"Unknown Words" is a bi-monthly podcast dedicated to highlighting the work of unpublished or lesser known writers. Each episode, Matthew reads a either a short story, creative non-fiction, or works of poetry then interviews the writer to gain some insight into the work's composition and just maybe that of the author's.

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December 2015
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Syndication

In Mensah Demary's short story, a middle aged man who's left his marriage crumbling encounters a brazen, single young mother, and he begins to question even further what he actually wants. 

"Butcher's Block" was first published in PANK magazine. 

His fiction has also appeared in Metazen, Monkeybicycle,  and the Safety Pin Review among others. His non-fiction can be found in Salon, Thought Catalog, The Lit Pub and elsewhere. 

Mensah is an associate editor with Catapult and the founding editor of Specter Magazine

Follow him on Twitter @mensah4000

 

Conversation Topics: writing, literature, memoir, New York, Brooklyn, New Jersey, publishing, middle age, Roxane Gay, mentorship, Maggie Nelson, The Argonauts, non-fiction, essay.  

 

Music by

Mon Nobi

MUSH

 

To submit fiction, non-fiction, and poetry between 1,000 and 4,000 words, send it to: unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 27_-_Mensah_Demary.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:53pm EST
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Today's short story by playwright, Kenneth Hanes, deals with the relatively universal pain of seeing aging loved ones losing their memories and their recognition. However, for the main character of this story, who is a transwoman, this loss is magnified, for not only does her embittered father no longer recognize her, he has lost any understanding at all of who and how she is. 

Today's story first appeared in The Massachusetts Review

Music by

Ludwig Danson

MUSH

 

If you would like to submit fiction, non-fiction, or poetry between 1,000 and 4,000 words, send it to the show:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 26_-_Kenneth_Hanes.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:13am EST
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Today we have two short stories from Jeff Musillo. They're each conversational, things you are overhearing or being directly told, or even confessed to. While each story centers on damaged men, one of them absurdly, hyperbolically so, they are each darkly funny.

Jeff is the author of The Ease of Access, Can You See That Sound, and Snapshot Americana. His new novella, The States is published by Civil Coping Mechanisms and is available this Friday (11/13/2015).  

 

Conversation topics: writing, Nickelodeon, TV, screenwriting, film, publishing, process, Brooklyn, Charles Bukowski, inspiration, learning, failure. 

 

Music by

Mon Nobi

MUSH

 

If you would like to submit fiction, narrative non-fiction, or poetry, between 1,000 and 4,000 words, send it to:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 25_-_Jeff_Musillo.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:18am EST
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In today's short story, "Breakfast Inside the Beltway," a young woman meets an eccentric old southern man whose eccentricities hide a life of real tragedy. Yet, that is exactly what they have in common, for at least one small era in each of their lives. 

Christine is a prolific fiction and non-fiction writer. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, The Feminist Wire, Bustle, The Southeast Review, and elsewhere. She is the editor of Quail Bell Magazine

Her writing as well as her film and visual artwork can be found at: wordsmithchristine.com

 

Conversation Topics: writing, literature, film, filmmaking, Stacey Steers, journalism, non-fiction, hustling, marriage, childhood, art. 

 

Music by

HXXS - ghettohexes.com

MUSH

 

If you would like to submit fiction, non-fiction, or poetry to the show, between 1,000 and 4,000 words, send it to:
unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com


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Direct download: 24_-_Christine_Stoddard.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:53am EST
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The show will return on October 5th with #24 with Christine Stoddard. On this short announcement episode, you will find out where exactly I am and hear a flash fiction piece of my own. 


Music by

MUSH

ludwig danson

 

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Direct download: Announcement_Ep.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:05pm EST
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The man behind the music of Lifeformed is Terrence Lee. He started out as a video game developer, but his training on the piano slowly pushed him toward creating the musical scores to the games he worked on. From there, Terrence has become a prolific electronic music artist, continually experimenting. His work has appeared on the show before, but in this episode you will get to hear his songs in full, along with the conversation I got to have with him in person. 

You can find all of his music here, and learn about the videogame he scored, Dustforce

You can also check out the documentary about the making of Double Fine's game Broken Age, which Terrence scored, here.

 

Conversation Topics: music, video games, electronic, programming, Midwest, Cincinnati, Portland, collaboration, creativity, inspiration.

 

Songs

0:00 - Cobalt Blue

7:03 - Sun Bleach

14:02 - Drown in Thirst

22:45 - Forgotten Tea

29:29 - Chloroplast Skin

40:55 - Warm Cobblestone

50:24 - Paper Pete

59:38 - Breadtime

1:02:20 - Sunquake

 

If you would like to submit writing to the show, you can send fiction, poetry, and non-fiction between 1,000 and 4,000 words to:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 23_-_Lifeformed.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:04pm EST
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Jessica is actually the very first poet, nonetheless female poet, that I ever spoke with about being on the show. Her episode is finally here. Her poetry arcs across the span of her life and loves. It is intimate, it is 1st person, it is inherently close to the chest, but available to be seen. Jessica has led an already storied life and she recounts it, in both her poetry and our conversation, earnestly and with humor, even in the face of tragedy.

