Ben Arthur, American Songwriter
SongWriter is a podcast of stories and answer songs, featuring performances from Roxane Gay, Joyce Carol Oates, Gary Shteyngart, Sarah Jaffe, Michael Ian Black, Ted Leo, Susan Orlean, and others.
Ethan Lipton + Sarah Jaffe
Playwright and songwriter Ethan Lipton reads a fictional speech at a live performance in New York City, and Texan songwriter Sarah Jaffe plays a song she wrote in response.
Aug 18
11 min
Amy Turn Sharp + Parker Paul
Poet Amy Turn Sharp reads a piece inspired by the death of her mother. In it she describes how she began leaving her baby teeth, one by one, in places that have emotional resonance in her life. Songwriter Parker Paul, who is an old friend of Amy’s, performs his song “Baby Teeth,” at a live performance in Columbus, Ohio.
Aug 4
17 min
Louisa Young + Miranda Joy
Author Louisa Young reads from her memoir You Left Early, about love and alcoholism, and discusses how insidious the disease is for its victims, and for the people that love them. Pianist and songwriter Miranda Joy performs “Carry You Around,” live in the clock tower of St. Pancras Station in London.
Jul 21
14 min
Dodai Stewart + Natalia Zukerman
Dodai Stewart tells a story about destiny, choice, and tarot cards that she wrote specially for SongWriter, and slide guitarist Natalia Zukerman performs her song “Storm Cloud Rising,” and talks about her own recent tangles with fate.
Jul 7
20 min
Soman Chainani + Cave Twins
Author of the bestselling School for Good and Evil series (which is currently becoming a Netflix show), Soman Chainani, reads a children’s story he wrote for SongWriter, about an evil bear that eats children. David Mayfield and Abby Rose, who perform as Cave Twins, perform their song, “Mighty Mountain Monster,” and talk about how America’s political divisions inform their art.
Jun 23
23 min
Malachy McCourt + Louise Cairns
Malachy McCourt is the 87 year-old brother of Pulitzer Prize-winning memoirist Frank McCourt, who wrote Angela’s Ashes about their childhood in Ireland. Malachy tells a story about a walk he and his father took together when he was a small boy, and Scottish songwriter Louise Cairns performs her response song, “Baby Rocks.”
Jun 9
24 min
Season Two Preview
This is a preview for the second season of SongWriter, the podcast of stories and "answer songs." This season will feature stories from Joyce Carol Oates, Soman Chainani, and Michael Ian Black, and songs written in response by Sarah Jaffe, Cave Twins, Tony Trischka, and Drew Holcomb.
May 12
2 min
Jonathan Lethem + Cindy Lee Berryhill (Bonus Episode!)
Novelist and MacArthur "Genius Grant" award-winner Jonathan Lethem reads his story "Vivian Relf," and songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill performs a song written in response.
Nov 25, 2019
37 min
Anna North + Miss Eaves
Novelist and journalist Anna North reads two pieces of flash fiction, "The Machine" and "Cheese Baby," and rapper and filmmaker Miss Eaves performs a song written in response the second piece. The two friends also discuss how they met, and their reaction to each others' work.
Nov 11, 2019
13 min
Patricia Lockwood + Sasha Dobson
Patricia Lockwood reads a chapter from her bestselling memoir, Priestdaddy, about a hunting trip, a disgusting motel room, and her brother, the "Poop Jentleman." Sasha Dobson performs her song, "Cross on My Heart," inspired by Patricia's writing, and about her own father. The show was recorded at a live performance at Joe's Pub in New York City.
Oct 28, 2019
18 min
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