Literature for the Halibut

Literature for the Halibut is a literary program featuring your favorite living and dead writers, some of whom you may not even know you love yet. Trust us, we are your fishing buddies. We taught you how to fish and how to read. Listen once and you'll get hooked. Produced in the studios of KDHX Community Media in St. Louis, MO.
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Literature for the Halibut is a weekly literary program featuring your favorite living and dead writers, some of whom you may not even know you love yet. Trust us, we are your fishing buddies. We taught you how to fish and how to read. Listen once and you'll get hooked.

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May 12, 2016
Literature for the Halibut is BACK with a terrific episode on some of our favorite themes: collaboration, badass publishers, breathtaking poetry and what happens when two genres collide.

Ann & Nicky talk to two literary editors, Dusty Freund from Natural Bridge and Jessica Rogen from Boulevard. The two have joined forces to present a party and reading that celebrate their magazines' spring issues. Jessica & Dusty talk about their collaboration, print vs. digital and what it's like to meet readers face-to-face. Midway through, the group is joined by National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist Adrian Matejka. Adrian reads his poem, "Famous Negro Athletes," published in the latest issue of Boulevard. He tells us about writing a script for a new graphic novel based on the life of boxer Jack Johnson. The graphic novel is a continuation of Adrian's book of poems, The Big Smoke & we are dying to read it. 
Listen up! AND, if you're local, check out theses three live and in person on May 25 2016, 6:30 PM at Dressel's Pub. 
Jan 14, 2016

A Jewish con sells himself out by getting a swastika tattoo.  A young woman finds a strangled guy on her first day of work at a synagogue.  A turn of the century Jewish bootlegger (the last man legally hanged in Illinois) asks for a black hood at his hanging -- as one final jab at the KKK. 

All this (not to mention Moses himself) is Jewish Noir, a collection of all-new short stories published in 2015 by PM Press.

In this episode, Nicky speaks with two St. Louis fiction writers published in the collection, Jedidiah Ayers & Tasha Kaminsky.  The two read excerpts from their stories & talk about the seedy side of fiction, the Jewishness of noir & the background behind their narratives.  Midway through, the group is joined by Kenneth Wishnia, editor of the collection. 


Jan 2, 2016

In 2016, what are the limits of what a magazine can do? Please Hold Magazine is a quarterly digital publication founded by Kristie Wickwire one year ago. Each issue collects multimedia pieces built around a different theme, the most recent issue's being "Home". Expanding the idea of literature beyond the written word, Please Hold compiles pieces poetry, video, audio, and even GIFs to accomplish what a print magazine cannot. Pictured: Mohsen Zare's contribution to the "Home" issue, a GIF titled "DVLottery to Home", which is discussed in the episode.


Also discussed in the episode: to hear the rest of Michael Ridge's Found Home Recordings, click here.

Dec 5, 2015

Nicky talks with poets and musicians Susan Trowbridge Adams and Ted Moniak about their collaborations, and the intersections between music and spoken word art.

Nov 21, 2015

Former Literature For the Halibut co-host Stefene Russell comes home to discuss her latest work, The Possum Codex, the latest in her series of Dante-inspired poetry collections. Stefene discusses  her view of the "mythical midwest", and the unusual combination of influences that led to her documenting Middle America in the style of Inferno.

Oct 28, 2015

Nicky discusses the poetic process with Emily Grise, organizer of the Natural Bridge Debut Writers' Series, and Natural Bridge's latest guest, New York Poet Joshua Mehigan. Mehigan also reads pieces from his most recent collection, 2014's acclaimed Accepting the Disaster.

Oct 23, 2015

Nicky talks publishing with Jen Tappenden, the chief editor at Architrave Press, the publisher that takes the "iTunes model" when it comes to selling poetry-- as their site introduces, "Why can't we we buy individual poems like we do songs?"

Oct 16, 2015

Ann and Nicky talk with poet Treasure Shields Redmond about her powerful new book Chop, a series of kwansabas about Fannie Lou Hamer, the brilliant, brave, and under-appreciated civil rights leader.

Oct 10, 2015

Nicky chats with graphic novelist Sacha Mardou about her latest work, a trippy coming of age story called Sky In Stereo. 

Sep 24, 2015

Nicky talks with publisher and author Jared Rourke and Bryan Borland from Sibling Rivalry Press about how the work they've written and published has helped spotlight under-represented LGBT voices.

Sep 14, 2015

How does the nature of DIY formats like zines and mini-comics liberate artists? Zine and comic artists Julia Vogel and Jack Probst join Nicki to discuss that very question, and the emotional roots of their work.

