The Ivory Tower Boiler Room Podcast

The Podcast Episodes

To hear the rest of the episode, join our Ivory Tower Boiler Room Cafe ($5 a month):

What a special queer male reunion of sorts, since Andrew met Jesse in June, 2022 when they both attended the Queer History conference, in San Francisco. When Andrew discovered Jesse’s queer artistic Instagram account, @queer_modernisms, he knew that Jesse had to come into the Ivory Tower Boiler Room to discuss his project with you all. Jesse has never given a podcast interview, and this is such a treat because many who follow his account don’t know who is behind “Queer Modernisms.” Right away Jesse reveals why this project is a form of self-education and how he defines the queer modernist time period. 

Jesse and Andrew leave you on the edge of your homoerotic seats since Jesse is about to reveal why Instagram hides some of his more steamy art, and he discusses the idea of shadow banning. This topic is been all the buzz in the Real Housewives universe with Bethenny Frankel and Kelly Dodd (Andrew loves them both)! Listen to the entire episode, another 20 minutes, by joining our ITBR Cafe ($5 a month) where you can hear all of our bonus episodes! 

Make sure to follow “Queer Modernisms” on IG, @queer_modernisms. See Jesse’s academic work here:

To subscribe to The Gay and Lesbian Review visit Click Subscribe, and enter promo code ITBR to receive a free copy with any print or digital subscription.

Head to Broadview Press, an independent academic publisher, for all your humanities related books. Use code ivorytower for 20% off your order.

Follow ITBR on IG, @ivorytowerboilerroom, TikTok, @ivorytowerboilerroom, and Twitter, @IvoryBoilerRoom!

Join The Ivory Tower Boiler Room Cafe, $5 a month, to listen to our bonus episode with Matthew here:

Content Warning: Sexual Abuse

Andrew is joined with queer male author, Matthew Clark Davison who recently wrote “Doubting Thomas,” a novel about an openly gay male fourth-grade teacher who gets accused of sexually abusing one of his students. But what happens when you are innocent and unjustly accused? Matthew’s book deals with topics like “cancel culture,” “homophobic rhetoric,” and “education in the 21st century.” Matthew opens up about fleeing home because of homophobia and traveling to San Francisco to find his queer community. How can queer educators, authors, and artists be unapologetically queer without worrying about homophobic backlash?

Matthew leaves us on the edge of our seats by bringing up what it’s like to be an openly gay educator at a university. Our 20 minute bonus episode, on ITBR Cafe, discusses this difficult topic and others like dealing with parents who are protesting LGBTQ+ topics in school districts. Matthew and Andrew get even more uncensored when they discuss the difficulty of being openly queer in America, while so many want to put queer people back in the closet.

Follow Matthew on IG, @matthewclarkdavison, and on Twitter, @MatthewCDavison

Get your hands on Matthew’s “Doubting Thomas” here:

Or, listen to his audiobook, wonderfully performed by Ron Butler:

To subscribe to The Gay and Lesbian Review visit Click Subscribe, and enter promo code ITBR to receive a free copy with any print or digital subscription.

Head to Broadview Press, an independent academic publisher, for all your humanities related books. Use code ivorytower for 20% off your order.

Follow That Ol’ Gay Classic Cinema on Instagram, @thatolgayclassiccinema.

Want to hear all of Jesse’s insider info. about Mary’s relationship with Sondheim? Become an ITBR Café member (only $5):

On this day, November 25th, 1959, the Broadway musical “Once Upon a Mattress” officially opened on Broadway! Join Andrew as he celebrates the 63rd anniversary of “Once Upon a Mattress” with Jesse Green, the Chief Theater Critic of the NY Times. Right away, Jesse opens up about his working relationship and eventual friendship with Mary Rodgers, one of the first female Broadway composers (known for “Once Upon a Mattress”). Jesse explains how Mary’s memoir came to be and all of the topics that she discussed with him, including her relationship with her father, Broadway composer Richard Rodgers, and her son, Adam Guettel, known for composing “The Light in the Piazza.” 

Yes her father was that Rodgers, of Rodgers and Hammerstein, known for creating the music for “Oklahoma,” “South Pacific,” “The Sound of Music,” “Cinderella,” and many more musicals. Get ready for a Golden Age of Broadway discussion including what Mary thought of these musicals, what she thought of Oscar Hammerstein, the lyricist of these musicals, and how she met Stephen Sondheim, whose mentor was Oscar. 

Jesse reveals how “Once Upon a Mattress” came to be, how Carol Burnett landed the role of Winnifred, and what Mary worked on after “Mattress.” What did Mary think of future female Broadway composers? What would Mary think of the current Broadway Musical landscape? 

And Jesse leaves you on the edge of your seat by teasing what Mary thought of each Sondheim musical? To listen to that bonus audio, head to our ITBR Café, our Patreon, and listen to an extra 10 minutes of bonus audio! 

Get your hands on “Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers” written by Mary Rodgers and Jesse Green:

Read more of Jesse’s work here, and follow him on Twitter, @JesseKGreen

To subscribe to The Gay and Lesbian Review visit Click Subscribe, and enter promo code ITBR to receive a free copy with any print or digital subscription.

Follow That Ol’ Gay Classic Cinema on Instagram, @thatolgayclassiccinema

Want to hear the rest of Andrew, David, and Paul’s Queer Poe discussion? Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café member (only $5):

What a special academic episode since Andrew is joined with David Greven and Paul C. Jones who Andrew considers his queer male 19th-century American Lit. mentors and guides! He met David and Paul at the Fifth International Edgar Allan Poe conference in Boston last April, and they don’t waste any time digging into what drew them to Poe’s stories and poetry. They discuss their favorite queer theory scholars, how they teach queer literature in the classroom, and so much more! Andrew leaves you on the edge of your seat by asking David and Paul whether an author has to have been gay or queer in order to read their texts that way? Can you separate the author from their text?

Want to hear the rest of their queer literary conversation (another 23 minutes), join The Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café! It’s $5 a month which is like you’re paying us for a cup of coffee. 

Follow David on Twitter, @david_greven, and Paul, @pjathensohio

Get your hands on Paul’s Poe, Queerness, and the End of Time here:

You can find all of David’s work here:

Head to Broadview Press, an independent academic publisher, for all your humanities related books. Use code ivorytower for 20% off your order.

To subscribe to The Gay and Lesbian Review visit Click Subscribe, and enter promo code ITBR to receive a free copy with any print or digital subscription.

Want to hear the rest of Elizabeth and Andrew’s review of Blonde? Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café member (only $5):

Content Warning: Sexual Abuse and Psychological Abuse

Elizabeth Winder, the writer of Marilyn in Manhattan: Her Year of Joy  joins Andrew to share their hot takes on the new Netflix film Blonde. This is most definitely an uncensored film analysis since Elizabeth and Andrew don’t hold back from giving their honest opinion of this film. They parse out what’s fact vs. what’s fiction in the film and explore the source material for this film, Joyce Carol Oates’ fictional biography of Marilyn Monroe. Elizabeth explains the mythical power of Marilyn and reveals the reality of her Hollywood and Manhattan life! And, we leave you on the edge of your seats when it comes to the JFK and Marilyn storyline in the film. And, why is this the first NC-17 Netflix film? We have the answers! Join us on Patreon to listen to the rest of the episode, an extra 30 minutes! 

We are so excited to welcome Elizabeth back in The Ivory Tower Boiler Room so if you haven’t yet, make sure you listen to our Marilyn in Manhattan episode with her:

You can watch the film on Netflix:

And if you’re interested in Joyce Carol Oates’ novel, here it is:

If you don’t have it already, get your hands on Elizabeth’s Marilyn Monroe biography, Marilyn in Manhattan here:

To subscribe to The Gay and Lesbian Review visit Click Subscribe, and enter promo code ITBR to receive a free copy with any print or digital subscription.

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café subscriber to watch the unedited video:

Andrew is joined with writer Ardythe Ashley who is all things an Oscar Wilde enthusiast, lover, and devotee. Ardythe recently wrote The Return of the Century: The Death and Further Adventures of Oscar Wilde. It’s not everyday that Andrew gets to talk with a fellow Wilde fan and one who wrote a fictional novel in which he gets resurrected from the dead. They talk about Ardythe’s archival research at the British Museum and Andrew digs into his own Wilde manuscript research at the British Library. As Andrew begins to learn more about Ardythe’s career before becoming a writer, that of a psychoanalyst, the conversation gets even more Freudian, intimate, and queer.

To arouse your Victorian and homoerotic literature minds, here’s a brief synopsis of her book:

“In 1900, penniless and disgraced, Oscar Wilde, one of the greatest playwrights of all time, dies in a hotel in Paris. Or so everyone believes. Secretly his unconscious body, still flickering with life, is spirited away by devoted friends to an island monastery in the Venetian lagoon where he recovers his health and joie de vivre. From there he begins a series of adventures that include Auguste Rodin, a romance with an English aristocrat, a new lover, a session with Sigmund Freud, and an heroic death.”

Get your hands on Ardythe’s The Return of the Century here:

Head to Broadview Press, an independent academic publisher, for all your humanities related books. Use code ivorytower for 20% off your order.

To subscribe to The Gay and Lesbian Review visit Click Subscribe, and enter promo code ITBR to receive a free copy with any print or digital subscription.

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café subscriber to watch the live podcast video:

On Oct. 29th, Andrew and Mary had the pleasure of interviewing NY Times bestselling author Tonya Hurley, known for writing the hit series ghostgirl! And yes, this is our first ever live podcast so you’ll hear an audience and get to hear questions from them. Thanks so much to Pen + Brush for hosting us at their art gallery space in Manhattan. 

If you are nostalgic for the Halloween season, this episode is for you! Tonya explains the origin story for how her YA Lit. series came to be, its impact on so many high schoolers/middle schoolers, how it explores deep themes like bullying, life vs. death, and of course we talk about her love of Poe, Evanescence’s song “Bring Me to Life,” and so many more gothic artists. Tonya explains why she knew Parker Posey needed to be the voice actor for the ghostgirl audiobook series. And when we learn that Tonya worked with Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Andrew reveals his love for their film Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Learn more about Tonya’s work on her website:

Get your hands on Tonya’s ghostgirl series here:

You definitely don’t want to miss out on listening to Parker Posey’s mesmerizing performance of ghostgirl here:

Learn more about Pen + Brush here:

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café subscriber to watch the unedited video:

To continue the Halloween spirit, Andrew is joined with author Lara Elena Donnelly who talks about her suspenseful thriller Base Notes (2022). To whet your appetite here’s a quick synopsis: In New York City everybody needs a side hustle, and perfumer Vic Fowler has developed a delicate art that has proved to be very lucrative: creating bespoke scents that evoke immersive memories—memories that, for Vic’s clients, are worth killing for.

Lara discusses the origin story for her novel, including how Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd has been brought up by many readers, and her love for Patricia Highsmith and Hitchcock! Many of her friends had her look into the novel and film American Psycho to get inspiration for her novel, and she hopes that someone from A24 is listening to this so Base Notes can turn into a thriller/horror film. 

