The Letters Festival After Party | Episode 38

This is it, the end of season 3 (we’ll be back early next year), but what better way to end this great season than with the live recording of our live show at The Letters Festival after party. Sabrina Orah Mark, Meredith Blankenship, and Jared Yates Sexton all took to the stage, read their work, and then joined John and Matt on the yellow painted couch for a conversation.


Sabrina Orah Mark's first collection of stories, Wild Milk, was recently published by Dorothy. She is also the author of the poetry collections The Babies and Tsim Tsum. Mark’s awards include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a Sustainable Arts Foundation Award, and a fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She has taught at Agnes Scott College, University of Georgia, Rutgers University, University of Iowa, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Goldwater Hospital and throughout the New York City and Iowa Public School Systems. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband, Reginald McKnight, and their two sons.

Meredith Blankinship lives in Atlanta, GA. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and author of the chapbook Sexual Civilian (Epigraph Magazine). Her poems have appeared in NOÖ, Beecher's, Heavy Feather Review, GlitterMob, Sink Review, and Finery, among others. She collaborates with the artist Dana Haugaard on Heat Rituals, a multi-medium project.

Jared Yates Sexton is a writer, academic, and political correspondent whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, and Salon. He is the author of The People Are Going To Rise Like The Waters Upon Your Shore, An End To All Things, The Hook and The Haymaker, and I am The Oil of The Engine of The World. Currently he serves as an Associate Professor of Creative Writing in the Department of Writing & Linguistics at Georgia Southern University.

Special thanks to Fallen Arrows for their tee shirt sponsorship!

We hope you enjoyed the season!

Adán Bean | Episode 37

Adán Bean always brings the fire. Whether through his spoken word poetry or as an emcee. Don’t miss the opportunity to see him perform. We had a really great time when he stopped by the show and he performed a great new piece that has lots and lots of layers to it.

Adán reads at 1:17

Conversation topics included:

  • The analyzing/monetizing of our online lives

  • The effects of the social feeds

  • Capturing your own narrative

  • We reminisce over the old days of no cell phones, album liner notes, and blunt talk sports magazines

  • Try to convince John to get an Android phone

  • How Adán came to poetry

  • The importance of being genuine in your work


Adán Bean - Adán Bean is an accomplished spoken word poet, emcee, and voice-over talent hailing from the small town of Massillon, OH, but has called Atlanta home for over 10 years. As a graduate of Morehouse College, he has represented Atlanta on the 2015 and 2017 Java Monkey Slam teams for the National Poetry Slam Competition. In August 2017, he was the winner of the National Poetry Slam song contest. As one half of the retro-progressive hip hop group, The Remnant, Adán has released three projects with the band as well as toured the country extensively bringing the music to the masses. His work has been featured with Def Jam, Cash Money Records, The Bert Show, Delta, and more. He is currently finishing up on his first solo project (Untitled) on Skylane Creative Records. In addition to writing, recording and performing music, he co-owns the website Forth District which focuses on art, music, film, sports, politics, faith and conscious culture. He hosts The SetList podcast which interviews artists and musicians through the prism of their musical influences. The 2nd season kicks off October 2018 and is available everywhere. Finally, as a part-time SEM copywriter, Adán Bean can be found on stages across the country sharing his prose and poetry.

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Amanda Avutu and Osa Gaius | Episode 36

We got so much great feed back last season for our Non-Fiction episode we decided to make it a tradition.

Our non-fiction themed episode last season was really fun so we decided to make it a tradition. This season Amanda Avutu and Osa Gaius came by to share their own writing and stories.

Amanda Avutu reads at 28:37

Osa Gaius reads at 56.02

Conversation topics included:


Amanda Avutu is a nonfiction writer whose essays have appeared in the New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Washington Post, Atlanta Magazine, Bitter Southerner, Tin House, and Brevity. Her fiction has appeared in Green Mountains Review, Fifth Wednesday, Story, and her dresser drawer. Amanda lives in Atlanta, where she’s currently working on a memoir.

