Culture Gabfest

“Our Poetry Is Bad” Edition

Slate’s Culture Gabfest on American Factory, Lana Del Rey, and Dana’s residency at a monastery.

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About the Show

New York Times critic Dwight Garner says, “The Slate Culture Gabfest is one of the highlights of my week.” The award-winning Culturefest features Slate culture critics Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stevens, and Julia Turner debating the week in culture, from highbrow to pop.

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This week on the Culture Gabfest, Stephen Metcalf and Julia Turner are rejoined by Dana Stevens, who makes her return from her Idaho writer’s residency. First, they discuss American Factory, the Sundance smash that’s being distributed by the Obamas’ new production company and is currently streaming on Netflix. It’s an urgent film about a Chinese conglomerate that purchased an auto glass factory in Ohio, and it raises questions about the global economy and the state of the labor movement in America. Then, Lana Del Rey’s new album, Norman Fucking Rockwell, is a critical darling. The hosts discuss it with Slate’s Carl Wilson. Finally, the panel interviews Dana about her writer’s residency at at the Monastery of St. Gertrude in Idaho, and the pleasures and stresses of focusing on writing in that setting. In Slate Plus, the panel discusses their fantasy writers’ residencies.