You’ll be swept away by Lara’s creative mind and will be thinking deeply about the queerness of scents and the gendered aspects of perfume. This is an episode to die for, and we hope you don’t get too frightened.

Get your hands on Base Notes here:

Listen to Avi Roque perform Lara’s Base Notes on Audible:

To subscribe to The Gay and Lesbian Review visit Click Subscribe, and enter promo code ITBR to receive a free copy with any print or digital subscription.

Want to hear the rest of the Gregory Maguire Wicked movie musical news? Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Cafe member (only $5):

Gregory Maguire enters back into The Ivory Tower Boiler Room to discuss his witches both in the Land of Oz and in the Land of Maracoor. He reveals what it was like creating his “Wicked” series and having to rely on L. Frank Baum’s creation of Oz and all of the film adaptations of The Wizard of Oz. And in a certain way, the freedom he felt when he created the brand new land of Maracoor for his “Another Day” series. His new novel, The Oracle of Maracoor is the second volume in the series, and he explains why the ancient idea of oracles and mysticism was such a compelling idea for his new novel. Get ready for a fantastical journey throughout Oz, Maracoor, and even ancient Greece. And then, Gregory leaves us on the edge of our seats when he discusses the new Wicked movie musical news…and go to our Patreon to hear that exclusive news! 

Listen to Gregory’s first time entering ITBR to discuss all things Wicked, the novel and the musical:

Get your hands on The Oracle of Maracoor here:

Listen to Debra Wise perform The Oracle of Maracoor on Audible (it’s such a good performance):

Learn more about Gregory’s literary career here and purchase his other books (Andrew recommends the entire Wicked series, Mirror Mirror, and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister):

To subscribe to The Gay and Lesbian Review visit Click Subscribe, and enter promo code ITBR to receive a free copy with any print or digital subscription.

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café subscriber to watch the unedited video:

Who’s ready to be haunted by the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe? In April, Andrew went to a literary conference all about Poe where he met so many Poe scholars and lovers, but now it’s time for all of you to join him as he takes you behind the scenes. If you’re a horror/thriller/gothic literature fan and especially a Poe one, this episode is for you! And just in time for Halloween. 

Andrew is joined with fellow 19th-century American Literature scholars, Jess Flarity, Maria Ishikawa, and Ashley Kniss to recap their experience at the International Edgar Allan Poe conference. They each open up about their scholarly interest in Poe and what they learned from others at the conference. Get ready to learn how to interpret Poe’s writing from different critical approaches and the advice each scholar has for the future of literary conferences, like the Poe one.

Learn more about Jess’ work here:

Follow Ashley on IG, @catoctinfarmwitch and learn more about her work here:

Follow Maria on IG, @marikaistic and learn more about her work here:

Get your tickets for the Halloween Lit. Bash Here:

Head to Broadview Press, an independent academic publisher, for all your humanities related books. Use code ivorytower for 20% off your order.

To subscribe to The Gay and Lesbian Review visit Click Subscribe, and enter promo code ITBR to receive a free copy with any print or digital subscription.

Join The Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café  and get access to our bonus episodes and unedited videos:

Dr. Stacy Wolf, one of America’s leading scholars on musical theater, sits down with Andrew to talk about the magic of musical theater. Right away, she realizes that Andrew is just as obsessed with Broadway, and they discuss their approach to teaching the Broadway Musical. At Princeton, Stacy is a professor of theater and the director of the program in Music Theater, and she explains that one of her favorite questions to ask her students is their experience with going to Broadway. Stacy dissects all of the elements that are involved in putting together a Broadway musical. 

While opening up about the importance of community theater, Stacy reveals why theater is an art to be cherished in any community. Andrew even gets to talk about how important his summer theater camp, Mainstage was and how it allowed him to embrace his gay identity. And because Andrew couldn’t help himself, he asks Stacy so many hard hitting musical theater questions. What does she really think of Andrew Lloyd Webber musicals? Which musical does she always have playing in the background when she’s writing? What it’s like to teach a Stephen Sondheim course? 

Be sure to check out Stacy’s writing including her books Beyond Broadway: The Pleasure and Promise of Musical Theater Across AmericaA Problem Like Maria: Gender and Sexuality in the American Musical, and Changed For Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical

You can find more information and all of Stacy’s work here:

Get your tickets for the Halloween Lit. Bash Here:

Head to Broadview Press, an independent academic publisher, for all your humanities related books. Use code ivorytower for 20% off your order.

To subscribe to The Gay and Lesbian Review visit Click Subscribe, and enter promo code ITBR to receive a free copy with any print or digital subscription.

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café subscriber to watch the unedited video:

Andrew sits down with poet Richie Hofmann to talk about Richie’s new book of poems A Hundred Lovers (2022). In Richie’s own words, this is “an erotic journal in poems” and a queer male “catalog of encounters, sublime, steamy, and frank.” 

As soon as they sit down together, Andrew and Richie bond over their South Jersey upbringing and their queer male literary aesthetic. Richie opens up about how his book explores promiscuity, monogamy, and a series of love affairs. 

In addition to A Hundred Lovers, Richie is the author of Second Empire (2015), and his poetry regularly appears in The New YorkerThe AtlanticThe New York Review of Books, and The Yale Review.

Get your hands on Richie’s A Hundred Lovers here:

Or have the pleasure of listening to Richie read the entire collection of poems here:

Follow Richie Hofmann on IG, @richiehof and Twitter, @RichieHof

Get your tickets for the Halloween Lit. Bash Here:

Head to Broadview Press, an independent academic publisher, for all your humanities related books. Use code ivorytower for 20% off your order.

To subscribe to The Gay and Lesbian Review visit Click Subscribe, and enter promo code ITBR to receive a free copy with any print or digital subscription.

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café subscriber to watch the unedited video:

Ignacio Darnaude, a queer male art historian and film producer, joins Andrew in The Ivory Tower Boiler Room to open up conversations about the queer male art world. Ignacio starts by dissecting what he has coined “Breaking the Gay Code in Art.”  He uses the analogy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to dig into why the closet has to be thrown open in the art world. For example, why do so many audience members, in his art lectures, audibly gasp when he reveals that a canonical male artist is in fact sexually interested in men.

Throughout the interview, Ignacio explains the nuances of labelling a male artist or his work as “gay,” “homoerotic,” or “queer.” And, you better be taking notes since we talk about queer art all the way from ancient Greece to the 20th century. A few key figures include Michelangelo, Donatello, Thomas Eakins, J.C. Leyendecker, and Tom of Finland. Head to our Instagram to see some of these artists and their homoerotic works.

Ignacio’s writing has appeared in the Gay and Lesbian Review where he has explored the queer art of Paul Cadmus, John Singer Sargent, Michelangelo, and Grant Wood.

You can find his Gay and Lesbian Review writing here:

Be sure to follow Ignacio’s queer art scholarship on Instagram, @breakingthegaycodeinart where you’ll find a link to his YouTube channel, and follow his personal account @ignaciolosangeles.

Follow the Gay and Lesbian Review on IG, @theglreview, and Twitter, @GLReview

Discover new things about gay and lesbian literature, history, and culture with a subscription to The Gay & Lesbian Review, a bimonthly magazine of history, culture, and politics that publishes essays in a wide range of disciplines as well as a slew of reviews of books, plays, and movies, and a number of special features., such as artist’s profiles and its popular Art Memo column.

To subscribe, visit Click Subscribe, and enter promo code ITBR to receive a free copy with any print or digital subscription.

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café subscriber to watch the unedited video:

Andrew and guest co-host, Ceren Usta, welcome literary scholar Dr. Anne Stevens into the Ivory Tower Boiler Room. Right away, these three literary scholars jump into the difference between literary theory and literary criticism. There are so many Public Humanities questions that are asked in this episode including why would a literature lover, who isn’t a literary scholar, be interested in learning more about literary theories? How does it shape their reading experience? As Anne reveals, starting to learn more literary approaches actually deepens your analysis of, not only literature, but also television and film. 

In Literary Theory and Criticism: An Introduction (published by Broadview Press), Anne provides an overview of major figures and movements in literary theory and criticism from antiquity to the 21st century. She explains to Andrew and Ceren why she started in antiquity, and why the historic background of literary theory is so important. Ceren asks Anne what the current state of literary criticism looks like in the university? Don’t worry, Anne has the answer!

Andrew even gets Anne to play a literary theory Wizard of Oz game that was inspired by Jan Balakian (his undergrad. professor). 

Get your hands on Anne Stevens’ Literary Theory and Criticism: An Introduction on Broadview Press’ site:

Use code ivorytower for 20% off your order. 

Make sure to follow Anne Stevens on Twitter, @ahstevens1, and find out more about her work here:

And definitely follow Ceren Usta on IG, @cerennusta_ and learn more about her work here:

A FREE Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café Patreon video of this episode:

This is definitely a NSFW episode and sexually explicit so…you’ve all been warned 🙂

Yes, it’s Andrew Rimby’s 30th Birthday so here’s a special Fire Island birthday episode!  Andrew takes you behind the scenes of his Cherry Grove birthday vacation. 

Imagine that you arrive, on a rainy day, to the Sayville Ferry and are schlepping your luggage onto the ferry, but once you arrive to Cherry Grove and pull up to the dock, a gay pleasure island awaits you.    

Andrew reads from his Fire Island vacation journal to reveal what took place during his week long trip, including some sensual poetic writing. 

The Belvedere Guest House For Men is a gay male hotel which serves as the heartbeat of queer male energy for all of Cherry Grove. And, Andrew explains why “the hint of sex is always in the air” at this hotel. How does queer male desire manifest itself from the beach, to the hotel, to the restaurant scene? All of these questions are answered. 

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café subscriber to watch the unedited video:

Fresh off of his 30th birthday Fire Island celebration, Andrew turns to author Jack Parlett to answer all the burning questions about Fire Island. Jack is the author of Fire Island: A Century in the Life of an American Paradise and The Poetics of Cruising: Queer Visual Culture from Whitman to Grindr which were both published in 2022. 

Be prepared for an explicit discussion about how Queer male eroticism and desire manifests itself at Fire Island. Here are a few topics that Jack delves into…

The history of how Cherry Grove and the Pines became premier LGBTQ+ resort towns. The authors who flocked to Cherry Grove or the Pines to embrace their queer male identity and find an accepting community. What cruising is and how to explain this sexual phenomenon to a straight audience? Don’t worry, Jack breaks down what the infamous Meat Rack is? Then, Andrew plays a Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde game with Jack and asks…What would Walt or Oscar be doing on Fire Island in 2022? 

