Episode 7: Abby E. Murray’s Snack Pack PhD Regalia

That’s right, Blue Cactus Press snagged an interview with Abby E. Murray, award-winning author, educator, and the 2019 – 2021 Tacoma poet laureate! Abby joined us earlier this spring for a delightfully weird conversation about expensive-AF writing retreats, juggling balls and spinning plates, and figuring out how many snacks one can fit into their PhD regalia (spoiler alert: approximately 8-9 snacks, unless one is lumpy, in which case one can fit many, many more snacks).

More importantly, we chatted about Abby’s incredible, community-centered work at The Selma R Carson Home, where she holds writing workshops for undocumented and unaccompanied boys, and her role at Collateral, a literary journal showcasing creative writing and art exploring the impact of violent conflict and military service beyond the combat zone.

*Learn more about Abby and her subversive plans as Tacoma’s new poetry queen (note: we need no kings) here, or visit the Tacoma Poet Laureate webpage.


About Our Sponsor

The Prickly Pear Podcast is sponsored by Oakes & Alder​ day spa and apothecary. Each of our episodes is recorded in Oakes & Alder’s lovely space in North End, Tacoma, where you can partake in spa services and find natural skincare products and bulk herbs. Learn more about the spa on Facebook at Oakes & Alder or IG at @oakesandalder! To see it in person, head to Oakes & Alder, 2714 N 21st St, Tacoma, WA 98406.

Episode 6: Good-Ass Hot Chicken ft. José Olivarez and Britteney Black Rose Kapri

Earlier this month, Blue Cactus Press sat down with poetry giants José Olivarez and Britteney Black Rose Kapri for a live podcast recording at King’s Books! José and Britteney joined The Prickly Pear podcast host, Christina Butcher, and local poet Michael Haeflinger, in a discussion about poetry, creative influences, and life as teaching artists and working writers. We also spent a fair amount of time debating the worst best movie sequels of our time, mail fraud and good-ass hot chicken. Oh, and there’s a new emcee in town by the name of Vanilla Sexy …

This episode was live-recorded at King’s Books in Tacoma, Washington state. It was sponsored by Write253, as part of the fourth annual Louder Than A Bomb (LTAB)-Tacoma teen poetry slam festival. LTAB-Tacoma took place in March, 2019, and included youth poets from 13 schools in Pierce and Thurston counties of Washington state.


About Our Sponsor

The Prickly Pear Podcast is sponsored by Oakes & Alder​ day spa and apothecary. Each of our episodes is recorded in Oakes & Alder’s lovely space in North End, Tacoma, where you can partake in spa services and find natural skincare products and bulk herbs. Check the spa out on Facebook at Oakes & Alder or IG at @oakesandalder! To see it in person, head to Oakes & Alder, 2714 N 21st St, Tacoma, WA 98406.

Episode 5: Weird Flex But Okay … with Jonah Barrett

We’re bringing the weird, friends! We’ve been stuck indoors all winter and we’re LOSING OUR MINDS! Luckily, though, we’re losing our minds with filmmaker, writer and multimedia artist Jonah Barrett.

In this episode, Jonah chats about his obsession with dark places (we’re talking caves, abandoned houses and creepy forests),  his “finite experience on the YouTubez,” and his past, present and future creative endeavors. There’s also a fair amount of sh*t talking (you’re welcome), and an ridiculous Q&A session fueled by friends.

**BONUS: Jonah rehashes his experience performing a personal essay, “Anal Pleasure & Health,” on this podcast episode.  He debuted the essay at Creative Colloquy in January 2019 (a video of his performance is below), and we’re *incredibly* excited announce that we’re featuring “Anal Pleasure & Health” online here at Blue Cactus Press.

Jonah also chats about one of his biggest ongoing projects, Wordsmiths, during the podcast. Wordsmiths is a video mini-series featuring literary groups in the Pacific Northwest and their impact on their local communities. We’ve included the first installment of Wordsmiths, “Chapter One,” for you below. In “Chapter One,” Jonah interviews Jackie Casella and Joshua Swainston of Tacoma’s Creative Colloquy – a nonprofit where writers come together and read their work monthly.

To see more of Jonah’s creative work, visit his YouTube channel, LazyEyesInc, or visit his website, Malicious Wallydrags. Jonah’s writing can be found in Creative Colloquy, Everyday Genius, Lit.Cat, OlyArts, and the bestselling Portland anthology City of WeirdJonah has directed and written two feature films, a dozen-ish short films and three web series. He’s also worked as a literary magazine and anthology editor, journalist, assistant director, script supervisor and art conservator.


About Our Sponsor

The Prickly Pear Podcast is sponsored by Oakes & Alder​ day spa and apothecary. Each of our episodes is recorded in Oakes & Alder’s lovely space in North End, Tacoma, where you can partake in spa services and find natural skincare products and bulk herbs. Check the spa out on Facebook at Oakes & Alder or IG at @oakesandalder! To see it in person, head to Oakes & Alder, 2714 N 21st St, Tacoma, WA 98406.