The Outrider Podcast

Episode 22 Andrea Portes

In this episode I talk with novelist Andrea Portes about growing up in Nebraska and Rio among other places, her time as a script reader for Paramount Pictures, the lessons learned from working with good editors, and how, when we first met, I showed her the trick where I put both of my feet in my mouth. 

Andrea is the author of Hick (Unbridled Books), Bury This (Soft Skull Press), and the just released YA novel Anatomy of a Misfit (Harper Teen). Hick was made into a movie starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Blake Lively, Eddie Redmayne, Juliette Lewis, and some dude named Alec Baldwin. You can read more about Andrea’s first two books at her website or more about her most recent book at

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Shoptalk 2 with Laura Hawley

This is the second installment of the Shoptalk series with Laura Hawley. We talk about her struggle with Lydia Davis, the travails of finding and keeping an agent, losing our way, and the further disintegration of my current project into disarray . . . But we still had a good time. 

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Episode 21: Stephen McClurg

In this episode I talk with long-distance friend and co-conspirator Stephen McClurg about changing diapers, living, writing and teaching in Alabama, Stephen King, and how he’s silently poised to take over the world . . . as long as the kids cooperate. 

Stephen is a poet, artist, musician and teacher. His writing and artwork have appeared in numerous publications, including the Washington Post, and something called The Project for a New Mythology. He’s composed music for short films and art installations. You can keep up with him at his blog You can read some of his work at .  You can also see some artwork for a comic book he’s written with Derek M. Ballard called Ghoulanoids, which will be released this fall here

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Shoptalk w/ Laura Hawley

I’m not a very good scheduler of things. Also, it’s the tail-end of summer and a lot of people are doing things like taking vacations, moving, and so on. Add to that, I’m trying to find interesting things to do with this podcast that aren’t only the simple interview/conversation. So, I’m going to try something different to fill one of my two monthly slots. I’m calling this Shoptalk, and it has a couple of purposes that I hope might prove interesting. First, I miss talking to my old grad school friend, Laura Hawley, about the projects we’re working on. We had a great rapport, and we seemed to understand what the other was trying to do creatively and also had the ability to push each other in interesting directions. I’m stuck on the ending of a novel, and I really needed her help and thought I’d record our conversation about my problematic story. Second, Laura hasn’t been writing much these last few years, and I’ve been trying to think of ways to get her to start writing again. For those who haven’t listened to the episode where I read one of Laura’s stories and talked to her, go back and check that out. But, if you’re more industrious, track down a copy of the 2003 Best New American Voice anthology edited by Joyce Carol Oates. Your local library might have one. Give Laura’s story “The Good Life” a read. I believe you will be impressed. 

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Episode 20: Pauls Toutonghi

In this episode I talk with the wonderful Pauls Toutonghi about sleeping babies, family vacations, growing up in Seattle, Michael Ondaatje, getting sober, and what kids do at Latvian summer camp. 

Pauls is the author of two novels, Red Weather and Evel Knievel Days. Pauls’ fiction and essays have appeared in many periodicals, even earning him a Pushcart Prize. He teaches at Lewis and Clark College in Portland Oregon.

You can learn more about Pauls at his website and you can read the L.A. Review of Books piece that we talk about at the beginning of the show here.

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Episode 19 Rachel Weaver

In this episode I talk to Rachel Weaver about growing up in Tennessee, shocking fish and her love of science which lead her to the University of Colorado and a degree in Biology, then eventually to Alaska where she tracked bears and finally what brought her back to Colorado and the MFA program at Naropa University.

Rachel Weaver is the author of Point of Direction from Ig Publishing ( Her work has appeared in three Best New American Voices anthologies as well as many magazines. Her novel was selected for Oprah Magazine’s list of Ten Titles to Pick Up Now, the American Booksellers Association Top Ten Debuts of spring 2014, and an Indie Next Pick, and Yoga Magazine’s Top Five Summer Reading List. 

You can learn more about Rachel and her book at

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Episode 18: Shaindel Beers

In this episode I talk with poet Shaindel Beers about Indiana, dancing, discovering a talent for writing, how she ended up in Oregon after a very strange time in Florida (with a detour through the possibility of a Disney themed subset of Furries), and reconnecting with an old high school sweetheart. 

Shaindel Beers is the author of two full-length poetry collections, A Brief History of Time, and her most recent one The Children’s War and Other Poems, both from Salt Publishing. She has had poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction published all over the place and is the poetry editor for Contrary Magazine ( You can read more about Shaindel at her website

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Episode 17: Laird Hunt

I’ve been excited and thrilled with all of my guests, even Colin Dickey despite the fact that he is on Harper Perennial’s Enemies List (it is a mystery you’ll have to figure out on your own); however, I am over the moon thrilled with my first June guest, Laird Hunt. 

In this episode, I talk with Laird about growing up splitting time between Shanghai and Indiana, almost playing football for the University of Indiana, grad school at Naropa, his time working for the United Nations, and whole bunch of other things we had to cram into about forty-five minutes. If we’d had more time, I’d have talked to him for another hour and fifteen minutes. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. 

Laird Hunt is the author of a short story collection, The Paris Stories, and the novels The Impossibly, Indiana, Indiana, The Exquisite, Ray of the Star and the Pen/Faulkner Award finalist, and Anisfield-Wolf Book Award winning novel Kind One, all from Coffee House Press. His new novel, Neverhome, will be out in September from Little, Brown. 

You can read more about Laird Hunt at his website and find links to buy his books. 

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Episode 16: Dale Bridges

In this episode, I talk to debut author Dale Bridges about growing up in a fundamentalist, evangelical home, the things that finally led him to break away from his family’s religion and become a writer, and why he decided to live in Austin, Texas. 

You can learn more about Dale and his new collection, Justice, Inc, at his website, and you can learn more about his publisher, Monkey Puzzle Press at their website,

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Episode 15 Ed Skoog

In this episode, I talk to poet Ed Skoog about the reason and necessity of poetry, the many mutations of Shakespeare, the desire to be a zookeeper, the usual grad school stuff, and how we experienced K-State in vastly different ways with Ed ending his time there as student body president.

Ed Skoog has taught at several universities and high school arts conservatories. He has received fellowships from Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference, Sewanee Writers conference, Richard Hugo House, and the Lannan Foundation. Ed has two collections of poetry, Mister Skylight and Rough Day, both from Copper Canyon Press. You can learn more about Ed at his website and check out his podcast co-hosted with the writer J. Robert Lennon “Lunchbox with Ed and John” here

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