The Prickly Pear Podcast

A literary arts podcast featuring interviews with creative people at the crossroads of artistic media. The Prickly Pear Podcast is hosted by Blue Cactus Press publisher and poet Christina Butcher. The music in our bomb-ass podcast was created exclusively for Blue Cactus Press by Tacoma-based Austin Scheen, a Tacoma-based DJ, producer and artist. Our podcast is sponsored by Oakes & Alder​ day spa in Tacoma, WA.

Episode 8: Therapy Isn’t a Death Sentence with Robert Lashley

featuring the exceptionally lyrical and achingly honest poet, Robert Lashley.  Originally from Hilltop, Tacoma, Robert is a Jack Straw Fellow, Artist Trust Fellow, and nominee for a Stranger Genius Award. His poems have been published in literary journals including Feminete, Seattle Review of Books, NAILED, Gramma, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, and The Cascadia Review. His work was also featured in Many Trails to the Summit, an anthology of Northwest form and lyric poetry, and It Was Written, an anthology of poetry inspired by hip hop.

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

featuring award-winning author, educator and 2019 – 2021 Tacoma poet laureate Abby E. Murray. Murray is a self-identified “conflicted pacifist impacted by military service,” and her poetry explores the effects of war beyond the combat zone. She’s the editor of Collateral, a literary and arts journal featuring work in the same vein, and the author of two chapbooks: Quick Draw: Poems from a Soldier’s Wife (2012) and How to be Married After Iraq (2018). Abby was awarded the Perugia Press Poetry Prize in February. She’ll release Hail and Farewell, her first full-length poetry collection, with Perugia Press this fall.

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

featuring poetry giants Michael Haeflinger, Britteney Black Rose Kapri and José Olivarez.


José Olivarez is the son of Mexican immigrants. His debut book of poems, Citizen Illegal, was awarded the 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize, and it was named a top book of 2018 by NPR and the New York Public Library. Along with Felicia Chavez and Willie Perdomo, he is co-editing the forthcoming anthology, The BreakBeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT. He is the co-host of the poetry podcast, The Poetry Gods and a recipient of fellowships from CantoMundo, Poets House, the Bronx Council on the Arts, the Poetry Foundation, & the Conversation Literary Festival.


Britteney Black Rose Kapri is a teaching artist, writer, performance poet, and playwright. She is the author of Black Queer Hoe (Haymarket Books, 2018). Her writing has been published in Poetry magazine, Vinyl, Day One, SevenScribes, and Kinfolks Quarterly. She is an alumna turned teaching artist fellow at Young Chicago Authors. Kapri is also a staff member and writer for Black Nerd Problems, and a former Rona Jaffe Writers Award recipient. She lives in Chicago.

Michael Haeflinger

Michael Haeflinger is a local poet, musician and educator. He’s also the executive director of Write253, a non-profit youth literacy organization serving Pierce County. Michael earned a BA in Religion from Wright State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Rutgers University. He is the author of two chapbooks of poetry: Love Poem for the Everyday (2011) and The Days Before (2013). In 2016, he released Let’s Don’t Be Crazy, a spoken word album partially funded by the Tacoma Arts Commission.

Episode 5: Weird Flex But Okay … With Jonah Barrett

featuring filmmaker, writer and multimedia artist Jonah Barrett. Jonah’s writing can be found in Creative Colloquy, Everyday Genius, Lit.Cat, OlyArts, and the bestselling Portland anthology City of Weird. Jonah 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.

Episode 4: Experimental Artist & Library Gangster, Nicole McCarthy

featuring Seattle-based writer/poet/artist Nicole McCarthy. Nicole is from the pacific northwest. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics from the University of Washington Bothell. Her work has been performed and encountered through installation pieces throughout Seattle & Tacoma.

Episode 3: Samuel Snoek-Brown, Badass Women & Whiskey

featuring Tacoma-based author and educator Samuel Snoek-Brown. Sam is the author of the new short story collection There Is No Other Way to Worship Them, the Civil War novel Hagridden and short-fiction chapbooks Where There Is Ruin and Box Cutters. He also serves as production editor for Jersey Devil Press.

Episode 2: Kellie Richardson on the Mic

featuring Tacoma Poet Laureate, educator, writer and collage artist Kellie Richardson. Kellie is also the badass creator and blogger of Brown Betty and author of What Us Is.

Episode 1: The Sh*t You Don’t Know About Creative Colloquy 

featuring Creative Colloquy founder, professional booze-slinger and freelance writer Jackie Casella.

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.