Prior Engagements

On this episode, Steve Ciolek, frontman of The Sidekicks, discusses touring, songwriting, recording with storied producer John Agnello, working with an artist-centric record label, and much more. The Sidekicks' new album, Happiness Hours, is available now from Epitaph, and you can catch them live on their fall tour, which kicks off on 9/13, and includes a stop in Phoenix at The Rebel Lounge on 9/26.

Links for The Sidekicks:

Website | Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

This episode is sponsored by PHX Film Collective

A founding member and lead vocalist of the Phoenix, Arizona based hardcore punk band American Standards, Brandon Kellum is also a regular contributor to YabYum Music + Arts, as well as the founder of the nonprofit organization, Heart Shaped Canvas. On this episode, Brandon discusses his musical odyssey, songwriting, and much more. American Standards' latest single, "Weep," is available on Bandcamp, as is their latest album, the critically lauded Anti-Melody. The band was recently featured as one of the 12 bands to watch out for this year by Alternative Press, and they'll be playing The Nile in Mesa, AZ on September 3rd.

Links for American Standards:

Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

This episode is sponsored by PHX Film Collective

On this edition of Limited Engagement, Tony Moschetti discusses the challenges of starting up an independent arts organization (Laughing Pig Theatre), gaining an audience, podcasting on the fly (Starving Artists PHX), and at one point attempts to take over hosting duties. Visit Laughing Pig's Facebook page for all of the latest information on their events and programming, including workshops, classes, and performances.

Links for Tony Moschetti/Starving Artists PHX:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Links for Laughing Pig Theatre:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

This episode is sponsored by PHX Film Collective

On this edition of Limited Engagement, artist Estrella Payton discusses her work, her acclimation to Phoenix, what it means to be "decidedly Midwestern," community engagement through the arts, and how she strives to bring art to neighborhoods without the privilege of access through her role as Communications and Community Engagement Manager at the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture. Estrella's art is a visceral, endlessly fascinating exploration of the human condition and the way we interact within the environs of the structure we impose on ourselves—both personally and interpersonally. You can view Estrella's work on her website, as well as in-person this November as part of a duo exhibition at Cochise College.

Links for Estrella Payton:

Estrella's Website | City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture

Chris Ayers is the producer of On the Grid (hosted by prior guest, Phil Haldiman), as well as the art director at RightThisMinute, and he just started up an awesome passion project called PHX Film Collective, which is dedicated "to bringing culturally relevant cinema to Central Phoenix." PHX Film Collective's first event, a screening of Dr. Strangelove, takes place at the Phoenix location of Changing Hands on Saturday, July 14th, at 7:30 pm. Be sure to follow PHX Film Collective across social media platforms for more information on this screening and future events.

Links for Chris Ayers:

Chris' Website | On the Grid | RightThisMinute

Links for PHX Film Collective:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Philip Haldiman is known to a large swath of rabid fans as Denny from the cult classic film, The Room. On this edition of Limited Engagement, Phil discusses what life is like as a member of the pop culture zeitgeist, the comic book he's written about his Hollywood experience, My Big Break, the podcast he hosts ("On the Grid"), and much more.

Links for Philip Haldiman:

Phil's Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | On The Grid

Also on the show, a brief conversation with Tony Moschetti about Laughing Pig Theatre's original production, Survival Skills, which begins a run of four performances at Mesa Arts Center on June 29th. Get tickets at Ticket Leap and use the code PODCAST at checkout to receive $5 off per ticket.

Joey Burns is a leader and founding member (with the brilliant drummer, John Convertino) of one of the most exciting, talented, and critically lauded bands on the planet, Calexico. On this edition of the podcast, Joey discusses the band's Tucson roots, what the environment brings to the music, fostering a spirit of collaboration, speaks very candidly about Calexico's creative process, and much more. Calexico is currently on tour in support of their new album, The Thread That Keeps Us (easily one of the best albums of the year thus far), and if you have the chance to see them live, don't hesitate to do so.

Also on the show, a brief preview of an upcoming conversation with Philip Haldiman, one of the stars of The Room, which will have a screening at FilmBar on Friday, June 15th at 10 pm.

Links for Calexico:

Casa de Calexico | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

On this edition of Limited Engagement, I talk with poet and professor, Katie Manning. Tasty Other, Manning's first full length collection of poetry and the recipient of the 2016 Main Street Rag Poetry Book Award, chronicles the experience of her first pregnancy through surrealistic dream, religious allusion, and striking imagery that conveys all the love, hope, and anxiety that clinical texts can't begin to relate. Get yourself a copy of Katie's book via the website link below.

Links for Katie Manning:

Website | Facebook | Twitter

On this edition of Limited Engagement, we have a bit of a double-header.

First up, a quick conversation with Dan Hull, whose film, Bad Buddhist, will premier May 25th at 7 PM at Changing Hands/The Newton (see ticket link below). It's a great film, you should go see it.

Then, I talk with writer Jason Keil, whom I had a wonderful pop culture conversation with—most of which I left in. You can read Jason's work regularly in The New Times, among other publications, and read a concentrated sample of his work at jasonkeil.com. I also highly recommend you follow him on Twitter—his is one of the best accounts out there.

Links for Jason Keil:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Links for Dan Hull and Bad Buddhist:

Link for tickets to Bad Buddhist screening | The Storyline

I had the opportunity recently to sit down with Omar Pimienta and Jose Antonio Villaran, the writer and translator respectively of The Album of Fences available now from Cardboard House Press . With everything hitting the fan right now, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have this discussion on the poetics and poetic politics of borders, the responsibility of artists (of all disciplines) to create work that speaks out against the prevailing rhetoric of fascism, social regression, and hatred. We got deep.

Omar's website | Jose at UC Santa Cruz | Omar on Facebook | Omar on Twitter

On this edition of the show, Jared talks to Stina Sieg, a Senior Field Correspondent for KJZZ. In a discussion that goes all the way back, they discuss Stieg's unconventional childhood spent travelling the country by bus, her experience in journalism, the life of a public radio correspondent, the Phoenix storytelling community, and much more.

