Monthly Archives: August 2013

Soon: WITTScast Does Poetry!

In Episode 27 the WITTScasters will take a brief break from fiction and try to put together an insightful half-hour of poetry discussion. The following poems will help form the basis of what they’re trying to say:

(Oh, and the light summer schedule is over, so Episode 27 will come out on September 2nd, just one week after Episode 26!)

Episode 26: The Workshop

The author is now silenced. Join the WITTScasters for a discussion of fiction writing workshops: how they work, what the rules are, what not to do, and how to get the most out of them. Once they’e all workshopped out, the boys face the truth in Barry Hannah’s great short story “Water Liars.”

Reading Discussed

  • Barry Hannah’s “Water Liars”, from his 1978 collection Airships.
  • The WITTScasters shared a workshop experience at Purdue’s creative writing program.
  • Would Alice Munro’s work benefit if her characters were given superpowers — or do they have them already?
  • Brian would have trouble expressing his true feelings in front of Jon Hamm.
  • Sometimes a story is so good the workshop can’t do much to improve it. This was the case with Mehdi Okasi’s “Salvation Army,” which didn’t need any help from the WITTScasters to be selected for Best New American Voices 2009.
  • No one consulted Barry Hannah (or Jesus) during this survey.
  • It occurred to Ben that Barry Hannah and George Singleton are part of the same southern humorist tradition and, off the top of his head, Jon added Flannery O’Connor, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, William Gay, and Larry Brown to the list.

Episode 25: Podcasting

Jon still doesn’t really know what a podcast is, yet the boys somehow made it to episode 25. Listen as they reflect on the last six months, discuss literary magazine covers, and debate the existential meaning of everything. Does writing a sestina mean Ben has become a poet? Can Brian figure out why James Patterson writes? Find out now!

Reading Discussed

*Jon has read all of Mr. McCarthy’s works at least twice. For a detailed analysis of where to start or what to read next, including a possible flow chart (not guaranteed), send an email to witts {at} Please include your thoughts on any of his works you’ve already read, a list of your five favorite novels, your thoughts on Moby-Dick, and any other relevant information.