The Podcasters

The Podcasts


Literature & The Night

The night! To sleep? Or to cavort? Ah, the agony of choice. Adam Smyth and James Kidd, finding themselves standing in a cold rural field amid an inky night, fumble onwards with fellow nocturnal stalkers Dylan Thomas, Margaret Atwood, John Milton, Robert Frost, Gerard Manley Hopkins, WH Auden, and Samuel Pepys. Plus a dash of 4.17am talk radio.

Bring a lantern: it’s dark out here. [first broadcast on Resonance FM in October 2015]

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Literature & Connection

In which Adam “I think I’ve missed” Smyth and James “the 10.34 to Chertsey” Kidd are joined by Dr Laurence Scott to talk about things aligning, and things just missing. Do we read to be understood? Is everyone alone? Does literature console, or push us away? How has the digital era changed what it means to be on the same wavelength as someone? What is a wavelength, anyway? And could Craigslist teach EM Forster a thing or two about ‘only connect’? We talk Ben Lerner, Stephen Spender, Stefan Zweig, Fry and Laurie, and more.

Ships in the night. What larks! [first broadcast on Resonance FM in November 2015]

Laurence Scott is a lecturer in English and Creative Writing, and is the author of the award-winning The Four-Dimensional Human: Ways of Being in the Digital World (2015). His essays and criticism have appeared in the Guardian, the Financial Times and the London Review of Books, among other publications. In 2011 he was named a ‘New Generation Thinker’ by the Arts and Humanities Council and the BBC. In 2014 he won the Royal Society of Literature Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson prize. He lives in London.

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Lit Bitlette ... Giving Up Books

In which James ‘Slow Reader’ Kidd, and Adam ‘Easily Distracted and Also Slow Reader’ Smyth, discuss the merits and perils of abandoning books. Too long? Too boring? Too difficult? And we haven’t even started talking about the books yet! Of course we’re joking. Pull up a hammock, slip off your pumps, and start listening—you can potter off to “make a cup of tea” after a couple of minutes. No one need know.

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Literature & Difficutly

In which James ‘Tricky’ Kidd and Adam ‘Tricky’ Smyth talk hard poems, hard novels, hard plays, for no hard cash. Why do we need literary works that we can’t understand? Join the pod as it orbits a galaxy of complexity and struggle featuring Geoffrey Hill, T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare, and James Patterson. That’s right: James Patterson. YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THE PATTERSON?

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Literature & Destruction

In which James Kidd and Adam Smyth are joined by bibliophile and jaunty-walker Gill Partington (left) to talk burning, eating, and cutting. What happens to a book when it is licked by flames? Can we literally consume fictions? And is that a pair of blades in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me? Complete with practical demonstrations and that ‘outdoorsy’ feel we know will listeners like—and all to celebrate the publication of this little beauty. What ho!

Gill Partington is an academic and writer working in the field of modern and contemporary literature and culture, with a particular focus on the materialities and technologies of writing. She’s written for—among other places—Radical Philosophy and the London Review of Books, is completing a book on internet conspiracy theories.

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Literature & Holidays

Holidays! And Literature! In which we go back in time to September 2013, when “Adam” and “James” meet in a pub to commiserate about the end of their vacations. Are holidays a good thing? Why are they over so quickly? Mark Twain speaks through Tom Sawyer. Andrew Marvell gets in that holiday spirit. Stanley Middleton describes a wet weekend in the pub. Bakhtin opens his mouth and other orifices. Madonna leads us in a rousing 80s singalong. Don your shorts, and short your dons (that doesn’t mean anything—ed.), and join us. The water’s lovely and damp. (First broadcast on Resonance FM in September 2014.)

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Literature and Exhaustion

You’re looking tired. Knackered, in fact. Us too. So what better than LITERATURE AND EXHAUSTION? Well obviously a holiday would be better but we can’t offer you that. What we can offer you is this: 29 minutes 46 seconds of drowsy musings on authors – Beckett, Woolf, Shakespeare, Tennyson – writing about being tired. If that isn’t better than two weeks on the beach, then my name’s Hattie Jacques. Download, relax, slumber, and before you know it, it’ll be February. Yours, Hattie.

(First broadcast on Resonance FM.)

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Litbits and Banned Books

In which Adam “Smyth” Smyth and James “Smyth” Kidd discuss literary censorship. Explosive, non? Just what is Banned Books Week? Why are books so dangerous? In the e-book age, is censorship a thing of the past? Why is Captain Underpants the most dangerous literary character in America? Should some books be banned for crime against literature? These questions, and more. Hang on, podders. (First broadcast on Resonance FM on October 1st, 2013).

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Litbits and Procrastination

In which tardy Adam Smyth and sloth-like James Kidd muse—FINALLY!—on the business of putting things off. They dance an intimate dance with deferral and trip gingerly to delay’s sweet hum.

Mark Twain. Geoff Dyer. Raymond Chandler. Kafka’s four hour-long naps. T.S. Eliot’s bank job. Thomas Bernhard. Shakespeare’s over-hastiness. Chaucer’s oxon. And more. But before you do that: pair those socks, listeners!

(First broadcast on Resonance FM.)

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"intelligent and irreverent ... cancel all social engagements and run a hot bath."

The Manchester Guardian

LitBits on the Wireless

Listen to Litbits on Resonance 104 FM on Tuesday evenings at 9 o'clock.