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Blog

The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast

(Bonus) Episode 33: George Carlin (aka, the one that started it all)

In 2001, I interviewed comedian George Carlin for my streaming audio show on Wired.com. That show was the genesis of The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast.

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The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast

Episode 32: Vikki Tobak

Vikki Tobak left Detroit for New York City and found herself at the center of the nascent hip-hop scene in 1991. Her new book Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop will change the way you think and talk about the music that shook up America.

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The Books that Influence My Writing Life

The Books that Influence My Writing Life

My favorite conversation: What books influenced you? These are the books that influenced my life as a writer.

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The Fourth of July

The Fourth of July and the Meaning of the Declaration

My middle school history teacher John Viall—a dedicated and decorated teacher—wrote a wonderful post about America, the Fourth, and e pluribus unum.

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Mister Rogers and the Border Wall

Won't You Be My Neighbor, or How Mister Rogers Took on a Border Wall

King Friday XIII orders a border wall to be built. Lady Aberlin takes balloons, tied with messages of peace and love, and floats them across the wall.

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Upper Panther Hollow Trail Throne

The Magnificent Mr. Maxx in Schenley Park

I love Schenley Park, but it's made for mountain biking, running, and walking your dog. Oh, and it's good for streams and water, which is where we meet Mr. Maxx.

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Final Training Push

A Final Training Push, or...

Competitions had once been my respite from real life. But the last few years challenged me emotionally. My heart needed more serene endeavors. Until now.

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Free eBook on Machine Learning, A.I., and the Modern World

Sign up for my mailing list and get a free PDF of my latest book, Frankenstein's Legacy: Four Conversations about Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and the Modern World.

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"We Are Not A House Divided"

My friend KT Peterson and I embarked on a writing challenge on August 4-5: write 10,000 words and the read an excerpt from it. The title of this piece is "We Are Not A House Divided."

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About That Thing You Ask Me About Hillbilly Elegy

That's where the single narrative becomes so dangerous. Because people don't know the history of the region, and they don't understand its problems. Yet many of those same people have a great number of preconceived notions they aren't afraid to unleash.

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Review: Crapalachia: A Biography of a Place

I'm still trying to wrap my head around Crapalachia. It's not quite memoir, it's certainly not a biography of a place, and as we find out at the end of the book it's not entirely real.

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Review: The Arts of Legerdemain as Taught by Ghosts

The Arts of Legerdemain as Taught by Ghosts is a fantastic story that explores the divergence between the way we want to see the world and the way the world is.

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Review: Watch Me Disappear

Janelle Brown's book Watch Me Disappear is a deft page-turner that explores the intersection between what we think is true...and what is actually true.

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Review: Harriet Said: A Novel

I'm generally not inclined to go all praise the prose about writers because that's a complement that is subjective. But I don't know how to write about Harriet Said without telling you that Bainbridge tells a tight, taut story that unfolds in all of its horrifying details.

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What We Mean When We Talk about Infrastructure

The Appalachian region faces an uphill battle to survive. But that's how it was designed. If the region -- and its people -- have any chance to prosper, it'll come from the most boring of places: infrastructure building.

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The Curious Case of Explaining, not Excusing

As I sat down to write this book, I was faced with this strange tightrope act: I wanted to write a book about why Appalachia and its people ended up as they have, but I also needed to acknowledge its sometimes brutal and horrible history.

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Roger (& Jared & J.D.) and Me, or Breaking Appalachia

The things that have always sustained me, and carried me through the darkness, and given me a world with color: the writing, and the voices, and the stories. I've found my voice in the wilderness. I've found other voices in the wilderness.

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Fitzgerald, in Volumes

Whenever I see Fitzgerald in the bookstore, I can't but recall fondly how his books taught me to write.

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Why I Write: Mariah Ivey

Indianapolis poet, spoken word artist, and MC Mariah Ivey is our first guest on the new series "Why I Write."

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The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast

Episode 31: KT Peterson

After hours of conversations with Brad outside the podcast, Indianapolis playwright and writer KT Peterson came by to talk about how empathy, performance, curiosity, and writing come together in her work.

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The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast

Episode 30: Too Black

Indianapolis spoken word artist Too Black stopped by the Jam to talk about how he developed his writing voice and how he was raised to challenge all the assumptions people have.

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The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast

Episode 29: Jen Blackmer

PEN Literary award-winning playwright Jen Blackmer came by the podcast to discuss the importance of the personal perspective in art, particularly in the time of a Trump presidency.

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The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast

Episode 28: Ellen Munds

Continuing with the pursuit of writing in all of its forms, Storytelling Arts of Indiana director Ellen Munds discussed how stories and live performances shaped her life.

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The Downtown Writers Jam Podcast

Episode 27: Trisha Borowicz

In this episode, we went full nerdy-artist-filmmaker smart with Trisha Borowicz, a scientist and documentary filmmaker who raised $20,000 to create her film Science, Sex, and the Ladies: The True Story of the Female Orgasm in 2011.

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If you're interested in keeping up with my writing projects, I’ll overlook your bad judgement on that and instead say thank you. A writer's life blood is readers. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason. So sign up for my mailing list, and download Frankenstein’s Legacy, my latest work published by CMU’s ETC Press.
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