Stina's website | KJZZ's website | Facebook | Twitter

On this edition of the show, Jared talks to Carly Schorman and Mark Anderson of Yab Yum Music and Arts. They discuss the origins of Yab Yum, how it's evolved into an arts and culture beacon for Arizona, and some of the exciting projects they've got in the works. They also compare book collections. It's a fun conversation, highly informative for anyone looking to do their own thing, and you should definitely check out the happenings at the Yab Yum website and keep up with them on social media.

Yab Yum website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

On this edition of Limited Engagement, Jared talks with writer and professor Venita Blackburn. Family, religion, politics, art, Star Trek—you know, the big stuff. Venita's first book, Black Jesus and Other Superheroes, is an outstanding collection of short fiction that explores the human condition. The book was nominated for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. Did we mention it's her first book?

Venita will be reading from and signing copies of Black Jesus and Other Superheroes this Thursday, March 22nd at 7 pm at the Tempe location of Changing Hands.

Black Jesus and Other Superheroes | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Jared discusses Life, the Universe, and Everything (and the art of making independent comics) with Levi Smith and Kenny Puckett, the creative team behind Mop and Bucket Press and the comic Sleight of Mind.

Mop and Bucket Press website | Facebook | Twitter | Get Levi Smith's daily sketch on Instagram

Doug Bale is an artist and musician. His artwork has been featured in galleries around Phoenix, and you should absolutely check out his Society 6 page and buy some. His new musical project, Flighty Tronys has released its first EP (available on Bandcamp, Google Play Music, iTunes, and Spotify), and you should get the companion t-shirt. Oh, and go listen to Mergatron while you're at it. Basically, support Doug. He's awesome.

Flighty Tronys Bandcamp | Mergatron Bandcamp | Doug Bale on Society 6 | Doug Bale on Instagram | Flighty Tronys T-Shirt

UPDATE: Please consider following this link to contribute to Collette's Go Fund Me campaign to visit his mother's grave in South Africa and cover funeral expenses.

Collette Sipho Mabingani is a composer, instrumentalist, and educator. During his teenage years, he performed with many bands of various genres, honing his self-taught musical skills, while using the platform of music to stand firm against apartheid, often at his own peril. Mabingani has performed for many dignitaries including Nelson Mandela and performed many venues including a five-year tour of the United States, and a six-month Europe tour. The creative approach for Mabingani is to utilize music from other global cultures in conjunction with South African music to create a unique blend of world music. Underlying his passion for world music is his experience of the transformational power of uniting sounds from across the globe to create unique, fresh, and inspirational music that can be appreciated by people from all walks of life.

Check Out Samples of Collette Sipho Mabingani's Music On YouTube

You may know Jenna Duncan from her work for JAVA magazine, her participation in storytelling events around the valley (including Untidy Secrets and Chain Letter), or more generally for her integral role in the Phoenix arts scene. In addition to JAVA, you can read Jenna's work in the anthology The Grey Alley: Vol. 2 from Empty City Press; you can also see her on Check, Please!, Arizona on PBS on January 25th at 7pm (available now for Arizona PBS Passport members); and she will be taking part in a reading on February 3rd at 7pm coinciding with an upcoming art sale for Phoenix Nasty Women Unite benefiting Planned Parenthood (location TBA, though probably Grand ArtHaus or {9}).

Jenna's page at JAVA Magazaine | The Grey Alley: Vol. 2 anthology from Empty City | Check, Please! | Phoenix Nasty Women

Amy Young and Ashley Naftule are both deeply ingrained in the Phoenix arts and culture scene. Their new film podcast, Prizefighting Kangaroo, is produced by Yab Yum Music and Arts, and you can hear it on Bandcamp, or via the Yab Yum link below. You can also catch Amy and Ashley hosting Triviadome: Cinema and Culture Trivia over at Valley Bar on January 30th, and curating a new monthly series at Film Bar called "Gateway Drugs: A Director's Showcase" beginning on February 1st—visit the Prizefighting Kangaroo Facebook page for further information.

Yab Yum Website | PFK Facebook | PFK Twitter

Dario Miranda and I talk records, records stores, and our favorite music of 2017. As often happens when I have a guest on to talk about music, things go a little long, and this is no exception, so strap in! See below for my top 10, as well as a link to all of Stinkweeds' staff picks—including the albums Dario talks about on this episode.

Stinkweeds Links: Website | Stinkweeds Staff Picks for 2017!!! | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

A Playlist for My Top 10 (Go Buy Anything You Like Here at Stinkweeds!)

*NOTE: Spotify doesn't have The Sunpunchers' Levity (No. 7 on my list),
so I chose a favorite track from their EP Honey in its place.

The List:
01. Mavis Staples - If All I Was Was Black
02. Joe Henry - Thrum
03. Aimee Mann - Mental Illness
04. Paul Kelly - Life Is Fine
05. Neil Finn - Out Of Silence
06. Kevin Morby - City Music
07. The Sunpunchers - Levity
08. Squeeze - The Knowledge
09. Mark Lanegan Band - Gargoyle
10. Destroyer - Ken

Rosemarie Dombrowski is a Senior Lecturer at Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus where she is the co-founder and faculty editor of the student and community writing journal, Write On, Downtown, and where she teaches courses on the poetics of street art, women's literature, and creative ethnography. Her collections include The Book of Emergencies (Five Oaks Press, 2014), which was the recipient of a 2016 Human Relations Indie Book Award for Poetry, The Philosophy of Unclean Things (Finishing Line Press, 2017), and the forthcoming The Cleavage Planes of Southwest Minerals [A Love Story], winner of the 2017 Split Rock Review chapbook competition. She is also the inaugural Poet Laureate of Phoenix, AZ, the founder of merge poetry journal (2005-11) and rinky dink press, an editor for Four Chambers journal and press, and the co-founder and host of the Phoenix Poetry Series, now in its tenth year.