Osa Gaius is an engineer at Mailchimp. He spent his childhood in Benin City, Nigeria, before eventually moving to Miami, Florida at 10 years old. He studied creative writing and computer science at the University of West Georgia. In his spare time he is learning to Salsa.

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Halloween Reading #2 | Episode 35

Happy Halloween!

We really love scary stories here at Lit & Bruised and to celebrate our favorite holiday we welcomed some of Atlanta’s best writers to share in the fun and read some truly eerie tales. Just like our inaugural Halloween reading all music in this episode was provided by Crispin Wah. All stems used to create the loops are from the sessions that made up Crispin Wah’s newest album Lemon Pepper. Make sure to check it out. They are psychedelic magicians.

Reading Times:

Stephanie Roman: 17:21

Winston Blake Wheeler Ward: 40:41

Christeene Alcosiba: 1:01

Myke Johns: 1:30

Conversation topics included:

  • Getting curses lifted

  • Candy metaphors

  • First song, side one of a Halloween mix tape

  • The forthcoming Infinite Worlds Zine 


Stephanie Roman is a flash fiction writer from New Orleans. Her ongoing creative writing project, Flash Noir, explores the darker side of flash fiction, and her short stories have been featured in Loose Change Magazine, The Five Hundred, Transgression: Mass Hysteria, The Molotov Cocktail (Portland), and Flash Flood (UK). Whether she’s writing mysteries, crime fiction, psychological thrillers, sci-fi, or a combination of these, Stephanie enjoys putting her own signature twist on conventional genre fiction.

A fiction and essay writer living in Atlanta, Georgia, Winston Blake Wheeler Ward is the author of over 100 short stories. He is the founder and curator of The Five Hundred, an online, monthly writing challenge started in February of 2011. He is the host of the monthly reading and discussion series Case Studies. His book of short stories There Appeared a Sadness was published by DeerBearWolf Press in 2014. He is also the founder and editor of Infinite Worlds a science fiction zine, the first issue of which will be available in spring of 2019.

Christeene Alcosiba is a poet, technologist, and writer for ArtsATL. Her poems and articles have been published or forthcoming in Rattle, New York Quarterly, Forklift, OH, and English Journal, among others. Her first chapbook, Little Earthquakes, was the winner of the 2010 New York Book Festival Poetry Prize.

Myke Johns is a public radio producer in Atlanta, where he covers arts and culture. He is co-founder of the WRITE CLUB Atlanta live lit series and the sole proprietor of the band Meaning of Everything. His Venmo handle is @Myke-Johns.

We hope you enjoy the episode, but also don’t forget to check out the After Party Lit & Bruised is hosting at The Letters Fest on November 9th @10pm at The Highland Ballroom with Sabrina Orah Mark, Meredith Blankinship, and Jared Yates Sexton.

New South Journal | Episode 34

New South Journal is produced entirely by graduate students in the New South Writing Workshop at Georgia State University. Previously known as The GSU Review, they’ve been publishing new fiction, poetry, nonfiction, and art since 1975.

Anna Sandy Elrod (editor-in-chief) and Caroline Crew (Poetry Editor) of New South Journal came by the show this week for a great conversation about the journal. Joining them was Nicholas Goodly who read straight fire poetry. You can buy his chapbook Black Swim here and you totally should. Just listen and you’ll know why.

Conversation topics included:

  • Submitting to journals

  • The baking magic of Molly Brodak

  • Pro tips like if you submit to a journal have a slice of cake

  • What to do when family and coworkers read your work


Anna Sandy Elrod is an MFA candidate at Georgia State University, where she also teaches English Composition and Introduction to Poetry. She is the current editor-in-chief of New South and the managing editor of Muse/A. Her work can be found in the Santa Ana River Review, Indianapolis Review, Nightjar Review, Bone Bouquet, Bad Pony, Bluestem, and others. She lives in Atlanta with her husband and three cats.

