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WordPlaySound

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Founding Editor

WordPlaySound was founded by Ryan Singleton in 2011. He discovered the arts at a young age through music but was inspired later in life by books. This podcast blends together these two worlds.
A Literary Podcast

TURTLE AND DAM scott abrahams

This is an excerpt from Turtle and Dam, a forthcoming book from Scott Abrahams, published by the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography (CCLaP). It is scheduled for release on April 14.

Like millions of other only-child Chinese twenty-somethings, Turtle Chen is graduating college and vicariously desperate (via parental pressure) to find a job, though he would probably settle for a girlfriend. He speaks English. He studied abroad in America. Employers, ladies, what’s not to love? With a bit of bravado and some hometown luck, this engineering grad lands himself an entry level position working for the state news agency; not that he particularly cares about politics or journalism, not that they particularly want him to. Through a class assignment, Turtle learns that his grandmother’s village will soon be inundated to make way for a dam construction project. His parents tell him not to worry about it. His bosses tell him not to worry about it. He would be only too happy to oblige, and yet despite his best efforts not to care he finds himself on the front lines fighting bulldozers, next to what some villagers claim to be the ghost of Chairman Mao. There’s bribery, corruption, computer games, and text messages imbued with uncertainty. Air pollution, censorship, and a job fair where students attack employers with paper basketballs. And it’s all told through the eyes of a young man with impeccable English (‘impeccable English,’ that’s correct, yes?), who’s right there in the middle of it all. Welcome to the delightful world of “Turtle and Dam,” the literary debut of Washington DC analyst Scott Abrahams.

Music: Already There (No Vocals) (Josh Woodward) / CC BY 3.0

BEGGAR IN TIME OF HARDSHIP james claffey

James Claffey hails from County Westmeath, Ireland, and lives on an avocado ranch in Carpinteria, CA. He is the author of Blood a Cold Blue, a collection of short fiction published by Press 53 of Winston-Salem, NC. An as yet untitled novel will be published in the spring/summer of 2014 by Thrice Publishing. His fiction and poetry appears in over 150 journals, magazines, and websites, and in countries as far-flung as India, New Zealand, and Ireland. He serves as a fiction editor at Literary Orphans and teaches high school for a living.

“Beggar in Time of Hardship” first appeared in print at Spork Press.

Music: A Stranger’s Map of Texas (Michael Chapman & The Woodpiles) / CC BY-NC 3.0

Tom Williams Live at The Hideout

This is a live excerpt from the book release party for Don’t Start Me Talkin’, Tom Williams’s latest novel from Curbside Splendor.

Don’t Start Me Talkin’ is a comedic road novel about Brother Ben, the only remaining True Delta Bluesman, playing his final North American tour. Set in contemporary society, Brother Ben’s protege Silent Sam Stamps narrates an episodic ‘last ride,’ laying bare America’s complicated relationship with African American identity, music, and culture, and like his hero Sonny Boy Williamson once sang, Silent Sam promises “I’ll tell everything I know.”

Don’t Start Me Talkin’ is not merely a story about the blues, but with its rhythm, language, and sense of self and place, it also channels the DNA of this very American style of music.

Music: Oona Bet Door (Mike Doughty) / CC BY-NC-SA 3.0

SEEKING RUBILIO elizabeth frankie rollins

Elizabeth Frankie Rollins’s debut collection of fiction, The Sin Eater & Other Stories, was published by Queen’s Ferry Press, February 2013.  Rollins has published work in Drunken Boat, Conjunctions, Green Mountains Review, Trickhouse, The New England Review, and The Cincinnati Review, among others. She’s previously received a New Jersey Prose Fellowship and a Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize Anthology. She teaches writing at Pima Community College and the University of Arizona Poetry Center. She is on the board of the arts and letter non-profit, Casa Libre en la Solana.  Seeking Rubilio is a fairytale in progress.

Music: Never Let It Go (Bluesraiders) / CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Live at the Book Cellar

Chicago authors Joseph G. Peterson, Mark Brand, Ben Tanzer, and Giano Cromley came together for one amazing reading at the Book Cellar. You can purchase all of their work online through the Book Cellar’s website.

To download each author’s reading individually, please visit WordPlaySound’s SoundCloud page.

Music: Breadcrumbs (Josh Woodward) / CC BY 3.0
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