Rosemarie Dombrowski Links: Website | Phoenix Poetry Series | Rinky Dink Press | Write On, Downtown

Joy Young is a performance and teaching spoken word artist. Their poetry and workshops, much of which centers on transgressing borders, entering topics pertaining to social justice through poetic personal narratives has been featured on Button Poetry and Everyday Feminism as well as on stages and in colleges and classrooms across the country. Joy is a co-founder of Off the Page—a monthly recurring workshop and open mic at Wasted Ink Zine Distro that seeks to build connection and community within Phoenix's diverse literary and performance communities.

Joy Young Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumbler

Cardboard House Press is a non-profit publisher bringing powerfully beautiful works of Latin American and Spanish literature to an English-speaking audience that would otherwise have no outlet or exposure—works of great social, cultural and political import in their countries of origin. They recently setup a subscription plan where you can receive forthcoming publications at either a 6 or 9-title level, and you can learn more at cardboardhousepress.org.

Cardboard House Press Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Talking to musicians—songwriters in particular—is one of my favorite things to do, and Limited Engagement has afforded me the opportunity to take to some amazing talented practitioners of the art. This show features thoughts, experiences, and wisdom on the subject of writing songs from from Will Goble, Tindal, Robyn Hitchcock, The Haymarket Squares, Jon Rauhouse, Betsy Ganz of The SunPunchers, Scotty Spenner, and Lou Barlow. Hear the full conversations right here on this site, on iTunes, and a plethora of podcast dispensaries...

Dan Hull is the founder of The Storyline, a cornerstone of the Arizona storytelling community and a platform for live storytelling events hosted and produced by Hull. The most recent incarnation, The Storyline Slam, is a monthly competitive storytelling event which takes place at The Newton. To learn more, and even throw your name in the electronic hat for the next event, visit The Storyline website (link below).

The Storyline Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

I think this week's show is pretty cool. As you may or may not know, we set up shop (read: a couple of mic stands, mics, and my handy ZOOM H4N) at this year's PHX Zine Fest and made ourselves available to anyone who wanted to records their experience there—either as a vendor or an attendee. We got some really cool stories, and they are pieced together here for your listening pleasure.

Kristina Brooke/Gather the Wind: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Whitney Kitty: Website | Instagram

Eunique Yazzie: Website | Facebook

Julie Jumprope: Website | Facebook | Instagram

Nico Wilkinson: Website | Tumblr | Instagram

No More Deaths (Phoenix): Facebook

Blythe Marks: Instagram

This week, I talk to a guy named Lou Barlow. You may know him as the bassist in Dinosaur Jr., but hopefully you really know him from Sebadoh, The Folk Implosion, and his solo work. Lou's a unique, gifted songwriter and musician—one of my favorites actually, and it was a thrill to get a chance to talk to him. He wasn't really promoting anything, so we just chatted about music—it was great. If you're not familiar with Lou's work, I recommend starting with Sebadoh's Harmacy and his first solo album, EMOH. Also, pop on over to loobiecore to learn more about the world of Lou.

More Lou Barlow: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Lisa Olson is a really cool person, and she runs this really cool place called Practical Art, a retail space and gallery that features the work of 150+ local artists (and the only store that carries our book, The Arg in Blarg). She's also a photographer, and you can check out her work at the link below. We recorded in the shop, so you'll notice a few pauses here and there for customer traffic, some background music, and a point around the 30 min mark where I apparently forget how to put words together. That last bit has nothing to do with where the recording was done, it's apparently just a special gift I have.

Practical Art: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

Lisa Olson Photography

This week, Jason Woodbury and I sit and discuss what Tom Petty meant to us—the songs we love, the memories they're linked to. It's a personal appreciation, a tribute from two lifelong fans—a conversation that I think anyone who can remember where they were when they first played their Full Moon Fever cassette, or when they first saw The Heartbreakers descending the escalator in the "Free Fallin'" video with "all the vampires walking through the valley" can relate to and maybe take something from.

Be sure to check out more from Jason Woodbury at the links below. Bonus: We each created our own Petty playlists. I think only two songs are duplicated, and mine's a little on the long side—sort of like a double album. Enjoy!

Jason Woodbury: LE 25/26 - Jason Woodbury | Facebook | Twitter

This week I talk to the fantastic Charissa Lucille, creator of Fem Static Zine, owner and operator of Wasted Ink Zine Distro (WIZD), and organizer of Phx Zine Fest (coming up on October 22nd!). We talked a lot about zines, their place in society, art, and culture, as well as the struggles faced creating a business and movement in a place as sprawling as Phoenix quite clearly is, and the success that's shone through along the way.

Wasted Ink Zine Distro: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Hours: Saturdays & Sundays 11-4pm; 1st and 3rd Fridays 7-10pm

Phoenix Zine Fest

This week, I talk to Chris Danowski, Bethanne Abramovich, Jamie Haas Hendricks, and Jake Jack Hylton of Howl Theatre Project. I had a blast talking to these guys. Somehow we managed to get completely absurd while weaving in a serious discussion on the state of independent theatre in Phoenix, as well as talk about the craft and work involved in mounting a stage production. Their most recent show is The New Phoenicians, and if you ever have the opportunity to check out anything they do, you absolutely should, because they're awesome.

Howl Theatre Project: Facebook

On this week's show, conversation and music with Arizona Blues Hall of Fame inductee Scotty Spenner. Our talk went all over the place, and I had a blast. You can catch Scotty playing with with True Flavor Blues every Sunday afternoon at Copper Star Coffee, or in Celtic rock band Saints of Eirinn. Friday night, September 29th, he'll be playing a solo gig presented by Emancipation Arts at The Trunk Space. Listen to Scotty's playing at the end of the show, and you'll hear exactly why you should go.

Scotty Spenner: Facebook

*please note that photo credit for this week's flyer goes to capturedlive.us

This week's Limited Engagement features four of the five members of The SunPunchers: Betsy Ganz, Jon Rauhouse, Serena Fonze, and Dominic Armstrong (Lindsay Cates was not in attendance). These four fantastic musicians crammed their gear into our front room, played two gorgeous songs ("Hold You Now" and "Sodium Pentothal Blues"), then sat and talked to me for about an hour or so. Have I ever mentioned how much I love having musicians on the show? If I haven't, you should know that it is a tremendous amount. You can get The SunPuncher's EP, Honey, on their website, and their first full-length album, Levity (which is one of my favorite albums of 2017 thus far), is available on Bandcamp, or you can pick up a copy locally over at Stinkweeds.

