Katie Bausler | An Active Idea: 49 Writers Active Voice Podcast

Katie Bausler interviews Andromeda Romano-Lax at KTOO Studios. Photo credit: instagram.com/romanolax

I’m a current public radio volunteer DJ and former journalist and producer, so when the idea came up to create a 49 Writers podcast, I thought it was fantastic. We decided the podcast would be a series of interviews with writers sparked by their response to the effect of the 2016 election on our psyche. The podcast is a cousin to our Active Voice blog, our online forum for writers to process these historic times. Ten months and a partnership with Juneau’s KTOO public radio later, you can hear conversations with seven writers on how current events and issues are shaping writers’ work and perspective. In production is a podcast with poet/novelist Joanna Lilley, who emigrated to Whitehorse Yukon from the United Kingdom a dozen years ago. The most recent conversation, episode seven, is with author Andromeda Romano-Lax, who co-founded 49 Writers 10 years ago.

In episode six, state writer laureate Ernestine Hayes says to better understand our present we need to look to our genocidal past. In episode five, Kim Heacox observes that his writing takes into account the plundering of the planet since the industrial revolution. Episode four features Pico Iyer, who shares his refreshing perspectives on making time for writing and humanity. In other episodes, Vivian Faith Prescott believes in the power of witness for future generations, Nancy Lord advocates for issue-focused versus self-indulgent writing, and Hank Lentfer acknowledges no shortage of ugliness in the world, while he chooses to focus on the omnipresence of beauty.

When Andromeda Romano-Lax began her writing career two decades ago, she wrote non-fiction and journalism. The global jolt of 911 turned her to fiction, and the writing of novels.  For her latest work, she returns to nonfiction and a memoir in progress. For her just released novel, she and her family lived in Japan and Taiwan for a time. Set in 2029, Plum Rains takes on robots, immigration, privilege and human connection. The Paris Review lauds it for, “engineering a world that is a character in itself, impossibly complex and daunting in its believability.” In the latest Active Voice, Andromeda discusses the practice of placing herself in the places she writes about, and her concern and hopes for our collective future.

Editor’s Note: Head over to the Active Voice page of our web site to read about more about the podcast and Active Voice: Writers Respond blog posts. And keep in touch! email us at info@49writers.org if you have an idea or a response to what you’ve read or heard.

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