Learn more about Jack’s writing and literary research on his website:

Follow Jack Parlett on Instagram, @jack_parlett, and Twitter, @jvjparlett

Get your hands on Jack’s Fire Island here:

You can get Jack’s The Poetics of Cruising here:

Listen to Joe Jameson perform Fire Island on Audible:

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café subscriber to watch the unedited video:

Celia Laskey, joins us back in the Ivory Tower Boiler Room to talk about her explosive new novel So Happy For You which is a queer wedding thriller. Right away she opens up about the writing process and explains what it was like to go from Under the Rainbow, a novel made up of short stories, to So Happy For You, a novel that centers on one character. So Happy For You is a satirical dystopic novel that pokes holes in the wedding industry while also delivering a fast paced queer psychological thriller…think Margaret Atwood meets Ruth Ware! 

Because Andrew and Mary know Celia from their Under the Rainbow discussion, the three waste no time in discussing Celia’s love of queer thrillers (Micah Nemerever and PJ Vernon we’re looking at you) and whether Celia has read psychological thrillers by Ruth Ware, Gillian Flynn, A.J. Finn, or Paula Hawkins. Why does Celia think So Happy For You is more cinematic than Under the Rainbow? And is it being developed into a film? 

Then, she reveals why Robin, our main character’s PhD in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is so important to the narrative and yes, Andrew shouts out Stony Brook University’s own WGSS department! 

Get your hands on So Happy For You here:

Or listen to Kristen Sieh’s dynamic reading on Audible:

You don’t want to miss Celia Laskey’s updates about her literary career so make sure you follow her on IG, @celia.laskey and Twitter, @celia_laskey.

If you haven’t yet, listen to our Under the Rainbow episode:–Under-the-Rainbows-Celia-Laskey-Has-the-Answer-e1h8o15

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café subscriber to watch the unedited video:

Phil Stamper, bestselling author of Queer books for kids and teens, joins Andrew to talk about his recent book Golden BoysGolden Boys is the perfect summer friendship story, starring four queer boys with big hearts and even bigger dreams. As Phil discusses with Andrew, it’s like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, except the boys might be romantically interested in one another. 

He is also the author of Small Town Pride, The Gravity of Us, and As Far As You’ll Take Me, and you can find all of his work, including merch, at his website:

Get your hands on Phil’s Golden Boys here:

Or listen to Michael Crouch, Graham Halstead, Shawn K. Jain, Briggon Snow, Karissa Vacker deliver an incredible Golden Boys Audible experience:

Follow Phil on IG, @stampepk, and Twitter, @stampepk

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café subscriber to watch the unedited video:

Calling all British Modernist literature lovers and Gay Fiction lovers, this episode is for you! 

Andrew is joined with William di Canzio, who is a novelist, playwright, and scholar, and he recently wrote Alec, which expands E.M. Forster’s openly queer male love story, Maurice. Andrew and William open up about their first experience with E.M. Forster’s groundbreaking love story and how it speaks to their gay male identity. William reveals why he didn’t change any of Forster’s narrative between Maurice and Alec, and why he thinks Alec’s same-sex desire is much more nuanced than Maurice’s. Not only is William indebted to the late great E.M. Forster, but he actually knows James Ivory, the director of the 1987 film adaptation. They actually went to lunch together! What happened at this lunch? 

Andrew gets William to talk about writing sex scenes between Maurice and Alec, and they both weigh in on why sex scenes in literature can be so different than in film or TV. 

William also provides advice about writing a play, compared to writing a novel, compared to writing scholarship. Are all of these genres related in his opinion? Andrew makes sure to shout out friends of the podcast, including Matt Aucoin (who William adores), Gregory Maguire (who knows intimately about retelling a popular tale), and Jan Balakian (who balances being a playwright and a scholar).

You can buy Alec here:

Listen to John Sackville read Alec on Audible:

Learn more about William di Canzio’s literary work here:

Want to watch the entire video of Parts 1 and 2, become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room Café subscriber here:

If you haven’t listened to Part 1, make sure you do: 

Now where did we leave off? Oh, that’s right Andrew and Taria were about to reveal their opinions on Andy Cohen! 

Get ready for Andrew and Taria to bring the Real Housewives into the Ivory Tower! They reveal the behind the scenes of creating the Real Housewives and provide a scholarly analysis for many eyebrow raising moments from Beverly Hills’ past and present. Remember the epic Game Night episode featuring Kim Richards, Brandi Glanville, Kyle Richards, Taylor Armstrong, and a frightened Dana Wilkey? How did this Real Housewives of Beverly Hills drama continue to unfold when Lisa Rinna joined the cast? What did Kim mean in Amsterdam when she told Lisa “Let’s Talk About the Husband” (Harry Hamlin)? 

Other topics that are covered in this epic conversation include why Dana Wilkey is blacklisted by Bravo? What are Taria and Andrew’s opinions about Andy Cohen and is he doing a good job at racially integrating the Real Housewives? Why did Eboni K. Williams deal with so much resistance, with her Real Housewives of New York cast, when opening up about living in America as a Black woman? And, Taria digs into whether she thinks Ramona is a racist. 

And that’s not all since Taria and Andrew get into “the Aspen of it all” that is about to happen in the Beverly Hills season. What do they both think about the Fox Force Five (Erika Jayne, Dorit Kemsley, Lisa Rinna, Kyle Richards…well minus Teddi Mellencamp)? Who does Taria think are the most intellectual Beverly Hills cast members? Hint hint…they aren’t mentioned here. And they end teasing Andrew’s upcoming appearance on Taria’s podcast to discuss all things the Real Housewives of New Jersey! 

You don’t want to miss Taria’s podcast, What Else is Going On here:

Follow her podcast on IG and Twitter, @weigopodcast. While you’re at it, make sure to follow Taria’s personal IG, @tsfaison.

Follow Ivory Tower Boiler Room on Instagram,

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room subscriber to watch the unedited video interview:

This week, we’re back with another special Broadview Press episode. Last time we discussed all things poetry with Susan Holbrook, but this week we’re in Andrew’s scholarly field, queer 19th-century Literature! 

Andrew is so excited to be joined with a prominent Queer American Literature scholar, Dr. Christopher Looby to talk about his work on Broadview Press’ new American Literature anthology. Like Ishmael in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, they jump head first into what makes American Literature so homoerotic and queer! Christopher explains how he contributed a special Gender and Sexuality section to this new anthology. If you’re an American Literature enthusiast, scholar, student, or have a thirst for what is so queer about authors like Edgar Allan Poe, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Harriet Jacobs, Emily Dickinson, Edith Wharton…and the list goes on…this episode is for you! 

We also had a special guest, Christopher’s dog so if you hear barking that’s our dog friend.

Make sure to follow Christopher on Twitter, @cjlooby, and check out Christopher’s writing here:

Get your hands on the completely new Broadview Anthology of American Literature here:  (Use Our Exclusive Discount Code: ivorytower) 

While you’re at it why not follow Broadview Press on IG and Twitter, @broadviewpress.

Become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room subscriber to watch the unedited video interview:

To continue our Back to School teaching discussions, today Andrew is joined with two special guests, Shoshana Hershkowitz and Sarah Lauren. Their roundtable discussion poses a lot of questions and hopefully a multitude of answers. Shoshana brings up why “life is political,” the importance of grassroots political activism, and what “courageous conversations” are (credit to Shanequa Levin for this idea). The three explain their teaching practices and how it relates to progressive issues they value in their everyday life. Of course these topics are sometimes met with obstacles so how do the three handle adversity? 

Here are a few questions for you all to think about as you’re listening to this conversation:

What does it mean to be a teacher and an activist, and can you combine the two? 

How do you handle pushback when speaking up about progressive issues? 

Why is it important to have conversations with those who have differing opinions? 

Be sure to follow Shoshana and Sarah for more teaching and activist knowledge. Shoshana can be found on IG, @shoshanahershkowitz and Twitter, @jewkidsotb. And you can find Sarah on IG, @sarah.l.slotnick, and her podcast/spiritual IG, @northnode.alignment

You can find Suffolk Progressives here: and Citizen Action of New York here:

Watch the video interview here: 

Andrew Rimby, our director, was interviewed by the Association for Writing Across the Curriculum (AWAC) to kickoff their “Queer in Academia” series. They were kind enough to allow us to broadcast the interview on our podcast. Definitely watch the video version featuring the amazing interviewer, María Cardona Pérez!  Here are the episode notes from the YouTube interview: To kick off this series, we sat down with the wonderful Andrew Rimby to talk about pedagogy, finding your voice, and the unique challenges that come with being queer in academia.  WANT TO BE PART OF THIS SERIES? Email us at  PAPER: “Talking Back to Walt Whitman”:  UNIVERSITY SITE:  Follow AWAC on Twitter, @AWACTweets, IG, @the_official_awac, and Facebook, @TheAWAC. 

Andrew is joined with a fellow South Jerseyan and Real Housewives enthusiast! You aren’t ready for this epic Real Housewives recap with Taria Faison, the host of What Else is Going On; the podcast intersection where Pop Culture Life and Real Life meet up.

Right away, Taria and Andrew are reminiscing about their South Jersey upbringing, including glassblowing at Wheaton Arts, the Cherry Hill Mall, Rowan University, and Atlantic City. Then, Taria reveals her hot takes and insider information on many of the Real Housewives shows (Atlanta, Beverly Hills, New York, Orange County, and Potomac). 

Here are just a few of Taria’s hot takes to whet your appetite! Who actually brought Kim Zolciak-Biermann on RHOA? Why was Andy Cohen so shady about Tamra Judge and Teddi Mellencamp’s Two Ts In a Pod, podcast? Why is Kyle Richards trying to control the RHOBH narrative? Which housewives cast is the most inauthentic? 

Yes, there’s lots of gossip and drama discussed, but Taria opens up about how race, especially people of color are represented on several Bravo TV shows, including the Housewives. She reveals who told Garcelle Beauvais that Lisa Rinna didn’t want race to be a talking point on RHOBH…remember that moment at the RHOBH reunion last season? Why does Bravo have such a difficult time racially integrating their casts? And, Taria and Andrew bond over their love for Eboni K. Williams and how she spoke her truth on RHONY. 

We leave you on the edge of your seat since we’re about to reveal our opinions on Andy Cohen and how messy he gets! Be on the lookout for Parts 1 and 2 to be released as a Patreon video for our subscribers. We’ll drop a podcast announcement when it happens! 

You don’t want to miss Taria’s podcast, What Else is Going On here:

Follow her podcast on IG and Twitter, @weigopodcast. While you’re at it, make sure to follow Taria’s personal IG, @tsfaison.

Welcome back to Part 2 of our Gilded Age HBO Max special recap. If you didn’t listen to Andrew and Danielle discuss their first impressions of the series, definitely check it out here:

Not only is this the first time Andrew has filmed a live podcast recording, but the filming location is truly unique and special. He had the chance to record this episode at the Nassau County Museum of Art located in Roslyn Harbor on Long Island. Danielle Nero graciously agreed to come back to discuss where they had left off in Part 1 which concerned the gender relations of the Russell family in the TV series. And, a surprise Gilded Age enthusiast has joined their conversation, Nassau County Museum of Art’s Alex Maccaro. As the Curatorial Research Associate, at the museum, Alex is more than ready to reveal the Gilded Age history of the art museum. If you didn’t know, the museum is located in a Gilded Age mansion, once home to Childs Frick (yes, the son of Henry Clay Frick the co-founder of US Steel Corporation) who received the home as a wedding present from his father…yes, a wedding present! 