The SunPunchers: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bandcamp | Stinkweeds

On this week's show, our 53rd, I had the great pleasure of speaking to Nazlah Hassan, the founder of Gift Children Books, an organization with the mission of getting books in the hands of children from families with economic hardships who would otherwise be unable to afford them. The organization holds annual bookfairs in Harlem and Phoenix, and the Phoenix bookfair will take place on November 11th at Booker T. Washington Child Development Center. November 4th, in the same location from 9 am to 5 pm, Gift Children Books is holding a fundraising book sale where members of the public will have the opportunity to purchase from a selection of 1500 titles written by and about African Americans.

Gift Children Books: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Booker T. Washington Child Development Center: Website

LE 52 contains some thoughts on the institution of marriage and weddings themselves; reviews of the record and bookstores we went to; talk of breakfast food, a particularly delicious cookie sandwich, and our lack of culinary adventurousness; reflections on Chicago; and an explanation of how the unifying thread of this entire trip was the Tom Waits song "Better Off Without a Wife." If this sort of stream of consciousness thing appeals to you, then this week's show is so far up your alley, it's tickling your tonsils.

This week's show is the second in an ongoing series of conversations with non-profit arts and culture organizations based here in the valley. Kids Need to Read "works to create a culture of reading for children by providing inspiring books to underfunded schools, libraries, and literacy programs across the United States, especially those serving disadvantaged children." Representing the organization in this conversation are Founder and Executive Director Denise Gary and Operations Director Lori Cothrun. Visit the Kids Need to Read website to learn even more about the organization and how you can support their mission.

Kids Need to Read: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

This week, for the 50th episode, we've got our first Hoot 'N' Waddle show. Created, produced, and hosted by the amazing Jessie Balli, Chatterbox is a weekly storytelling series that takes place on Wednesdays at Fair Trade Cafe. Chatterpod, the podcast version of Chatterbox, features stories told by those participants who consented to have them recorded and broadcast. This is the pilot episode, so we're throwing it out there as a special edition of Limited Engagement, but future Chatterpods will be their own thing. I'm very excited to be working with Jessie, and Chatterbox is a great storytelling series, so go out there and support it!

Chatterbox: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Fair Trade: Website

Hoot 'N' Waddle: Facebook | Twitter


This week on the show, I talk to Sophie Etchart, founder of Read Better Be Better, an organization committed to improving reading proficiency in 3rd graders. It was an amazingly insightful conversation, and the way RBBB trains and empowers 8th graders to work with 3rd graders to improve their skills is one of the most moving stories I've ever heard. Listen to the show, and then go learn what you can do to support RBBB's mission.

Read Better Be Better | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram



I had a nice long chat with Leah Newsom, so here is another part one of two. I've known Leah for years, but I didn't know know her, so we talked about it all—coasters, tissue, Myspace, family, religion, writing, the MFA life, travel, tattoos, deep stuff. Leah is a co-founder and editor of Spilled Milk, an online literary journal focusing on ultra-short form—"a highly caffeinated alternative to mindlessly scrolling your infinite, mundane newsfeeds."

Check out Spilled Milk

This week's show is the first of another two-parter. I packed the recording gear into a bag, traveled down to Ernesto Moncada's place, and we sat at his kitchen table discussing anything that came to mind. There was very good coffee involved. Ernesto pretty much does it all: he's a writer, actor, teacher, comedian, artist, he just directed a wonderful version of Paul Auster's Laurel and Hardy Go to Heaven, and he's a wizard on the stilts. No, that's not a typo. Ernesto's got some amazing stories, and it was a great conversation.

Stay up to date with all of Ernesto's doings on Facebook


This week I talk to the founder and editor-in-chief of Four Chambers Press, Jake Friedman. Jake's been on the show a couple of times, but it was either as part of a panel, or as the guest host for the second anniversary show, so he came over, we hung out, then we got on the mics and talked—a lot. We talked for about two and a half hours, so this is a two-parter. We talk about publishing and writing, craft and process. If that's your thing, these shows will be right up your alley.

Four Chambers Website

This week, I talk to ASU professor and drummer extraordinaire, Mike Pfister. Mike was an early supporter of this show, originally as part of the audience, and then as an integral part of the live show, performing opening sets with PressPlay, and more recently the experimental jazz quartet, Klee. I've known Mike for years and have worked on a number of projects with him, but I found I didn't know much about him personally, so I learned a lot through our conversation.

PressPlay | CollabX

This week's episode is a conversation with Sean David Christensen. Sean is promoting his short film, The Duel, which has had screenings at the Athens International Film and Video Festival and the San Francisco Documentary Festival, and can be seen at the Marfa Film Festival this July. He's also done a number of other short films which you can find on Vimeo, he's a frequent storyteller at Chatterbox and Bar Flies, and he's in the band Maggie Dave. I had a great time talking to Sean, and you should definitely check out his work. The soundscape at the end of the show was created by Rafael Anton Irisarri.

On this week's show, our 40th (another milestone!), I talk to artist, writer, activist, community organizer, and all around amazing person, Clottee Hammons. Clottee is the founder and director of Emancipation Arts, which "provides educational information and discussions relevant to American Chattel Slavery through collaboration and arts programs." The 20th Annual Emancipation Marathon will take place on June 24th from 10 am - 5 pm at the Phoenix Changing Hands location, and prior to that, there is a meet and greet on June 18th at Copper Star Coffee from 10 am - 1 pm. Go to the Emancipation Arts Facebook page for details.

On the show this week, I talk to Russ Kazmierczak, the writer and artist behind Amazing Arizona Comics. Russ also created and hosts Phoenix Tonight, a late night talk show, and the Stuck in Traffic Podcast. The man likes to stay busy. We recorded this the weekend before Phoenix Comicon, which we were both going to, and we're both proud nerds, so we talk a fair amount about that. Also, apologies to Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore's hotpants. Get more info on all things Kazmierczak at Karaoke Fanboy.

Two years. TWO YEARS! For the 2nd anniversary, I asked Four Chambers Press founder and editor-in-chief Jake Friedman to interview me about the show, and the book we released covering every episode of the first two year, The 'Arg' in Blarg, which he sort of did. Really, Jake did a bang up job...of making me feel uncomfortable. Which means he did an all around bang up job. Thanks, Jake!

The Shop. Where you can buy The Book.

This week's show is a conversation I had with poet Andrea Scarpino just prior to the launch of her new collection, Once Upon Wing Lake. It's a beautiful collection, and I highly recommend that you pick up a copy. We had a deep and open conversation about family, perception, and writing artfully about painful personal experience.

Andrea's website | Buy Once Upon Wing Lake

This week, I talk to poet and photographer Jia Oak Baker. Jia's chapbooks Crash Landing in the Plaza of an Unknown City (Dancing Girl, 2015) and Well Enough to Travel (Five Oaks, 2015) are both fantastic, and she's been published in many journals. Jia was one of the first guests I talked to, and it's the only conversation I didn't manage to record, so I'm thrilled she was willing to stop by the house and do it again. It was a great conversation. Probably even better than the first one.

Links: Jia's Instagram

Jon Rauhouse came to prominence in the band Grievous Angels, has worked with Archers of Loaf frontman Eric Bachmann, Jakob Dylan, Kelly Hogan, Sally Timms, and many are no doubt familiar with Jon's work as a part of Neko Case's amazing band. We had a great conversation about the life of a professional musician, his work with Neko Case (who might be my favorite singer of all time), and his beautiful playing bookends the show. On May 20th, you can check out the Jon Rauhouse Combo at the Sun Punchers album release show at The Newton on May 20th at 7:30 pm.

Jon's website

Sally K. Lehman and Jessica Standifird made Limited Engagement one of the stops on their Spring tour through the southwest. We were thrilled to have them. Sally is promoting her young adult novel, In the Fat, and Jessica is reading excerpts from her forthcoming memoir, Notes from a House Where Silence Is Failing. Both deal with issues of molestation, sexual abuse, and the psychological fallout.

Sally's website | Jessica's website

This week I talk to legendary poet David Chorlton. Next year, David will celebrate his 40th year in the Phoenix poetry scene. His new collection, Bird On A Wire, is available from Presa Press and davidchorlton.mysite.com. I highly recommend it. We have a long political discussion, which may be off-putting to some, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. The whole conversation was great. I got to hear a lot of stories I'd never heard before, and we cover a lot of ground.

David's website

This week's show is a recording of the conversation I had with Joel Salcido for March's live edition of Limited Engagement at HUB Patio. Along with previous guest Rashaad Thomas, and hopefully future guest Marco Pina, Joel is a part of Gutta' Collective, he's an MFA student at ASU, his work has been published in a number of journals (including Public Pool, Four Chambers, and others)...not to mention he's also a husband and father. We cover a lot of ground here—it was a great talk.

Gutta' Collective on Facebook

Jordan-Alexander Thomas makes really cool retro-style robots that you may have seen at Practical Art, MADE, Treehouse Bakery, and even Phoenix Comicon. I had fun talking to him, he's an interesting guy. I'd like to talk to more artists. Be sure to check out Jordan's work at the Space Boy Robot website via the link below.

Jordan-Alexander's Website

Whether you know him from his work in radio, his DJ sets, the record show circuit, or his time in A&R for Capitol Records, Johnny D. is an integral part of Arizona music. If you've been a part of or paid any attention to the Phoenix music scene, you either know Johnny D., or know someone who knows Johnny D. He's got the best music stories, and he knows how to tell them. He's become the unofficial archivist of Arizona music, and we spend a lot of time discussing his efforts to preserve and reissue recordings by the state's legendary and in many cases lesser-known artists. I had a blast talking to Johnny, and you can now hear our conversation in two easily digestible segments. Be sure to visit his website to learn more about this AZ Music Dude.

Johnny D's Website

Ashley Naftule stops by the office to discuss Life, the Universe, and Everything! Not kidding — we covered a lot of ground here. Ashley does a lot of work both on stage and behind the scenes with Space 55, writes for The New Times, the Film Bar blog, and more.

Ashley's Website

This live edition of the show features a conversation with the lovely, talented, and funny host of Chatterbox, Jessie Balli. Chatterbox is a weekly storytelling open mic that takes place every Wednesday at 8 pm.

Chatterbox website

Music journalist Jason Woodbury stopped by the office to talk, and boy did we. We dug into it and had the sort of conversation that only life-long appreciators and collectors of music can have, and it was great! The recording session lasted well over two hours, so I split it into two episodes for easier consumption.

This show was recorded on the night of the inauguration. It seems appropriate that there was a torrential downpour. I had a great time talking to Dana Diehl. Her debut collection of short fiction, Our Dreams Might Align, is available now from Jellyfish Highway Press, and anywhere you buy books. It's a great collection, and during the course of the conversation, we got pretty deep into the process of writing it.

Links: Pick up a copy of Our Dreams Might Align

The Haymarket Squares (Mark Sunman, Marc Oxborrow, Mark Allred, and John Luther) stopped by the house to play a couple of songs and then sat down to explain punkgrass, tell me how handsome I am, and pet Gizmo—and I didn't even invite them over, they just showed up! That last part is not true at all. It was a great conversation, and they're amazing musicians, but don't take my word for it, have a listen.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Allred Guitars

Both literary anthology and hands-on field guide, The Sonoran Desert is a groundbreaking book that melds art and science. It captures the stunning biodiversity of the world's most verdant desert through words and images. More than fifty poets and writers — including Christopher Cokinos, Alison Hawthorne Deming, Ken Lamberton, Eric Magrane, Jane Miller, Gary Paul Nabhan, Alberto Rios, Ofelia Zepeda, and many others — have composed responses to key species of this striking desert. Each creative contribution is joined by an illustration by award-winning artist Paul Mirocha and scientific information about the creature or plant authored by the book's editors.

Links: Website

Rinky Dink Press is on a mission to get poetry back into the hands (and pockets) of the people — each of our single author collections can fit in your pocket, but we never sacrifice craft, and despite the tiny format, we refuse to sacrifice style.

