This podcast is birthed from poet Patrick Culliton’s and Jay’s frequent phone calls (even when we were next door neighbors we talked on the phone often) and conversations, in hopes that we can mine our obsessions and interests in a way that’s interesting, and even funny, for our listeners. While we enjoy talking to each other, we take even greater pleasure in talking with/listening to others in whatever performative capacities that may be. We use Skype as our primary recording method. In addition, we both have recording devices that we use to gather material on our own from our current residences and travels. This, too, stems from other shared obsessions: field recordings, archives/archiving, collage, etc. And that, ultimately, is what we hope Talus, Or Scree is: an archive of collected experiences and voices.
We met during graduate school in Wilmington, NC and quickly bonded, as most friends do, over shared obsessions: writing, music, weather, hiking, movies, football, cemeteries, bears, state fairs, masks, coins, Smokey Robinson’s frozen dinners, talking to each other, friends and strangers, being afraid of each other, friends and strangers, BBQ, and the sea, to name a few.
Patrick Culliton is a small blue sock from South Euclid, Ohio. He holds degrees from The Ohio State University and the University of North Carolina Wilmington. His chapbook, Hornet Homily, was published by Octopus Books. He’s an Associate Editor at Conduit and, this past July, was Employee of the Month at Carbon Copy Magazine. His poems can be found in literary journals and stuff. His imaginary friend, Jimmie Louie, whose mother was a mud wrestler who got her head cut off, still sends him a dollar on his birthday. Patrick is not the famed Houdini biographer. Chances are very good that Patrick is swimming somewhere as you read this. His most formative memory with Jay is the night they barreled down Castle Street in the dark, singing The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” at the top of their lungs.
Jay Varner, author of Nothing Left To Burn, grew up in Central Pennsylvania. He is currently at work on a novel and several essays. He now lives in a small town outside Charlottesville, Virginia (he could name the town but assumed you’d be more impressed with the name Charlottesville since, you know, everyone just bloody loves Charlottesville). Jay can often be found staring aimlessly at skies and woods. He also enjoys the Civil War in one of those weird kinds of ways that would probably make you uncomfortable. He refers to February through August as hibernation, since there is no football. He dreams of going on one of those tours in the midwest where people track down tornadoes. His first real memory of Patrick is the time they sat in lawn chairs in the dirt lot outside their neighboring apartments and watched an air show over Wilmington. They could have walked eight blocks to the waterfront for a better view but were too lazy.