Typewriter Talks Podcast

Typewriter Talks features interviews with writers, poets, and other bookish folks. It is hosted by Maureen McDole, Founder and Executive Director of Keep St. Pete Lit. Listen in to hear discussions on all kinds of writerly topics. Our goal is to show you that there is not one right way to be a writer. Listen HERE

Episode 31: Craig Pittman

On our Season One finale our guest is Craig Pittman. Craig is a native Floridian, a best-selling author, a podcaster and an award-winning reporter. Born in Pensacola, he graduated from Troy State University in Alabama, where his muckraking work for the student paper prompted an agitated dean to label him "the most destructive force on campus." In 40 years as a newspaper reporter, he covered a variety of beats and quite a few natural disasters, including hurricanes, wildfires and the Florida Legislature. After 31 years at the Tampa Bay Times, he now writes a weekly column on environmental issues for the Florida Phoenix and is co-host of the popular podcast "Welcome to Florida." He's the author of six non-fiction books about what he calls "The Most Interesting State," including the New York Times bestseller Oh, Florida: How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country. He's also the author of Cat Tale: The Wild Weird Battle to Save the Florida Panther, which Garden & Gun magazine named one of the 20 best books of 2020. His most recent one, published in 2021, is The State You're In: Florida Men, Florida Women, and Other Wildlife. The Florida Heritage Book Festival named him a Florida Literary Legend in 2020. In 2022 he was given the Rachel Carson Award by the Sierra Club. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and two children. His work can be found at craigpittman.com

Episode 30: Gale Massey 

This week our guest is Gale Massey. Gale is an award-winning author drawn to stories exploring coming-of-age questions, the search for redemption, social justice issues, and complex character relationships. Her work illuminates the complexities of blood family and chosen family bonds. She is a member of the LGBTQ community living in the south and a seventh-generation Floridian;  these life experiences inform her work and her public image. In addition to her debut novel The Girl from Blind River, winner of a 2018 Florida Book Award and a finalist for the Clara Johnson award, Gale has published a story collection Rising and Other Stories (Bronzeville, 2021) and contributed a story to Akashic Books' Tampa Bay Noir; her works have also appeared in Salon, Writer's Digest, Lambda Literary, CutBank, CrimeReads,and the Tampa Bay Times. Gale was a Tennessee Williams Scholar at the Sewanee Writers Conference, a fellow at Writers in Paradise, and has served as a panel judge for the Lambda Literary Award. Her work can be found at galemassey.com

Episode 29: L.L. Kirchner

This week our guest is L.L. Kirchner. L.L. is an author and award-winning screenwriter whose life and work as an expat in Asia became the basis of two memoirs, including Blissful Thinking: A Memoir of Overcoming the Wellness Revolution, and her previous title, American Lady Creature: (My) Change in the Middle East. A Qatar Memoir., named one of Bustle’s “11 Books to Battle the Blues.” A book critic, essayist and reporter, Kirchner was once simultaneously the religion editor for an LGBTQ+ paper, dating columnist for an alt newsweekly, and bridal editor for a society rag. Her writing has appeared in Shondaland, The Rumpus, and The Washington Post among numerous others. Based in Florida, she's now a guest host for the Home Shopping Network, runs the monthly storytelling show, True Stories, and a brand new grandma. Her work can be found at llkirchner.com

Episode 28: Bill DeYoung

This week our guest is Bill DeYoung. Bill was born in St. Petersburg and spent the first 21 years of his life here. After a long time living in other cities, working at newspapers and learning how to write on a deadline, he came back to his hometown in 2014 and now spends most of his time wondering where the city he loved so much disappeared to. He is Senior Writer and Editor of the St. Pete Catalyst and has written six books, the most recent of which is Vintage St. Pete & Pinellas Volume 3.

Episode 27: Yuki Jackson

This week our guest is Yuki Jackson. Yuki is a Black and Japanese poet and educator. Her poetry has been published in literary journals such as Four Way Review and Cream City Review, for which she was nominated for a 2021 Best of the Net Award and the 2020 Summer Poetry Prize. Yuki is a regular contributor for the "Poet's Notebook" column of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay and her work has been featured by NPR Next Gen, Spady Cultural Heritage Museum and the Goodwin-Procter law firm. She was also featured as a playwright for The Straz Center’s BIPOC Play-Reading Series, showcasing her cross-cultural writing through an interdisciplinary and collaborative performance. For more, her website is YukiJackson.com.

