The Metaworker Podcast

Welcome to The Metaworker Podcast! We’ve published so much great stuff over the years but, as often happens with online magazines, the good stuff can get lost in the shuffle. So we created this podcast to discuss some of our favorite pieces and to delve deeper into the reasons we decided to publish them. (Though who are we kidding? Everything we publish is our favorite.) Our goal is to make the publishing world a little less murky, and to get you inspired to keep writing. We hope you enjoy these episodes as much as we enjoyed creating them!

All episodes are NOW LIVE on this page, on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and anywhere else you get your podcasts.

owl radio street art_photo by Cerid Jones
piano art_photo by Cerid Jones

The text of each poem/prose piece read in individual episodes is copyright by the respective author(s). The Metaworker Podcast © 2022 by The Metaworker editors is licensed under Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International. This means you may not sell, alter, or transcribe any part of the podcast, but you are free to share or copy the file as long as you retain attribution to The Metaworker and the author(s).

Episode Description:

Matthew, Elena, and Mel talk with Oisín Breen about his poem “The Borderland Furies” and about his new book of poetry, Lillies on the Deathbed of Étaín, published by Beir Bua Press. We discuss how to approach reading poems that we don’t understand on a first read, a reader’s interpretation of a poem vs. the author’s intention, and looking at the world from different angles to find writing inspiration. We ask Oisín how he finds time to write and what his process of writing a book of poetry entails, then the discussion turns philosophical as we discuss the concept of one’s self changing over time, and Plato’s concept of the idealized form of objects.

Author Bio:

Irish poet, doctoral candidate, and journalist, Oisín Breen, a Best of the Net Nominee, is published in 105 journals in 20 countries, including in Agenda, North Dakota Quarterly, Books Ireland, About Place, Door is a Jar, Northern Gravy, Decomp, and The Tahoma Literary Review. Breen’s second collection, Lilies on the Deathbed of Étaín has just been released to growing acclaim through Beir Bua Press (2023). It follows his critically well received debut, ‘Flowers, All Sorts, in Blossom…’ (Dreich, 2020).

Referenced in this episode: 

The Borderland Furies by Oisín Breen on The Metaworker website

Mourning by Oisín Breen on The Metaworker website

Lillies on the Deathbed of Étaín, Oisín’s newest book of poetry

Beir Bua Press – Oisín’s publisher, and publisher of post-avant, visual poetry collections

Flowers, all sorts in blossom, figs, berries, and fruits, forgotten – Oisín’s first book of poetry

Dublin & the Loose Footwork of Deity – a poem from Flowers, all sorts in blossom, figs, berries, and fruits, forgotten

Plato and the theory of forms

Book & Author Recommendations:

The Employees by Olga Ravn

Róisín Ní Neachtain, Irish writer and artist (Twitter @orphicreview)

W. Scott Howard, poet (Twitter @wscotth)

Episode Description:

Matthew, Elena, Mel, and Cerid talk with Isabel O’Hara Walsh about her short fiction piece “In the Willow Garden”. Content Warning: We discuss victims of trauma and abuse reclaiming their narratives, the process of writing dark and difficult stories, and the need to take care of one’s mental health while doing so. We also discuss different perspectives on the need for dark fiction vs. light fiction as well as Appalachian culture, language, and dialects. 

Author Bio:

Isabel O’Hara Walsh (she/they) is a graduate from the MFA program in fiction at North Carolina State University and is working on her second novel. She teaches fiction at the Redbud Writing Project, and also works as a Tarot reader and witch. Walsh writes literary fiction with touches of horror that bring buried stories to light. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her partner and many pets.

Referenced in this episode: 

In the Willow Garden by Isabel O’Hara Walsh on The Metaworker website

The Stray Birds band

Kirk Hazen, director of the West Virginia Dialect Project

Jane Austen novels

Promising Young Woman movie

Book Recommendations:

There There by Tommy Origin

White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

The Antiracist Writer’s Workshop by Felicia Rose Chavez

Episode Description:

In this final episode of the editors chat, Matthew, Elena, Mel and Cerid get personal. They talk about their own writing projects and how they approach their craft, they share what they get up to outside of their fiction lives and finally wrap things up by providing a list of great books from the recent reads they loved.

Referenced in this episode: 

Mermaids Monthly
NPR Top 100 SFF book list and other NPR book lists
Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse 5
Dark Tower: Stephen King

Book Recommendations:

The Bread the Devil Knead by Lisa Allen-Agostini

A Dead Djinn in Cairo and Master of Djinn by P. Djèlí Clark

Stariel series by AJ Lancaster

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

The King in Yellow by Robert Chambers

Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Beckoning of the Gate by Benjamin J. Ryan

Court of the Grandchildren by Michael Muntisov and Greg Finlayson

Borderlanders by Gillian Pollock

The Green Bone Saga by Fonda Lee

Dark Star trilogy by Marlon James

Episode Description:

Matthew, Elena, Mel, and Cerid talk about how they got into writing and why they are involved in the publishing world, even as unpaid editors of an indie literary magazine. They also delve into the type of submissions they’d like to see in their inbox.

Referenced in this episode: 

The Metaworker submission wish list

The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

Jane The Virgin – TV series

Brian Froud – Artist/concept creator

Kelly Link – Author

Neil Gaiman – Author

Long Ridge Writers Group

Topics of interest in this episode:

Magic realism and Cultural Traditions in Storytelling

Dungeons and Dragons

Genre Fiction/Lit Fic/Fantasy/Historical Fiction


Writing Affirmations/Craft Commentary

Episode Description:

Matthew, Elena, Mel, and new intern Cerid talk about how they fell in love with reading, then move into a history lesson about how The Metaworker got started, and how Mel and Cerid joined the team.

Referenced in this episode: 

Treesong by Melissa Reynolds on The Metaworker website

Cerid’s photo featured in A Fair Deal by Jon Kemsley on The Metaworker website

A translated poem, A Passage by Irsa Ruçi, on The Metaworker website

Episode Description:

Matthew, Elena, Marina, and Mel talk with Sam Asher about his beautifully strange story Boy, Deer, Chair. We discuss symbolism, inherited trauma, pantsers vs. plotters, and imposter syndrome. 

Referenced in this episode: 

Boy, Deer, Chair by Sam Asher on The Metaworker website

Chelsea Sutton – author recommended by Sam

Karen Joy Fowler – author recommended by Sam

Blackfish City by Sam Miller

Clarion Writers Workshop


Trans authors

Literary Magazines:


Fiyah LitMag


Apex Magazine

Strange Horizons

Uncanny Magazine

Mid-American Review

Author Bio:

Sam Asher is an alcoholic born and partly raised in the Middle-East, now living in New York. He loves translating English -language fiction into Arabic, and being terrible at social media. Find his work in Amazing Stories, Daily SF, and the Gateway Review.

Episode Description:

In this episode, Matthew, Marina, and Elena talk with Mary Paulson about her poem, Ruins. We talk about writing poetry to express deep emotions, writing and rewriting with help from community, and Mary’s own personal journey toward writing this version of this poem.

Referenced in this Episode: 

Ruins by Mary Paulson on The Metaworker website

Tenderness by Mary Paulson on The Metaworker website

Paint the Window Open by Mary Paulson, a new collection of poems

Donkey Gospel by Tony Hoagland, collection of poems recommended by Mary

What Do Women Want by Kim Addonizio, poet recommended by Mary

Author Bio:

Mary Paulson currently lives and works in Naples, FL. Her poems have appeared in Slow Trains, Mainstreet Rag, Painted Bride Quarterly, Nerve Cowboy, Arkana, Thimble Lit Magazine, and Tipton Poetry Journal. Her chapbook, Paint the Window Open, has recently been accepted for publication by Kelsay Publishing.

Episode Description:

Matthew, Marina, Melissa, and Elena talk about Mina Rozario’s flash fiction fantasy story, Rangoli Man. We gush about saying a lot in very few words, the utopian fairy-tale tone, and the story’s fascinating dive into Indian culture.

Referenced in this Episode:

Rangoli Man Mina Rozario on The Metaworker website

A Future Leviathan’s Prodigious Sister by Mina Rozario on The Metaworker website

Division of the Marked by March McCarron, book recommended by Mina

A Deadly Education (book 1 of the Scholomance Trilogy) by Naomi Novik, book recommended by Mina

Author Bio:

Mina Rozario is an Indian-American writer and technical product manager. Her non-work hours consist of dreaming up storylines, learning new dance styles, and trying not to kill her plants.

wolf street art_photo by Elena L Perez