For the first couple of years, RMSYL involved me and a lit-bod (a writer, and/or reader) talking about a story or poem or essay they loved.

After about 50 episodes I ran out of steam with this format. I think what I was after was biblioconnection, maybe even bibliotherapy of a sort, and that perhaps needs a different approach. 

So the way it works now is that every couple of weeks I choose a short story that speaks to me in a manner that I can’t fully (consciously) comprehend. Stories as koans if you like.

I then read the story for the podcast, and maybe start writing about it a little for myself. At the same time chatting in a kind of freely-associative way with anyone who finds that maybe this particular story speaks to them too.

I guess I’m interested in using literature as ways of meeting people I wouldn’t normally meet and having the kinds of conversations I don’t normally have. The text is a very rich and resonant launchpad for this. 

I have always loved conversations where readers use literature in a Rorschach-y way to reveal something new or interesting to themselves. I am very much inspired by something called Reader Response Criticism, which was big in the 60s and 70s, but is not practiced that much anymore.

I first found out about this kind of reading by participating and then leading Get Into Reading groups: a deeply personal and person-centred way of engaging with literary texts and other people.

I really do believe that this is the best way to get the most interesting & fun stuff out of a text as well as each other, and that’s what I continue to try and do with this project.

To contact me: stevewasserman AT gmail.com

Or on Twitter: stevewasserman_

When I’m not reading/writing/making podcasts, you can find me here: http://stevewasserman.co.uk/

7 Responses to About

  1. I am no literary person and I am sure I am not great vocal reader, but I adore reading. My Chosen novel is my inspiration for even daring to take up your challenge. I would love to read ‘The Chronology of Water: A Memoir’ by Lidia Yuknavitch

    I am happy to visit you, unless you are coming to Birmingham?

  2. What a fantastic idea! Count me in, probably with a bit of Collins or Conan Doyle …

  3. Absolutely love your show!

    – From India

  4. Thank you so much!

  5. What an awesome vision and project! I love this. Wish I were in the UK so I could participate, but call me a happy Midwestern US listener in the meantime!

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