So, be prepared for Alex to take us back to 1919 and open the doors to the Frick mansion, and I hope you brought your ski equipment because I heard there’s a ski slope on the property (don’t worry there’s more of these surprises that await you). And, Danielle has many more Gold Coast real estate insider information that she shares with us all, including a recent Gilded Age mansion that was up for sale in Nassau County. Then, Andrew provides a gender and sexuality analysis of what’s happening throughout the TV series. The dynamic that these three have is contagious! If you’re a Long Island historic location, this trio is ready to have their Great Gatsby discussion so reach out! 

Make sure you follow Danielle on IG, @daniellenero_realtor, and Alex, @acmaccaro. While you’re at it follow the Nassau County Museum of Art, @nassaumuseum

Special shout out to Dr. Charles Riley, the museum director, and to all of the staff at the museum for the filming location! And if you’re going to the museum maybe you’ll run into the podcast crew. 

Check out the museum’s current exhibitions here:

(Content Warning: Sexual Assault)   

To introduce “The Crime of the Century,” Andrew is joined by two special guests who know a lot about what it would have been like to attend one of Evelyn Nesbit’s Atlantic City vaudeville shows. So, why not bring them on to introduce the episode. 

Mary, from “True Crime in Academia,” joins Andrew to deep dive the murder of Stanford White with author Simon Baatz. Simon wrote The Girl on the Velvet Swing: Sex, Murder, and Madness at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century (2018). 

A few hard hitting questions that Simon helps us answer include: Why did Harry Thaw murder Stanford White? What led Evelyn to the vaudeville stage? Why do so many erroneously think that Evelyn had a love affair with Stanford White? 

Simon explains why Evelyn’s story is so relevant in our current moment and why Stanford White’s predatory behavior connects to the #MeToo movement. Simon gives his opinion on how Evelyn, Harry, and Stanford have been represented in pop culture, including Ragtime (the novel and musical), The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing, and the new Gilded Age TV series. And yes, Part 2 of our Gilded Age recap will be coming out on Friday and features a conversation about Stanford White (filmed at a Gilded Age mansion)! 

Make sure you get your hands on Simon’s The Girl on the Velvet Swing

Or, listen to it on Audible here (featuring Christine Lakin):

Find more of Simon’s work here:

This week Sarah Fraser, from “The Sarah Fraser Show” joins us for another energetic and pop culture infused episode. Sarah is a former Radio Personality, TV Host, Comedian and TV Producer. Following in the vein of David Yontef, Dana Wilkey, and Taylor Ferber, Sarah is full of so many pop culture hot takes. When the episode begins with Sarah comparing herself to Jerry Springer, you know this is going to be a juicy discussion! She gives her opinion on Reality TV, Talk Shows, the Podcast World, LA Vs. NYC, and even Open Marriages! On her podcast, Sarah interviews and recaps so many TLC shows, specifically 90 Day Fiancé and interviews many of the cast members. Because Sarah is such an incredible radio/TV/podcast host, she gets Andrew to reveal his opinions on the Real Housewives, Dance Moms, and even open marriages. 

Follow Sarah Fraser on IG, @thesarahfrasershow, TikTok, @thesarahfrasershow, and Twitter, @SarahFraserShow. And make sure to listen to her podcast here:

Special thanks to David Yontef for this social media introduction between Andrew and Sarah! 

After last week’s episode with Jonathan Parks-Ramage, Andrew continues queer male summer conversations with author Jeremy Atherton Lin. Jeremy discusses his nonfiction book Gay Bar and analyzes the ins and outs of gay bars and why we go to them. So many of Gay Bar‘s book reviews emphasize the reviewer’s own personal experience in a gay bar so we hope you all are reflecting on your own gay bar experiences (or why you should go to one). For Andrew, he will always remember his first time at Woody’s gay bar in Philly (thanks to his high school friends for taking him there)! And a moment that warms Andrew’s heart is when Jeremey digs into why he includes a homoerotic Whitman quote for his epigraph. 

A reminder to Jeremy and all of Andrew’s friends, we have to watch the Fire Island movie and then have a discussion about it. Possible IG Live discussion? 

Make sure you get your hands on Jeremy’s Gay Bar here: 

Follow Jeremy Atherton Lin on IG, @jeremyathertonlin. And listen to Jeremy’s energetic pulsating Gay Bar playlists here:

Thanks to my friend Scott for being a good sport and always encouraging my Fire Island excursions, and I can’t wait for all of my Fire Island time this summer! 

(CW: this episode contains discussions of sexual abuse) 

While Pride Month may be officially over, we’re continuing with more thrilling LGBTQ+ Literature. Andrew is joined with author, Jonathan Parks-Ramage who opens up about the creation of his debut novel, Yes, Daddy (2021). This queer male summer thriller of a novel will not easily leave your mind, and if you happen to find yourself in the Hamptons, you’ll be questioning any handsome older man near you. At the center of the novel is Jonah Keller, an aspiring playwright who turns to Richard Shriver, a Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, for mentorship and guidance. However, Richard’s mentorship quickly turns romantic and passionate, but Jonah soon realizes that not all is as it seems in Richard’s lush embrace. Jonah heads out to Richard’s idyllic sprawling Hamptons estate, and he soon is being preyed on by gay men in Richard’s circle. During the interview we explore the topics of social class, power dynamics, whether the #MeToo movement accounts for queer male abuse, and religious trauma.  

Make sure to follow Jonathan on Instagram, @jprampage. Head to Jonathan’s website to read more of his work: 

Get your hands on Jonathan’s Yes, Daddy here: 

Or listen to Kevin R. Free’s performance of the novel here: 

And add more queer male beach reads by getting Ryan O’Connell’s Just by Looking at Him 

Welcome to our inaugural TV Corner episode! If you haven’t yet watched The Gilded Age series on HBO Max, this episode will provide really helpful historical context, and if you have watched it, it’ll definitely give more depth to the characters and narratives. Andrew is joined with a special co-host to help him with this deep dive, his real estate agent, Danielle Nero. When Andrew found out that Danielle has a deep passion for Gilded Age architecture and history, and renovated both an 1800’s brownstone and a 1920’s colonial home, he knew that she needed to join him for this episode. 

We start by asking why Julian Fellowes would choose the Gilded Age as a historical period to focus on during such difficult times in America (the pandemic and social/racial/gender inequality)? Danielle explains the difference between Old and New Money both on Long Island and in Manhattan, and we imagine what it must have been like to be part of one of these wealthy families (so a little playacting on our end). Before we hit the record button, we had just returned from the Nassau County Museum of Art and met Dr. Charles Riley, the director, who gave us a tour of the Frick mansion and the Impressionism art exhibit. Thanks Charlie! 

Learn more about Danielle’s work as a real estate agent here: (thanks to Compass in Garden City for the recording space) 

Follow Danielle on Instagram, @daniellenero_realtor

Our second part will be filmed at the Nassau County Museum of Art which used to be one of the Frick family’s Gilded Age mansions. We can’t wait to bring you this episode later this summer. We will continue discussing how gender and sexuality were viewed during the Gilded Age, and we’ll spend a lot of time reflecting on why the Gilded Age is so relevant in our current moment. And, many thanks to The Official Gilded Age podcast which served as this episode’s inspiration (Alicia Malone and Tom Meyers, you’re awesome co-hosts)! 

Andrew first met Triston, a few years ago, when they both met celebrating Whitman’s 200th birthday, and now they both are board members for the Walt Whitman Initiative. But, this is the first time that Andrew got to learn all about Triston’s career as a freelance director and his immense theater education knowledge. Because Andrew was teaching a Broadway Musical course for Stony Brook University, a few of his students actually got to sit in on the recording. 

There are so many exciting nuggets of wisdom contained in this interview. Triston gets into why community theater is as enriching as going to a Broadway play or musical, why wanting to be a Baptist preacher launched his love of theater, his love of Julie Taymor’s creative vision, and what exactly is method acting? 

Become a subscriber ( to hear Triston’s experience working with Broadway star Sutton Foster, why he wrote a queer Walt Whitman play, and whether Triston likes stunt casting (Andrew’s student asks this)?

Learn more about Triston’s projects and career here:

Follow Triston on IG, @tristonppullen

James Polchin, the author of Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall (2020) joins Andrew and Mary in The Ivory Tower Boiler Room to discuss the intersection between True Crime and the Queer community. He explains how exploring these American true crime stories, from the late-19th century to post World War II, reflect American attitudes towards queer men. He starts with the origin of the term “male homosexuality” and why we need to understand the field of Victorian sexology. Then, he explains how these true crime cases reveal how male homosexuality was pathologized and policed. Why were so many of the murderers dressing up as sailors to seduce their victims? James explains the queer coding of male sailors and enter sexologist Alfred Kinsey! The interview ends with James explaining the importance of the Lavender Scare that occurred during the Cold War period and why it’s connected to McCarthyism. 

James’ Indecent Advances has been named 1 of 5 Essential Culture Reads by PBS’ American Masters series. It is one of CrimeReads‘ Best True Crime Books of the Year! 

Get your hands on Indecent Advances here: 

Or, listen to Michael Crouch (our favorite) read the book:

Follow James on IG, @james.polchin, and on Twitter, @JamesPolchin. Head to James’ website to find out more about his writing career:

While you’re at it, make sure to follow Mary’s True Crime in Academia on IG, @truecrimeinacademia

[Become a Patreon subscriber to watch the unedited video interview! Watch here:]  

We’re continuing our Pride Month episodes and today is a really special one for Andrew. Alex Sanchez joins Andrew in The Ivory Tower Boiler Room to discuss his award winning career as a YA Gay Literature author. In 2008, when Andrew was a freshman in high school, he discovered Alex’s Rainbow Boys series in his South Jersey Barnes and Noble (shout out to Deptford) and he felt so seen and accepted. So many meaningful and deep questions are raised in this interview like why do we turn to literature to find ourselves? What happens when an author creates a literary legacy where LGBTQ+ youth feel wanted and accepted? It was Andrew’s pleasure to sit down with Alex whose Rainbow Boys has been named the American Library Association’s “Best Book for Young Adults” and was a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Thanks Alex for going back to 2001 with us and exploring your thoughts on the series and how it has shaped so many LGBTQ+ writers, academics, and entertainers. Follow Alex on Twitter, @RainbowAlex

Rainbow Boys has been named Time magazine’s “100 Best YA Books Of All Time”!! 

To learn more about Alex’s writing and to find his books, head to his website: 

Start with Alex’s award winning Rainbow Boys series by purchasing his book: 

And guess what? If you’re an Audible member, you get all of the Rainbow Boys series for free and Alston Brown gives a great performance!

