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Confessing Animals

Arts & Culture Podcasts

Confessing Animals is a series of conversations writers and artists. One guest at a time, Jen + Vanessa ask, How Does Your Life Translate to Art?

Confessing Animals is a series of conversations writers and artists. One guest at a time, Jen + Vanessa ask, How Does Your Life Translate to Art?


United States


Confessing Animals is a series of conversations writers and artists. One guest at a time, Jen + Vanessa ask, How Does Your Life Translate to Art?







In light of the impending overturn of Roe v Wade, Vanessa & Jen attended the Planned Parenthood Rally: BANS OFF OUR BODIES on May 14, 2022 at Mill Creek Park in Kansas City, MO. – But before we did, we interviewed Justice Gatson Justice Gatson is the Director at Reale Justice Network. An Intimate Partner Violence Advocate and Motivational Speaker. She works with Black Mama’s Bail Out with National to specifically address the needs of incarcerated black mothers. IG...


Reality Bites: Live @ Charlotte Street Foundation w/Vanessa Aricco

Live @ Charlotte Street Foundation w/Vanessa Aricco Reading 1: On the Cusp of Air & Water [Full length poetry manuscript, forthcoming] Read 2: My Chelsea Girls / Self Saints of Becoming [WIP] Vanessa Aricco is a multimedia poet exploring conflict and duality, the precarious nature of life and the anxiety that arises from it. She is the co-host of Confessing Animals, an interview-style podcast discussing creativity with writers. Her work includes two poetry albums, The Midnight Rush and...


Gay PK (Pastor’s Kid): Ash Parsons

Ashley Parsons (she/her) is a queer woman who tells true stories about love, mystery, and embodiment through writing, photography, mentoring, and speaking. She is an alumni of the 2019 Thread at Yale program through the Yale Journalism Initiative and the winner of The Moth / Snap Judgment Competition. Her award-winning work as a storyteller has been captured in photographs, films, and multimedia via We Are the Parsons, Huffington Post, American Photo Magazine, and Real Simple Weddings among...


Our Destination is Now: Bonus w/Rev. Dr. Peter Tremain

Listen to Rev. Dr. Peter Tremain's full episode: Dirt, Water & Grace Listen, Love, Support Us! J+V Support the show (


Fleeing & Finding Home: Waleska Barroeta

Waleska Barroeta/Waleska Font She/Her/Hers Waleska (she/her) is a Venezuelan multidisciplinary artist. Waleska is a cultural promoter, copyeditor, teacher and poet, having performed in Mexico, Venezuela, and Kansas City. Her work explores the limitations of bilingualism, sexuality, culture, and identity. Waleska is currently a board member of No Divide Kansas City and a sponsored artist for Poetry for Personal Power. Instagram @wlskafont No Divide KC Queer...


DIRT, WATER, & GRACE: Rev. Dr. Peter Tremain

Peter Tremain is a retired Lutheran Pastor, who served as Pastor of three congregations over a span of forty years. After retirement and the death of his wife he traveled solo outside the USA at least two months a year for the last ten years with only a backpack, staying in hostels, walking the 500 mile long Camino de Santiago in 2013. He is interested in Contemplative Spirituality as it transcends the arbitrary boundary between the sacred and secular nurturing a non-dualistic view of...


True Crime Fairy Tale: Peregrine Honig

Season 4 is all about Confession! Our first guest is Peregrine Honig: Artist. Curator. Writer. Wife. CW: Mention of sex trafficking, pedophile, ephebophile, and murder Peregrine Honig (she/her) (born 1976 in San Francisco, CA) is an American artist whose work is concerned with the relationship between pop culture, sexual vulnerability, social anxieties, the ethics of luxury and trends in consumerism. Her work is included in the permanent collections of The New York Public Library, The...


Writing and Rewriting the Self

Welcome to Season 4 of Confessing Animals Podcast. Jen and Vanessa discuss why this podcast is called Confessing Animals and talk a lot of shit per the us cuz no one's listening! *plz note that Vanessa says "appear" when she meant to say "appeal" A few things we talk about: Michel Foucault Jean Baudrillard Simulacrum Confession Culture Writing Holy Shit Special Guest coming soon Peregrine Honig! Jen Harris Write With Me Vanessa Aricco Tin...


Happy New Year: Unabridged

Happy First Year! Jen calls Vanessa, who's two mimosas deep, on her tin can to wrap up the first year of Confessing Animals. Intro and Outro Poems by Vanessa Aricco Download poetry albums! We love you <3 Intro & music provided by Ashley Raines Follow us on Instagram @confessinganimalspodcast Listen, Love & Support Us! Support the show (


How to Make The Darkness Glow: Andreas Fleps

Andreas Fleps is a poet based near Chicago. He studied theology and philosophy at Dominican University, and his debut collection of poems entitled, “Well into the Night” (via Energion Publications) was released at the end of 2020. He translates teardrops. Buy the book! Well Into the...


The Gossipers In My Mind: Patrick Grant

Patrick Grant grew up in Overland Park, KS where he is now a high school Spanish teacher. After graduating from the University of Kansas, Patrick worked with a Christian collegiate ministry in San Antonio, Texas and then the Dominican Republic. In his free time he enjoys playing sports, hanging with friends and family, and being overly-particular about beer and coffee. Seasoned and fresh-faced artists (of every genre) discuss how to make creativity...


What Remains Unsaid: Andrew Mcilvaine

PLUG Gallery Solid Poetry: Andrew Mcilvaine Andrew Mcilvaine is an interdisciplinary artist originally from Southern Texas and later relocated to Missouri. Mcilvaine makes work that explores notions such as the displacement and replacement of culture through settler colonialism, identity, trauma, memory, and longing. Currently Mcilvaine's practice is based in Kansas City, Missouri and he holds a visiting assistant professor position in the Foundation department at...


Capsule Review Queen: film, origami & creativity with Leanne Kubicz

Leanne Kubicz is an origami artist and tv & film critic based in Kansas City, MO. A person of many talents, she was an official statistician for the New York Red Bulls Major League Soccer team from 2001-2013, was founder of her own company -- 1898 House Nail Lacquer, and was also a reference librarian. Leanne is currently working on multiple origami projects and has a new Substack for capsule film reviews. IG @leannekpaper TWITTER...


Sacred Rage: Rachel Puckett

Rachel Puckett is a lifestyle and wedding photographer residing in Columbus, Ohio, who has dreams bigger than her body can handle at the moment. When her 7th grade Biology teacher enthusiastically insisted the students were all scientists, her eyes lit up and she received the title in earnest and has looked at the world with curiosity and a hunger to understand ever since. Her love of writing and photography take root from the lineage of irreverent storytellers she comes from and she finds...


Tossed & Found: Erin J. McGrane

Erin McGrane is a writer; musician; actress; public speaker; and professional development mentor. Notably, Erin appears in the Oscar-nominated film, UP IN THE AIR alongside George Clooney. She has toured the US extensively with her musical group, Victor & Penny, and co-founded an annual performance, creativity, and songwriting event. Erin was honored in KC Magazine’s “The 100: People who make Life Better in KC" and is proud to say she misspent her youth singing in a rock...


A Liberation Tool: Stephen Hill

Stephen Hill is a human aboard Spaceship Earth trying to figure things out through writing, shaping, talking, helping, and documenting. His present location is within the Kansas City Metro area with his family, and he helps pay the bills by working for Mid-continent Public Library's Delivery Services. He'd like everyone to know that Truth is at the intersection, so keep on intersecting. Websites Steve Radio! on Spotify...


Ordinary Magic: Heather C Moll

Heather C. Moll (she/her) lives on the edge of the windswept Canadian plains. She spends her days searching for her muse, (who visits, most often and inconveniently, when she is cleaning toilets or walking her big, fluffy dog) and parceling words into poems. Her poems center around themes of grief, trauma, the childhood she spent on a dairy farm and paying attention to ordinary magic. She’s a college drop-out with a thirst for information, a nature-lover, wife, mom to two teenagers and...


Gospel of Courage: LA Roquemore

LA Roquemore is a writer, a conversationalist, a professional photographer, a mother, a wife, an asker of ALL the questions, a collector of moments, and an encourager of souls. She hosts writing workshops in Lakeland, Florida where she lives with her husband, her three kids, and their cat, and is launching a podcast called the Gospel of Courage very soon. Websites Social...


Truth Is An Illegal Substance: Calvin Arsenia

Order Calvin’s book Every Good Boy Does Fine now! Calvin Arsenia has built a reputation for turning the arts world on its head. Voted Kansas City’s Best Musician 2018, 2019, and 2020 (PitchKC), and featured on,, NEWNOWNEXT,, and, Arsenia’s angelic stylings on voice and harp create rare harmonies and arrangements that look past the boundaries of his traditional gospel and classical upbringing. Known for his elaborate and ceremonious sensory concert...


To Be Considered: Courtney Faye Taylor

Courtney Faye Taylor is the winner of the 92Y Discovery / Boston Review Poetry Prize and an Academy of American Poets Prize. Her work has featured in Poetry Magazine, The Nation, Ploughshares, The New Republic, Kenyon Review, Best New Poets 2020 and elsewhere. Courtney is a graduate of the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers’ Program and is the Poetry Editor of SLICE Magazine. She is a Mae Fellow and a Charlotte Street Foundation resident where she is working on her debut collection of...