On the air: Broadcasting literature to the public

A local radio talk show host and local author recently helped students understand the importance of literature interacting with broadcasting. David Naimon and Benjamin Parzybok presented the third workshop in the Professional Writers Series called “The Art of the Literary Podcast.” The presentation focused on Naimon’s radio show and how the speakers believe it is important to hear authors’ voices through a variety of media.

Megan Peaker and Paul Peralta, both seniors at Washington State University Vancouver, introduced the speakers. They talked about various accomplishments of the speakers and welcomed them to the stage.

The workshop was set up like an interview, and differed from previous installations in the Professional Writers Series that were presented as a lecture. Parzybok interviewed Naimon on the ins and outs of interviewing authors, a tongue-in-cheek approach that Naimon found more comfortable than talking directly to the audience. The audience was also invited to participate throughout.

David Naimon is the host of “Between the Covers,” a literary radio show on KBOO 90.7 FM in Portland. His radio show is a shortened version of the podcasts he posts online. Naimon invites authors to his show to discuss their own writing. When asked why he enjoys interviewing authors, he said, “I am an avid reader and lover of literature and there is something wonderful about reading a book and knowing you are going to get to sit down at a table with the author afterwards and dive into a deep engagement with the text with the person who created it.” The presenters also discussed the positive influence engaging with authors has on writing.

Benjamin Parzybok is a Portland local and published author. Parzybok has lived all over the world from Ecuador to Taiwan to Brooklyn. In Ecuador, over the course of six months, he penned his first novel “Couch.” His latest novel is called “Sherwood Nation” and is a fictional look at how Portland would respond to a drought that makes water a precious resource.

Parzybok’s interview of Naimon was filled with multi-faceted questions that dug into the podcasting industry. Naimon discussed what to do when interviewing guests to make a memorable experience. He said to start bored and guide the author along to make the discussion interesting. That way the interviewer can become more engaged in the discussion, rather than being interested then getting bored. Naimon said to use stock questions to advance the discussion because avoiding them will make the interviews too vague. Parzybok then asked Naimon if he ever had any problematic interviews. “There are authors that love to discuss and there are just authors who don’t,” Naimon said.

The audience participated in the discussion by asking questions to help them understand the podcasting industry. One question was about emotions and how emotionally charged interviews become. Naimon said, “Emotions become a part of the interview. I can’t imagine it any other way.” After a few more questions, the presentation wound down and the audience dispersed.

Peter Ames Carlin will be presenting the next workshop in the Professional Writers Series, “Biographies that Rock,” on Mar. 9 in MMC 6. He will discuss the art of writing biographies. For more information about the Professional Writers Series, contact Howard Aaron at 503-816-2742.

To learn more about David Naimon, visit http://www.davidnaimon.com. More information about Benjamin Parzybok is available at http://smallbeerpress.com/category/authors/benjamin-parzybok-authors.

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