Sep 10, 2015

Michael Castro, Poet Laureate of Saint Louis, and Cheeraz Gormon, St. Louis poet and Halibut's first podcast guest, return to share some more of their work as well as discuss the upcoming Brick City Poetry Festival. How can St. Louis' disparate artists from different generations come together? How can we grow as an artistic community? The Brick City festival is here to help.

Aug 27, 2015

Steven Reigns, the first City Poet of West Hollywood, calls in to talk with Ann about how activism and social issues have influenced his work, what's he learned from teaching writing workshops, and his exhibition The Gay Rub. The Gay Rub is a collection of rubbings from several LGBT landmarks from all over the country, including tombstones, plaques, cenotaphs, and monuments.

Aug 21, 2015

Ann and Nicky talk with Michael Castro, the poet laureate of St. Louis, about his work, the state of the local poetry scene, and pieces that couldn't be shared on live broadcasts.

Aug 8, 2015

Nicky talks with Sarah Barasch-Hagans and Shoshana Williams about the Fargesn Media Project, a recently launched video series focusing on people in Saint Louis telling their stories about their experiences with race relations in Saint Louis.

Aug 1, 2015

Nicky presents the second half of work from local poets from her recording earlier this month of several local artists reading poems about the aftermath of Michael Brown's shooting and its effect on the community. 

Jul 17, 2015

Nearly one year ago, Michael Brown's death had a seismic impact on the way people in St. Louis think about race relations. Nicky Rainey invited several prominent local poets to KDHX's studios to record pieces that were written in the aftermath of the shooting and the protests that followed. Here she shares eight of those poems that speak to how the average local citizen was affected by the tragedy.

Jul 10, 2015

Jonathon Smith and I talk with poet and playwright Claudia Rankine about her powerful book, Citizen: An American Lyric; the collection combines poetry, prose and art in a masterful commentary on racism in America. Citizen has garnered many awards, the most recent, PEN American Center's Open Book Award. Citizen combines poetry, prose and art in a masterful commentary on racism in America. Written before the death of Michael Brown and published in the aftermath, Claudia Rankine's book addresses leaning on words and meanings, the horror of the ordinary, and the realities of what it is to be inside a community where young black men and women could die at any moment. 



Jul 2, 2015


Nicky talks with poet and KDHX DJ Nathaniel Farrell about his new book “Newcomer”, a longform poem exploring war and the quieter moments experienced by those involved. Nicky and Nathaniel also discuss the prominent role that music plays in his writing, and how he explores the thoughts and psychology of characters with unfamiliar experiences.

Jun 26, 2015


This week we bring you the director’s cut of Nicky's on-air interview from last fall with Anne Valente, a fiction writer whose work is heavily influenced by life in Saint Louis, despite living in Cincinatti. On air, we didn’t have time to finish her reading of her short story “Everything That Was Ours” from her collection “By Light We Knew Our Names”, but now we’re able to deliver the full audio of Anne’s reading, and her wrap-up interview with Nicky. 

Jun 19, 2015

This week, MK Stallings sits down with Erielle Jones and Charles McGill, aka Aries and Oracle. The current first- and second-place VerbQuake champions discuss coming into their own in poetry slam competitions, and how social issues have shaped their work.

Jun 12, 2015

Literature for the Halibut reels in a live one this week!

Ted Mathys recenlty published his most recent collection from the singular Coffee House Press. It's Null Set (2015), following up on his two previous collections, The Spoils(2009) and Forge (2005)
Ted's poetry is intelligent and challenging while revealing a vulnerability that never reeks of weakness. Heartfelt and heady stuff.
Best of all, Ted reads work from his book and we discuss form, voice, his work in the field of international environmental policy, and how the hell he works on poems while distance driving.
Listen... and you'll get hooked.
Jun 3, 2015
On the fishing boat this week is Cheeraz Gormon, an intimate poet and fine storyteller.     
Cheeraz's book, "In the Midst of Loving" came out in 2015.  In this podcast, Cheeraz tells stories about growing up in North St. Louis, performing poetry on an HBO tour and spontaneous romantic encounters (not one night stands).  
Best of all, Cheeraz reads powerful work from her book.  The poems are sophisticated & leave you feeling raw. I think you'll love them.  
May 12, 2015

Nicky discusses indie comic publishing in Saint Louis with Curtis Tinsley and Nick Kuntz, two of the comic book artists producing work with Silver Hand Press. Silver Hand Press is currently publishing work by nine Saint Louis comic artists and writers, and you can view some of their work on Silver Hand's Tumblr.

May 5, 2015

Ann interviews former St. Louis police officer Terrell Carter abour his recent book Walking the Blue Line: A Police Officer Turned Community Activist Provides Solutions to the Racial DivideWalking the Blue Line offers Carter's perspective on the recent events in Ferguson and similar conflicts, informed by his personal experiences as both a police officer and as an African American man in Saint Louis.

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