In short, we're a microzine press that marries a DIY attitude with skilled poetics and fine-art aesthetics.

Links: Website|Facebook

Matt Bell is the author most recently of the novel Scrapper, which will be published in September 2015 by Soho Press. His last novel, In the House Upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, was a finalist for the Young Lions Fiction Award, a Michigan Notable Book, and an Indies Choice Adult Debut Book of the Year Honor Recipient, as well as the winner of the Paula Anderson Book Award. He is also the author of two previous books of fiction, How They Were Found and Cataclysm Baby, and a non-fiction book about the classic video game Baldur's Gate II, published in 2015 by Boss Fight Books.

His writing has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Tin House, The New York Times, Conjunctions, Gulf Coast, The American Reader, and many other publications. Born in Michigan, he now teaches creative writing at Arizona State University.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Robyn Hitchcock is one of England's most enduring contemporary singer/songwriters and live performers. A surrealist poet, talented guitarist, cult artist and musician's musician, Hitchcock is among alternative rock's father figures and is the closest thing the genre has to a Bob Dylan (not coincidentally his biggest musical inspiration).

Since founding the art-rock band The Soft Boys in 1976, Robyn has recorded more than 20 albums as well as starred in Storefront Hitchcock an in-concert film recorded in New York and directed by Jonathan Demme.

Blending folk and psychedelia with a wry British nihilism, Robyn describes his songs as 'paintings you can listen to.' His most recent album The Man Upstairs is a bittersweet love letter to a vanishing world. Produced by legendary folk-rock svengali Joe Boyd (Pink Floyd, Nick Drake) the album was critically acclaimed by Mojo, Uncut and The Quietus.

Links: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Instagram


Emma Swift is a wandering songwriter who splits her time between Sydney, Australia and Nashville, Tennessee. A fan of minor chords, gin and endless pedal steel, she likes to play vulnerable music. Her heroes, in no particular order are: Gram Parsons, Bill Callahan, Anais Nin, Lucinda Williams and whoever invented dry shampoo.

With a tear in her voice filtered through '70s mariachi static, Swift's music hearkens back to the golden age of music when singers sang your life back to you. It is a voice of pure heartbreak, delivering songs that are equal parts heart-worn and careworn, modern, insouciant, witty and feminist.

A lonesome-voiced singer and award-winning radio broadcaster in her hometown of Sydney, it was a move away from Australia to Nashville, Tennessee that inspired Emma to write and record her solo debut.

The debut mini-album features Bryan Owings (Buddy Miller, Emmylou Harris, Iris Dement, Patty Griffin) on drums, Russ Pahl (John Hiatt, The Secret Sisters, Elton John) on pedal steel, James Haggerty (The Autumn Defense) on bass and Anne McCue on guitars.

The songs are imbued with an easy smile, vulnerability and toughness calling to mind artists like Lucinda Williams, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt, Tammy Wynette, Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star, or Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies.

Emma was nominated for an ARIA Award (Australian GRAMMY Award) for her debut release.

Links: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Instagram

Tindal Muzic, an Indianapolis, Indiana native, turned Phoenix local since 2012, has been performing all over the valley to Los Angeles. Her music can best be described as having vibes as chill as Sade with tempos and melodies as contagious as Lauryn Hill, to hooks catchy like those of Erykah Badu. Her loving and charismatic spirit create a mood that leads the listener on a journey through sound with love. She has had the great pleasure performing at favorite Phoenix music venues such as Lost Leaf and Crescent Ballroom. Known to many as singer/songwriter/guitarist and pianist, she is also the host of an Open Mic during downtown Phoenix's premiere local talent and artwalk First Friday. She is intent on setting a base in Phoenix to continue building an even bigger music and entertainment platform for many years to come.

Links: Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Bandcamp

Rashaad Thomas is a husband, father, USAF Veteran, VONA/Voices of Our Nation Art Foundation Alum, poet, and South Phoenix, AZ community member. His work can be found in a number of publications, most notably in the book Trayvon Martin, Race, and American Justice: Writing Wrong, Heart Journal Online, and Linden Avenue Literary Journal. He is a member of the Gutta' Collective, a group committed to sharing a Black and Brown narrative through art and poetry to give a voice to the silent, isolated, and marginalized.

Links: Gutta' Collective on Facebook

Hailing from Durham, NC and beginning his musical career in communities rich with mentorship, Will Goble is steadily carving out a unique space for himself as a bassist, composer, bandleader, and educator. He released his second album, Consider the Blues, in 2016.

Links: Website


Marco Piña, Joel Salcido, and Rashaad Thomas are members of the Gutta' Collective, a group committed to sharing a Black and Brown narrative through art and poetry giving a voice to the silent, isolated, and marginalized.

Links: Facebook

Leah LeMoine is associate editor of PHOENIX magazine, where she gets to be nosy and learn from people who are smarter and more interesting than her for a living. She graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, where she majored in journalism and mass communication and minored in religious studies. She likes reading, writing, cooking, and eating. She's trying to get better at public speaking and being outside without complaining.


Tindal Muzic, Indianapolis, Indiana native, turned Phoenix local since 2012. She has been performing all over the valley to Los Angeles. He music can best be described as having vibes as chill as Sade with tempos and melodies as contagious as Lauryn Hill, to hooks catchy like those of Erykah Badu. Her loving and charamatic spirit create a mood that leaves the listener on a journey through sound with love. She has had the great pleasure performing at Phoenix music favorite venues as Lost Leaf and Crescent Ballroom . Known to many as singer/songwriter/guitarist and pianist. She is also host to 1st Friday Open Mic during downtown Phoenix's premiere local talent and artwalk First Friday. She is intent in setting a base in Phoenix to continue building an even bigger music and entertainment platform for many years to come.