Caroline Crew is a writer and editor. She edited the online poetry journal, ILK. She has written several chapbooks, and her full length poetry collection, Pink Museum is out from Big Lucks. Currently she serves as the Poetry Editor of New South Journal. Her poetry and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Conjunctions, Hunger Mountain and Black Warrior Review, among others.

Nicholas Goodly is a recipient of the 2017 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. A Cave Canem Fellow, Nicholas received a Teaching Fellowship from Columbia University and was a finalist in the 2017 Tennessee Williams Poetry Contest and a finalist in the 2016 Academy of American Poets Prize. Nicholas is the writing editor of WUSSY Magazine and currently lives in Atlanta, GA.

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Collin Kelley | Episode 33

Collin Kelley is a prolific writer and is a tried and true vet of the Atlanta Literary community. We couldn’t be more excited to finally have him on the show when preparing for the release of a new poetry collection.

Collin also reads in an almost request heavy moment as John and Matt fan boy out for a bit asking for the newest hits.

Conversation topics included:

  • His upcoming book, Midnight in a Perfect Word, which you can pre-order here.

  • Finding ways to get to travel to England as much as possible

  • How a chapbook became a book

  • Los Angeles literature community

  • His upcoming reading for Voices Carry at The Georgia Center for the Book


Collin Kelley is the author of the forthcoming poetry collection Midnight in a Perfect World, which will be published by Sibling Rivalry Press in November 2018. He is also the author of The Venus Trilogy of novels – Conquering Venus, Remain In Light and Leaving Paris – also published by Sibling Rivalry Press. Remain In Light was the runner-up for the 2013 Georgia Author of the Year Award in Fiction and a 2012 finalist for the Townsend Prize for Fiction. Kelley is also a recipient of the Georgia Author of the Year Award, Deep South Festival of Writers Award and Goodreads Poetry Award, Kelley’s poetry, reviews, essays and interviews have appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies around the world.

You can find out more info at his Blogspot.

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Muse/A Journal | Episode 32

Muse/A Journal (myoo-zay) is a literary journal that developed from the creative efforts of Gregg Murray to share poetic writing of all themes with a wide network of enthusiasts. They have six issues out so far that can be read or bought at their website.

The art and the words of each issue of Muse/A come together at their live events (they’re house parties) adding performance artists to create an immersive environment.

John and Matt were joined in this episode by Muse/A founder and Editor-in-Chief Gregg Murray and Lyric Essays Editor Anya Vostrova.

Gregory Emilio and Jess Bernhart, who both have work published in Muse/A Journal, read and joined in on the conversation.

Conversation topics included:

  • Making a journal that is like a museum but you can touch the paintings

  • Trying to define a lyrical essay

  • How Muse/A sets up their house parties for each print release

  • Walk out music for poets


Gregory Emilio is a Southern California native whose poetry and essays have appeared in Midwestern Gothic, MUSE/A, Permafrost, Pleiades, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Poet’s Billow, and World Literature Today. Currently, he’s the Nonfiction Editor at New South, and a PhD candidate in English at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He also works as a bartender.

Jess Bernhart serves as editor of Withal and co-curator of fLoromancy, an online arts mag. She's contributed fic / non-fic / and poetry to Creative Loafing, ArtsATL, Burnaway, Eyedrum Periodically, Muse/A, and others, and has created poetry installations for ArtFields 2017, Sibyl, Performance KUNST, ART Decatur Book Festival, and The Imaginary Million. She serves on the board of Idea Capital, teaches at the High Museum, and lives in southwest Atlanta with her dog, Hattie.

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Nicki Harris Salcedo | Episode 31

After a summer break we’re back, and we couldn’t be happier to be starting off with a conversation and reading with Nicki Harris Salcedo.

Nicki is a gem in the Atlanta literary community, where many go for the gloom within life she takes the other route focusing more on the shine. She shares a bit about her approach and mindset in this episode but also we get into a discussion about how once a piece is written or preformed it has very little to do with the author anymore.

