Roxana Preciado reads from her new book of poetry, “Trauma for Sale” in conversation with Cody Sisco

Watch Live Here at 3 pm on July 23

Roxana Preciado is an indie author and artist recognized for her work as a poet and activist. At the age of 12, Roxana started writing poetry as a coping mechanism to deal with her life challenges. She shares her story with others in hope that she can help anyone who is facing similar hardships.

Preciado has published four volumes of autobiographical poetry, most recent being Trauma for Sale. She continues to use her poetry and her story to support community engagement and activism to raise awareness about violence against women.

Learn more

Interview starts at 14m:40s

BookSwell Intersections Season 2 Episode 2
an interview with Yodassa Williams

The coronavirus crisis can’t stop art!

Cody Sisco interviews Yodassa Williams about her debut fantasy novel, The Goddess Twins, coming of age and finding one’s voice, black girl magic and creativity, and the revelatory experience of going to Burning Man.

Yodassa Williams shows off her new novel, The Goddess Twins, in the magical locale of Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA

Yodassa Williams is a powerful conjurer of black girl magic (70 percent Jedi, 30 percent Sith). A Jamaican American writer, speaker, and award-winning performing storyteller, an alumna of the VONA/Voices Travel Writing program and the Fortify Writer’s Retreat, and the creator of the podcast The Black Girl Magic Files, Yodassa (Yoda) launched Writers Emerging, a wilderness writing retreat for women of color and non-binary people of color, in 2019. She grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and currently resides in the Bay Area. The Goddess Twins is her debut novel.

Listen Now

Link to BookSwell Intersections Podcast on Spotify

April 8 Live Literary Podcast Recording for BookSwell Intersections

Watch Now

Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett discusses his novel Dark Corners with Running Wild Press publisher Lisa Kastner at a live recording of the BookSwell Intersections podcast. They talk about amplifying marginalized voices and centering queer people of color in fiction and publishing. Dan Lopez and Sarah LaBrie joined the discussion to recommend books they’ve enjoyed.

Note: this is a live taping of the BookSwell Intersections literary podcast.

“A gripping collection of yarns in which social disadvantages take on monstrous shapes.” — Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus’s starred review gives Dark Corners by Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett the boost that every author craves. In a publishing industry that continues to privilege white and male authors, how did Dark Corners come about and what comes next? BookSwell Intersections literary podcast host Cody Sisco will speak with “Tihi” and with Lisa Kastner, the publisher of Running Wild Press, which published Dark Corners and publishes stories that cross genres and writing that doesn’t fit neatly in a box.

About Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett

Reuben “Tihi” Hayslett is a queer activist, writer, and storyteller. His non-fiction work first appeared in The Splinter Generation in 2007, while Tihi was still an undergraduate, and more recently in The Mary Sue blog in 2015. His first fiction short-story collection Dark Corners debuts in 2019 through Running Wild press. Dark Corners was recently included in the swag bag for George Lopez’s Celebrity Golf Tournament, frequently attended by Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Eva Longoria and many other celebrities. His fiction has elsewhere appeared in the Surreal South Anthology in 2011, transLit magazine, and Oregon Literary Review. He currently works at Demand Progress, leading online campaigns against the overreach of government surveillance. Prior to that, Tihi worked as an online campaigner for the Working Families Party, a progressive third party in the United States, where he combined his storytelling skills and political activism. Tihi has won consumer campaigns against Netflix, UPS, and worked with a coalition to remove David Koch from the Boards of the Smithsonian and PBS. While living in Brooklyn, Tihi produced Rustik Storytellers, a monthly oral storytelling live show in 2013. In 2016 he co-produced PRACTICE, a safe-space live storytelling show designed to encourage new-comers to take up the oral storytelling tradition. As a fluent speaker of Dothraki, one of the languages created for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Tihi recently worked on the upcoming Netflix series Daybreak as a Dothraki Language Consultant. Tihi has a MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University and currently lives in Long Beach, CA.

About Lisa Kastner

Lisa Kastner is a former journalist and corporate communications consultant and journalist. Lisa is credited in over, 20 publications, including Now What? The Creative Writer’s Guide to Success After the MFA and The Resistors by Dwight L. Wilson (edited by Lisa Kastner), which was featured in a Kirkus Reviews story that says the book will “keep you up all night.” Lisa, the founder and executive director of Running Wild Press, has led Pennwriters, Running Wild Writers Community, and the Springfield Writers Group.

