episode 8: Mark Polanzak talks Pop and metafiction

This episode features Mark Polanzak, author, writing instructor, Draft journal co-founder, and grad school classmate of Isaac’s. We talk about his book Pop! and its blend of fiction, non-fiction, and metafiction, and about receiving threads of story by chance. It’s a great conversation. Mark is a great guy, a great writer, a great teacher. We know this because he listens to our podcast.

This episode also features some swooping vocals. This is not because we were running past the mic while talking. It’s because Isaac and Michelle were sharing a mic and had to swoop in close to be heard and sometimes Michelle failed to do this as well as we’d all prefer, and sometimes you are thinking about the conversation and not huddling up to the mic, and you only remember mid-sentence. Plus, you are trying not to spit on each other.

Books we reference

Pop – Mark Polanzak
Oblivion: Stories – David Foster Wallace
Martin Dressler – Steven Millhauser
Enchanted Night – Steven Millhauser
Edwin Mullhouse – Steven Millhauser
A Brilliant Novel in the Works – Yuvi Zalkow
Not on Fire, But Burning – Greg Hrbek
Destroy All Monsters – Greg Hrbek
The Corrections – Jonathan Franzen
Freedom – Jonathan Franzen
Etiquette – Emily Post
Pricksongs and Descants – Robert Coover
Black Wave – Michelle Tea
We the Animals – Justin Torres
The Things They Carried – Tim O’Brien
Golden Delicious – Christopher Boucher

Stories we reference

“How to date a brown girl (black girl, white girl, or halfie)” – Junot Diaz
“Velvet” – Stacy Richter

Writers we mention

Philip Roth
Denis Johnson
Martin Amis
Kurt Vonnegut

What we’re reading now

The Isle of Youth – Laura van den Berg
Find Me – Laura van den Berg
The Lost City of Z – David Grann

Black Wave – Michelle Tea

Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles – Ron Currie Jr.


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