"The Guiding Light Is Surprise"–A Chat with Tony Trigilio

So, how’s everyone doing this week, now that so many of us are sheltering in place? 

From the bottom of my heart, I’m wishing you and your loved ones health and ease during this supremely strange and unsettling time.

I feel so fortunate to be surrounded by so many wise and compassionate friends who are helping me make sense of the wide variety of emotions that have been coming up around all the continued uncertainty in this ongoing coronavirus situation.

I feel even more fortunate that I had the chance to speak with one of those wise and compassionate friends for this week’s episode.

Today, I’m incredibly pleased to be speaking with my friend, neighbor, and former bandmate, the poet Tony Trigilio

Tony is the author and editor of 13 books, including, most recently, Ghosts of the Upper Floor (published by BlazeVOX [books] in 2019), which is the third installment in his multivolume poem, The Complete Dark Shadows (of My Childhood). His selected poems, Fuera del Taller del Cosmos, was published in Guatemala by Editorial Poe (translated by Bony Hernández). He is editor of Elise Cowen: Poems and Fragments (published by Ahsahta Press in 2014), and the author of Allen Ginsberg’s Buddhist Poetics (published by Southern Illinois University Press in 2012). Tony coedits the poetry journal Court Green and is an associate editor for Tupelo Quarterly. He is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago.

Today we discuss his origin story as a poet, the possibilities that get unlocked by asking a student “tell me more of what you mean by that,” building bridges between the hemispheres of the brain, how playing drums professionally helped Tony unite his practice as a writer with his work as a scholar, and why the best art feels like a friend saying to you, “I’m going to tell you something but it’s hard to say.”

For more information about Tony, you can find him online at starve.org.

Read More

“I Don’t Want to Be an Expert”–A Chat with Keiler Roberts

Welcome to the coronavirus special.

OK, not really.

But if you’re taking your social distancing seriously–and for the sake of the most vulnerable among us, I hope that you are–you might suddenly find yourself with a bit more time on your freshly washed hands. Hopefully this week’s episode featuring my dear friend the artist Keiler Roberts will be a balm and a welcome hour’s worth of distraction.

Keiler has been writing autobiographical comics for ten years. Her six books include Sunburning, Chlorine Gardens, and, most recently, Rat Time, all three of which were published by Koyama Press. Her self-published autobiographical comic series Powdered Milk received an Ignatz Award for Outstanding Series in 2016, and in 2019 Chlorine Gardens received Slate’s Cartoonist Studio Prize for Best Print Comic of 2018, which was selected by The Slate Book Review and The Center for Cartoon Studies. Her work has been included in The Best American Comics in 2016 and 2018 and was mentioned on their Notables list for 2014. Her work has been featured in numerous gallery exhibitions, including a solo show in Northern Ireland at The Naughton Gallery at Queen’s University, Belfast, curated by Ben Crothers. She has taught at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago since 2013 and lives in Evanston, Illinois, with her husband, the artist Scott Roberts, their daughter Xia, and perhaps the most famous cartoon pet since Snoopy, their dog Crooky.

This week on the show, Keiler and I talk about the thrill of the possibility of failure, embracing disorganization, the difficulties that arise when you try to do an unnameable activity, why telling someone “just be yourself” can be bad advice, and the difference between a story that’s funny to tell and a story that’s funny to draw.

Read More

“I Would Always Say Yes to a Spiritual Experience”–A Chat with Angie Yingst

Today on the show I’m incredibly pleased to be in conversation with Angie Yingst.

Angie is a published writer, a sacred artist, a Usui Reiki Master Teacher, and an Earth Medicine Practitioner specializing in shamanic and crystal healing techniques. 

Angie has been reading Tarot for thirty years and is a member of the American Tarot Association. She has also trained through the Hibiscus Moon Crystal Academy as a Certified Crystal Healer and an Advanced Crystal Master, and she now serves the school and its community as Curriculum Specialist and Crystal Coach. Angie has also been studying since 2012 with Pixie Lighthorse and has completed all four levels of her training through SouLodge Earth Medicine School. 

Angie offers both in-person and distance one-on-one healing sessions that combine crystal healing, shamanic healing, Reiki, drum and rattle, breathwork, and plant medicine to facilitate healing in her clients, balancing her work with the moon cycles and seasonal energies to maximize healing potential. Angie teaches tarot, crystals and crystal healing, shamanic work, psychic development and intuitive work, creative and art workshops, and offers group healing sessions through the Alta View Wellness Center in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Today we dig deep to talk about grief, addiction, perfectionism, and the dangers of spiritual bypassing, as well as the difference between being a guru and an effective space-holder. 

Read More