The poems on today's show appeared in Jessica's first book, The Last Exotic Petting Zoo, and her just released second collection, What Makes An Always

Find out more about these books, as well as how to get your own at Tayen Lane Publishing

Find out more about Jessica's scholarship fund here, and contact her for her writing expertise and services here

Conversation Topics: poetry, writing, art, literature, Toni Morrison, reading, beginnings, novels, Oregon, race, racism, Cherokee, Native Americans, Indians, home, process, marriage, family, tradition, India, Charleston, South Carolina. 

 

The Poems

(7:07) - Kitchen Volcanoes

(12:44) - Men

(17:57) - What The Body Remembers

(22:06) - The Lecture

(30:18) - Red Delicious

(34:24) - Two Days Prior to The Burial

(39:12) - Love You More

(46:40) - An Anorexia Thing & The Butchery Date

(54:41) - Let Me Go Quietly

 

Music by

Zhalih (aka. Hannah Mickunas)

MUSH

 

Donate to the victim's families and to the congregation of the AME Church in Charleston here: www.bidr.co/prayforcharleston

 

If you have fiction, non-fiction, or poetry you'd like to submit to the show, between 1,000 and 4,000 words, send it to:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 22_-_Jessica_Tyner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:10pm EST
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Jessica Tyner's poem "Genetically Isolated Since the Ice Age." 

It first appeared in her book, The Last Exotic Petting Zoo. You can purchase the book here.

Her 2nd book, What Makes An Always, is also forthcoming from the same press, Tayen Lane Publishing

More of her poetry and our conversation will be available tomorrow on episode #22.

 

Music by

Zhalih

Kidswaste

 

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Direct download: 22_Preview_-_A_Jessica_Tyner_Poem.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:17am EST
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Jeanne Henry is the show's first female poet, and today we hear seven of her poems. On display is her ability to make the ordinary angles and objects of cities conscious and aware and judging. Her poetry is very rooted in its sense of place; it could be mistaken for a sense of doom, but the people in her poems seem aware of where they are and their dilemmas, and are striving to live beyond them. 

Find more of Jeanne's work at: www.papermaw.wordpress.com

Her poetry has appeared in Prick of the Spindle, Banango Street, Brickplight, Found Poetry Review, and the Josephine Quarterly among others. 

 

Conversation Topics: NYC, New York, poetry, poems, writing, storytelling, moving, California, weather, mental illness, family, conversation, interview, art, reading, literature. 

 

Intro & Outro music

MUSH

 

Other music

Ludwig Danson

Kidswaste

 

If you would like to submit ficiton, non-fiction, poetry or other narrative writing between 1,000 and 4,000 words, send it to:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 21_-_Jeanne_Henry.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:58am EST
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Episode #21 with seven of Jeanne's poems as well as our conversation will be here Monday, the 8th. 

Find more of Jeanne's work at www.papermaw.wordpress.com

Follow her on twitter @papermaw

 

Music by

MUSH - song = "Omnislash"

Lifeformed - song = "Cobalt Blue"

 

If you would like to submit fiction, non-fiction, poetry or any other narrative writing to the show between 1,000 and 4,000 words, send it to:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 21_Preview_-_A_Jeanne_Henry_Poem.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:28pm EST
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Nathan is the now show's 4th poet. His work is concerned with humanity's place in nature and what we mean to one another. In its examination of these broad and even ancient themes, it still manages to find the small and the personal, the concerns of the human. 

Find more of Nathan's work at his website

Find his music here and on his SoundCloud

His poetry as appeared in Voicemail Poems, OCHO Journal, Potluck Magazine, Souvenir, and is forthcoming in Powderkeg Magazine and Big Big Wednesday

 

The poems of today's show:

4:52 - Dismantled

12:36 - Unexplored Unexplored

18:40 - Sick Sense (Read by Nathan)

25:00 - A Black Rat

31:00 - Kindling (Read by Nathan)

37:25 - Fragrant Cloud

 

42:00 - Summon Summer Storms

 

Conversation Topics: writing, poetry, songwriting, literature, shaman, spirituality, religion, politics, being political, queer, inspiration, nature, environment. 

 

Music by 

ludwig danson

Intro & Outro Themes by

MUSH

 

If you would like to submit writing to the show between 1,000 and 4,000 words, send it to:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 20_-_Nathan_Wade_Carter.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:59pm EST
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More of Nathan's poetry can be found at his website.

This poem, "I Speak Abyssal Animals," was originally published at Potluck Magazine.