She earned an MFA from Fairfield University and her MBA from Pennsylvania State University. Lisa was on Dance Party USA, syndicated on the USA TV network, and appeared on Dancin’ on Air, a regional television program, as a teenager. Her step-mother, Violet Smith, was the director for the arts in Santa Ana, CA, where a concourse at the Santa Ana Airport is named after her. Lisa’s father, Frank Carter, is in the Broadcast Pioneers Hall of Fame, for his service in radio for 50 years. She resides in Los Angeles, California.

About BookSwell Intersections literary podcast

The BookSwell Intersections podcast features book recommendations, interviews with authors, and highlights of upcoming literary events in Los Angeles.

Much like LA itself, the literary scene here is often difficult to navigate. BookSwell Intersections will help you find your way to the authors, events, and new releases that you won’t want to miss.

Cody Sisco hosts the BookSwell Intersections literary podcast along with co-hosts Rachelle Yousuf, Sakae Manning, Dan Lopez, and Sarah LaBrie.

BookSwell Intersections Season 2 Episode 1
a Q1 2020 WTF debrief, featuring Dryland Lit and Women Who Submit

We did it! We made it through the beginning of 2020 and now we’re back with Season 2 of the BookSwell Intersections literary podcast.

This episode was recorded in the Rare Bird offices in DTLA in the midst of the COVID-19 epidemic. Host Cody Sisco is joined by co-host Dan Lopez, special guests Viva Padilla from Dryland Lit, Julia Callahan from Rare Bird Lit, and interview guest Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo of Women Who Submit. We discussed #DignidadLiteraria and the fallout from American Dirt, barriers to inclusivity and equity in publishing, and how writers and publishers are navigating the changing literary landscape.

Listen Now

Link to BookSwell Intersections Podcast on Spotify

Books Mentioned

BookSwell Intersections Episode 13
New Year’s Reading Resolutions, an Interview with Carla Sameth, Events to Kick Off 2020

Happy New Year to all of our listeners! This week, we’re here to help you get a jump start on your 2020 TBR list, with recommendations from our panel.  Managing Editor Cody Sisco, along with Co-Hosts Rachelle Yousuf and Irene Yoon recap their year in reading and discuss what they’d like to see in the literary landscape next year.

Cody sits down with local LA author Carla Sameth to talk about her recent release, One Day on the Gold Line. They delve into religion, addiction, and the writing process, as well as their shared appreciation for the LA writing scene.

If your New Year’s Resolution is to attend more literary events, Shannon Eagen has you covered with events for the whole family in early January.

About Carla Sameth

Writer. Teacher. Mother. As a writer, Carla hopes to help readers feel less alone and more resilient. As a teacher, she strives to help others tell their stories and hone their craft while experimenting with new forms. The journey of motherhood informs much of her writing.

Carla’s memoir, One Day on the Gold Linewas published July 2019 by Black Rose.

Through meditations on race, culture, and family, One Day on the Gold Line tells the story of a lesbian Jewish single mother raising a black son in Los Angeles. A memoir-in-essays, it examines life’s surprising changes that come through choice or circumstance, often seemingly out of nowhere, and sometimes darkly humorous—even as the situations are dire.

While escaping from a burning boat, Carla realizes that if she died, her one regret would be not having children. She overcomes miscarriages to finally give birth to a son. Motherhood’s usual struggles are then complicated by identity, community, and the challenges of creating a blended family. The overarching theme of these loosely woven reflective tales is the storyteller’s dream of the “perfect” family, the pursuit of which hurls her from one crisis to the next, ultimately meeting its greatest challenge in the form of her teenage son’s struggle with drug addiction. 

Learn more:

Listen Now

Link to BookSwell Intersections Podcast on Spotify
Listen on Google Play Music

Books Mentioned

One Day on the Gold Line by Carla Sameth

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
Catch and Kill by Ronan Farrow
The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Homesick by Jennifer Croft

Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

Women Talking by Miriam Toews

The Power of Nunchi by Euny Hong

Events Mentioned: