and Frank Bidart.

We welcome your comments and feedback--please send to: podcast@deerfieldlibrary.org. More info at: http://deerfieldlibrary.org/podcast

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Nov 12, 2020

Intersectional Tech: Black Users in Digital Gaming (Louisiana State University Press) by Dr. Kishonna Gray documents and analyzes how the intersectional identities of race, gender, sexuality, and ability are experienced by black video gamers. Conversations about racial justice can sometimes overlook gaming and related social media, even though these activities make up a large part of many people’s everyday lives.

We touch on a lot, including the work of libraries (which often circulate and promote video games), #blacklivesmatter, digital redlining, as well how black users develop self-sustaining, empowering practices, create new resources, and collaborate with allies, to navigate digital life.

You can find out more about Dr. Kishonna Gray at her website, kishonnagray.com, or follow her on Twitter: @KishonnaGray. Check out Intersectional Tech at the library, in our podcast collection. 

You can also check out the resource caniplaythat.com for game reviews and more from an ability lens. Or check out our adaptive X-Box controller, or one of our many video games--Dr. Gray recommends the Hitman series among other games at the end of our episode. 

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