Episode 25: Lenore Myka

This week our guest is Lenore Myka. Lenore is the author of a prize-winning short story collection and the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in American Scholar, The Normal School, Virginia Quarterly Review, Poets & Writers, Quartz, New England Review, Five Points, and others. Her work can be found at lenoremyka.com

Episode 25: Susana Darwin

This week our guest is Susana Darwin. A Southerner by birth and a Chicagoan by temperament, Susana took a detour into politics, the law, and book publishing before returning to her early passion for film. Her award-winning narrative short “Hatboxes” (2013) appeared in 15 film festivals and conferences worldwide, and the musical short "Longer" (2020) appeared in 26 festivals, COVID be damned. Her 2023 short “Flag Act” is now on the film festival circuit. Susana now lives with her wife in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is currently working on several short and feature-length screenplays and a novel, in addition to other forms of visual art. Her other passions include aloha shirts, fat novels, political organizing, and outdoor music festivals. Learn more at burmesetigertrapproductions.com

Episode 24: Curtis Davis

This week our guest is Curtis Davis. Curtis was born and raised in Tampa, FL. He has been writing and performing poetry since a youth in high school and has since traveled all over the states competing in international, national, and regional poetry slam competitions. In 2018 he was ranked the 8th poet in the world after becoming a finalist in the Individual World Poetry Slam held in San Diego, CA. He is the Creative Director of the Non-Profit, Heard ‘Em Say Youth Arts Collective and Curtis is the Co-Founder of GrowHouse, an artist collective dedicated to growing community, growing culture, and growing creatives through poetry and hip-hop. He can be found at growhousetampa.com

Episode 23: Alia Luria

This week our guest is Alia Luria. Alia holds an MFA in Fiction from Fairleigh Dickinson University. She writes a mix of science fiction fantasy novels, personal essays, and haiku. Her first novel, Compendium, won the Indie Excellence Award in fantasy, was a silver medalist in the Reader’s Favorite Book Awards in fantasy, was a gold medalist in the eLit Awards for science fiction/fantasy, and was an Independent Author Network Book of the Year finalist in the science fiction, fantasy, and first novel categories. Her personal essay about being stalked by an ex-boyfriend, “You Might Eat Organic, but You’re Full of Baloney,” was a finalist for the Open Season Award in CNF and was published by Northwest Review.  She has also had short work published in Toho Journal and Wingless Dreamer. Her second novel, Ocularum, is forthcoming in 2024 with Something Or Other Publishing, and her first collection of personal essays and haiku, working title Geri o Shimasu, will be published in 2025 by Unsolicited Press. You can visit her blog at Still Not a Robot stillnotarobot.com or her author site at alialuria.com.

Episode 22: Jarret Keene

This week our guest is Jarret Keene. Jarret earned his PhD in creative writing at Florida State University. A beloved and highly sought after professor, Dr. Keene is an assistant professor in the Department of English at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he teaches American literature and the graphic novel. He has written a travel guide, a rock-band biography, poetry collections and edited short-fiction anthologies including Las Vegas Noir and Dead Neon: Tales of Near-Future Las Vegas. His newest book Hammer of the Dogs is a YA dystopian thriller set in the wasteland of post-apocalyptic Las Vegas. His work can be found at jarretkeene.net

Episode 21: Barbara Riddle

This week our guest is Barbara Riddle. Born and raised in New York, Barbara Riddle now lives and writes in two places: downtown St. Petersburg, Florida,  and in rural Maine in the town of Millinocket.  Barbara has worked as a dog-walker, artist’s model and biochemist but prefers writing fiction above all. In 2020-21 she served as Guest Fiction Editor of the journal Please See Me, devoted to improving communication between health care providers and patients through fiction, poetry and nonfiction narratives. Her writing has appeared in many small publications, including AMBIT (London), kayak (Santa Cruz), Fiction International (San Diego), and WestView News (New York). She writes a column for Atticus Review. A graphic memoir about her bohemian Greenwich Village girlhood, Lovers and Latchkeys, is in progress. Her coming-of-age novel The Girl Pretending to Read Rilke was named one of the Best Indie Debut Novels of 2019 by Kirkus Reviews. Her work can be found at barbarariddle.com

Episode 20: Brian Petkash

This week our guest is Brian Petkash. Brian grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, a focal point of much of his writing (and much of his sports heartache). A former high school literature and creative writing teacher, he lives in Tampa with his partner Celeste and works as a marketing professional in both the game and comic book industries. Brian holds an MFA in Creative Writing from University of Tampa. His work has appeared in El Portal, Bridge Eight Literary Magazine, Southword, and Midwestern Gothic. Mistakes by the Lake, his collection of stories published by Madville Publishing, is out now. His work can be found at https://brianpetkash.com/