(Become our subscriber for $5 a month, and watch our video version:
We’re so excited to be joined by Dr. Jack Gieseking, author of A Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and Queers (2020). Jack researches the intersections of critical urban and digital geographies, and feminist and queer theory.
Here’s a brief blurb about his book: Over the past few decades, rapid gentrification in New York City has led to the disappearance of many lesbian and queer spaces, displacing some of the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ+ community. In A Queer New York, Jen Jack Gieseking highlights the historic significance of these spaces, mapping the political, economic, and geographic dispossession of an important, thriving community that once called certain New York neighborhoods home.
Follow Jack on Twitter, @jgieseking. Learn more about Jack’s work here:
Make sure to get your hands on Jack’s A Queer New York: Geographies of Lesbians, Dykes, and (Get 30% off with discount code: QueerNY30)
Thanks so much Stephanie Bonvissuto for joining as a guest co-host, and if you haven’t, definitely listen to Stephanie’s “Queer People in Shared Spaces” episode!
Follow Stephanie on Twitter, @StephBonvissuto, and Instagram, @overeducatedqueerwoman.
Stephanie’s work: Male Femininities (forthcoming – 2023), Mapping LGBTQ Spaces and Places: A Changing World (forthcoming 2022)
Journal Articles: “On Walls and Bridges: Divisions and Bonds in the PolishTrans Community” w/ Prof. Anna Kłonkowska, A.Sociological Focus 54, “Personal and Collective Trans-Mythologies: Creative Attitudes to Gender Incongruence Among Transgender Individuals” w/Prof. Anna Kłonkowska Creativity Studies 12

Watch the video version of our interview ($5 a month, as much as an iced coffee):

For our Pride Month Book Club, we welcome Zak Salih who discusses his debut novel, Let’s Get Back to the Party. He discusses how his novel questions the theme of belonging in the gay community. Zak’s two protagonists, Oscar and  Sebastian may both identify as gay men but their view of gay culture and politics couldn’t be anymore different. During this interview, Zak opens up about the importance of intergenerational conversations within the gay community, and his novel features different gay generations that question what it means to be “out” in America. His novel begins with the ecstatic Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court ruling (allowing same-sex marriage) and ends with the tragic Pulse Nightclub shooting. He explains that both historical moments happened within one year of each other, and why he wanted his characters to reflect on their gay identities during this one year period. 

Follow Zak on Instagram, @zakigrams, and Twitter, @ZMSalih1982.

Make sure to add Let’s Get Back to the Party to your Pride Month reading list:

Or, listen to Michael Crouch and Will Damron’s brilliant performance of Let’s Get Back to the Party:

Happy Pride Month to all of you out there and also to our fabulous LGBTQ+ authors who we’ve had the privilege of interviewing thus far. If you haven’t yet, make sure that you add the following authors to your Pride 2022 reading list and then listen to their podcast episodes!

Those we’ve interviewed include, Nicolas DiDomizio, Dustin Friedman, Stephen Guy-Bray, Aaron Hamburger, Robert Jones Jr., Ursula Klein, Celia Laskey, Gregory Maguire, Brian Moylan, Micah Nemerever, Lev Raphael, Lev AC Rosen, Steven Rowley, Josh Sabarra, and Mario Telo. 

Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music” (C) 2007 The Island Def Jam Music Group

To watch the video version become an Ivory Tower Boiler Room subscriber:

Andrew sits down with author, Nicolas DiDomizio who chats about how he came to write Burn It All Down. He opens up about how real life spurred the creation of this novel including his gay bad boy phase and his close relationship to his mother. Nicolas explains that his novel is like a break up song and it definitely comes through! 

Nicolas not only talks about the creation of his novel but working under Anna Wintour, when he was at Conde Nast, and actually receiving an email from her! He explains how New Jersey became a touchstone for him and how it becomes another character in his novel (calling all Jerseyians, music to Andrew’s ears). Then he talks about how his novel was first considered by Lady Gaga (yes, that Lady Gaga) and where his film version now stands. Melissa Gorga, this might be your first acting role as Italian American mother, Gia (make sure you credit Andrew)! And special shout out to James Patterson who praised the novel as  “audacious, addictive, highly entertaining.”

Make sure to follow Nicolas on IG, @nicdidomiziobooks, and Twitter, @ctnicolas. And to read more about his literary career, head to his website:

Get your hands on Burn It All Down here:

Or listen to Mark Sanderlin’s excellent reading on Audible:

“Burning Down the House,” Songwriters: David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison, and Tina Weymouth/Sire Records, Warner Music Group 

For this special book corner episode, Andrew sits down with Ursula Klein to talk about her debut novel, Enchanted Autumn. Why is it a mixture of lesbian, campy, romantic, and witchy themes? Well, Ursula digs into these themes, her favorite witch themed movies, and even shares Andrew’s passionate love for Salem, MA! 

You can find Ursula’s book, Enchanted Autumn on Bold Strokes Books:

While you’re at it, make sure to follow Ursula on Facebook, @UrsulaKlein, Twitter, @KleinUla, and IG, @urs.ulaklein.

Andrew and guest co-host, Gail Crowther are joined by Stacy Schiff, author of The Witches: Suspicion, Betrayal, and Hysteria in 1692 Salem and the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Cleopatra. Stacy discusses why the Salem Witch Trials happened and why they are so relevant in today’s social and political climate. To read more about Stacy Schiff, check out her website:

Make sure to get your hands on The Witches here:

Or listen to the audiobook here, narrated by Eliza Foss:

You can follow Stacy on Twitter, @stacyschiff

Thanks to Gail for coming back onto The Ivory Tower Boiler Room to join as a guest co-host, and make sure you listen to our interview with Gail about her work on Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton:–Anne-Sexton-e19ekn6

You can follow Gail on IG, and Twitter, @crowther_gail. We can’t wait to have you back again Gail! 

Michael Crouch is an award winning NYC based voiceover actor, and here are a few highlights from his conversation with Andrew:

Michael discusses the difference between live theater acting and voiceover acting and where the two intersect. How he gets into the psyche of the literary characters he embodies? Why is it so fulfilling to be a voiceover actor and perform a multitude of characters that Michael would never get to perform on the stage? A few of Michael’s voiceover jobs include audiobooks of authors we’ve featured on our podcast including Bath Haus (P.J. Vernon), These Violent Delights (Micah Nemerever), and Under the Rainbow (Celia Laskey). And, Michael has read the following audiobooks of upcoming authors who will be on our podcast including Let’s Get Back to the Party (Zak Salih), Indecent Advances (James Polchin), and Golden Boys (Phil Stamper). 

To find out more about Michael’s work, make sure you head to his website:

Follow Michael on Instagram, @hellomlc, and Twitter, @HelloMLC

Writer of Marilyn in Manhattan: Her Year of Joy (2017), Elizabeth Winder joins Andrew and Mary in the Ivory Tower Boiler Room. One major theme that Elizabeth discusses is how the general public views the tragedy of female celebrities and why the media delights in the tragedy of these women?

Elizabeth discusses her biography process which started with the Marilyn Monroe photos taken in Manhattan (specifically the one taken at the Ambassador Hotel, the book’s cover photo). Elizabeth analyzes key moments in Marilyn’s life including the iconic Seven Year Itch subway grate photo, why 1954 was such a year of joy for Marilyn in Manhattan, and her incredibly fulfilling relationship with Milton Greene. One question Elizabeth addresses is what would have happened if Marilyn had not spent a year in New York? 

We know that the Bombshell creative team (we’re looking at you Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman) is working on bringing the musical to Broadway so make sure you reach out to Elizabeth Winder. And, definitely watch the recently released The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes on Netflix. This interview was recorded before the news of Kim K. wearing Marilyn’s dress at the Met Gala and the announcement of Andrew Dominik’s 2022 biopic, Blonde (based on Joyce Carol Oates’ novel). 

Make sure to follow Elizabeth Winder on Instagram, @elizajw, and Twitter, @elizawinder.  

You definitely want to get your hands on Elizabeth’s biography of Marilyn Monroe here:

Join our Patreon community and watch the video version here:

Celia Laskey, author of Under the Rainbow (her debut novel) joins Andrew and Mary to discuss so many insightful questions that speak to writing an LGBTQ+ novel in the 21st century. Here are a few questions she addresses: What is it like to write an LGBTQ+ novel as someone from the community? Where does homophobia actually come from? How do you represent all different members of the LGBTQ+ community as an author? Why does the LGBTQ+ community in America’s coastal metropolitan areas need to understand the nuances of Small Town LGBTQ+ America? 

Then, Celia answers Andrew’s Stony Brook University students’ questions about her novel. Andrew has taught Under the Rainbow twice so his students have provided such interesting perspectives on the themes in this novel. One exciting question addresses Celia’s interpretation of Taylor Swift as a queer musical artist. Thanks to Andrew’s students for their amazing analyses! 

You don’t want to miss Celia Laskey’s updates about her literary career so make sure you follow her on IG, @celia.laskey and Twitter, @celia_laskey.  

And you can see all of Celia’s work and updates on her website:

You can purchase Celia’s books, both Under the Rainbow and So Happy For You here:

Dana Wilkey joins Andrew in The Ivory Tower Boiler Room with all of her Gossip and Reality TV expertise! Dana is the host of the podcast and Patreon, Dishing Drama With Dana Wilkey and DecaDish Gossip, her exclusive YouTube channel. Dana is a former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member and with her Housewives insider knowledge she appeared on both The Housewife and the Hustler and The Housewife and the Shah Shocker (streaming on Hulu). 

Why does Dana call herself the rebellious Bravolebrity? She indulges Andrew by breaking down her Real Housewives of Beverly Hills scenes and reveals the behind the scenes of her time on the show. Dana reveals why she bought those $25,000 sunglasses and the psychology behind her materialism and why viewers labeled her “pretentious.” She explains her thoughts when Brandi Glanville was accusing Kim Richards of doing drugs in Dana’s bathroom. And what would Dana do differently if she went back on Beverly Hills now? She then opens up about being an LGBTQ+ ally and a teaching moment that happened with SaraJane Warner. She explains why having difficult and open conversations is much more important than shutting down a conversation you disagree with.  

Andrew of course expresses his flirtation towards Dana’s producer, Casey Hanley. Is there a potential new love interest for Andrew, only time will tell? Will Andrew get to meet Dana and David Yontef in the Hamptons this summer? He is definitely manifesting it! 

Follow Dana on IG, @wilkey_dana, and Twitter, @Danawilkey.

Dishing Drama with Dana Wilkey podcast:

DecaDish Gossip with Dana Wilkey (YouTube channel):

Check out Dana’s new merch which includes her infamous quotes “Did You Know? $25,000” and “I Drink A Lot And I F*ck A Lot…And I’m Ok With It”!

(Watch the free video interview here:

Andrew is joined with David Yontef who is a self-made millionaire, Reality TV Insider and Host of the Award Winning Podcast Behind The Velvet Rope. David begins the interview explaining that Margaret Josephs told him he needs to make a business out of his Real Housewives connections. And he did just that after attending a dinner with Dolores Catania, Ramona Singer, Kelly Dodd, and her husband Rick Leventhal. Margaret, Andrew thanks you immensely for encouraging David, and thanks David for serving as Andrew’s podcast mentor!

There are so many highlights from this episode but here are a few to wet your Reality TV appetite. How did David become good friends with both Kim D. and Margaret Josephs from Real Housewives of New Jersey? Why has David not had certain Reality TV guests on his show (looking at you Brandi Glanville)? Andrew jokes with David about the brother and sister relationship between David and Dana Wilkey. You may hear from Dana soon! Don’t worry Dana, David is just a little shady 🙂  There are so many special shout outs in this episode including Kathryn Edwards, Elyse Slaine, Sarah Fraser, Steve Gold (call David!), Joe Gorga (call Andrew!), Jeff Lewis, Megan Weaver, Lea Black, Evan Goldschneider, and Frank Catania Jr.. 

Andrew and David bond over their love for Eboni K. Williams, and David shares his Real Housewives of New York future season predictions.  And has David Yontef reconciled with Jill Zarin? Listen to David’s special RHONY episode:

Make sure to follow David on IG, @davidyontef, and his show @behindvelvetrope

Come step Behind The Velvet Rope with all your favorite TV stars and pop culture icons with host David Yontef as he asks his guests all the pressing questions YOU want answered!

Definitely check out David’s video clips from his show Behind the Velvet Rope:

(Watch our video interview here:

The Ivory Tower Boiler Room is so happy to celebrate National Poetry Month, and we’re pleased to welcome Dr. Susan Holbrook who discusses her second edition of How to Read (and Write About) Poetry (published by Broadview Press). 

Dr. Holbrook, Andrew, and guest co-host, Dr. Kim Coates explore why the general public is nervous around poetry and how to overcome this anxiety. Dr. Holbrook explains what it means for her to balance being a poet, devoted poetry reader, and professor of poetry. 

Head here to purchase How to Read (and Write About) Poetry and use IvoryTower for an exclusive 20% off:

To learn more about Dr. Holbrook make sure to look at her website:

While you’re at it why not follow Broadview Press on IG and Twitter, @broadviewpress

Thanks to Kim for being such an excellent guest co-host and definitely follow her literary and art review on IG and Twitter, @evocationsreview, and you can find her on Twitter, @kjcoates

(Watch our video interview here:

We welcome Helana back again to The Ivory Tower Boiler Room for our first ever Book Corner episode!

Dr. Helana Darwin sits down with Andrew to discuss her new book Redoing Gender: How Nonbinary Gender Contributes Toward Social Change. Helana is an author who has written about gender, religion, Body Positivity, craft beer culture, and sexual abuse in the academy. 

Redoing Gender: How Nonbinary Gender Contributes toward Social Change illuminates the everyday labor that gender nonbinary people perform in order to achieve social recognition. In keeping with the famous “doing gender” sociological model, Dr. Darwin analyzes this process at the intrapersonal, interpersonal, and institutional levels, through in-depth interviews with 47 nonbinary people.

To order Redoing Gender head on over to Springer Link or Amazon:

To learn more about Helana, head on over to her website:

Make sure to follow Helana on Twitter, @HelanaDarwin

Andrew is so thrilled to be reunited and joined by his Kean University undergraduate mentor, Dr. Jan Balakian.

Jan talks about her new play Dreams on Fire which will have a Zoom reading on April 27th at 5pm. 

Use this link to watch the reading:

Dreams on Fire tells the story of the Armenian Genocide and the traumatic effects on future generations. When Jan was a PhD student at Cornell, she won a Cornell playwriting prize for her play in 1989; this achievement sparked the creation of Dreams on Fire.

Dreams follow the events of an Armenian-American college student who has a nervous breakdown during a 2016 exam week. While his grandmother and a classmate helped him recover, he began to link his condition to the Armenian Genocide. The connection explores the transmission of trauma across generations and the impact the Armenian Genocide has on the past, present, and future.

Projections from 1915, The Palisades of NJ, Arshile Gorky, Facing History’s text, NY Times headlines, the Turkish Coup of 2016 are part of the production, along with the melancholy sound of the duduk (Armenian wind instrument), and Katie Melua’s Dreams on Fire sung by Aram.

Dreams on Fire brings to light a vital subject in our global history and shows how trauma can linger for decades.

To read more about Jan, please head here:

And while you’re at it, make sure to follow Jan and Kean University on Twitter, @BalakianJan@KeanUniversity

(Watch the video version on our Patreon for free!

This week is National Library Week so we thought why not bring you all a special bonus episode! Andrew is joined with librarians, Emily Ostrander and Darla Salva Cruz, and the three all discuss their favorite library memories and the importance of literature in their life. 

Make sure to follow our favorite libraries and bookstores including @emmaclarklibrary@livebrary@suffolkys@portjefflibrary@sbulibraries@hegganpl@pwpllocalhistory@chplnj@gnlibrary@nypl@freelibrary@unionpubliclibrarynj@bryantlibrary@mcnallyjackson@wordsmatterbookstore, and @strandbookstore.  

And please tag your favorite library and bookstore in the comment section!

CW: sexual assault and trauma 

(Watch our video version here:

We talk to Mona Awad about her 2021 novel All’s Well and discuss how she turned to Shakespeare for literary inspiration. Then, Mona discusses how her own personal journey with chronic pain made its way into her novel. And, she explains how Miranda Fitch, her protagonist struggles with academic pressure and chronic pain while trying to direct and stage All’s Well That Ends Well. Mona explains the similarity between All’s Well and Bunny (her 2019 award winning novel). If you are a fan of psychological thrillers, then this is a must listen!

Make sure to follow Mona Awad on Instagram, @misss_read

You can purchase All’s Well by Mona Awad here:

Listen to Sophie Amoss read All’s Well on Audible:

(Watch the video version here:

What an episode to kickoff our Spring 22 season! 

We’re ecstatic to feature Taylor Ferber, pop culture provocateur and host of the “Cancel Me, Baby” podcast. She discusses her thoughts on #CancelCulture, the #MeToo movement in reference to her interview with Joe Francis (creator of “Girls Gone Wild”), and we do a deep dive of “Pam and Tommy,” “And Just Like That,” and “Euphoria.” These TV shows lead us all to an exciting and intense discussion of Porn and Media studies. 

Definitely follow Taylor on Instagram, @talktometaylor and Twitter, @TaylorFerber.  

Taylor’s “Talk to Me Taylor” website featuring her podcast, red carpet interviews, and writing:

“Cancel Me, Baby” Podcast:

Taylor’s merchandise:

(Want to see the video version of this interview become a Patreon subscriber:

We’re delighted to present a truly special interview with author Gregory Maguire who discusses all things Wicked with Andrew. From what inspired him to write about the Wicked Witch of the West, a heartwarming story about when he knew he had to write the novel, his reaction to the musical adaptation, and what he knows about a future TV adaptation. You don’t want to miss this interview which also includes anecdotes about Carole Shelley and Idina Menzel. 

Be sure to check out Gregory Maguire’s website which includes links to all of his fiction, including his recent release The Brides of Maracoor.

And if you haven’t yet, you must read Wicked

You can follow Gregory Maguire on Instagram, @gregorymaguire

Andrew’s “Lit. and Broadway Musical” Student Corner:

(Educational Fair Use) We truly appreciate Decca Broadway for such thrilling Wicked music. 

Stream the album here:

You can find Wicked‘s 15th Anniversary album and many more cast albums here:

Watch the rest of Andrew’s discussion with author J.P. Garland on our Patreon:

Welcome to our bonus episode with author J.P. Garland who shares Andrew’s enthusiasm with Gilded Age Literature and history and discusses why he was drawn to writing historical fiction based in 19th-century New York City!

You can find J.P. Garland’s books here:

Be sure to follow J.P. Garland on Twitter, @JPGarlandAuthor.

True Crime and thriller literature lovers you don’t want to miss our incredible interview with author Megan Collins. Her discussion features two distinct parts, the first a conversation about how she defines the thriller genre and why she is so drawn to this genre. The second, a deep dive of her novel The Family Plot which features a discussion about how True Crime takes centerstage with the Lighthouse family, and many spoilers that she dissects! 

Click here to purchase The Family Plot:

And click here for the audiobook read by Emily Tremaine:

Follow Megan Collins on Instagram, @megancollinswriter and Twitter, @ImMeganCollins

Become a Patreon subscriber and you’ll get access to the video version of this interview:

Join the dynamic duo of Andrews, Andrew Rimby and our featured guest, Andrew Kaplan the director and producer of the recent Walt Whitman documentary, In Search of Walt Whitman. They discuss the power of music in his documentary, how he approached Whitman’s themes on the body and sex, and why it’s so important to visit places that the author experienced. 

Watch the video version of this interview and become a Patreon subscriber:

Follow him on Twitter and Instagram, @akaplan41. 

Watch In Search of Walt Whitman on PBS:

Film Description: This engaging film tells the story of Walt Whitman’s remarkable life (1819-1892), the turbulent era in which he lived, and the timeless poetry he created. Interweaving narration and dramatic readings with captivating period music, insights from scholars, and photography filmed in key locations, this documentary brings to life Whitman’s unique character and poems.

Remember you can also access it on Hoopla via your public library:

Welcome to our Roaring 20s Great Gatsby party where you’re invited to meet Dr. Michael Nowlin who will be your scholarly guide to The Great Gatsby. We hope you have such a festive time celebrating F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel with us, talking about Edith Wharton, Ernest Hemingway, and discussing Long Island’s Gold Coast.

Want to see all of the Great Gatsby gems that Andrew shares with Dr. Nowlin? Well, you need to head on over to our Patreon and join at any level:

Find out more about Dr. Michael Nowlin’s work on his University of Victoria profile: 

Use code ivorytower for 20% off of Broadview Press’ second edition of The Great Gatsby (edited by Dr. Michael Nowlin):

Andrew is joined with Dr. Stephen Guy-Bray who queers the Shakespeare canon, and with his scholarly expertise, explains what it means to provide a queer and homoerotic approach to Shakespeare’s oeuvre. Get ready to learn why the queerness of a text is in the hands of its reader. 

To see more of Dr. Stephen Guy-Bray’s work head here:

Follow Dr. Stephen Guy-Bray on Instagram, @stephen.guybray, and Twitter, @SGUYBRAY

You can find his book Shakespeare and Queer Representation (2020) on Routledge’s site:

Become a Patreon subscriber and you’ll get access to the video version of this interview:

To see more of Richie Hofmann and Richard Scott’s poetry, make sure to follow them on Twitter, @RichieHof and @iamrichardscott

Educational Fair Use: Thanks to Ghostlight Records for “Welcome to the Renaissance” (from Something Rotten!). 

Dawn Delikat, Executive Director of Pen and Brush, joins the entire Ivory Tower Boiler Room team (yes all three of us are on the podcast!) to discuss what it means to view art as the ultimate democratic connector to bring people together. A few highlights include Dawn dissecting her theory that “art is the democratic version of history” as well as why it’s so important not to lose artistic voices of all different identities. Dawn is a wealth of knowledge and we had such a wonderful time talking with her that we might even need to have a second part in the future! 

