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

It’s been a contemplative spring, friends, one as heavy with emotional processing as the branches of a flowering peony bush (you know, the ones near Chinese Reconciliation Park in Tacoma, with milky-white flowers larger than our fists and a melancholy that drags at the bush). We’ve been absorbed with emotional processing all year, it seems, and our latest podcast interview with Robert Lashley, an exceptionally lyrical and honest poet, was no different.

Robert joined us for a cathartic and open conversation about authenticity in art, the manifestation of grief, and the weight of public shaming. We also dived into respectability politics, gentrification and heritage, and were fortunate that Robert shared his poetry with us throughout the conversation. We hope you enjoy this one, folks, or at the very least, come away with a deeper appreciation for how our complex array of emotion and personal experience inform our art, whether intentional or not. Now grab those headphones, head to Chinese Reconciliation Park, and every now or then, look up from the flowers to watch the fog drift over the water. Drift with it.

*This episode of Prickly Pear Podcast was recorded at Hugo House, a resource and education center for writers, in Seattle. Thank you again to Hugo House for graciously allowing us to record our podcast in one of their cozy workshop spaces. Learn about upcoming writing workshops, readings, and opportunities to utilize writing spaces at HugoHouse.org.


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 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.