Episode 19: Heather Lang-Cassera

This week our guest is Heather Lang-Cassera. Heather is a a full-time lecturer with Nevada State University, a Tolsun Books publisher, a Black Fox Literary Magazine poetry editor, and a Clark County, Nevada Poet Laureate Emeritus. She was a 2022 Nevada Arts Council Literary Arts Fellow. She is the author of Gathering Broken Light (Unsolicited Press, 2021), which was written with the support of a Nevada Arts Council grant and won the NYC Big Book Award in Poetry, Social/Political. Her collection of ecopoems, Firefall, is forthcoming with Unsolicited Press in 2025. Her poetry is widely published including in Lumina, North American Review, Raleigh Review, and South Dakota Review, and etched into sidewalks as permanent installations by both the City of Las Vegas and Clark County, Nevada. Her work can be found at www.heatherlang.cassera.net

Episode 18: Silk Jazmyne

This week our guest is Silk Jazmyne. Silk Jazmyne is a student of life who loves narrative in all its forms and the artistically strange. Speculative fiction writer, teaching artist for Kitchen Table Literary Arts, Grubstreet Writers, and The Porch. She received her M.F.A. in Creative Writing at the University of Tampa. Her work has appeared in Midnight & Indigo, African Writer Magazine, Ekphrastic Exhibition in Tandem: Back | Forth. Her writing can be found at https://silkjazmynewrites.squarespace.com/

Episode 17: Gianna Russo

This week our guest is Gianna Russo. Gianna is the inaugural Wordsmith of The City of Tampa, appointed by Mayor Jane Castor in 2019. She recently wrote “Glorious,” a poem for the Mayor’s second inauguration, and read it at the event in May, 2023.  Russo is the author of the poetry collections, All I See is Your Glinting: 90 Days in the Pandemic, with photographer Jenny Carey (Madville Publishing, 2022); One House Down (Madville Publishing, 2019); and Moonflower, winner of a Florida Book Award.  She has published poems in Green Mountains Review, Gulf Stream, Negative Capability, Crab Orchard Review, Apalachee Review, The Sun, Poet Lore, saw palm, The MacGuffin, Florida Review, Tampa Review, Ekphrasis, Florida Humanities Council Forum, Karamu, The Bloomsbury Review, and Calyx, among others. She is Associate Professor of English and Creative Writing at Saint Leo University and founding editor of YellowJacket Press, which published chapbooks by over 40 Florida poets from 2006-21. A third-generation Tampa native, a mother and grandmother, Gianna lives in an almost 100-year old bungalow with her husband Jeff Karon and their cat Gingko. Her work can be found at www.russo15.wordpress.com

Episode 16: Jonathan Kile

This week our guest is Jonathan Kile. Jonathan has lived in St. Pete, Florida since 2001. A rare genetic condition forced him to give up a career in sales in favor of a full-time position as father, husband, and writer. He blogs about his family travels and advocates for awareness of vascular  (A) Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome at dontmakemeturnthisvanaround.com. He’s on the board of Keep St. Pete Lit and contributes to several local publications.

Episode 15: Mark Haber

This week our guest is Mark Haber! Mark was born in Washington DC and grew up in Florida. He is the author of the 2008 story collection DEATHBED CONVERSIONS. His first novel, REINHARDT’S GARDEN, was published by Coffee House Press and nominated for the 2020 PEN/Hemingway Award for debut novel. His second novel, SAINT SEBASTIAN’S ABYSS (2022), was also published by Coffee House Press and called a “sparkling comic novel” by The New York Times, as well as being named a best book of fiction 2022 by the New York Public Library, LitHub and Southwest Review. Mark’s third novel, LESSER RUINS, will be published by Coffee House Press in fall of next year. Mark’s fiction has appeared in Guernica, the Southwest Review, LitHub, and AIR/LIGHT. Mark currently lives in Minneapolis. His work can be found at: www.mark-haber.com