Links: Facebook

The Klute (born Bernard J Schober) is the most recognizable voice from Arizona on poetry slam's national stage. He grew up on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean along Palm Beach, Florida where he cultivated a love of sharks to become an amateur shark conservationist, and has had the privilege of sharing the waves with them, from the great whites of Isla Guadalupe, Mexico to the reef sharks of Egypt's Red Sea coast. He has represented the cities of Mesa, Phoenix, and Sedona at the National Poetry Slam 10 times between 2002 and 2014. The author of the previous chapbooks "Escape Velocity," "Look at What America Has Done to Me," "My American Journey," and "Hate You Can Trust," these were collected in 2015's Klutocrypha, Vol. 1 published by Brick Cave Media, and he has had poems published in anthologies by Sergeant Press and Write Bloody.

Jesse Parent, a local curmudgeon from Salt Lake City says "The Klute is honest, loud commentary on the political condition. Just because he can be funny doesn't mean he shouldn't be taken seriously. His work is skewering in its sharpness and depth, and entertaining in its craft and delivery. Also... sharks," and Ed Mabrey, a TedX Speaker and Emmy Winner, says "The political satire world has it's Mount Rushmore; Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Bill Maher. Using his own chisel and hammer, The Klute has climbed that rock and is etching his own likeness next to them, one insightful poem at a time. It's no accident, he belongs there".

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter


april anne is originally from boston, ma but has called arizona home since 1990. after her parents divorced during that year she found herself in a very hot state with no friends. she found a friend in music and poetry. from this she was able to spread her wings and become the woman she is today.

april is currently hard at work on her album and singing at local venues and open mics whenever she can.

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | ReverbNation

bill campana made his debut on december 8, 1955. disappointed with his early attempts at life, he abandoned his native bedford, ohio for phoenix, arizona. disappointed with his early attempts at writing poetry, he abandoned the craft for 20 years before returning with focus and purpose in 1997. writing poetry with the intent of reading it aloud in public, he has called many venues "home" in the 18 years since, hosting and participating in poetry slams and poetry open mics (more often than not). bill is currently at {9} the gallery on phoenix's legendary grand avenue, hosting the open mic portion of the caffeine corridor poetry series, now in its 7th year. this is his 3rd collection of poetry.

To pick up a copy of poems from deep south scottsdale, please visit the Four Chambers website here.

Lois Roma-Deeley is the author of three collections of poetry: Rules of Hunger (2004), northSight (2006) and High Notes (2010)—a Paterson Poetry Prize Finalist. Her poems have been featured in numerous literary journals and anthologies including, Villanelles (Pocket Poets Series), Political Punch: The Poetics of Identity Anthology, Transnational (forthcoming), Spillway, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Bellingham Review, 5 AM, Artful Dodge, and many more. She has served as a creative writing contest judge at the local, state and national levels. Roma-Deeley has won numerous awards and honors for her poetry and is the recipient of a 2016 Arizona Commission on the Arts, Artist Research and Development Grant. Further, she is a 2015 nominee for the ariZoni Award for Theatre Excellence, original script for the music drama for "The Ballad of Downtown Jake" for which she wrote the book and lyrics. In 2012, she was named the U.S. Professor of the Year, Community College, by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and The Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). Roma-Deeley has taught creative writing at the graduate, undergraduate students and community members for many years. She founded the creative writing and the women's studies programs at Paradise Valley Community College.

For more on Lois, please visit her website here.

A native of Phoenix, Paul Mosier decided at a late age that writing stories would be a convenient way to forgive himself for not being able to make a good living. This has been jeopardized by the acquisition of his fourth novel by HarperCollins as part of a two book deal. The middle-grade "Train I Ride" will appear everywhere on January 10, 2017, and an even more depressing novel will come a year after that. Prior to this development, Paul was perfectly content writing novels which featured chimps, nervous tics, unhealthy behaviors, psychological inadequacies, and schmaltzy endings. He is married to a mermaid and has two daughters who are almost too charming to be real. He owes it all to the Central Phoenix Writer's Workshop.

Christopher Danowski is a theatre and performance artist. He has written over fifty plays, directed, and performed in living rooms, galleries, and unusual spaces (sometimes in theaters). He was artistic director of Theater in My Basement from 1999-2013, and now serves as a founding member of Howl Theatre Project. He is based in Phoenix, in the desert in the Southwest of the United States, and his work has been shown locally, in New York, Minneapolis, Seattle, Yucatán, Mexico City, Dublin, Laval, Vienna, Berlin, and Kraków. He will be completing his PhD in Art and Media from Plymouth University (U.K.), in conjunction with Transart Institute in Berlin, in the Spring of 2016.

Chris's blog

Eric Wertheimer is Professor of English at Arizona State University. He is the author of Underwriting: The Poetics of Insurance in Early America and Imagined Empires: Incas, Aztecs, and the New World of American Literature, 17711876, as well as other works of poetry and prose. Mylar, his first book of poetry, was published in 2012.

to buy Mylar : amazon b&n

From the Four Chambers website:

We're Four Chambers. We're an independent community literary magazine based in Phoenix, AZ whose mission is to give greater visibility to the literary arts and encourage their larger participation in the cultural scene. Basically, we like to think of ourselves as a heart: something centralized, organic, and part of a larger body; that connects, supports, and circulates life. While most literary magazines publish literary work, and some community literary magazines may get that work from the community, we are publishing work to build community.

We don't have a particular aesthetic. We aren't looking for specific styles, genres or forms. We publish work from writers who are established, emerging, unknown, uninterested, or simply don't think of themselves as writers in the first place. We're just trying to get people's work out there and assemble an eclectic collection of contemporary literary work.

We print one issue a year (in October). Each issue, we award $200 in prizes to authors. We also commission illustrations from local artists.

We are available for purchase online through our website or on consignment at a number of venues throughout Arizona (ranging from bookshops and record stores to art galleries and concert spaces).

EDITOR IN CHIEF:
JakeHi. My name is Jake Friedman. This is a picture of me wearing a peacoat at the Grand Canyon and eating an apple. It is the first and only peacoat I have ever purchased (to date). It was something of a life long dream. As for the apple, I eat them every day. For the most part I am eating regularly every day. I have a B.A. / double major in Philosophy and English with various academic accolades in tow that I don't like to talk about. I run a writing group / moderate for the Central Phoenix Writing Workshop; I read for Hayden's Ferry Review for a year; etc etc. This is what I do in my spare time.