“Writing is not about me. I wrote the words but it’s about you. It’s about the reader and I accept that,” she says.

We also dive into Nicki’s essay “Dear Suzanne Brockmann” where she detailed her experiences of micro aggressions she faced over some of her work for having black characters. The need for diversity to be represented (and marketed) goes well beyond just the RWA (Romance Writers of America). 


Nicki Salcedo is the author of Intersections, Echoes of the Same, All Beautiful Things and In My Father's Shoes . She has a degree in English and Creative Writing from Stanford University.  Her newest book, In My father’s Shoes is out now. She has major stage fright and yet she has appeared in live literary events such as Listen To Your Mother, Write Club Atlanta, Bleux Stocking Society, Debate! and Scene and Song Missing. She loves connecting with writers and readers.

You can find more about Nicki Harris Salcedo here and buy In My Father's Shoes here.

Conversation topics included: 

  • Taking all your writing for a year and releasing it. Internet/chapbook, whatever. Get it out there.

  • The most misinterpreted thing you’ve ever written

  • Difference between live literature and the written page

  • Snooty misconceptions about the South

  • Getting old is great… forget what ya heard.

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Season 2 Epilogue | Episode 30

It's hard to believe that not even a year ago we were just starting to have the idea for this podcast, and now the second season is done. Thank you for listening to us talk and talk, but also have some great conversations with some amazing writers. We’ll be back in the fall with another live reading and some really great episodes that we are already planning. 

We close out this season recapping the last 15 episodes and play highlights from our first live event Resolve, including readings from Mike Jordan and Theresa Davis.

Mike Jordan Performing at the Highland Ballroom on February 1st, 2018 at the Lit & Bruised Resolve Reading.

Mike Jordan Performing at the Highland Ballroom on February 1st, 2018 at the Lit & Bruised Resolve Reading.

We are also super excited to announce that -- alongside Winston Blake Wheeler Ward (founder of The Five Hundred) -- we will be publishing a collection of essays, poems, and prose later this fall. Atlanta: All Kinds of Truth, will feature twenty writers exploring their Atlanta while being paired with a visual artist to illustrate their words.

Theresa Davis performing at The Highland Ballroom on February 1st, 2018 at the Lit & Bruised Resolve Reading.

Conversation topics included:

* This write up from the AJC on literary podcast like Literary Atlanta and this little podcast.
* Sports poetry and the Recreation League II chapbook
* Behind the Mask by Takeo Spikes (and Mike Jordan)

We hope you enjoy the episode!

Kate Whitman | Episode 29

Atlanta’s literary community never has a shortage of events happening, but sometimes it can be hard to keep up with all of them. We try to bridge that gap where we can with our Events page (it’s up to the top…just click and see), but we also want to highlight those that put on these events to make sure you don't miss out on any of them.

Helmed by Kate Whitman, the Atlanta History Center’s Author Series brings in writers for readings with Q&A’s regularly, like a few a week. That’s a lot of authors and it takes a lot of work and care to make happen. So we thought it would be great to sit and get to know Kate and find out what's going on over at The Atlanta History Center.

We have a great conversation about how she books these events, but also we address the topic of Unsolved Mysteries being the original true crime obsession, how the book business isn’t going anywhere, and in typical fashion end up in the weeds of existential meaning of existence.


Kate Whitman is VP of Public Programs for the Atlanta History Center and its Midtown campus, the Margaret Mitchell House and oversees all programming for both sites. Her current duties include overseeing a program staff of 18 employees, strategic planning and grant writing for the programs division, developing immersive and engaging experiences for visitors of all ages, and supporting staff development through integrating dialogic engagement strategies. Whitman also curates the popular Author Program series, which welcomes over 50 bestselling authors to Atlanta each year.

