Across the Margin: The Podcast
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Host Michael Shields brings you Beyond the Margin, guiding you deeper into the stories told at the online literary and cultural magazine, Across the Margin. Listen in as they take you on a storytelling journey, one where you are bound to meet a plethora of intriguing writers, wordsmiths, poets, artists, activists, musicians, and unhinged eccentrics illustrating the notion that there are captivating stories to be found everywhere.

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    Episode 51: What Really Happened With Andrew Jenks

    In this latest episode of Beyond The Margin, host Michael Shields interviews award-winning filmmaker, TV producer, writer and podcaster Andrew Jenks with an episode focused on his latest project WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? Andrew Jenks is a prodigious storyteller who found success early on in his career. His participatory documentary Room 355, set in an assisted living facility, was picked up by HBO when he was just 19 years old. Following that he crafted additional documentaries aiming attention on the U.S. Criminal Justice System (dream/killer), the struggles of living with HIV/AIDS (It’s Not Over), and a bevy of other extraordinary stories (The Zen of Bobby Z, All American Family, Posterized). The New York Times has remarked that Andrew’s work “shines a light on populations that many of us would just as soon forget,” and now, he is utilizing his storytelling and research-based investigative reporting prowess in the podcasting realm with WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?, a podcast where Andrew examines and contextualizes famous figures and historical events, while discovering untold stories and unraveling newfound narratives. Andrew often times throws a wrench in the gears of history, getting either closer to the truth or creating more questions. WHAT REALLY HAPPENED? is executive produced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia of Seven Bucks Productions, Brian Gewirtz, Andrew Jenks and Cadence 13.

    In this episode, Michael and Andrew dig into the intricacies of the podcast series, and examine Jenks’ personal connection to the stories he is telling, ranging in topic from Winston Churchill to Michael Jordan to Bridgegate, Britney Spears and beyond. What this episode amounts to is an introduction to an altogether fascinating and talented filmmaker and human being, and also a behind the scenes look at a remarkably compelling podcast series.

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    Episode 50: Active Measures with Jack Bryan

    To mark its 50th episode, Beyond the Margin tackles one of the most pressing concerns of modern times: Russian influence in the United States’ 2016 presidential election and its ongoing sway on the President of the United States. To accomplish this in a comprehensive manner, host Michael Shields interviews filmmaker Jack Bryan, the figure behind one of 2018’s most talked about documentaries. Bryan is the director, writer, and producer of Active Measures (Available on iTunes and Hulu now!), a documentary which exposes a 30-year history of covert political warfare devised by Vladimir Putin to disrupt, influence, and ultimately control world events and democratic nations through cyber attacks, propaganda campaigns, and corruption. Bryan’s film is an important work of storytelling that provides a rich context for Russia's interference by tracing the history of its government’s shrewd geopolitical machinations.

    Jack Bryan is a dynamic filmmaker, and one intent on telling a story that must be told for the sake of Democracy’s well being in America. In this episode, Michael and Jack unravel the true depth and scope of "the Russia story" as seen in Active Measures. So prepare to dive deep into an extremely important episode that thoroughly explores one of the wildest and most comprehensively orchestrated scandals in political history.

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    Episode 49: The Deuce with Gary Carr

    In the latest episode of Across The Margin’s podcast, host Michael Shields dives into the seedy underworld of 1970’s New York City with the help of the incredibly talented actor Gary Carr, in an episode that revolves around HBO’s series The Deuce. The drama series, whose second season premieres September 9th at 9 p.m., is a show about the legalization, and subsequent rise of, the porn industry in America. Created by David Simon (The Wire, Treme, Show Me A Hero) and writer/producer George Pelecanos, The Deuce chronicles a unique period of time in America when the sex trade became mainstream and porn’s popularity exploded. This episode provides a glimpse into what lies ahead in The Deuce’s second season, while marveling at the weighty themes present in the entire series, from the ills of capitalism to the misfortunes of gentrification and to the corruptions of the justice system in America.

    Gary Carr is a multi-talented actor, director and musician, and he shares his insight into The Deuce and his role as C.C., a pimp, in this terse but informative episode. Carr is best known for his role as Sergeant Fidel Best in Death in Paradise and as the charming jazz musician Jack Ross in Downton Abbey, and his brilliant turn as C.C. in The Deuce is one for which he will be remembered for years to come. Join in as Michael and Gary dissect the psychology between pimps and their girls, the unity that exists between those that dwell in society’s margins, and the humanization of those often shunned by society that can be found in The Deuce, plus much, more!

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    Episode 48: The Realness With WNYC's Mary Harris

    In the latest episode of Across The Margin’s podcast, host Michael Shields introduces listeners to The Realness, a podcast series exploring the life and death of the rapper Prodigy which focuses in on his lifelong battle with Sickle Cell Anemia. To gain substantive insight into all the series has to offer, this episode features an interview with one of the hosts of The Realness and executive producer of WNYC’s health unit, Mary Harris. Michael and Mary dig into Prodigy’s life story in this episode, and dissect the broader issues surrounding Sickle Cell Anemia — a condition that overwhelmingly affects black Americans and is continuously underfunded — including medical racism and institutional neglect.

