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 69 bonus: Laurie Wagner on creative mulching, cats and authenticity July 14, 2022
    Listen now (14 min) | “I like to give myself a lot of time in the morning to mulch and move slowly,” says writer and process guru Laurie Wagner. “It’s the quiet mulching and meandering that sets the stage.” In this bonus episode, we talk with Laurie about exactly what that “mulching” process is and […]
    Christie Aschwanden
  • Episode 69: Travel and the Muse with Laurie Wagner July 7, 2022
    Listen now (32 min) | Noticing and being present are two essential ingredients for creativity, and in today’s episode, writer Laurie Wagner discusses how travel can facilitate creative traits like these and help you connect with your muse. She tells us about how being in a foreign place helps her move slower and see things […]
    Christie Aschwanden
  • Take Your Creative Practice on the Road July 7, 2022
    Laurie Wagner on how travel invites attentiveness, curiosity and presence
    Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
  • Episode 68 Bonus: Rachel Feltman's Creative Habits June 30, 2022
    Listen now (17 min) | How is the analog world essential to the creative practice? In this bonus episode of Emerging Form, we speak again with Rachel Feltman, author of Been There, Done That: A Rousing History of Sex and executive editor of Popular Science, about why walking in a forward direction helps, how assuming […]
    Christie Aschwanden
  • Episode 69: How Rachel Feltman Wrote "Been There, Done That: A Rousing History of Sex" June 23, 2022
    Listen now (33 min) | How does a book come together? We speak with Rachel Feltman, author of Been There, Done That: A Rousing History of Sex, about the evolution of her book, from first inklings to years of research to organization to completion. She explains how she answered the burning question, “How do I […]
    Christie Aschwanden
  • Getting Your Book to Come Together June 20, 2022
    Author and editor Rachel Feltman on practical creative process
    Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
  • Episode 67 bonus: Vincent van Gogh inspires Rosemerry (and Kayleen) June 16, 2022
    Listen now (16 min) | In this bonus episode, we bring you three piano compositions by Kayleen Asbo inspired by the artwork of Vincent van Gogh, plus three of Rosemerry’s poems inspired by the music and paintings. Rosemerry talks about ekphrasis (the art of creating art about art), specific inspirations from the work of van […]
    Christie Aschwanden
  • Episode 67 – Inspiration from other genres June 9, 2022
    Listen now | Need inspiration? Look to other arts. This practice, known as ekphrasis–the art of making art inspired by other art, can “fill the well” and create a rich field of ideas to play with. In this episode, Rosemerry offers a provocative list of specific ways one might engage with another work of art […]
    Christie Aschwanden
  • Finding Direction in Other Genres June 6, 2022
    Rosemerry & Christie talk inspiration from painting, music and fiction
    Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
  • Episode 66: Life Cycle of A Creative Project with Laura Joyce Davis May 26, 2022
    Listen now (42 min) | Some projects take on a life of their own–what begins as a side project might grow into a life-style change and new career. But how do we know if or when to end it? How do external factors influence it? What do we learn about adaptation and trust? In this […]
    Christie Aschwanden