Conversation topics included:

  • Gone with the Wind being the most popular book besides the Bible
  • High Fidelity the movie and “the guy”
  • Giving up being the High Fidelity guy
  • Did Mr. Belvedere have a very special episode about AIDS? (Yes, it was real)
  • Is Tom Hanks the Golden State Killer?
  • I'll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara

We hope you enjoy the episode and make sure to keep up with the Atlanta History Center through all of the ways.

Christina Lee | Episode 28

Atlanta’s Hip Hop culture is like a shining star in the sky. The country and the world looks to this city to see what’s going to be the next evolution — the possible next game changer. Christina Lee is a music journalist focused on telling the stories of the culture from within Atlanta. Here’s a great video of her interviewing Organized Noize’s Sleepy Brown from his lecture at the Red Bull Music Academy that shouldn’t ever be missed.

John and Matt first met Christina working together at the defunct culture website Purge ATL so it was a great chance to catch up, as well as for Christina to tell us how she got to where she is. When on one of her first big jobs, following Waka Flocka Flame during a video shoot for, everything for her fell into place.

“It became abundantly clear what I needed to do, and even though I didn’t completely know what I was doing I saw that it was interesting, I saw that it was exciting, and I saw that there was a demand for it.”


Christina Lee is a music and culture journalist who has written for The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Buzzfeed, Pitchfork and Complex. She once watched Gucci Mane read a press release.

Conversation topics included:

  • What would be Captain’s Hook walkout song?
  • Purge ATL
  • Dashboard Confessional 
  • Reading old Spin magazines on Google Books
  • Christina getting engaged while International Players Anthem by UGK and OutKast played
  • Roseanne
  • Who Christina would like to interview (surprising answer)
  • Bun B talking to Trump supporters

* Matt incorrectly attributes The Corruption of The American Republic by David Frum to David Brooks.

* For John here’s a link to the Bone Thugs-N-Harmony video Ft Phil Collins

We hope you enjoy the episode  

Gutwrench Journal | Episode 27

Are you looking for a good place to submit your writing in Atlanta? We’re big fans of Gutwrench Journal and if you've got some hard-hitting prose that goes for a knockout, Gutwrench may be a great place to submit your work. 

Right now they are taking submissions for their next issue to be out later this summer. 

Unlike many other publications the editors of Gutwrench work directly with writers to craft and challenge the submission to go further than what is first submitted. If you submit and they like what they read, you’ll be having coffee with Daniel Lamb and Benjamin Carr to take your work to the next level. 

We sat down with both Daniel and Benjamin to talk about how they started the journal and their favorite pieces they’ve published. They also brought with them two contributors, Maddie Fay and Randy Osborne, who both read from their published Gutwrench work.


While in conversation with Randy Osborne, who’s far from a newbie on what it takes for a good story, as he is the host of the legendary storytelling series Carapace, shared his experience with how much writing it takes to complete a piece.

“(Writing) is like a sport and you should train for it accordingly. Be used to being on your ass for a long time, and be used to balling paper up and throwing it away, and crying a little bit. Or maybe a lot, but you will get used to it and you’ll create something.” Randy added, “I don’t know how to get around that rule.” 

Conversation topics included: 

Maddie Fay is a writer, professional storyteller, and technical contractor for theater. Her favorite places close to home are Dad's Garage and a particular abandoned concrete factory, her favorite band is the Mountain Goats, and her favorite Spice Girl is Scary. 

Randy Osborne's writing is listed in the Notables section of Best American Essays for 2015 and 2016. His work has been published in four print anthologies and nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize, as well as Best of the Net. It has appeared in Salon, The Rumpus, Scene Missing, Thread, and other small magazines, as well as the Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal Constitution, San Francisco Bay Guardian, and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He lives in Atlanta, where he recently finished a book-length collection of essays. 

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Nicholas Tecosky | Episode 26

When we had our first live event back in January the only performer who had not already been on the show was Nicholas Tecosky. We knew we had to change that this season, and what a wild ride our conversation was with the viceroy of Write Club Atlanta -- which Nicholas runs along side Myke Johns.


Getting on the Write Club stage is not easy. There’s a lot of pressure on that stage…even for the ringleader of the literary bouts. Nicholas brings up how he battles the anxiety by creating the viceroy character.

“If I can channel that into a character then I think of the person that hosts Write Club Atlanta as a totally different person,” Nicholas said as we discussed the very rare topic of battling the sometimes overwhelming fears of performance or reading.  “As soon as I’m on stage and talking all of the anxiety floats away because I’m no longer myself. It’s easy to talk at people that way.”

This episode is also the first one where guests now sign the yellow couch. Thanks for the idea Nicholas!

Conversation topics included: 

  • The benefits of micro-dosing mushrooms
  • The difference between John Carroll and "Johnny" Carroll
  • What’s your vice before death?
  • Turning into your parents as you get older
  • Without the internet would any of us have jobs? Probably not.

Nicholas Tecosky is a writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He was one of the screenwriters of the horror omnibus V/H/S, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He hosts the philanthropic competitive reading series Write Club Atlanta, and is one of the editors of the Write Club-­based literary magazine Tender Bloodsport

Nick has lent his voice to over 150 audio book titles, including Death of Sweet Mister by Daniel Woodrell, which was included on the American Library Association's 2013 "Listen List". Recently, he became internet famous for meowing at his cat.

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Leesa Cross-Smith | Episode 25

This is our first episode with a writer that is not Atlanta based. While we do have plans to have more guests that are not from the ATL, we couldn’t have planned for a sweeter, more amazing guest from way outside the perimeter to have on the show.


Leesa Cross-Smith stopped by as she came into town to promote her debut novel Whiskey & Ribbons. Her captivating stories often leave people wondering what kind of genre or label to put on Leesa. 

Always trying to create beyond these terms she’s very happy that people don’t know how to label her work. “I’m not trying to be radical or anything, “ she laughed. “This is honestly just how I am.”

Leesa reads from Whiskey & Ribbons and as should be expected, John was very happy to have someone from and to talk with Kentucky about.

Conversation topics included: 


Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and writer from Kentucky. She is the author of Whiskey & Ribbons (Hub City Press, 2018) and Every Kiss a War (Mojave River Press, 2014). Every Kiss a War was a finalist for both the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction (2012) and the Iowa Short Fiction Award (2012). She and her husband Loran run a literary magazine called WhiskeyPaper. Find more @ and

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Jamie Iredell | Episode 24

Jamie Iredell writes like no other. His ability to capture history and the oddity of the human story stays with you after you read his work. He dips away into new styles in each of his books. If you pick up one like The Book of Freaks be prepared for a different experience when you pick up another (Matt recommends I Was a Fat Drunk Catholic School Insomniac).

As we talk about his previous books, Jamie explains why he takes that departure in style. The extensive formula going into each one might not be the working formula to complete it. His last book Last Mass had an unplanned change in the formula. This pivot wasn’t easy but as he relays in the conversation, “That’s what writing is… an obsession.”

Conversation topics included: 


Jamie Iredell is the author of four books. His next book, his debut novel, The Fat Kid, comes out in October 2018 from Civil Coping Mechanisms. We hope you enjoy the episode!

Also, click here for information on Transgression's Second Star to the Right: Hook's Revenge!

Coming of Age Reading | Steven Williams, Jyll Thomas, and John Carroll | Episode 23

Coming of age stories are a staple of literature and we just love them here on the show. The situations that drive people to leave the innocence of childhood for the complexity of adulthood are in a sense universal, so it’s not really surprising that each generation has their own coming of age stories they relate and cling to — along with the classics that rightfully continue to shape art.

So we decided to have a themed show around Coming of Age stories with Steven Williams and Jyll Thomas.

“Calling it fiction is just bullshit, “ Steven Williams said of his writing. “This thing happened to Steven and if it’s personal and sentimental I’ll write it from the perspective of a girl. They’ll never know it’s me.”

Jyll Thomas added in succinctly that this type of writing is fiction based on fact.

