On Nov. 25, I appeared on Words and Notes with Tim Aydelott, a two-hour radio program on Radio Sunnyside here in Flagstaff, Arizona. It’s a great show that has featured a handful of local writers and poets including Jesse Sensibar, Nicole Walker and Stacy Murison. Typically, the authors read from their own works while Aydelott asks questions about their piece, life and influences. Aydelott then pairs each piece with music. Sometimes the readings and music coalesce into a theme.
For my appearance, I spent the first hour reading some poetry and two short stories. It was a great experience, because typically, as an arts and culture reporter, I am the person asking questions and prying at people to learn about their lives. Aydelott asked great questions that took me back to the place I was (both literally and metaphorically) when I wrote these poems and stories. Eventually, our theme ended up on drinking, given the Thanksgiving holiday just days before the show and the nature of my work in which drinking is somewhat of a reoccurring thing that I or my characters do.
At first I was a bit apprehensive to participate in the themed readings, as I don’t necessarily wish for my work to be seen in that light. In other words, I don’t wish to known as an author who’s work is boiled down to one subject, and especially not the act of drinking. For me, the reason drinking and consumption is a current in my work is because more often than not I am questioning the reasons we (over)indulge. As I mention in the interview, alcoholism runs in my family, and I’m very conscious about that as I struggle with my own bouts of it. When I brought this up to Aydelott, he and I worked in tandem to ensure the show didn’t simply celebrate drinking, and instead provided a complex look at why we drink. He made me feel much more comfortable with the process, to which I am very thankful.
There was also an appearance by local musician Aly Jay, who performed the song “The Trouble With Whiskey,” which she wrote for the annual Gatsby Night at Uptown Pubhouse.
I feel a bit of a natural inclination toward radio and audio. Even though we were broadcasting online and all across Flagstaff, it didn’t quite feel like that, and I felt comfortable in the studio. I do hope I get to appear more on Words and Notes, and Aydelott has already invited me back. Now I just need to write more work.
Below is the full Words and Notes segment on Nov. 25, 2018: