Music Podcasts

SongWriter is a podcast of stories and answer songs, featuring performances from Roxane Gay, Joyce Carol Oates, Gary Shteyngart, Sarah Jaffe, Michael Ian Black, Ted Leo, Susan Orlean, and others.

SongWriter is a podcast of stories and answer songs, featuring performances from Roxane Gay, Joyce Carol Oates, Gary Shteyngart, Sarah Jaffe, Michael Ian Black, Ted Leo, Susan Orlean, and others.


United States


SongWriter is a podcast of stories and answer songs, featuring performances from Roxane Gay, Joyce Carol Oates, Gary Shteyngart, Sarah Jaffe, Michael Ian Black, Ted Leo, Susan Orlean, and others.






Joyce Carol Oates + Tony Trischka + Jennifer Marks

Bestselling author Joyce Carol Oates reads a haunting story, and banjo legend Tony Trischka and songwriter Jennifer Marks each play songs written in response. The show was recorded at a live performance in New York City, with Grammy-nominated musician Tracy Bonham performing with Tony Trischka, and comedy legend Steve Martin in the audience.


Alison Gaylin + Colin McGrath

Author Alison Gaylin reads an excerpt from "Never Look Back," a novel based loosely on the Starkweather murders. Gaylin discusses how Caril Ann Fugate was understood at the time to be a willing accomplice (she is portrayed that way in Springsteen's "Nebraska" and "Natural Born Killers," which were also based on the notorious murder spree), but points out that Fugate was just 14 years-old when she was kidnapped and raped by Starkweather. Songwriter Colin McGrath discusses the book, and how...


Lauren Morrill + Justin Cutway + Vinson Muhammad

American Songwriter Podcast Network


Mike Veve + Johnny Leitera

Poet Mike Veve reads a ghost story on themes of homelessness at a live performance in New York City, and Johnny Leitera of the band Tuff Sunshine talks about writing with an assist from technology, and performs “Middle Man.”


Lou Barrett + Michelle Gaw

American Songwriter Podcast Network


Ethan Lipton + Sarah Jaffe

American Songwriter Podcast Network


Amy Turn Sharp + Parker Paul

Poet Amy Turn Sharp reads a piece inspired by the death of her mother. In it she describes how she began leaving her baby teeth, one by one, in places that have emotional resonance in her life. Songwriter Parker Paul, who is an old friend of Amy’s, performs his song “Baby Teeth,” at a live performance in Columbus, Ohio.


Louisa Young + Miranda Joy

Author Louisa Young reads from her memoir You Left Early, about love and alcoholism, and discusses how insidious the disease is for its victims, and for the people that love them. Pianist and songwriter Miranda Joy performs “Carry You Around,” live in the clock tower of St. Pancras Station in London.


Dodai Stewart + Natalia Zukerman

American Songwriter Podcast Network


Soman Chainani + Cave Twins

American Songwriter Podcast Network


Malachy McCourt + Louise Cairns

Malachy McCourt is the 87 year-old brother of Pulitzer Prize-winning memoirist Frank McCourt, who wrote Angela’s Ashes about their childhood in Ireland. Malachy tells a story about a walk he and his father took together when he was a small boy, and Scottish songwriter Louise Cairns performs her response song, “Baby Rocks.”


Season Two Preview

This is a preview for the second season of SongWriter, the podcast of stories and "answer songs." This season will feature stories from Joyce Carol Oates, Soman Chainani, and Michael Ian Black, and songs written in response by Sarah Jaffe, Cave Twins, Tony Trischka, and Drew Holcomb.


Jonathan Lethem + Cindy Lee Berryhill (Bonus Episode!)

Novelist and MacArthur "Genius Grant" award-winner Jonathan Lethem reads his story "Vivian Relf," and songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill performs a song written in response.


Anna North + Miss Eaves

Novelist and journalist Anna North reads two pieces of flash fiction, "The Machine" and "Cheese Baby," and rapper and filmmaker Miss Eaves performs a song written in response the second piece. The two friends also discuss how they met, and their reaction to each others' work.


Patricia Lockwood + Sasha Dobson

Patricia Lockwood reads a chapter from her bestselling memoir, Priestdaddy, about a hunting trip, a disgusting motel room, and her brother, the "Poop Jentleman." Sasha Dobson performs her song, "Cross on My Heart," inspired by Patricia's writing, and about her own father. The show was recorded at a live performance at Joe's Pub in New York City.


Aura Hernandez + Denise Reis

Aura Hernandez has been living in a church on the Upper West Side for more than a year. She tells the story of how she came to take sanctuary in the church, and about her hopes for the future. Brazilian songwriter Denise Reis performs a song written in response to Aura's life story.


Rita Mullaney + Byron Isaacs

Retired police captain Rita Mullaney tells a story about two dislocated people who secretly lived for years in New York City police precincts, and veteran musician Byron Isaacs shares a song he wrote in response.


Kurt Andersen + Vienna Teng

Public radio's Kurt Andersen reads from his critical history of America, Fantasyland. He tells the story of colonist Anne Hutchinson and the singular religious rebellion she started, which led to her eventual banishment and death. Vienna Teng plays a song written in response, using a looper pedal and backwards vocals to depict an argument between the complex truth and simplistic jingoism.


Rick Moody + Xenia Rubinos

Bestselling author Rick Moody reads a chapter from his novel Hotels of North America, about love, marriage, and an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction. Xenia Rubinos talks about transience on tour, and plays her answer song, "Three Stars."


Roxane Gay + Aya Aziz

Bestselling author Roxane Gay reads her short story "Baby Arm," about love, friendship, and a women's fight club. Songwriter and playwright Aya Aziz performs "Push," and talks about how she came to write the song in response to Roxane's story.