At the last minute, our third reader was unavailable to make it so John stepped in and read.


Steven Williams is a College Park native who currently lives with a motley collection of friends and pets. He's performed at The Phoenix Festival, Smut Slam ATL, and more. His writing can be found on gutwrench and The Five Hundred.

Jyll Thomas is a writer and storyteller. Her work has appeared in Paste Magazine, the anthology We Wrote a Book by The Five Hundred and gutwrench magazine. She has hit the stage at Carapace, Case Studies and Write Club. Jyll recently attended an intensive writer’s workshop at the University of Iowa and is at work on a modern fairy tale novel.


Get more information on Second Star to the Right: Hook's Revenge!

We hope you enjoy the episode.

The Bleux Stockings Society | Amy Tecosky and Rita Leslie | Episode 22

The Bleux Stockings Society is one of our favorite readings series. It’s an open and positive space for cis women, non-binary, and trans women, with both public and private events. The shows are very personal, inspiring, and unifying. 

Don’t miss out on the shows every third Monday at the Highland Ballroom. Unless it’s a show that not for dudes and you’re a dude. Then wait for next month.

Before a Bleux Stockings show is announced a prompt is released where synopses can be submitted. If selected you read at the one connected to the theme. Because of this format a lot  of Atlanta writers have gotten their first live reading experience at Bleux Stockings. 

This, of course, brought this episode's conversation around to what it’s like to read or be creatively pushed into your first time on stage. John also confesses that he has “more or less done CrossFit.”

Rita Nicole Leslie & Amy Tecosky

Rita Nicole Leslie & Amy Tecosky

Amy Tecosky is a writer with a focus on intersectional feminism and the Atlanta creative community. She is the co-founder of the Bleux Stockings Society, a monthly live lit event highlighting cis/trans women and non-binary people. You can find her work in Deer Bear Wolf MagazineThe Five Hundred and at other live lit events and publications around Atlanta.

Rita Leslie is an Atlanta native, copywriter, comedian and compulsive list maker. Having roots in improv from Village Theater made the transition to 'live lit' a natural progression. 

She enjoys dismantling archaic patriarchal constructs with a trident and putting periods at the end of her "haha's" and "lol's" because her joy is definitive and never overstays its welcome. 

Conversation topics included:

We hope you enjoy the epsiode.

Rachael Maddux and Kay Powell | Episode 21

Non-fiction is really writing without the safety net of exaggeration (fiction). When we decided we wanted to do an episode with two writers focused on that form we knew we had to get two of Atlanta’s best, Rachael Maddux and the legendary Kay Powell.

Rachael shared with us a chapter from a memoir she is working on about growing up in the South and how mortality interweaves itself. Her piece, titled “Cornered”, examines the inevitable results of active shooter training that became standard in school after the Columbine shooting. 

“We’re asking kids to develop muscle memory on how to deal with this,” Rachel said of the training that treats school shootings as a natural disaster. This of course brought on a great discussions of not only how this impacted her life in school but the damage it does to children to this day. 

Kay Powell is a legend, known for obituary writing for the Atlanta Journal Constitution from 1996-2009, Kay crafted stories of a person’s life rather than just list the facts of a passing. “I could find one little nugget that I found interesting about someone who died and it would take off from there,” she said.

Kay graced the show not only with a great conversation but read her obituary for Manley Pointer, "A Death Among Flannery’s Peacocks". Originally published by Bitter Southerner this is the first recording of her reading this amazing story of the passing of this magnificent bird on Flannery O’Connor’s Andalusia Farm. 

Conversation topics induced: 

Kay Powell and Rachael Maddux

Kay Powell and Rachael Maddux

Rachael Maddux’s essays, reviews, and features have appeared in The Oxford American, The Paris Review Daily, The Believer, Guernica, and elsewhere. She’s at work on a memoir about growing up mortal at the turn of the 21st century. She was raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kay Powell has been trying to act retired since she actually retired from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution as news obituaries editor. Yet again she has unretired to support Lit and Bruised. She unretires to write for The Bitter Southerner and other publications, present at True Stories! and the Flannery O’Connor zine launch, moderate three Decatur Book Festival programs, volunteer with the KIPP Strive Academy writing program, be interviewed on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s Two-Way Street, and to be profiled in Mental Floss magazine, among other projects.