Seven more of Nathan's poems as well as our 35 minute conversation will be available Monday, the 18th. 

You can follow Nathan on twitter @purry_ and hear the music he performs under the name Purrbot

 

Muisc by

ludwig danson

Kidswaste

 

If you would like to submit fiction, non-fiction, or poetry between 1,000 and 4,000 words, send it to the show at:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 20_Preview_-_A_Nathan_Wade_Carter_Poem.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EST
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The character of today's story jumps headlong into a culture he only knows as a spectator: the drag queen show. He is an outsider and feels like a fraud for it, yet this is how he feels not only to the drag queens, but to almost everyone in his life. He decides to prove himself to the world in one motion, through one spectacular show and transformation. Nothing ever goes wrong in putting it all on one big, last bet, right?

 

Conversation Topics: storytelling, movies, writing, fiction, literature, Blockbuster, movie theaters, short stories, Saul Williams, reading, horror, scifi, collaboration, graphic novel, novella, novel, Stay, travel, Spokane, Washington, regional writing, Inception, Zombeavers. 

 

Joseph's story, "One More Drag Queen", was originally published at Zygote in my Coffee. He has also been published in RiverlitThe Inlander, and has a book forthcoming from University of Hell Press

You can find more of Joe's writing at his website. You can also check out his podcast, Extremist Movie Debate, which is beautifully self exaplantory. 

 

All of today's music by 

MUSH - Facebook & Twitter

 

If you would like to submit writing to the show, between 1,000 and 4,000 words, send it to: unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com.

 

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Direct download: 19_-_Joseph_Edwin_Haeger.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:16am EST
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Many boys, myself included, were like Albert and Hamilton, the boys of today's story by Shane Jimenez. But the death of one's parent is traumatic at any age, and the way Albert and his friend go about handling it leans heavily toward the extreme. It is a coming of age story that doesn't know or care about what age it will actually reach; these boys don't know what they want to hurt, they just know they want to hurt something. Childhood can certainly be rough and messy, and Shane's story is an examination of just how far untended, young masculinity can go.

 

Conversation Topics: Planet of the Apes, scifi, jobs, writing, literature, teaching, creative writing, books, zombies, dystopian lit, work, childhood, Las Vegas, boys, boyhood.

 

Today's story was originally published by Writing Tomorrow

Shane has published work in the Denver Quarterly, Rain Taxi, The Greensboro Review, Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. 

He has two collections of fiction, Rue The Day and It Can Be That Way Still

You can also find more of his work at his website

 

Today's music by 

Muscle and Marrow - Facebook

Their debut album "The Human Cry" is available now. 

 

Intro and outro music by

MUSH - Facebook & Twitter

 

If you would like to submit writing to the show between 1,000 and 4,000 words, send it to:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 18_-_Shane_Jimenez.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:50pm EST
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Eric is a fellow audio storyteller. You can hear his work at Crows Nest Radio. He is also involved with Superthank, another radio show/podcast/live event series, so he is a busy man. Fortunately, he has found time to write. Today's story is a job interview, but, it quickly becomes apparent that the candidate either doesn't care about the job, or there is no job at all. It is a movingly funny parody of the absurd process almost all of us have been forced to become familiar with. 

Conversation Topics: jobs, interview, Google, Louis Sachar, fiction, writing, kids, fatherhood, X-Ray Radio, podcasting, journalism, Portland, kids lit. 

Read todays story at Medium.com.

 

Today's music by

Lifeformed - twitter & facebook

The intro & outro music by 

MUSH - twitter & facebook

 

If you would like to submit writing to, and perhaps be on the show, send any fiction, narrative non-fiction, and poetry between 1,000 and 4,000 words to:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 17_-_Eric_Klein.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:35pm EST
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Calvero is a poet whose work veers from place to place. It is crass, even silly one moment, then the next, it is nestling into a tender spot you never thought it would fit in. His metaphors become characters, his plots are hyperbole, but his characters seem to always find their way back to the familiar, somtimes touching or painful places, and I think you'll be surprised by where your sympathies lie. 

Calvero has a book of poetry available, Someday I'm Going to Marry Katy Perry from University of Hell press. 

His work has appeared in Hobart, Metazen, Unreality House, Salt Hill Journal and pressboardpress

You can follow him on Twitter (@CalveroHasCats) and on his tumblr, www.calveropoetry.tumblr.com.

 

Music by:

Kidswaste - facebook & twitter

MUSH - facebook & twitter

 

If you would like to submit work to the show, between 1,000 and 4,000 words, send it to:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

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Direct download: 16_-_Calvero.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:16pm EST
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Episode #16 with poet, Calvero, will be here tomorrow. Since there's been a slight delay, I thought I could at least give you all a little more than usual. Tomorrow's full episode will have three poems from Calvero as well as our conversation, so for today, here's one more: "My Beached Whale Mother."