Follow Pen and Brush on Instagram, @penandbrushnyc, Twitter, @penbrush, and Facebook, @penandbrushnyc

Follow Dawn on Instagram, @dawnoftheart

To watch the video version of this interview, head on over to our Patreon page:

Dr. Mario Telo, Professor of Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, and Comparative Lit., at UC Berkeley, joins Andrew to first address what makes Ancient Greek Literature such a queer and homoerotic source. Then, they get into discussions on why “class” is so important in the word “Classics,” what male same-sex relationships looked like in ancient Greece, and Mario gets into how he approaches writing and teaching Greek drama. 

Make sure to follow Mario on his Instagram, @telo_mario. And, to see more of his research and writing head here:

To look into his 2020 book, Archive Feelings: A Theory of Greek Tragedy head here:

To listen to the rest of the episode, head on over to our Patreon:

We also give an extensive book list so here are a few of those titles (get ready to read):Plato’s Symposium: Aristophanes’ Lysistrata:  Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles: Mary Renault’s The Persian Boy: Donna Zuckerberg’s Not All Dead White Men: Caroline Winterer’s The Culture of Classicism: 

(Content Warning: discussions about sexual assault and trauma)

Aaron Hamburger, writer of Nirvana Is Here, talks with Andrew about how he approached writing a novel that explores Queer desire, trauma, and Jewish identity in the segregated suburbs of Detroit. Aaron’s book has been highly praised and won the Bronze Medal in the 2019 Foreword Indies Book Awards. 

“Combine the sensuality and haunting nostalgia of Andre Aciman’s Call Me By Your Name with the raw emotion of Kurt Cobain’s songwriting, then set it to a 90s-era grunge soundtrack, and you’ve got Nirvana Is Here.”

Follow Aaron Hamburger on Instagram, @aaronhamburger1.  

To learn more about Aaron and his work, explore his website:

To purchase Nirvana is Here head on over to:

To listen to Charlie Thurston read Nirvana is Here, head to Audible:

Watch the Zoom video of this interview on our Patreon,

Robert Jones Jr. joins Andrew, Mary, and Ceren in The Ivory Tower Boiler Room to discuss his 2021 New York Times bestselling novel, The Prophets. He provides a behind the scenes discussion of how this much talked about Black queer love story came to be. Our discussion dives deep into who Robert turns to for literary inspiration, specifically Harriet Jacobs, Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin, and Toni Morrison. He explains the musicality of his prose, and you’ll be surprised with one of the major inspirations. As Robert says, his novel really “needed to sing”! There is much to ponder and reflect on in this episode and be ready for many important book suggestions. 

As author Marlon James reminds us on the cover of The Prophets, Robert Jones Jr.’s Black queer love story is “Glorious…What the American novel is, should do, and can be.” 

Follow Robert Jones Jr. on Instagram, @thesonofbaldwin and Twitter, @SonofBaldwin. Make sure to follow Robert Jones Jr.’s Son of Baldwin which is a social-justice, social-media community that he created and curates on Facebook, @SonofBaldwin

To purchase The Prophets head here:

To hear actor Karen Chilton beautifully read The Prophets head to Audible:

Listen to our entire unedited interview with Robert Jones Jr., including an extra 40 minutes of discussion! So head on over to our Patreon page:

For our last 2021 Ivory Tower Boiler Room interview, Andrew is joined by Dr. Bryant Simon, writer of Boardwalk of Dreams (2004) to talk all things nostalgic and historic about Atlantic City, New Jersey. The conversation ranges from Atlantic City’s late-19th-century to its 21st-century history. A few topics include the history of the Miss America pageant, how Atlantic City became a middle-class resort city, its racially segregated history, its Jewish American history, its LGBTQ+ history, and how to categorize Atlantic City now? Dr. Simon even breaks down the Boardwalk Empire series! This is a must listen for all who want to learn more about the history of a city that Andrew holds near and dear, Atlantic City. 

To find out more about our guest, Dr. Bryant Simon, head on over to his Temple University page: Follow Dr. Bryant Simon on Twitter, @BryantSimon. To purchase Boardwalk of Dreams either click the title (remember it’s a hyperlink) or head here:

And while you’re at it, make sure to order Dr. Simon’s Everything But the Coffee: Learning about America from Starbucks (2011):

Josh reveals the behind the scenes of working in Hollywood as a publicist and now as a Hollywood producer. He then discusses his writing process for both Porn Again and Enemies Closer. Josh’s discussion about coming out leads Andrew and Josh to openly discuss their approach to consuming pornography and the importance of sexual education. Follow Josh Sabarra on Instagram, @joshsabarra, Twitter, @JoshSabarra, and Facebook, /JoshSabarraAuthor. Head on over to his website where you can purchase his catchy merchandise:

To purchase Porn Again: A Memoir go here: To purchase Enemies Closer go here: If anyone wants signed or personalized copies, they’re available by calling Barnes & Noble at The Grove in LA or through Book Soup in LA.

Andrew highly recommends the Audible versions of Josh’s books as well (Josh reads Porn Again!) so head on over to:

To order Robert Jones Jr.’s The Prophets go here:

Andrew and Mary are joined with creative writer, Micah Nemerever who provides a deep dive into his 2020 novel, These Violent Delights. They get into the queer Jewish themes in his book as well as such vivid psychological thriller moments. Andrew and Mary may still be having Hitchcockian nightmares! While asking intense questions about where violent tendencies stem from, there is also a lot of humor and lightness, like Micah surprising Andrew and Mary with a special furry friend. 

Check out Micah Nemerever’s personal website! Follow Micah Nemerever on Instagram, @micahnem and Twitter, @nemerevermore.

To purchase Micah’s These Violent Delights go to Words Matter Bookstore. And head on over to Audible to hear Michael Crouch read These Violent Delights

Follow Lev AC Rosen on Instagram, @levacrosen, and Twitter, @LevACRosen. You can find Camp at Words Matter Bookstore. And, you can listen to his audiobook (read by Drew Caiden) on Audible

To find Lev’s other books mentioned in this episode (including Jack of Hearts) head over to his personal website!

Andrew is joined by Dr. Dustin Friedman, Associate Professor of Literature at American University. Follow Dr. Dustin Friedman on Twitter, @dustin82, and Instagram, @dustinfriedman. You can purchase Dustin’s book, Before Queer Theory at Words Matter Bookstore.

Thanks for “Sagittarius” Sophie! Check out Anne Sophie Andersen’s Seasons promo video. Composer: Anne Sophie Andersen (follow her on Instagram, @anne_sophie_andersen), Dancer: Daisy Payero, Video: Cecilie Beck Kronborg (follow her on Instagram, @ceciliebeckofficial

That’s My Opinion! The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives with Brian Moylan

President and Founder of The Housewives Institute, Brian Moylan pulls back the curtain on the Real Housewives, and there are so many topics we cover from the current season of Salt Lake City, to the Beverly Hills reunion, the last season of New York, and the upcoming Ultimate Girls Trip. Follow Brian on Instagram and Twitter, @brianjmoylan. Make sure you check out Brian’s book The Housewives: The Real Story Behind the Real Housewives (2021). And, indulge in listening to his audiobook (he reads it!). Check out Brian’s Vulture articles and sign up for his Real Housewives newsletter. And, listen to his current podcast, The 12 Gays of Christmas

To read the exchange between Eboni K. Williams and Brian Moylan click on their names. Read Brian’s recent, NBC News, op-ed on Bravo and structural racism

Thanks to Meghan Buckley, for her Real Housewives obsession and for being this week’s guest co-host. You can follow Meghan on Twitter and Instagram

Steven Rowley’s The Guncle, Our November Book Club

We thank you all for listening and please check out our show notes (click our hyperlinks)! Follow Steven Rowley on Instagram, @mrstevenrowley. You can purchase The Guncle from Words Matter Bookstore in-person or online (an independent bookstore in Pitman, NJ). And, remember that Steven reads his own audiobook so check it out on Audible! Make sure to head on over to Steven’s website

Gail Crowther on the Rebellion of Sylvia Plath & Anne Sexton Content Warning: discussions about mental health, suicide, and sexual abuse  

Follow Gail Crowther on Instagram and Twitter, @crowther_gail, and you can purchase her book, Three-Martini Afternoons at the Ritz: The Rebellion of Sylvia Plath & Anne Sexton at Words Matter Bookstore. And, if you would like to listen to the audiobook, it can be found on Audible. Listen to Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton read their poetry! Thanks to my guest co-host, Kelsey Dufresne who you can follow on Twitter and Instagram, @kvdufresne. 

Brenda Harris’s Journey from a Pig Farm to the Opera House Check out Brenda’s site to learn more about her work and hear her different repertoire. Follow us on Instagram, @ivorytowerboilerroom and Twitter, @ivoryboilerroom. We’d love to hear from you so email us at Check out Mary’s new Instagram page, @truecrimeinacademia. Thanks to Anne Sophie Andersen for our October theme song “Scorpio.” Thanks to the Des Moines Metro Opera for the audio of Brenda as Elektra in Strauss’ opera.

Dr. Lavelle Porter on The Blackademic Life and Antiracist Pedagogy Dr. Lavelle Porter joins Andrew and guest co-host, Adam Katz to discuss his 2019 book The Blackademic Life: Academic Fiction, Higher Education, and the Black Intellectual. Check out the episode notes.

Let the Record Show, a Conversation with Sarah Schulman Sarah Schulman joins Andrew to discuss her 2021 book Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993. Check out the episode notes.

P.J. Vernon’s “Bath Haus,” Our October Book Club Author Interview P.J. Vernon joins Andrew and guest co-host, Mary DiPipi to discuss his 2021 book Bath Haus: A Thriller. We welcome P.J. as our first Ivory Tower Boiler Room Book Club author, and we couldn’t have picked a more fitting book to start off our October season. Check out the episode notes.

Peculiar Affairs in Academia with Dr. Michael Nevradakis
Dr. Nevradakis’ interview acts as a sort of “Professor Is In” case study. He opens up about what to do when your academic advisor falls off the map, and how to figure out a fulfilling academic pathway when the odds are stacked against you. He gets into the dreaded sense of imposter syndrome and paranoia that PhD students are faced with and how to work through this. Episode notes, including a link to Dr Nevradakis’ podcast are available here.

The Professor is In Meets The Ivory Tower Boiler Room
The Professor Is In team, Dr. Karen Kelsky and Kel Weinhold join Adam and Andrew in the Ivory Tower Boiler Room. Their discussion centers on ending gaslighting and how to push for more equity in academia. Click here for show notes and episode details.  

Teaching and Writing to Transgress
Andrew is joined by Drs. Kimberly Cox, Shannon Draucker, and Doreen Thierauf to discuss the behind the scenes of academic editing.  Don’t miss the companion special episode linked below, featuring a recording of Andrew reading his article. Click here for additional show notes and read the complete journal here.