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Jason Mallory and Eli Banks | Episode 20

When we got word that Jason Mallory was resurrecting the pop culture/art spectacular series Scene and Song Missing we knew we had to have him on the show to talk about how everything came together.

Running a show ain’t easy. No real surprise, but when Jason stopped by with Eli Banks from Twinhead Theatre we ended up talking about the lessons all four of has had learned over the years. 

We also talk a lot about 9/11.

“If you’re gonna run a show anywhere, in any city, (big or small) you have to manage your time and protect yourself from some really intense stuff,” Mallory said in between 9/11 conversations and personal philosophy involving jump-suit Marta riders.

We couldn’t agree more.

This Episode was recorded back in December before Scene and Song Missing had a triumphant return with the Prince themed night, ATLet's Go Crazy! Also featured on this episode is live recordings from past Scene/Song Missing shows featuring Cherry Del Rosario and Jason Mallory.

Jason Mallory is a writer and show-runner in Atlanta, GA. He runs the live pop culture variety show "Scene and Song" every month at the Highland Ballroom. Check out their "Magic Missilanta" show on Feb. 21st celebrating Dungeons and Dragons.

Eli Banks is the co-artistic director of Twinhead Theatre, where he has been producing, acting, writing, and directing since 2005. He enjoys committing to tight deadlines and playing in high stress environments, cause it makes the rest of life so very very chill. Catch him next at the Atlanta Fringe Festival June 6th-10th in Little Five Points!

We hope you enjoy the episode.

Nate Mask and Ryan J | Episode 19

Things get out of hand very quickly on this episode, but that can be expected when the conversation begins on personal plans when an apocalypse arrives and alternate endings to the sitcom Home Improvement.

Nate Mask and Ryan J have been setting fires and making waves in Atlanta’s spoken word and slam poetry community for some time now. While they are currently out on the West Coast and Canada on the final wing of their “Nobody Likes Us But We’re Here Anyway” Tour we caught up with the both of them before they left.



The consideration of an audience plays a heavy role in the live craft of slam poetry. When we asked Nate Mask about that he said, "Poetry sometimes can get real heavy and serious. So if everyone is being serious I’m defiantly doing a funny poem because this shit is overwhelming.”

There’s power in the words.

We also talked with Ryan J about the viral video of Adan Bean and his reciting of "Mumble Rap or Brain Dead Music”. This, of course, led to John being introduced to mumble rap.



Ryan J. , a spoken word artist based in Atlanta and self-proclaimed lover of all things Spider-Man and time travel related, brings a fresh perspective to slam poetry. As 2015 CUPSI semi-finalist, 2017 Java Monkey Slam Team Representative, and the founder of HomeGrown Poetry, Ryan focuses on social issues and narratives that often exist in the blind spots of marginalized communities in his work. 

In 2016, Ryan published his first chapbook of poetry, "Go Home Ryan," and is currently working on his second, "In Spite of Years of Silence.”

Nate Mask is a spoken word artist who spends his days playing basketball and trying not to swear in front of children or take himself too seriously. He has been a member of the Java Monkey and Art Amok Slam Teams in Atlanta and has competed and performed on National and Local Stages, such as the National Poetry Slam, Southern Fried Poetry Festival, Creative Loafing’s Best of Atlanta Show, Write Club Atlanta, and the Decatur Book Festival. 

Nate has self-published two chapbooks: "Well, This is Awkward…" and "Love is For Suckers.”

If you'd like to check out more of Nate Mask and Ryan J's poetry -- as well as other great ATL spoken word artists -- make sure to check out Homegrown Poetry

We hope you enjoy the episode.