    Prodigy  stood as half (with Havoc) of the Queensbridge rap duo Mobb Deep, one of the most celebrated rap groups in the genre’s history. He was a unique and authentic artist, and a storyteller at heart having published a memoir, a crime novel, and even a cookbook (Commissary Kitchen). Mobb Deep is best known for their second album The Infamous, a bona-fide classic and one of hip-hop’s most influential and treasured albums, but the discussion you will come upon in this episode reaches far outside the realms of Prodigy prodigious talents, and deeply into the condition that affected almost every part of his life: from the sound of his rhymes to the circumstances of his death. So dive into an episode that celebrates the life of a truly remarkable individual (“the classic Greek hero” - Mary Harris), and also serves as an eye opening look at race and institutional neglect in medicine.

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    Episode 47: The Osiris Music Podcast

    In the latest episode of Across the Margin: The Podcast, host Michael Shields takes a step back from the typical format that regularly comprises the journeys Beyond The Margin, and once again digs into what it means to be a member of the Osiris Media Group. Osiris is a community of podcasts and podcasters that connects enthusiasts of the arts, culture and music with an eclectic and fascinating array of podcasts and live experiences. In Episode 43, Michael dove into the Arts, Culture and Comedy podcasts of Osiris, and to further round out Beyond The Margin's exploration of the experiences Osiris has to offer, this episode focuses in on the podcasts that are musically inclined, a bevy of offerings that celebrate jazz, indie and psychedelic rock, bluegrass, and more (and unequivocally, Osiris offers the most dynamic and compelling collection of podcasts dedicated to Phish, the Grateful Dead and Ween you will find anywhere)!

    Osiris Media’s specialty, its unparalleled strength, is its music podcasts, and this episode acts as a commemoration of this potency. Packing it in and offering insight into a plethora of Osiris’s library, this episode features micro-interviews with Brad Tenbrook from The Helping Friendly Podcast, the God Ween Evan team (Paul Gutkowski, Katie Hartman, Will Nunziata, and, of course, Evan Kaufman), The Tour’s Ted Canova, Phil Freeman of Burning Ambulance Podcast, Jonathan Hart of Brokedown Podcast, Staci Smith of Strangers Stopping Strangers, Ira Haberman of The Sound Podcast, Rob Turner of Inside Out With Turner & Seth, Brian Brinkman of Beyond The Pond, Dawn Jenkins of Phemale-Centrics, and Harvey Couch of The Bluest Tape. So join in on a sonic journey that goes well Beyond The Margin, and deep into the music-laden world of Osiris!

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    Episode 46: Christian Niedan's Hollywood Interviews

    In the latest episode of Beyond The Margin, host Michael Shields sits with down writer, editor, and film historian Christian Niedan to talk about his recently-concluded, eight part “Hollywood Interview” series published by Across The Margin. From 2009-2014 Christian ran the film interview site Camera In The Sun, and more recently he published interviews with writers, poets, photographers, comedians, and other creatives on the website of Oakland-California-based literary nonprofit, Nomadic Press, for which he also volunteered as an event coordinator for poet/music showcases around Brooklyn. In addition, Christian recently published several serialized works about film and television for the print/online culture publication At Large Magazine, all of which fashion Christian with an unparalleled wealth of knowledge about the film industry. In this episode, the unique Hollywood artists who are the subjects of Christian’s interviews are discussed (L.Q. Jones, Hampton Fancher, Alison Martino, William Lustig, Penelope Spheeris, Walter Mosley, Larry Cohen, and Thom Anderson) and with it listeners are treated to a behind the scenes looks at filmmaking and what has inspired today’s greatest storytellers. So join in on an episode tailor made for film buffs and storytellers of all kinds!

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    Episode 45: John Perry Barlow's Mother American Night

    In the latest episode of Across The Margin’s podcast, host Michael Shields, with the help of recurring guest George Guidotti, explores the recently released memoir of the late, great John Perry Barlow. As exhibited by his memoir, Mother America Night: My Life In Crazy Times, John Perry Barlow was an extraordinary human, who throughout his remarkable life was entirely and wonderfully multifaceted. He was a poet and essayist, a cattle rancher, a political activist, a freedom fighter who championed an independent internet, a lyricist for the Grateful Dead, and a founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Freedom of the Press Foundation. There are few individuals in the last fifty years whose life has been at the center of so many cultural and political touchstones as Barlow has, and Mother America Night, and thus this episode, acts as a window into the life of a steadfast American icon.

    In this episode, Michael and George delve into Mother America Night, which will forever stand as an essential text for understanding the historic, far-reaching, and influential life of John Perry Barlow. Expanding upon his remarkable experiences and unique encounters, from his early days as a cattle rancher in Wyoming, to clubbing with Andy Warhol in New York, to hanging with the Dead on Haight-Ashbury and beyond, this episode pulls you deep into the riveting life and journeys of Barlow and offers a glimpse of the remarkable memoir he left behind. To finish off the podcast, Barlow’s songwriting is enthusiastically digested, and his profound and much-celebrated list of The 25 Principles of Adult Behavior is examined and praised. So join in on an ode to a true original, and one of the most interesting people to ever walk the planet.

