Graduate student Sarah White recently created a podcast providing the English and Language department faculty and students a space to share their writing and discuss the processes behind creativity and getting one’s work published.
Sarah White is in her second year of graduate school pursuing a Master of Arts in English and is an editorial assistant for English professor Dr. Adam Davis. White said she and Davis were treating the position like an internship, and Davis wanted her to have a project to take away from the experience. White said she was the social media coordinator for the English and Linguistics department in the past, and while she had never created a podcast before, she was excited to acquire the new skill.
“Since I don’t have much experience with audio or video editing, but given my previous experience as a social media coordinator with interviewing people, we both decided that podcasting would be a fun new project to launch,” White said.
White has interviewed four people thus far: Mel Eaton, a McNair Scholar, creative writing major and founder of the literary magazine Oneiroi, Nate Rouse, a creative writing major who shared his poems and a joint interview with creative writing professors Karen Kubin and Dr. Jamie D’Agostino, White said.
Kubin and D’Agostino spoke about their recently published chapbooks, a short book of poems, before their poetry reading Oct. 26. D’Agostino said he had never been on a University podcast before reading for White, but he was happy to be a part of the project.
“We’re just excited about it as an opportunity that showcases some of the conversations that happen in English,” D’Agostino said. “Things that start in classes, things that arise out of people’s first loves and literature, the serious stuff, the funny stuff, the excitement about new books and new activities. Whether that’s creative writing, scholarly writing or just good, old-fashioned hiding under a stack of books, that’s what the department is really excited about, to see what the students come up with for it.”
D’Agostino said he was looking forward to seeing where the podcast would go from here, and he hoped more University students would express interest and read their work or discuss their writing process for the podcast.
Professor Kubin said she appreciated the podcast as it allowed students to hear about professors and their work outside the classroom. Kubin said she would have appreciated an opportunity to learn about her professors’ lives outside of class when she was a student, and she is glad to provide her students with that information now through the podcast. Kubin said she was also excited that the podcast would supply information about the English and Linguistics major and its differences from other degrees.
“Studying English or creative writing or linguistics is not just taking classes and getting a piece of paper,” Kubin said. “It’s very much a way of thinking, and I think it extends far outside of what we do in the classroom. The podcast allows for insights into what people are doing outside of the classroom, both students and faculty, and I think that’s really helpful.”
White said the process behind creating the podcast involved many people. White said she would first send emails to see who was interested, then schedule times to meet with them and record the audio using the new Villhard Innovation lab in the library. After she records, White said she will edit the audio and, a more recent addition, will add video to the podcast as well. Finally, she receives approval from Davis and English and Linguistics Department chair Dr. Danion Doman. She sends the audio to student Deanna Rood and Digital Content Specialist Richie Howell to post it on the department blog.
White said she was excited about the podcast because it allows authors at the University to share their work through a new medium.
“I think it’s important to hear the authors speak and talk about their own works and the process of it all,” White said. “I find that a lot of writers write for themselves, and people just happen to relate to their poems, which just shows how relatable writing is for everyone. Having that writing as a podcast, I feel like there’s something to hearing the different inflections and the different tones that each author has, and you can’t really see on paper.”
White said she has only featured poetry readings thus far but would be open to discussing short stories, the process behind getting one’s work published, what inspires authors to write, and more. White encouraged any interested students to reach out to her about recording an episode of the podcast.
For more information about the podcast and how to get involved, email Sarah White at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dr. Jamie D’Agostino’s chapbook “The Goldfinch Caution Tapes” can be purchased at spdbooks.org, and Professor Karen Kubin’s chapbook “These Walls are Starting to Glow” can be purchased at dulcetshop.myshopify.com.