• John Jeremiah Sullivan

    June 22, 2024

    "If you’d write well, don’t watch,” essayist and memoirist John Jeremiah Sullivan says in this week’s episode of the Sewanee Review Podcast. He offers this interpretation of an X. J. Kennedy poem in order to explain his approach to a new essay form, and he goes on to suggest that he does best work when he doesn’t think too hard about how it was created.

    Their conversation is the first of three mini-episodes of the podcast, the components of which mirror Sullivan’s contributions to the 2024 volume of the magazine. In this episode, Sullivan and Ross discuss “Corona,” which opens the Spring 2024 issue. Sullivan’s essay details his strange habit of falling ill in exciting places. In addition to their discussion about the essay, which explores prose poems and Sullivan’s writing process, Sullivan and Ross also take the opportunity to delve into topics such as Serena Williams’ strict tennis routine and Cormac McCarthy’s habit of gifting books.

    John Jeremiah Sullivan is the author of Blood Horses: Notes of a Sportswriter’s Son and Pulphead: Essays. His latest book, The Prime Minister of Paradise, is forthcoming later this year from Random House. His short-form work has been published widely in the New York Times, the Paris Review, and Harper’s. He resides in Wilmington, North Carolina.

    The Sewanee Review Podcast is recorded in the Ralston Listening Room at the University of the South. This episode is produced by Brighid Griffin and edited by ProPodcast Solutions with music by Annie Bowers. Image credit to Wyatt Mason. Don’t miss any of our conversations with some of today’s best writers. Subscribe to the Sewanee Review Podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.



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