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    Episode 44: Who Is John Gosslee?

    Simply put, John Gosslee is an author, poet, and editor. But with his prodigious and ever-expanding presence in the literary world, we here at Across The Margin believe such an elementary definition of Gosslee will not suffice. With this in mind, we felt the need to get to know more about such a unique and ambitious artist. In order to dig down to the root of the question regarding who exactly John Gosslee is, it was imperative to get a first hand account of the various projects he helms, the books he has written, and the myriad of ventures he has embarked upon. In this latest episode of Beyond the Margin, we take a journey into the mind of a true original and an all around literary citizen.

    This is an episode where Gosslee’s early days birthing the renowned literary magazine Fjords Review are recalled, his time at Pank Magazine (“the riskiest magazine on the literary scene”) is discussed, and where we delve into all his work with C and R Press and take a look at his recent tenure as the Editor In Chief of the New York based Arts publication Quiet Lunch. Amazingly, Gosslee oversaw all these endeavors while he was in the midst of releasing a collection of deeply thought-provoking and engaging books including: 12 Sonnets For the Zodiac (nominated for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award and the Pulitzer Prize), Blitzkrieg, Analog, the controversial Out Of Context, and Fish Boy, and after touching on each book and to wind down the interview, Gosslee’s exciting forthcoming release, 50 Contemporary Women Artists: Groundbreaking Contemporary Art From 1960 to Now, was discussed as well as his collaboration with Across The Margin in Notes on A Poetry Film I never Made (ATM Publishing, Coming Soon…). Want to learn more about a tireless artist capable of such a prolific output? — find out more on this latest journey Beyond the Margin.

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    Episode 43: The Osiris Podcast

    In the latest episode of Across the Margin: The Podcast, host Michael Shields takes a step back from the typical format that regularly comprises the journeys Beyond The Margin, and digs into what it means to be a member of the Osiris Media Group. Osiris is a community of podcasts and podcasters that connects enthusiasts of the arts, culture and music with an eclectic and fascinating array of podcasts and live experiences. In an episode that features three interviews with a trio of seasoned, knowledgeable podcasters, Michael delves into the Osiris podcasts that are not musically focused (an episode dedicated to the music of Osiris is forthcoming!). First up, is an interview with Bob Crawford, co-host of the The Road To Now. The Road to Now explains the history behind important events and outstanding individuals of modern times. Created in 2016 by Dr. Benjamin Sawyer of Middle Tennessee State University and Bob Crawford, a founding member of the Grammy-nominated band The Avett Brothers, The Road to Now has brought historians, politicians, journalists and artists to the table for conversations that illuminate the map that brought us to where we are today. Next, listeners are introduced to Fear Of A Craft Beer Planet, a craft beer podcast hosted by lifelong friends Jay Rose, James “Richard” Rabic, and Rob Forczek, through an interview with Jay Rose. Jay and Rob have been in the NJ beer business for decades and Richard is a seasoned broadcaster, and together they converse upon the business of beer, and discuss at length the parallels between the beer and the music industry. Lastly, a glimpse into the podcast Daddy Unscripted is offered through an interview with host Tim Wheaton. Daddy Unscripted is a podcast about being a dad. Each episode is a loose conversation with the host and his guest talking about their history with their own dad, how they approach being a dad, and how they manage doing so within their walk of life. So, sit back and enjoy a podcast that is All Osiris Everything!

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    Episode 42: Borders with Journalist Johnny Harris (Vox)

    In this most recent installment of Beyond the Margin, the stories that are born amid the lines that humans have used to divvy up the planet are explored. In an discussion centered on Borders, a Vox series which examines the human stories behind physical and political borders, one of the most important episodes of Beyond The Margin is birthed. In order to dig deeply into the stories told in Borders, host Michael Shields enlisted the help of the storyteller behind the series, Johnny Harris. Johnny is an Emmy-nominated journalist and filmmaker based in Washington, DC, where he makes web videos for Vox.com, reporting on interesting trends and stories both domestically and around the globe. Johnny's visual style blends motion graphics with cinematic videography to create content that explains complex issues in relatable ways.

    Throughout their discussion, Michael and Johnny discuss the origin of Borders and then promptly embark on a journey around the globe — from Haiti to Japan, Norway to Guatemala and to Nepal and Spain — as they walk through some of the specifics of each intriguing and eye-opening episode. As stated on Border’s website: “Borders can encourage exchange or instigate violence. They can provide refuge, or they can criminalize those that cross them. Borders symbolize a nation’s anxiety about the world, and as political leaders regulate the lines on the map, there will be human stories at the mercy of those choices.” Listen in on a profoundly meaningful episode, rife with stories that absolutely must be told.

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