Episode 14: Sara Ries Dziekonski

This week our guest is Sara Ries Dziekonski. Sara holds an MFA in poetry from Chatham University. Her first book, Come In, We’re Open, which she wrote about growing up in her parents’ diner, won the 2009 Stevens Poetry Manuscript Competition. Her chapbooks include Snow Angels on the Living Room Floor (Finishing Line Press 2018) and Marrying Maracuyá (Main Street Rag 2021), which won the Cathy Smith Bowers Chapbook Competition. Her poems have appeared in American Life in Poetry, Slipstream, LABOR: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, Cordella Magazine, 2River View, Earth’s Daughters, Thimble Literary Magazine, Waterwheel Review, Potomac Review, SWWIM Every Day, among others. She is the co-founder of Poetry Midwives Editing Services and teaches creative writing with Keep St. Pete Lit. Her work can be found at: www.sararies.com

Episode 13: Nicole Caron

This week our guest is Nicole Caron. Nicole’s nonfiction has appeared in numerous trade publications and regional and literary magazines; she works with novelists and memoirists as a developmental and copy editor; and her freelance copywriting has won two regional American Advertising Federation Silver Addy Awards. Nicole lives in St. Petersburg and teaches at Ringling College Of Art + Design, where she runs the First-Year Writing Program.  Nicole spent her Spring 2019 sabbatical conducting research on the history of St. Petersburg, Florida’s founding and early years (1888-1920) for the multi-generational family saga she has been working on for the past several years. Her work can be found at nicolecaron.com

Episode 12: Paul Wilborn

This week our guest is Paul Willborn. Paul’s debut novel, Florida Hustle, earned a coveted Kirkus Star and in December was named one of the “100 Best Indie Books of 2022” by Kirkus. His 2019 short story collection, Cigar City: Tales from a 1980s Creative Ghetto won the fiction gold medal from the Florida Book Awards. A pianist and singer, he has led several bands including Paul Wilborn and the Pop Tarts and Blue Roses. He produced the long-running American Songbook Series at American Stage. In the 1980s, Wilborn was a founding member of Ybor City’s Artists and Writers Group, which created multiple themed art and music events in Tampa’s historic district. Wilborn is executive director of the Palladium Theater at St. Petersburg College and lives in Saint Petersburg with his wife, the film actor Eugenie Bondurant. His work can be found at wilbornwrites.com

Episode 11: Chelsea Catherine

This week our guest is Chelsea Catherine. Chelsea has lived and worked all over the country. They won the Mary C Mohr award for nonfiction through the Southern Indiana Review and their second book, Summer of the Cicadas, won the Quill Prose Award from Red Hen Press. In 2022, they spent a month in Alaska at the Alderworks Artists Retreat. They are part of a cohort of ValleyCreates artist grantees in Western Massachusetts and their story, The Not-Deer, was recently published in an anthology out of London, UK. Their work can be found in Hobart, Passengers Journal, The Florida Review, and others. Their work can be found at chelseacatherinewriter.com

Episode 10: Kerry Kriseman

Kerry Kriseman is a St. Petersburg native and a graduate of University of South Florida with a B.A. Her latest book. Accidental First Lady: On the Front Lines (and Behind the Scenes) recounts 22 years of life as a political spouse to her lawyer-turned-politician husband. Kerry worked for the St. Petersburg Times (now Tampa Bay Times) for 10 years in the Newsroom and Marketing Departments. Since 2008, she has been the public relations manager for Creative Clay, a St. Petersburg non-profit that serves people with disabilities. Kerry is a volunteer puppy raiser with Southeastern Guide Dogs, a mentor with “Take Stock in Children” Program, and a volunteer with her black Labrador, Christie, in Tampa General Hospital’s pet therapy program. Her work can be found at kerrykriseman.com

Episode 9: Lorraine Monteagut, PhD

Lorraine Monteagut, PhD. is a writer, astrologer, tarot reader and green witch. Copies of her recently published book, Brujas: The Magic and Power of Witches of Color, is available at bookstores nationwide and has been recently released in paperback.

Episode 8: Brian Wedlake

After decades of working in the fashion world as a model and as a professional actor in Hollywood, Brian moved back to Florida in 2014 with his family where he picked up the pen again, which he hadn’t done since he won the North American Poetry Award at age 19.  In 2022 he was awarded First Place in Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Competition and named a finalist in the 2021 Hemingway Shorts Literary Journal Competition. He is nearing completion on his debut novel, Emery’s Rule, which is a coming of age story wrapped inside of a treasure hunt. It has since been long listed (top 1% of submissions) in the 2022 Master’s Review Novel Excerpt Contest. He and his wife live on a 21 acre farm in Florida, with their two children and surrounded by nature. He work can be found at brianwedlake.com

