Today’s episode is a little different and features short conversations with several authors about their most recent book and involvement with the 2021 Boerne Book & Arts Festival. For those that don’t know, Boerne is a beautiful bedroom community just north of San Antonio, Texas, and the book festival takes place each year on Main Plaza on the first Saturday in October. This year’s event featured authors such as John Erickson and James Wade, as well as author panels with topics such as Heroines of WWII, Texas Ranches and Texas Rangers, and Early Roads and the Old Spanish Trail.
A conversation with the novelist, James Wade. James lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country with his wife and daughter. His debut novel, All Things Left Wild, won the Western Writers of America Spur Award for Best Historical Novel and the MPIBA’s Reading the West Award for Best Debut Fiction. His second novel, River, Sing Out, was released in the summer of 2021. James is also a winner of the Writers’ League of Texas Manuscript Contest, and a finalist of the Tethered by Letters Short Fiction Contest.
A conversation with Jonathan Merritt. Jonathan is one of America’s most popular writers on issues of faith and culture. He is author of several critically-acclaimed books, including Learning to Speak God from Scratch: Why Sacred Words are Vanishing - and How We Can Revive Them, named “Book of the Year” by the Englewood Review of Books.
A crossover episode featuring an interview with me, Matt Boutte, on The Dharmadillo Podcast. We talk about Jimmy Buffett as a business, about my spiritual life, and about some of my reading and writing practices, among other things.
A conversation with Ariel Sabar. Ariel won the National Book Critics Circle Award for his debut book, My Father's Paradise: A Son's Search for his Jewish Past in Kurdish Iraq. His second book, Heart of the City, was called a "beguiling romp" by the New York Times and an "engaging, moving and lively read" by the Toronto Star. His Kindle Single, The Outsider: The Life and Times of Roger Barker, was a best-selling nonfiction short and adapted for the radio program This American Life. His latest book, Veritas: A Harvard Professor, a Con Man and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife, was a finalist for the Edgar Award for best true-crime book of the year and for the Investigative Reporters & Editors Book Award.
A conversation with Daniel Lassell. Daniel is the author of Spit (July 2021), winner of the 2020 Wheelbarrow Books Emerging Poetry Prize and a poetry finalist for the 2021 International Book Awards, as well as Ad Spot (April 2021), a chapbook from Ethel Zine & Micro Press. His recent poetry can be found in the Colorado Review, Southern Humanities Review, River Styx, Grist, and Prairie Schooner. He raised llamas and alpacas while growing up on a farm in Kentucky.
A conversation with Asako Serizawa. Asako has ASAKO SERIZAWA was born in Japan and grew up in Singapore, Jakarta, and Tokyo. A graduate of Tufts University, Brown University, and Emerson College, she has received two O. Henry Prizes, a Pushcart Prize, a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award, and a fiction fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown. Her first book, INHERITORS, won the 2021 PEN/Open Book Award and The Story Prize Spotlight Award. It was also longlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize.
A conversation with John Phillip Santos; a writer, journalist, and documentary filmmaker from San Antonio, Texas. His two memoirs, Places Left Unfinished at the Time of Creation (a National Book Award Finalist) and The Farthest Home is in an Empire of Fire, together tell the ancestral stories of his mother and father’s families, an American origin story of the centuries-long migrations that emerged out of Spain, Mexico, and the lands that became South Texas. His book of poems is Songs Older Than Any Known Singer.
A conversation with Alexandra Fuller. Alexandra is a novelist, a journalist, and a memoirist whose most recent book, "Travel Light, Move Fast" was published in 2020. In this conversation we discuss her childhood in Rhodesia, racism, grief, loss, joy, and hope.
A conversation with Michael Kleber-Diggs. Michael Kleber-Diggs is a poet, essayist, and literary critic. His debut poetry collection, Worldly Things, won the Max Ritvo Poetry Prize and will be published by Milkweed Editions in June of this year and his essay "On the Complex Flavors of Black Joy," is included in "There's a Revolution Outside, My Love: Letters from a Crisis," edited by Tracy K. Smith and John Freeman. This is an important, if at times painful, discussion about race, community, and hope. I'm grateful to Michael for having it with me.