Origins Podcast

Origins: The International Writing Program Podcast is an interview series with writers from around the world addressing the origins of their creative works, the literary and social cultures in which they write, and the art of language.

2018 Episode Schedule

January 15: Kirmen Uribe, Spain
February 15: Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, Kenya
March 15: Vladimir Martinovski, Macedonia
April 15: Kinga Tóth, Hungary
May 15: Panashe Chigumadzi, South Africa/Zimbabwe
June 15: Maung Day, Myanmar
July 15: Esther Dischereit, Germany
August 15: Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, Somalia/Italy
September 15: Sharlene Teo, Singapore
October 15: Dilman Dila, Uganda
November 15: Gozo Yoshimasu, Japan
December 15: Julienne van Loon, Australia

2017 Episode Schedule

January 15: Vivek Shanbhag, India
February 15: Ameena Hussein, Sri Lanka
March 15: Zhou Jianing, China
April 15: Tse Hao Guang, Singapore
May 15: Courtney Sina Meredith, New Zealand
June 15: Mariano Tenconi Blanco, Argentina
July 15: Henriikka Tavi,  Finland 
August 15: Stephanos Stephanides, Cyprus
September 15: Alice Yousef, Palestinian Territories
October 15: zp (Priya) Dala, South Africa
November 15: Shenaz Patel, Mauritius
December 15: Akhil Katyal, India  


Sharlene Teo on the Reversal of Gender Expectations

September 15, 2018 | Sharlene Teo | 15:16

Host Christopher Merrill talks with London-based Singaporean writer Sharlene Teo about her award-winning novel Ponti. They discuss how her novel utilizes the Southeast Asian mythical creature of the Pontianak, a cannibalistic entity that kills and eats men, to explore a cultural reassignment of fear.

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Ubah Cristina Ali Farah on Mixing Italian and Somali Literary Traditions

August 15, 2018 | Ubah Cristina Ali Farah | 21:23

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Somali-Italian writer Ubah Cristina Ali Farah about how her novels tell the stories of the Somali civil war and its refugees in Italy. They also discuss her work of collecting stories from migrant women for oral history projects, and the role Somali theatre played in anti-colonial fights during the 1950s and 1960s.

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Esther Dischereit on Writing in Post-Holocaust Germany

July 15, 2018 | Esther Dischereit | 24:32

Host Christopher Merrill talks with German writer Esther Dischereit about her groundbreaking work Joëmis Tisch – Eine jüdische Geschichte [Joëmi's Table – A Jewish Story], which is a collection of thoughts, questions, and problems regarding life as a Jewish person in postwar Germany. They also discuss her collaborative creative works, and her efforts toward discovering what is revealed when examining the relationship between truth and doubt.

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Maung Day on Avant-Garde Poetry

June 15, 2018 | Maung Day | 26:02

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Burmese poet Maung Day about defying censorship with performance art and the history of Burmese poetry as well as his translation between Burmese and English of poetry and literature.

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Panashe Chigumadzi on Art and the Female Black Body

May 15, 2018 | Panashe Chigumadzi | 36:03

Guest host Kathleen Maris Paltrineri talks with Zimbabwean and South African writer Panashe Chigumadzi about literature's relationship to feminism, jazz, and anti-racist discourse as well as Chigumadzi's forthcoming collection of essays, Beautiful Hair for a Landless People.

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Kinga Tóth on Vision, Sound, and Poetry

April 15, 2018 | Kinga Tóth | 34:30

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Hungarian writer, Kinga Tóth about national identity, as well as her award winning project Moonlight Faces.

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Vladimir Martinovski on Writing and Music

March 15, 2018 | Vladimir Martinovski | 31:41

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Macedonian writer, Vladimir Martinovski, about the music of verse, as well as writing in Macedonian literature.

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Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor on What It Means to be Human

February 15, 2018 | Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor | 22:10

Host Christoper Merrill talks with Kenyan writer Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor about the courage of addressing historical darknesses, as well as her first novel, Dust.

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Kirmen Uribe on Basque Language

January 15, 2018 | Kirmen Uribe | 25:35

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Basque writer Kirmen Uribe about his literary achievements in The New Yorker and elsewhere, as well as his novel Bilbao-New York-Bilbao.

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Akhil Katyal on Poetry and Language

December 15, 2017 | Akhil Katyal | 27:57

Host Christopher Merrill talks with Indian poet and translator Akhil Katyal about the influence of the poet Agha Shahid Ali, the technique of writing in different languages, as well as his forthcoming work, The Doubleness of Sexuality: Idioms of Same-Sex Desire in Modern India. 

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