Book Fight!

Tough love for literature

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Episode 202: Live from the Temple Library!

This week we’ve got something a bit different for you: a live episode we recorded recently at Temple University’s Paley Library. We were joined by local writers Jason Rekulak and p.e. garcia for a discussion of literary community, balancing the work of writing with the need to make a living, and pieces of advice we would’ve given to our college-aged selves. The format for this episode is a bit different than usual, since we were trying to make the program as useful as possible for an audience of college creative-writing students. But we think there’s plenty here that writers and editors of any age (and experience level) can enjoy, and learn from.

Jason is the author of the recently published novel The Impossible Fortress (Simon and Schuster). You can visit his website to play the game we talked about (briefly) during our discussion. Jason is also the head editor for Philadelphia’s Quirk Books.

p.e. garcia is a poet originally from Arkansas and now living in Philadelphia. You can learn more about them, and read some of their work, on their website. Philip is also an editor-at-large for The Rumpus.

As always, you can stream this week’s episode right here on our site, or download the mp3 file. You can also find us in the iTunes store, or in just about any app you might use to listen to podcasts.

If you like the show, you can subscribe to our Patreon, which helps offset our costs and allows us to keep doing the podcast each week. In exchange for $5, you’ll also get access to a monthly bonus episode, Book Fight After Dark, in which we discuss the wide world of romance novels.

Stream Episode 201:

Download Episode 202 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening!


Live from the Spiral Bookcase in Manayunk!

This week: Our first-ever live podcast event! We recorded an entire show live, in front of actual humans, at The Spiral Bookcase, a great indie bookstore in Manayunk, just outside Center City Philadelphia and only a couple blocks from Tom’s ancestral home. We talked to Ann Tetreault (owner of said bookstore), Joey Sweeney (musician, writer, proprietor of, Katherine Hill (fan favorite, author of The Violet Hour) and Lee Klein (author of Thanks and Sorry and Good Luck, and The Shimmering Go-Between).


Topics on the menu included: what it’s like to run an indie bookstore in 2014, Philadelphia’s culture of complaint, the sometimes annoying ways in which people use Kickstarter, Philadelphia’s upcoming 215 Literary Festival, the Washington Football Team, the ups and downs of being a first-time author, unicorn ties, and what to do when Marilynne Robinson doesn’t like your book about auto-fellation.


Also, Joey played us some music! And there was an awesome cat!

Sadly, you can’t hear the cat. You can, however, hear the rest of us. As usual, you can stream the episode right here on our site, or download the mp3 file and do with it what you will. You can also check us out in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free!) and never miss another installment. If you like the show, come on back next week for a new episode, and tell your friends. Thanks for listening!


Download Live From The Spiral Bookcase (right-click, save-as)