ASSISTANT DIRECTOR:
KelseyI'm Kelsey Pinckney and I smile a lot. Probably because I have a lot to smile about. I've moved around a bit in the past few years, but I think it's safe to say that Phoenix, and Four Chambers, have captured my heart, so I'll be staying here for a while. I L-O-V-E meeting new people, so please say hi to me if you see me. Seriously. Tell me who your favorite fictional character is and what you ate for breakfast. It'll be a delightful conversation, I'm sure. My accomplishments are minimal, but I'll tell you that I can crochet pretty much anything you want, I have an adorable and ornery cat named Truman (Capote), my living room has no matching furniture but still manages to be charming and cozy, and I have pretty bad taste in music when left to my own devices. Regardless, I'll probably try to make you a mix CD.



EDITOR:
RosemarieRosemarie Dombrowski (RD) holds a BA in Anthropology, a PhD in American Literature, and is a Lecturer of English on ASU's Downtown campus. She co-hosts the Phoenix Poetry Series, is the editor of the undergraduate writing journal of the Downtown campus, is the creative co-director for the We Are Downtown project, and is a co-organizer of CollabX (a partnership focused on bringing collaborative, multi-genre art performances to the community).

Her scholarly obsessions include confession (in all its myriad forms), post-punk feminism, and the broaching of sexual taboos in literature, art, and society. Accordingly, she created the Lady Gaga literature class for ASU and will be teaching a class on Poetic Anarchy in the fall. To her credit (or demise), she loves big American cars and even bigger fashion statements.

buy Rosemarie's book, Book of Emergencies : amazon b&n

Jared For more on the intrepid host and Four Chambers alum, see the about page.

Josh Rathkamp received an MFA in Poetry from Arizona State University and an MFA in Poetry Translation from Drew University. He has produced two collections of poems: A Storm to Close the Door, which won the 2015 Georgetown Review Poetry Prize and will be published in Spring 2016, and Some Nights No Cars At All (Ausable Press). His work has appeared in literary journals and public art projects, including American Poetry Review, Narrative, Arts and Letters, Poet Lore, and Rattle. He directs the Creative Writing Program at Mesa Community College.

Natasha Murdock writes poems and also makes hella good muffins that are full of sneaky vegetables. Her work has recently been featured on the back of her toddler's hesitant scribblings.

to buy Some Nights No Cars at All : amazon

Leah Marché is an arts entrepreneur, performance poet and journalist/writer. In 2005, she co-founded BlackPoet Ventures, a Phoenix, AZ based performance arts company that produces spoken word theatrical performances. Her work has been featured at the PHX Fringe Festival, St. Louis Fringe Festival and National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, NC. Part of the administrative staff at Herberger Theater Center, she is an active arts & culture member/volunteer and a freelance graphic designer. The two-time Phoenix National Poetry Slam team member has presented/performed at events such as Arts & Business Council of Phoenix, TEDx Phoenix/Scottsdale, Ignite Phoenix, Arizona Storytellers Project and GreenBiz Forum.

She is a proud product of the ASU Walter Cronkite School of Journalism, an alumna of SEED SPOT's inaugural community program for social entrepreneurs and a finalist in Phoenix New Times' 2013 Big Brain Awards. Grants to further her work have included: Robert Rauschenberg Foundation; South Arts; and Arizona Commission on the Arts. She currently coordinates the Several Lives Book Club, is a contributing writer for BroadwayBlack.com, and was named one of three regional organizers for Network of Ensemble Theaters.

Jack Evans has been a part of the Phoenix art and poetry community for thirty six years. He has been a director of six spoken word series, three time president of the Arizona State Poetry Society and was selected Poet Laureate of the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ in 2011. This performance "Film/Music/Poem" came about because of his long standing love of cinema. The program features poetry inspired by a variety of films and is enhanced by the original music of T. Bell.

Shawnte Orion attended Paradise Valley Community College for one day, but his first book of poetry The Existentialist Cookbook was published by NYQBooks. He is a former Copper State Haiku Slam Champion and his poems have appeared in The Threepenny Review, Barrelhouse, Gargoyle Magazine, New York Quarterly and other journals. He has performed at bookstores, bars, universities, hair salons, museums, and laundromats.

Shawte's blog

to buy The Existentialist Cookbook : amazon b&n

This is the Lost Episode; there is no recording.

Jia Oak Baker is the author of the chapbooks Crash Landing in the Plaza of an Unknown City (Dancing Girl Press) and Well Enough to Travel (Five Oaks Press). She earned a MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and a M.Ed. from Arizona State University. Jia is a recipient of a grant from the Arizona Commission on the Arts and served as a literary teaching artist for the City of Phoenix. She was awarded residencies from the Wurlitzer Foundation and Hedgebrook as well as scholarships to the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and the New York State Summer Writers' Institute. Though she holds poetry in the highest regard, she doesn't take herself all that seriously and despises writing about herself in the third person.

to buy Jia's books
Crash Landing in the Plaza of an Unknown City : dulcet
Well Enough to Travel : amazon

Frank Jackson came to love writing through the words of Kurt Vonnegut, the spirit of Jack Kerouac, and he is the self-proclaimed undocumented love child of Donald Barthleme and Anne Sexton. DNA results have been described optimistically as "inconclusive." He studied writing at the University of Pittsburgh and was an Editor for Weave Magazine before moving to Phoenix* to focus on his true passion - staying indoors during daylight and drinking twelve cups of water per day.

*Note: Frank has since relocated to New York.

Bill Campana is a 1955 model who has survived all the comforts and privileges that this life has thrown at him. He chose poetry above music and modern dance because it is less expensive and equally rewarding. He has two books of poetry out with Brick Cave Media (Said Beauty to the Blues and The Ragtime of Modern Living) and a third book coming out later this year with Four Chambers Press titled Poems From Deep South Scottsdale. He has a high school diploma but has no idea where the hell it is.

Bill Campana on Facebook

to buy Bill's books
The Ragtime of Modern Living : amazon
Said Beauty to the Blues : amazon b&n indiebound