Episode 7: Tyler Gillespie

Tyler Gillespie is the author of the essay collection The Thing about Florida: Exploring a Misunderstood State (University Press of Florida, 2021) as well as two poetry collections Florida Man: Poems (Red Flag Poetry, 2018) and the nature machine! (Autofocus, 2023). He’s a fifth-generation Floridian, co-founder of the Florida Local Artist & Writer Network, and currently teaches writing at Ringling College of Art + Design. His work can be found at tylermtg.com

Episode 6: Erin L. McCoy

Erin L. McCoy holds an MFA in creative writing and an MA in Hispanic studies from the University of Washington. Her work has appeared in the Best New Poets anthology twice, selected by Natalie Diaz and Kaveh Akbar. Her poetry and fiction have been published or are forthcoming in the American Poetry Review, Narrative, Bennington Review, Conjunctions, Pleiades, and other publications. She was a finalist for the Missouri Review’s 2021 Miller Audio Prize. Erin is an assistant poetry editor at Narrative, a proofreader at Penguin Random House, and acquisitions editor for Seattle-based independent publisher Entre Ríos Books. She is from Louisville, Kentucky. Her work can be found at erinlmccoy.com

Episode 5: Sheree L. Greer

Sheree L. Greer is a writer living in Tampa, Florida. She founded Kitchen Table Literary Arts in 2014 and is the author of two novels, Let the Lover Be and A Return to Arms, and a short story collection, Once and Future Lovers. Her work has been published in LezTalk Anthology, VerySmartBrothas, Autostraddle, The Windy City Times, and the Windy City Queer Anthology: Dispatches from the Third Coast. Sheree is a VONA/VOICES alum, Astraea grantee, as well as a Yaddo and Ragdale Fellow. Her essay, “Bars” published in Fourth Genre Magazine, was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and notably named in Best American Essays 2019. Her work can be found at shereelgreer.com

Episode 4: Nathan Van Coops

Nathan Van Coops lives in St. Petersburg, Florida on a diet comprised mainly of tacos. When not tinkering on old airplanes, he writes heroic adventure stories that explore imaginative new worlds. He is the author of the time travel adventure series In Times Like These, and Paradox PI, as well as The Skylighter Adventures. His recent series, Kingdom of Engines explores a swashbuckling alternate history where the modern and medieval collide. His work can be found at nathanvancoops.com

Episode 3: Peter Kageyama

Peter Kageyama is an urbanist and author of four nonfiction books on cities and placemaking. His first book, For the Love of Cities, was recognized as a Top 10 Book in Urban Planning and Development. He speaks all over the world about better placemaking that emphasizes small, inexpensive, and fun approaches to city building. He was a Senior Advisor to the Alliance for Innovation, a national network of city leaders, and is a special advisor to America in Bloom. In 2023, St. Petersburg Press published his first novel, Hunters Point. The work of historic fiction draws upon the wartime experiences of his father and his Japanese family. The sequel will be released in late 2023. In his spare time Peter is an avid board gamer, comic book geek and classic rock nerd. He lives in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida with his wife, award winning architect Lisa Wannemacher and their dog Dobby. His work can be found at peterkageyama.com

Episode 2: Letisia Cruz

Letisia Cruz is a Cuban-American writer and artist. She is the author of Migrations & Other Exiles (Lost Horse Press, 2023), which won the 2022 Idaho Prize for Poetry, and The Lost Girls Book of Divination (Tolsun Books, 2018). She is the recipient of a 2022 artist grant from the St. Petersburg Arts Alliance and was selected as a 2022 Dali Dozen Emerging Artist for her project Rituales: An Exploration of Faith in the Caribbean. Her work can be found at lesinfin.com

Episode 1: Gloria Muñoz

Gloria Muñoz is a Colombian-American writer, literary translator, and advocate for multilingual literacy and writing. Her poetry book DANZIRLY was awarded the Academy of American Poets 2019 Ambroggio Prize and the Gold Medal Florida Book Award. Other honors include a Hedgebrook Residency, a Tin House Workshop, Highlights Foundation’s 2022 Diverse Verse Fellowship, the Macondo Workshop, Lumina’s Multilingual Nonfiction Writing Award, a Las Musas Mentorship, a New York State Summer Writers Institute Fellowship, a St.Pete Arts Alliance Muse Award, and a Creative Pinellas Grant. She is also the author of the chapbook YOUR BIOME HAS FOUND YOU. She is honored and proud to be St. Pete’s new poet laureate. Her work can be found at gloriamunoz.com