Find more of Calvero's work at calveropoetry.tumblr.com.

Follow him there, and on Twitter @CalveroHasCats

 

Find Unknown Words on:

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And as always, you can reach the show to submit writing or music or just say hello at:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

Direct download: CalveroPreview.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:36am EST
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The character of today's story, Win, has found himself in some very hard times. However, he sees an omen of just how much worse things can truly become, and he remembers that he always has choices. Craig Buchner's story is a gritty depiction of what kind of desperation poverty can breed and his lean and pointed writing captures the casual nature of this common doom. Today's story is a darker one, but it is also a vivid look at where our choices and our circumstances can take us. 

Craig's story first appeared in Hobart Magazine.

Find more of his work at his website.

Conversation Topics: writing, Portland, Asheville, NC, Ron Rash, reading, poverty, homelessness, plasma donation, mental illness, jobs, short stories, storytelling, surrealism, choices, William Kennedy, Ironweed, literature, nursing, helping, teaching, Denis Johnson.

 

Music by:

Red Giant

MUSH

 

If you would like to submit a work of fiction, narrative non-fiction, or poetry between 1,000 and 4,000 words, please send it to:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 15_-_Craig_Buchner.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:11am EST
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The writing of today's guest, Zulema Renee Summerfield, manages to be quirky and funny but avoid the ironic bitterness often thought to be attached to her kind of humor. She manages to make Mark Zuckerberg, the subject of her story, small and vulnerable and human in a way we often forget people like him always are. While presented in a package of the fantastical, the sentiments between this almost quantum-Zuckerberg and his friend will certainly ring familiar.

Today's story originally appeared in The Heavy Feather Review.

You can find more of her work at her website.

Her book, Everything Faces All Ways at Once, is available in print here and available on Amazon Kindle here.  

 

Conversation Topics: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook, Stephen King, writing, process, submissions, 50 Shades of Grey, habit, persistence, novels, trauma, past, history, childhood, editing, revision, plot, fame, celebrity, money. 

 

Music by:

salami rose joe louis

MUSH

 

If you would like to submit a work of fiction, narrative non-fiction, or poetry, please send it to:

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

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Direct download: 14_-_ZulemaReneeSummerfield.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:32pm EST
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Ambiguity is almost a character form in Ben Nardolilli's poetry. It reoccurs, it antagonizes, and is even victimized by the reader. It occurs in the forests, swirling around alien telephone poles, it emits from a boastful, personals ad, it tortures the poet as some unfaithful shade of a memory. And after all his poems, Ben can still write a detective novel about a pop artist.

His work has appeared in Yes Poetry, Grey Sparrow Journal, Quail Bell Magazine, & Rabbit Catastrophe Review.

He has a chapbook of poetry entitled "Common Symptoms of an Enduring Chill Explained" published by Folded Word Press.

Ben's writing website.

 

Poems featured this episode:

(4:00) - Soliloquy in Late May

(10:33) - Dull & Confused

(18:00) - Personals Ad #18

(24:07) - We May Abandon

(30:07) - Empower Lines

(43:39) - No Chance for a Sequel

 

Conversation Topics: DC, Arlington, NYU, writing, narrative, literature, poetry, fiction, submissions, noir, music, detective, crime novel, history, losers, confederacy, nazis, empire, death star, star wars, pop culture, capitalism, process, experience, storytelling, conversation, interview, science fiction, universal truth, albert camus, philosophy, intellectuals, plays, celebrity, capote, hemingway, ira glass

 

Music by

Made in 1985

Intro & Outro music by

MUSH

 

If you would like to submit a work of fiction, narrative non-fiction, or poetry between 1,000 and 4,000 words, submit it to: 
unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

Follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

 

Also  available on SoundCloud and Stitcher

Direct download: 13_-_BenNardolilli.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:16am EST
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Today's story, "The Potential Energy of Mr. English", by our guest, Johnny Day, walks a fine line between childhood absurdity and a darker, more violent reality. Much Johnny's fiction steps into the surreal and the fantastical, and it is all hypnotically entertaining. 

Conversation Topics: writing, short story, fiction, Murakami, mystery, Japan, bullying, hierarchy, teaching, novels, PTSD, veterans, trauma, war, medicalization, depression, anxiety, fairy tale, scifi, Ohio, non-fiction, narrative, screenwriting, scriptwriting, dialogue. 

Read today's story and more of Johnny's work at his website

 

Music by:

MUSH

ludwig danson

 

If you would like to submit a work of fiction, narrative non-fiction, or poetry between 1,000 and 4,000 words, submit it to: 

unknownwordspodcast@gmail.com

 

Follow the show on Facebook, Twitter @unknownwordspod, and Instagram @unknown_words_podcast. 

 

Direct download: 12_-_Johnny_Day.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 5:11am EST
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