Learning From the Letters of Two Great Artists

An interview with poet Chip Livingston about his new collection Love, Loosha: The Letters of Lucia Berlin and Kenward Elmslie


Episode Notes

This week, host June Thomas talks to poet Chip Livingston, who recently compiled a collection of letters titled, Love, Loosha: The Letters of Lucia Berlin and Kenward Elmslie. It documents the friendship between the writer Lucia Berlin, who is now well-regarded for her short stories but was under-appreciated during her lifetime, and the poet and librettist Kenward Elmslie. In the interview, Chip shares how he put the collection together and talks about his personal relationships with both Berlin and Elmslie. He also explains how the book can serve as a useful depiction of what it’s like to live as an artist.

After the interview, June and co-host Isaac Butler talk more about what we can learn from the letters of great writers. They also discuss overly confessional writing and how to determine the audience for your work.

In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Chip talks about how his love of poetry blossomed thanks in-part to his friendship with Kenward Elmslie.

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Podcast production by Cameron Drews.


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