The Drunken Odyssey with John King: A Podcast About the Writing Life


This week I talk with Disney historian Didier Ghez about the joys of research and forging one's own path as a historian.

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_421.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 3:35pm EDT

Tom Papa_credit Sam Jones
This week I talk with comedian, actor, sourdough aficionado, and essay writer, Tom Papa!


Cover.You're Doing GreatYour Dad Stole My RakeEl Superbeasto


Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_420.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 11:01pm EDT


Mike Onorato

On this week's show, I speak with Mike Onorato, Vice President of Publicity at Smith Publicity, about how publicity works behind the scenes for writers, and how COVID-19 is affecting the books business.

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_419.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 2:26pm EDT


The Hero With a Thousand Faces JV

Vanessa Blakeslee and I discuss the classic of comparative mythology, Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces. While this is a work of scholarship not directly intended for creative writers, its lessons are of immense value to anyone writing adventure, fantasy, or science fiction. We reference Star Wars, The Matrix, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, The Bible, and Pinocchio, among other works, and mention the trials of academic discourse that are meant to be confused with the belly of the beast.

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_418.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 10:19pm EDT

This week I talk with the novelist Jason Z. Morris about structuring a novel, learning the confidence to write a novel, how the peer review process in science helps in receiving creative writing criticism, and the fun, diverse conversations to be had at the faculty cafeteria at Fordham at Lincoln Center.

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_417.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 12:30am EDT

This week I talk with the poet Kimiko Hahn about the mysteriousness of objects, the mourning involved in memory, the strange penchant of Dr. Chevalier Quixote Jackson, and discovering the scheme of a book of poetry.

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_416.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 12:20am EDT

This week I talk with poet EmilyBrandtabout her new book Falsehood by After Hours Press. We delve into her personal connection with the poems and her growth from taking a poetry class as a one-off to her experience in NYU's MFA program to published poet.We also discuss the effect her students have had on her writing and her life, which range from high school students to veterans of the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Emily Brandt



Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_415.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 9:51am EDT

In this week’s episode, I talk with creative writer and Disney historian Todd James Pierce about the new Disney's Hollywood Studios attraction that let's guests cross into the screen of a cartoon experience.

Todd Pierce Studios CROPPED June 2018


Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway SignMickey Minney Railway Podcast Photo

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_414.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 12:00am EDT


In this bonus, mid-week episode of The Drunken Odyssey, the game-writing expert Michael Merriam and I read and discuss Escape from Fire Island, a lost classic from the 1990s. Somehow, we touch upon Dragon's Lair, The Canterbury Tales, Hamlet (naturally), He-Man and The Masters of the Universe, and The Hero with a Thousand Faces.


Escape from Fire IslandCanterbury TalesThe Hero with a Thousand Faces


Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_413.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 12:01am EDT

This week, my occasional co-host, Vanessa Blakeslee, and I discuss Douglas Glover's latest collection, The Erotics of Restraint: Essays on Literary Form. We explore his insights on time and plot construction, as seen the works of Alice Munro, Jane Austen, Ernest Hemingway, and others.

John & Vanessa Flash 2

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_412.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 1:11am EDT

This week I sit down with novelist and memoirist Paul Lisicky to discuss his new memoir, Later: My Life at The Edge of The World. We dive into the process of memory in writing memoir, the ways of poetically complicating how time works in narrative, and the influences that let him know what was possible to be at home in memoir. We also discuss his formative experiences living in Provincetown in the 1990s, and discovering queer identity during the times of the AIDS epidemic.

Lisicky credit- Beowulf Sheehan (7)Paul Lisicky. Photo by Beowulf Sheehan.[/caption]


Later My Life at the End of the Worldthe-narrow-door

Ninety nine Stories of GodCalamatiesTruth Serum

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_411.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 1:38pm EDT

This week, I speak to actor, show writer, and memoirist Ron Schneider about the show business life, theme park creativity, and learning to master new creative challenges.

Ron Schneider


From Dreamer to Dreamfinder


This episode is sponsored by the excellent people at Scribophile.


Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_410.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 1:05pm EDT

This week, I speak to fiction writer Shane Hinton about his poetic, spooky apocalyptic novel, Radio Dark.

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_409.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 1:27pm EDT

Episode 408 of The Drunken Odyssey, your favorite podcast about creative writing and literature is available on Apple podcastsstitcher, spotify, or click here to stream (right click to download, if that’s your thing.)

This week, my occasional co-host, Vanessa Blakeslee, and I discuss Paul Fussell's entertaining treatise, Class: A Guide Through the American Status System. While this is clearly not a craft book, a sociological understanding of the American class system can add layers to your characterization, or so John found when he discovered this gem back in the early 1990s. Paul Fussell (1924-2012) possessed a gorgeously sardonic wit when not hiding in academia.

John Vanessa SailboatSomeday John will own a sailboat, and become truly, deeply, fatally lost, and happy.

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_408.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 9:25pm EDT

This week, I talk to my friend and colleague Nathan Holic about his new novel that is a true epic of our hometown (Orlando), Bright Lights, Medium-Sized City.

Nathan HolicNathan Holic at an undisclosed location in Orlando, without a beer.

This is Nathan's 8th appearance on TDO!


Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_407.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 11:59am EDT

This week, I talk to my friend and colleague Amy Watkins about becoming more systematic about submitting work, and about conceiving of book-length projects of poetry.

Amy Watkins




  • TDO Listeners can get 20% of a premium subscription to Scribophile. After using the above link to register for a basic account, go here while still logged in to upgrade the account with the discount.
Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_406.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 3:47pm EDT

This week, I talk to my friend Corwin Moore, who is a comic and comedy writer.

Corwin Moore

Our proposed topic of discussion was the greatness of Richard Pryor, which we cover at length in a conversation that took many turns.


This episode is sponsored by the excellent people at Scribophile.

TDO Listeners can get 20% of a premium subscription to Scribophile. After using the above link to register for a basic account, go herewhile still logged in to upgrade the account with the discount.

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_405.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 2:39pm EDT

This week, I talk to my friend, and Orlando's poet laureate, Susan Lilley!

Susan Lilley


Venus in Retrograde


Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_404.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 3:04pm EDT

This week, I talk to two poets.

First, I speak with the joyous Jericho Brown about his complex relationship to poetic tradition, identity, and music. Frankly, I kept making tangents to music. Perhaps too many. But this was one of my favorite interviews from Miami Book Fair International.

Jericho Brown MBFI 2019

Second, I speak with Richard Blanco about the poetry of we, and the importance of giving an audience an entertaining performance, and writing poetry that makes me cry in yet another of my favorite interviews from MBFI.

Richard Blanco


The TraditionHow to Love a Country


This episode is sponsored by the excellent people at Scribophile.

TDO Listeners can get 20% of a premium subscription to Scribophile. After using the above link to register for a basic account, go herewhile still logged in to upgrade the account with the discount.

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_403.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 1:06am EDT

This week, Vanessa Blakeslee and I assail more essays on the craft of literature, this time two by T.S. Eliot.

TS Eliot TDO


"Hamlet and Its Problems" can be found here; "Tradition and the Individual Talent" can be found here.

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_402.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 11:03pm EDT

This week, I offer another round of conversations from Miami Book Fair International, in which I talk to Steve Almond about his favorite novel, Stonerby John Williams,

Steve Almond

plus I speak with poet Carolyn Forché about her memoir, All You Have Heard is True.




What You Have Heard is True

Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_401.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 2:49pm EDT

This week, I talk to fiction writer Nathan Englander about the pressurized form of fictional worlds, giving the reader something worth their time and money, getting to the pain as soon as possible, continuing to learn about one's craft deep into one's career, Judaism in literature, and the wisdom of our friend Darin Strauss.

Nathan EnglanderNathan Englander and your humble host in The Confucius Institute at Miami Dade College.[/caption]

Books Discussed

Kaddish dot comWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Anne FrankFor the Relief of Unbearable Urges


Direct download: The_Drunken_Odyssey_Episode_400.mp3
Category:Arts/Culture/Writing -- posted at: 1:50am EDT