Four Recommended Chicago/Evanston Literary Podcasts

February 12, 2016

NineLivesSometimes these blog posts feel a bit like dares.

The Challenge: Locate as many literary podcasts that are based out of the Chicago area as possible.

Special Bonus Points: Find one that’s recorded in Evanston, IL proper.

The search was on.  By which I mean, the Google search.  The iTunes search as well.  I love using databases for my research but to the best of my knowledge they have yet to develop a podcast-related database out there.

Now the problem with podcasts, and this is very much the same problem that you will find with blogs too, is that just because you’ve found one that doesn’t mean it’s actually active and live.  A lot of bloggers and podcasters do their work out of the golden, glorious good of their own little hearts.  And because no money is exchanging hands, they are free to stop at any time.  So, with that in mind . . .

Supplemental Challenge Requirement: Make sure the podcasts are all live.

Here then, are my results.  Please note that I consider storytelling a form of literature and have included storytelling podcasts as well (after all, a storyteller was responsible for starting Evanston Public Library in the first place).

Much of what I found actually had ties to live programming, which is interesting.  First up:

A little background is required for this one.  In Chicago you will find something billed as the city’s “one-and-only fiction reading series” called Fictlicious where both stories and music are created around a specific theme.  A podcast covers the full length of each live show but since the show only occurs four times a year the podcast continues in the meantime. Storytelling events are hotter than ever nationwide.  This just taps into that.

No johnny-come-lately podcast this.  Ben Tanzer’s been running TPWCYL since 2010.  Describing itself as focusing on, “conversations with authors and changemakers from around the country” the site is all Chicago, all the time.

But, you say, what of a local Evanston podcast?  Well, I don’t wanna brag but I found one, sweetheart.  Thanks to Northwestern, there is at least one in existence as of the publication of this post.

It’s young.  It’s hip.  It’s out of Northwestern.  The description reads, “A storytelling podcast for the Northwestern University community. Each episode brings several true, unscripted stories from Northwestern to listeners.”  It may only be ten months old but this podcast has spirit.

Special Note: He’s awful quiet about bringing it up but I’d like to mention that at least one EPL librarian has a local podcast worth subscribing to.  If you’ve a penchant for the latest information on the Chicago music scene, please be so good as to follow Now Is Podcast, presented by Ben Remsen.  Highly recommended.


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