Crosstalk is a two part miniseries, in which past City Arts & Lectures guests talk across, among, and around one another. Produced, written, and hosted by Juliet Gelfman-Randazzo and City Arts and Lectures, in association with KQED Public Radio, San Francisco.

Crosstalk Part One: Writers on Identity

Listen here, or on the Podcast app.

In this first half of Crosstalk, guests talk writing identity—whether that identity is a mantle they’ve chosen, one in which they’ve been pigeonholed, or somewhere in between. Then, guests discuss writing, experienced in all of its physical forms: the good, the bad, the transcendent…and the grueling.

Eileen Myles, Andrew Sean Greer, Ocean Vuong, Tommy Orange, Zadie Smith, Ottessa Moshfegh, Rachel Cusk, Meg Wolitzer, Rebecca Solnit, Ben Lerner, Astra Taylor, Melissa Broder, Marlon James, and Ta-Nehisi Coates rejoice, agonize, cheer…and suffer.

Crosstalk Part Two: Genre is Cancelled

Listen here, or on the Podcast app.

In the second half of Crosstalk, guests discuss genre. What is a novel? What is autofiction? What is poetry, a fable, creative nonfiction, a short story? Does perfect writing exist?

Then, some writers speak to cancel culture – the contentious concept of striking from the cultural ledger figures who have villainous personal histories, whose actions are deemed too abhorrent to allow us to continue consuming their work. Finally, these artists celebrate the other artists they are engaging with, and sharing community among.

Eileen Myles, Ocean Vuong, Meg Wolitzer, Tommy Orange, Rebecca Solnit, Sally Rooney, Marlon James, Rachel Cusk, Ben Lerner, Michael Chabon, and Ta-Nehisi Coates defend, dismiss, and celebrate.