Book Fight!

Tough love for literature


AWP 2014: Reports From the Writer-Industrial Complex

While Mike skipped out on this year’s AWP conference, Tom has made the voyage to Seattle, and will be filing periodic updates from inside the belly of the beast. He’ll have recaps of the day’s best and worst events, plus brief interviews with writers and editors. As new episodes drop we’ll update this post. Or you can make it easy on yourself and subscribe to the podcast feed–in iTunes, on Stitcher, or through Instacast or whatever other podcast app you prefer. Then you’ll get each new episode as soon as it’s available.

Special Report #1: Joe Killiany

Tom talks to Barrelhouse editor Joe Killiany about what’s to love and what’s to hate about AWP, writers (and ex-presidents) Joe wants to fight, and beard maintenance.


Download AWP Special Report #1 (right-click, save-as)

Special Report #2: Tom Williams

Tom (McAllister) talks to another Tom (Williams) about his novel, Don’t Start Me Talkin’, what he looks forward to each year about AWP, and conference-goers’ book-buying habits. Barrelhouse editor Dave Housley also jumps onto the mic to ask Tom about slam poetry, and his arm-wrestling prowess.


Download Special Report #2 (right-click, save-as)

Special Report #3: Aaron Burch

Tom talks with Hobart editor Aaron Burch, for some reason.


Download Special Report #3 (right-click, save-as)

Special Report #4: Erin Fitzgerald

Tom sits down with writer and friend-of-Barrelhouse Erin Fitzgerald to talk flash fiction, unlikeable characters, and the complicated worlds of fan fiction.


Download Special Report #4 (right-click, save-as)

Non-AWP Special Report #1: Lee Klein

Mike updates from Philadelphia on what it’s like to NOT be at AWP. Also, he’s joined by Lee Klein, author of Thanks and Sorry and Good Luck, to talk Austrian novelists and The Silver Linings Playbook.


Download Non-AWP Special Report #1

AWP Special Report #5: Katherine Hill

Tom talks with fan favorite Katherine Hill (author of The Violet Hour) about getting old, AWP parties, creepy dudes, dogs, kissing, and confrontational panels.


Download AWP Special Report #5


Episode 47: John Updike, Rabbit, Run

A jam-packed episode this week. We talk about the first of John Updike’s Rabbit series, in particular its portrayal of sex and the Male Pre-Middle-Life Crisis. Harry Angstrom is a 26-year-old former high-school basketball star who feels trapped in his marriage and his life, so he decides to take off, at least temporarily. We try to figure out whether we’re meant to sympathize with Harry or be critical of his life choices.


Also this week, Mike’s got an update on his NaNoWriMo-ing. And our first ever Rating Reconsidered, in which one of us has decided to change his rating of a book from a previous episode. Plus we try some brandy (and also try to figure out what brandy is).

We’re still running our fundraising drive, and we’d love to have your support. If we raise $2,000 we’ll record a bonus episode about a book chosen by our listeners (i.e., you). We’ve also got some great donor gifts, like our friends and family anthology, with stories by past guests Owen King, Katherine Hill, Paul Lisicky, and more. Please visit our support page, where you can donate quickly and easily using PayPal.

As always, you can stream the episode here on our site, or download the mp3 file. Or, visit us in the iTunes store, where you can subscribe (for free) and never miss another episode.


Download Episode 47 (right-click, save-as)

Thanks for listening! If you’ve got feedback, you can email us at bookfight(at)gmail(dot)com, you can follow us on Twitter, or contact us through our website. And come back next week for even more good times.