A story of ambition, addiction, and the power of second chances

Off The Page from WSKG · Episode 17 – Journalist Keri Blakinger on her memoir “Corrections in Ink”
 
We may call it shu, or segregation, or medical observation, but whatever words we use are a shorthand for the truth: a coded way of saying you are nothing and now you have nothing. Your world is only a tangle of dreams and realities, drifting through the sterile air of nine by six coffin. ~from CORRECTIONS IN INK, by Keri Blakinger
Keri Blakinger is the author of CORRECTIONS IN INK, a memoir that details her life from being a figure skating competitor with an eating disorder, to her life as an addict. In 2010, while she was attending Cornell University, she was arrested for drug possession and spent the next two years incarcerated: first, in the Tompkins County jail, and then serving a sentence in upstate New York. After she was released, she finished her degree and went on to become a journalist.

In “Trigger Points,” learning how to stop mass shootings before they start

Off The Page from WSKG · Episode 14 – Mark Follman’s TRIGGER POINTS: INSIDE THE MISSION TO STOP MASS SHOOTINGS IN AMERICA

Mark Follman is a longtime journalist and the National Affairs Editor for Mother Jones. Since 2012, his various investigations into gun violence and its impact on American society have been honored with numerous awards. His writing and commentary have been featured in the New York Times, the Atlantic, and on National Public Radio, among other media. His book is TRIGGER POINTS: INSIDE THE MISSION TO STOP MASS SHOOTINGS IN AMERICA. Follow Mark Follman on Twitter

Author C.S.E. Cooney and the magical world of DARK BREAKERS

Off The Page from WSKG · Episode 13 – CSE Cooney and the magical world of Dark Breakers
C.S.E. Cooney writes lush, magical stories about love-struck humans, ageless gentry and diabolical goblins. Loosely inspired by the Breakers mansion in Newport, Rhode Island, this collection of stories is full of fantastical worldbuilding and stories that will linger with you long past the time you put the book down. About the author: C.S.E. Cooney lives and writes in Queens. She is author of the World Fantasy Award-winning Bone Swans: Stories (Mythic Delirium, 2015), an audiobook narrator, and the singer/songwriter Brimstone Rhine. In 2022, her novel Saint Death’s Daughter debuts with Solaris, as well as her collection Dark Breakers (all stories taking place in the world of Desdemona and the Deep, published by Tor.com in 2019), forthcoming from Mythic Delirium.

Magical dictionaries, family, and the magic of a girl named Zia

Off The Page from WSKG · Episode 12 – Bree Barton and ZIA ERASES THE WORLD

Ithaca author Bree Barton talks with host Crystal Sarakas about depression, the magic of language, and how awesome young people are on this episode of Off the Page. More about ZIA ERASES THE WORLD:

Zia remembers the exact night the Shadoom arrived. One moment she was laughing with her best friends, and the next a dark room of shadows had crept into her chest. Zia has always loved words, but she can’t find a real one for the fear growing inside her. How can you defeat something if you don’t know its name?After Zia’s mom announces that her grouchy Greek yiayia is moving into their tiny apartment, the Shadoom seems here to stay.

Author and disability rights activist Elsa Sjunneson on fighting ableism

 

Author and disability rights activist Elsa Sjunneson talks with host Crystal Sarakas about disability representation in the media, harmful tropes, and fighting ableism in society. As a deafblind woman with partial vision in one eye and bilateral hearing aids, Elsa Sjunneson lives at the crossroads of blindness and sight, hearing and deafness—much to the confusion of the world around her. While she cannot see well enough to operate without a guide dog or cane, she can see enough to know when someone is reacting to the visible signs of her blindness and can hear when they’re whispering behind her back. And she certainly knows how wrong our one-size-fits-all definitions of disability can be. As a media studies professor, she’s also seen the full range of blind and deaf portrayals on film, and here she deconstructs their impact, following common tropes through horror, romance, and everything in between.

Author Julie Zickefoose on life, love and raising bluejays

Off The Page from WSKG · Episode 10 – Julie Zickefoose talks about Saving Jemima: The Life and Love of a Hard Luck Jay

 

Julie Zickefoose joins host Crystal Sarakas to talk about birds, blogs, and raising a blue jay during one of the hardest times in her life. About Saving Jemima:

When Jemima, a young orphaned blue jay, is brought to wildlife rehabilitator Julie Zickefoose, she is a virtually tailless, palm-sized bundle of gray-blue fluff. But she is starved and very sick. Julie’s constant care brings her around, and as Jemima is raised for eventual release, she takes over the house and the rest of the author’s summer. Shortly after release, Jemima turns up with a deadly disease.

‘The Weeping Time’ and the story of the largest slave auction in American history

Off The Page from WSKG · Anne Bailey – The Weeping Time

Between 1760 and 1860, more than 1.2 million enslaved men, women and children were sold in the United States. The wealth of a nation was built on the trade of people – of slaves –  yet most of us know very little about these auctions or the people who were sold there. Professor Anne Bailey from Binghamton University is
working to change that. Her book, The Weeping Time: Memory and the Largest Slave Auction in American History, tells the story of a specific auction in 1859. But it also examines the trauma that still exists today, and the healing that families are finding as they trace their lineage back to the auction block.

Poet Merrill Douglas talks about her work on the latest Off the Page

Off The Page from WSKG · Off The Page – Poet Merrill Douglas

Merrill Douglas is a freelance editor and a poet. Her poems are ‘beautifully gritty,’ and explore the realities of life in ways that are both just a little bit icky, but also capture the life in the smallest detail. Her poems have appeared in the Baltimore Review, Tar River Poetry, Stone Canoe and more. Her chapbook, published by Finishing Line Press, is called Parking Meters Into Mermaids. Merrill joins host Crystal Sarakas to talk about her writing process and to read some of her work.

Ithaca author Railey Jane Savage talks about her new book, “A Century of Swindles: Ponzi Schemes, Con Men, and Fraudsters”

Off The Page from WSKG · A Century of Swindles: Ponzi Schemes, Con Men, and Fraudsters
 

 

 
If you’re a fan of true-crime – but perhaps without all the murderdeathkill – then you’ll love this book which takes a deep dive into 7 infamous schemes that took place between 1850 and 1950. There’s intrigue, deception, sensationalism and chutzpah that is mind-boggling. Railey Jane Savage lives and works in Ithaca, NY, where her abiding love for history’s forgotten moments – swindles, or otherwise – grows against the dramatic background of the Finger Lakes. With an English degree from Smith College, she splits her time between writing and editings. A Century of Swindles is her second book.

The joy of Christmas, as seen through brown eyes

Off The Page from WSKG · Off the Page – I’m Dreaming Of A Brown Christmas (with Vernon Gibbs and Steve Gray)

Steven T. Gray is a visual artist, illustrator, sculptor, producer and musician born in Brooklyn, NY and raised in Queens, NY.  Vernon D. Gibbs II has been a stay-at-home dad since 2015. They’re the co-authors of “I’m Dreaming of a Brown Christmas” a beautifully illustrated kids book that shares the story of Christmas traditions and family as seen through the eyes of a young black boy. “I’m Dreaming of a Brown Christmas” is the second book that Vernon and Steve have co-written.  Their first book, “When Good Fruit Goes Bad”  is about eating healthy, creating less food waste, and knowing that you have value. You can purchase “I’m Dreaming of a Brown Christmas” on Amazon, or here. Follow Vernon Gibbs on  Twitter @coolminivandad1.

Diving into myth with poet Jennifer Crow

Off The Page from WSKG · Off the Page – Jennifer Crow

Jennifer Crow has been writing poetry since she was a little girl. Her poems explore the edges of time and space, and of myth and lore. Her poetry has appeared in many print and electronic places over the past quarter of a century, including Analog Science Fiction, Uncanny Magazine, Kaleidotrope and more. Her 2020 poem “Still” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She talks with host Crystal Sarakas about writing and pushing the edges of comfort in her poetry.

A story of addiction, recovery and songwriting in Mary Gauthier’s “Saved By A Song”

Off The Page from WSKG · Off the Page – Mary Gauthier

Mary Gauthier was twelve years old when she was given her Aunt Jenny’s old guitar and taught herself to play with a Mel Bay basic guitar workbook. Music offered her a window to a world where others felt the way she did. Songs became lifelines to her, and she longed to write her own, one day. Then, for a decade, while struggling with addiction, Gauthier put her dream away and her call to songwriting faded. It wasn’t until she got sober and went to an open mic with a friend did she realize that she not only still wanted to write songs, she needed to.

Jurassic Park meets Dungeons and Dragons in Carrie Vaughn’s Questland

When an eccentric billionaire loses control of his island resort-slash-theme park, literature professor Addie Cox is an unlikely choice to help fix the situation. But it’s no ordinary theme park: this is pure wizardry come to life, with unicorns, talking rabbits – and murder. The book is called Questland, a mad mashup of Jurassic Park and Dungeons and Dragons. Bestselling author Carrie Vaughn nerds out with host Crystal Sarakas about all things geek on the latest episode of Off the Page.

The Fur Flies In A New Series By Oneonta Author Deborah Blake

Kari Stuart’s life was going nowhere – until she unexpectedly won the lottery. Now an instant millionaire, she’s trying to decide what to do next when an orphan cat, a failing animal rescue and a murder mystery all fall into her lap. On this episode of Off The Page, we talk with author Deborah Blake about her new cozy mystery series.

Off The Page

A fan-favorite returns to WSKG Public Media! Hosted by award-winning producer Crystal Sarakas, “Off the Page” features conversations with writers from across the region and around the globe. Available as a podcast on iTunes, Alexa, Google, and on the WSKG and NPR One apps. On Alexa, request to play “WSKG’s Off The Page” and on Google say, “Hey Google, ask WSKG Radio to play Off The Page.”