Andrew Reads His Article “Talking Back to Walt Whitman…”
In this special episode Andrew reads his article “Talking Back to Walt Whitman…” You can read the article here.

(A Special Rebroadcast) The Performing Arts During a Pandemic with Renee Chambers Liciaga
We celebrate Broadway’s reopening with Renee Chambers Liciaga’s October 2020 interview “The Performing Arts During a Pandemic.” View show notes and photos here. A video version of this interview is also available on YouTube.

(Season Finale) Our First Year is in the Books an Open Mic Poetry Event
We celebrate our first birthday with open mic poetry events both in person and online. Enjoy readings from Ivory Tower Boiler Room fans and contributors of original work and work from other favorite poets. For more about the poets and the event, check out this blog post. Interested in writing for us? Send us an email.

Coming Out Twice: a Queer Jewish Writer’s Identity with Lev Raphael (Part III)
Part III of Andrew and Erika’s conversation with award winning author Lev Raphael, where conversation focuses on the mainstreaming of queer culture, and on generational trauma–queer and otherwise. Find episode notes and additional information here.

How to Write a Sex Scene A Conversation with Lev Raphael (Part II)
Part II of Andrew and Erika’s conversation with Lev Raphael includes conversations about writing sex scenes, queer literature books that are or should be) turned into films, and more. Show notes available here, along with links to Lev Raphael’s mentoring program Write Without Borders.

The Age of…Dr. Sheila Liming’s Digital Humanities and Edith Wharton Work (and Much More)
An interview with Dr Sheila Liming about archival research, teaching and coping with budget cuts. For more information, a link to Dr Liming’s article “My University is Dying” and video of her musical performances, check out the show notes here.

Lev Raphael: On Being (and Not Being) a Queer Jewish Writer (Part 1)
Part I of Andrew and Erika’s conversation with award winning author of 27 books, Lev Raphael, about paying attention to details, getting away from your roots, and transmitting history without transmitting trauma. Read more about the episode and find links to Lev Raphael’s website and mentoring program in the show notes.

Special Episode: Dr. Helana Darwin’s #MeToo PhD Series (Part Two)
Content Warning: Sexual Abuse, Grooming, and Suicidal Ideation
The Ivory Tower Boiler Room brings you an interivew with award-winning author, mother, scholar, and qualtatie research specialist Dr Helana Darwin where she shares her story of abuse at the hands of her own dissertation advisor. Find resources and show notes here and visit Dr Darwin’s website, here.

Backstage with Jesse Green, the Chief Theater Critic for The New York Times
Jesse Green, Chief Theater Critic for The New York Times brings his wisdom about writing, theater and journalism to the Boiler Room during a conversation with Adam and Andrew. Episode notes are available on our blog.

Special Episode: Dr. Helana Darwin’s #MeToo PhD Series (Part One)
Content Warning: Sexual Abuse, Grooming, and Suicidal Ideation
The Ivory Tower Boiler Room brings you an interivew with award-winning author, mother, scholar, and qualtatie research specialist Dr Helana Darwin where she shares her story of abuse at the hands of her own dissertation advisor. Find resources and show notes here and visit Dr Darwin’s website, here.

July Round Table: What is a Teacher? What is a Classroom?
Mary, Andrew, Adam and Erika sit down and talk about what teaching means to each of them, what a classroom really is, and the different roles education has played in their lives. See recommendations for favorite films and books about education and other show notes on the blog.

Should You Go to Grad School? A Discussion with Dr Natalie Morse
Adam and Andrew chat with Dr Natalie Morse, founder of the academic consultig business For the Love of Grad. Find show notes and more information about Dr Morse’s business here.

The Closet in the Library: A Broadview Press Book Launch of the Victorian Era Anthology
Adam and Andrew talk with editors Kate Flint and Jason Rudy about the newest edition of Broadview Press’ Victorian Era anthology with an emphasis on how this edition ampliefies queer, Jewish, BIPOC and female voices. Find links to the book, information about the editors and digital humanities resources for teaching Victorian studies through a positive, race conscious lens, see the episode notes.

Two Writers are Better than One
Stony Brook Alumni Kathryn and Ula Klein join Andrew and Adam to talk all things LGBTQ+ academic and creative writing. For links to Ula and Kathrn’s writing see the show notes.

Pride 2021: Queerness and Allyship-An Ivory Tower Boiler Room Round Table (Part I)
Andrew, Adam, Mar and Erika check in and talk about what Pride means to them, LGBTQ+ media and LGBTQ+ literature. For links to materials and poems discussed in the episode, visit our show notes.

Happy Birthday Walt Whitman (a 202nd Birthday Extravaganza)
A celebration of the poet Walt Whitman, brought to ou in partnership with The Walt Whitman Initiative. For more informaion about The Walt Whtiman Initiative and other resources, visit our show notes page.

Inside the Boiler Room: The Writers’ Round Table (Part II)
Adam, Andrew, Erika and Mary talk about what drives their writing passions and about who their audiences actually are.
Find information about the episode, and a link to the YouTube video here.

Inside the Boiler Room: The Writers’ Round Table (Part I)
Andrew, Adam, Mary and Erika sit down for a conversation about what it means to each of them to be a writer.

Where the STEM and Humanities Meet: Two Humanities Guys and a Physicist Walk into a Zoom
Dr Thomas Videbaek joins Adam and Andrew to talk about “viscous fingering” and art. For images to explain more, see here and here.

The Poetry Playhouse (an inagural event)
A virtual poetry reading of favoriet poems by Ivory Tower Boiler Room members and friends. For more information about the poems in this episode, see the notes here.

Grad School Interrupted: A Discussion of Mental Health in the University in 2 Parts (Part II)
Content Warning: Content Warning: This episode contains intense discussions about depression, anxiety, trauma, sexual assault, violence, and other mental health issues
For a list of mental health and sexual assault resources curated by The Ivory Tower Boiler Room Team please click here.

Grad School Interrupted: A Discussion of Mental Health in the University in 2 Parts (Part I)
Content Warning: Content Warning: This episode contains intense discussions about depression, anxiety, trauma, sexual assault, violence, and other mental health issues
For a list of mental health and sexual assault resources curated by the Ivory Tower Team, Please click here.

Freed Verse: A Conversation on Academia and Public Engagement with Dr. Karen Karbiener
For more about Dr. Karbiener, see her bio. For texts discussed in this episode, and other notes, click here.

Repurposing Your PhD with Adam Capitanio

(Special Episode) Pulling Back the Curtain on Writing During the Apocalypse
A visit with some of the writers who have participated in The Ivory Tower Boiler Room’s writing group, and a discussion about goals for 2021. For more about the goals and participants click here.

Starting from Paumanok with Caitlyn Shea (Part II)
Caitlyn continues her conversation about adapting to virtual programming at the Whitman Birthplace, discussing Whitman during a period of racial and social justice movements, and her work as a professional artist.

Starting from Paumanok with Caitlyn Shea (Part 1)
Caitlyn Shea is the Event and Media Director at the Walt Whitman Birthplace and talks to Andrew and Adam about programming during a pandemic and about her work as an artist.

(Part Two) Sing We and Chaunt It: Continuing our Conversation with Emily O’Brien
Emily O’Brien, musician and teacher joins Adam and Andrew in the Boiler Room for a conversation. You can view her website here, and her YouTube chanel here.

(Part One) Sing We and Chaunt It: Continuing our Conversation with Emily O’Brien
Emily O’Brien, musician and teacher joins Adam and Andrew in the Boiler Room for a conversation. You can view her website here, and her YouTube chanel here.

Running AMOC with Matt Aucoin (or Matt and Andrew Geek Out Over Whitman)
Composer, conductor, pianist and 201 MacArthur Fellow Matt Aucoin visits The Ivory Tower Boiler Room. For show notes, please click here.

(Special Episode) Poetry and Healing During the COVID Crisis with Dr. Susan Scheckel
Dr. Susan Scheckel’s talk explores why readers are turning, now more than ever, to Whitman’s poetry in the 21st century, and asks “why does Whitman’s Spirit feel so relevant right now in 2020?”
Dr Scheckel’s presentation is available for viewing here.

Balancing Academics and Motherhood in a Time of Protest
We continue our discussion with Dr. Shi Huiwen as she describes balancing academics and motherhood while face to face with protests. For more about the events that were taking place in Hong Kong, see resources here and here.

Dr. Shi’s Reflections and Illuminations on Organization, Academics, Motherhood, and Civil Unrest
Dr Shi Huiwen visits the Boiler Room and takes Andrew and Adam on a journey through theory where they discuss Seamus Heaney, Walter Benjamin, and the difficulties of writing a dissertation while pregnant. You can find Dr Shi’s bio and other links here.

Showing Up for Your Community with Lisa Aamodt
Lisa Aamodt is the Limud Education Director at Congregation Tifereth Israel. In this episode, Andrew and Adam discuss Lisa’s innovative strategies for connecting the students at her Hebrew School during the pandemic. This is an important conversation about what we value as educators.
Find additional information and resources here.

Growing up in a Hamlet (with Dr. Bente Videbaek)
This week our guest shares her unusual path to her doctorate and her unique approach to teaching/mentorship. For episode notes and book recommendations, click here.

This week’s guest, Joe Labriola’s interests may seem unrelated, but as you’ll learn, they make sense once you get to know him.  Find show notes and information here.

What’s the difference between “urban” and “metropolitan”? Let’s ask Dr. Sophia Basaldua-Sun.
Dr. Basaldua-Sun is an independent scholar of Comparative Literature. Episode notes include a glossary and bibliography.

(Special Episode) The Performing Arts During a Pandemic (with Renee Chambers Liciaga)
Andrew’s former director, Renee Chambers Liciaga is a professional dancer, choreographer, and performing arts educator who speaks to how to approach the performing arts during the pandemic. She discusses how she choreographed Disney’s Tarzan outside at the Elmwood Zoo in Norristown, PA. Photos and videos are available here.

If It’s Not Awkward, It’s Not Anthropology with Shweta Krishnan
Shweta Krishnan, PhD candidate in Anthropology at George Washington University Joins Adam and Andrew to talk about her fieldwork and about how bafflingly difficult it can be to do anthropological research in a way that is respectful towards the people you are writing about.
Find a bibliograph and glossary here.

Queer People in Shared Spaces with Stephanie Bonvissuto
Stephanie Bonvissuto, a scholar from Stony Brook’s Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her research explores how culture grows out of shared spaces, and in particular how queer and gender-nonconforming people have been excluded from those spaces.

Surviving a PhD Program in the U.S. with Shruti Mukherjee
PhD wisdom says don’t change your dissertation committee. Shruti from Stony Brook’s Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies talks about the frustrations of being an international student in a US graduate program and about changing her committee not once, but twice.

Literary History from a Non-European Perspective with Ignacio Choi
We welcome Ignacio Choi, a scholar of Comparative Literature to The Ivory Tower Boiler Room.

Welcome to the Ivory Tower Boiler Room

About The Podcast

Every Monday our podcast features a Public Humanities interview which includes writers, scholars, performers, and artists.

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