by KORTArides2018@

Emerging Form: A Podcast

Emerging Form is a podcast about creative process.

It’s a conversation between friends — science writer Christie Aschwanden and poet Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer — in which we discuss the joys, agonies and black holes of creative endeavors. The idea began in Rosemerry’s kitchen when she acted out good muse/bad muse on Christie’s shoulders, trying to motivate Christie to finish her book manuscriptThe friends knew they were not alone in their creative struggles and triumphs, so with Christie’s penchant for the practical and Rosemerry’s leaning toward existential curiosity, the two hosts discuss issues and questions that plague creative people. Each half-hour episode is either an interview or a conversation between the hosts, tackling questions such as: How can I get useful feedback? How do I revive an abandoned project? Can hard work overcome mediocre talent? How do I tell personal stories involving conflict? How do I build a creative habit? How does play fuel creativity?

Why Emerging Form? Once upon a time, there was a group of poets who would gather for wild slumber parties. One of them, a cantankerous genius named Jack Mueller, would use a black Sharpie to write witticisms on blank 3×5 cards. One night, he wrote in all caps, OBEY THE POEM’S EMERGING FORM. He then proceeded to shout the epigram for the rest of the night, permanently tattooing the phrase on Rosemerry, who has shared it at poetry readings and workshops ever since. The wisdom of Jack’s instruction struck Christie, too, and she and Rosemerry began a long-lasting conversation about emerging form—not just in poetry, but in wine, in art, in cooking, in sports training and even in friendship. Obey the emerging form has become our mantra.

Our first episode came out in February, 2019. Our guests have included poets Alison Luterman, Rafael Jesús Gonzàlez, Danusha Laméris and James Crews; non-fiction writers Pam Houston, Sarah Knight, Amy Irvine and Cheryl Strayed; fiction writer Peter Heller; podcasters Catherine Saint Louis and Arielle Duhaime-Ross; science writers Susan J. Tweit, Rachel Feltman and Dr. Emily Willingham, plus interviews with humorists, circus performers, aerialists, artists and wine makers.

In the fall of 2021, Leah Shaw joined the team as audio engineer.

Click any of the podcast titles below to be taken to the Emerging Form website where you can listen. Subscribe to the newsletter and bonus episode feed here or use this link for our podcast feed. Pease join in the discussion of creative process on our Facebook page!

RSS Emerging Form

  • Episode 76: Paying attention with Chris Duffy December 1, 2022
    Listen now (38 min) | Paying attention is an essential part of creative practice, and in this episode, we speak with comedian and TV writer Chris Duffy about how he transforms what he notices into a career in comedy. He also talks about why jokes and poems are versions of the same thing, how to […]
    Christie Aschwanden
  • The Art of Making a Career of "Unusual Strange Things" November 28, 2022
    Comedian Chris Duffy on noticing, practicing, persisting and showing up
    Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
  • Episode 75 Bonus: Listeners Discuss What Success Means to Them November 24, 2022
    Listen now (11 min) | In this bonus episode of Emerging Form, Rosemerry and Christie ask listeners, “How do you define success in your creative endeavors?” Then we pour a glass of wine and discuss their answers. It’s a really fun episode. Enjoy!
    Christie Aschwanden
  • Episode 75: What is Success? November 17, 2022
    Listen now (36 min) | Rosemerry and Christie discuss how they define success what has made them feel successful.
    Christie Aschwanden
  • What Is Success in Creative Practice? November 14, 2022
    A conversation with Rosemerry and Christie
    Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
  • Episode 74 Bonus: TA Barron on the Relationship Between Real Life and Fantasy November 10, 2022
    Listen now (19 min) | “Start with what you love,” says T.A. Barron in this special bonus episode with the novelist and environmentalist. We also discuss gratefulness, the importance of simple discipline, the relationship between real life and fantasy, and how (and why) he created the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes–sharing stories of exceptional […]
    Christie Aschwanden
  • Episode 74: T.A. Barron on the Magic of Stories November 3, 2022
    Listen now (37 min) | “There is a magic to stories well told,” says novelist T.A. Barron, and in this thoughtful, heart-opening, life-affirming episode, he explores how story weaves through every part of our lives. He talks about how he went from rejected novelist to successful business leader to best-selling author. He speaks of the […]
    Christie Aschwanden
  • Finding (and Making) Magic in a Cynical World October 31, 2022
    T.A. Barron on Story and Honest Positivity
    Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
  • Episode 73 Bonus: Steve Magness on Finding Your Creative Self October 27, 2022
    Listen now (18 min) | In this special bonus episode, Steve Magness talks about the value of taking the long view, why it’s crucial to seek creative pursuits that align with your values with why it’s so important to separate your identity from the thing that you do. He also shares his most important creative […]
    Christie Aschwanden
  • Episode 73: Steve Magness on Doing Hard Things October 20, 2022
    Listen now (32 min) | Creative projects are rewarding, but let’s be honest: they’re also hard. Today’s guest, Steve Magness, is an expert on doing hard things and he has some good advice on how to break through. Steve discusses the benefits of a quiet ego, how to feed and reward the positive voices in […]
    Christie Aschwanden