The Brief with Jenn Habel

Conceived during the pandemic's distancing protocols, The Brief is a podcast where poet Jenn Habel dials writers the OG way (via telephone) touching base on craft, life, and the pandemic-quotidian– all in a sporty fifteen to twenty. Writers tell us what's out their window, what's on their stovetop, and what's on their mind. Part interview, part check-in, part mutual break-in-the-day, The Brief wants to give the listener a sliver-slant of that basic connection it's been harder to come by these days– and to maybe help you think about your own art in the process.

Find the most current episodes and links below.

s01:e06 (Premiered 06/16/22)

In the last episode of the first season, the 2022 Elliston Poet-in-Residence Heid E. Erdrich talks to poet Jenn Habel about Bowie, the 2019 polar vortex, and writing chair magic. Erdrich is an interdisciplinary artist and curator, and is the author of seven collections of poetry, most recently Little Big Bully (Penguin, 2020), is the editor of two anthologies, most recently New Poets of Native Nations (Graywolf, 2018) which won an American Book Award. We're grateful to feature the gorgeous music of midwest ambient project Screener in this episode (@ 2'50/21'50). Portions of "Farewell" and "One, Two" are from their newest release Hiding Places, recorded in Wyoming, Ohio.

s01:e05 (Premiered 3/29/22)

The week’s guest is award-winning poet and playwright Dan O'Brien. This past Fall, O'Brien published his fourth collection of poems, Our Cancers (Acre Books, 2021), which chronicles his and his wife’s experience of living with and through cancer, together. O'Brien is the author of three previous poetry collections: War Reporter (2013), Scarsdale (2014), and New Life (2016). He is the the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in Drama, two PEN America Awards for Playwriting, and the Troubadour International Poetry Prize. The music featured in this episode is courtesy of Cincinnati-based composer Man Watching the Stars from his most recent album The Sextant and the Blind Seafarer, released January 2022.


s01:e04 (Premiered 12/9/21)

In a fourth off-the-cuff episode, Jenn Habel calls poet Phillip B. Williams who talks about the release of his newest book, Mutiny(Penguin Poets, 2021). In addition to discussing the origins and organization of these poems, the two poets touch on grandmothers, The Masked Singer, and the omnidirectionality of time. A Whiting, Lambda, and Kate Tufts Discovery award-winner, Williams is the author of Thief in the Interior (Alice James, 2016), Burn (YesYes, 2013), and Bruised Gospels (Arts in Bloom, 2011). He is a Cave Canem graduate and serves as a coeditor for the online journal Vinyl.

s01:e03 (Premiered 10/27/21)

In the latest episode, Jenn Habel dials Tiana Clark, who talks breaking rules, sharing delights, and granting oneself the permission to take up space. Clark is the author of the poetry collection, I Can't Talk About the Trees Without the Blood (Pitt Poetry Series, 2017) winner of the Agnes Lynch Starrett Prize, as well as the chapbook Equilibrium (Bull City Press, 2016), winner of the Frost Place Chapbook Competition. She is the Grace Hazard Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith College.

s01:e02 (Premiered 8/16/21)

In our second installment, Jenn Habel puts in a noon call to award-winning poet and editor Erin Belieu. In this impromptu convo they talk short books, tight schedules, hospital corners, Sylvia Plath, and Boston University's Room 222. Belieu is the author of five books with Copper Canyon Press, most recently Come-Hither, Honeycomb (2020). Formerly the managing editor of AGNI, Belieu cofounded, with Cate Marvin, Vida: Women in Literary Arts, an organization that seeks to “explore critical and cultural perceptions of writing by women” in contemporary culture.

s01:e01 (Premiered 7/20/21)

In our pilot episode, Jenn Habel dials Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Tyehimba Jess, author of Leadbelly (Wave Books, 2005) and OLIO (Wave Books, 2016). Jess recently held the position of Elliston Poet-in-Residence for 2021, delivering a reading and a lecture titled "Docupoetics: Remixing and Remastering History." Subscribe now to overhear this convo on music, mottoes, gardening, and failure.