Australian Literary Podcasts

It's been a while since I wrote about Literary Podcasts so I thought it best if I rounded up those I listen to in one place. Podcast download instructions are given on each page but you'll probably need something like Apple's iTunes software. If you set this up properly it will download all your outstanding podcast episodes when they become available - you don't have to download each one in turn. Just start up the software hit "Refresh" in the Podcast section and away you go.

You can download iTunes for free from the Apple site here. Versions are available for both PC and Apple operating systems.

I must state that I am not an advocate for iTunes but it works for me, and you can use it without the need to own an mp3 player such as an iPod. You can download the episodes to your computer's hard drive and listen to them from there. You just lose the advantage of portability.

The Book Show - the biggest and most impressive of the three. Romana Kaval presents The Book Show each weekday on ABC Radio National and, as you might expect from a daily program of this sort, she covers just about everything. Recent programs have covered the "Best of..." poetry collections of 2006, an interview with Kiran Desai about her Man Booker Prize winning novel, a discussion of the year in Australian books, and an interview with Dava Sobel concerning writing about science. Each program runs 30-45 minutes.

Faster Than Light - Grant Stone is one of Australia's great sf fans, being involved in the discussion and promotion of the genre for over 25 years. His Faster Than light radio program is a half-hour weekly effort out of Perth, featuring news, reviews and interviews. His enthusiasm is infectious and his knowledge awesome. He's quite happy to run long interviews with authors, editors, and graphic artists which span two or three episodes, but which don't dominate any one. There's always something here of interest.

Writers Radio - the newest of the three for me as I only discovered it last week. I now have about 40 episodes of 30 minutes each to work through. Presented from Adelaide by Cath Keneally, Writers Radio is a weekly 30-minute program dealing with Australian literature in all its forms. I'm not sure how long it has been running but you can download all episodes from 2006 at present. Covers a lot of newer and unpublished writers, as well as interviewing such people as Dorothy Porter and Bryce Courtenay.

Others: ABC Radio National has a number of other prgrams that occasionally feature literature in one form or another. You might be interested in - Background Briefing, In Conversation, Late Night Live, Lingua Franca, Ockham's Razor, and The Science Show. And there bound to be others I've missed.

Conclusion: if you're anything like me and find it hard to listen to the radio at 10 in the morning, or anytime on weekends, this is the method you should use. Just be aware that some of the podcast episodes are rather large - regular episodes of The Book Show will run to 18MgB - and that they can tend to accumulate very quickly if you don't keep up. I've taken to listening to downloaded podcasts in the train and the car, and while I'm watering the garden. With approximately 80 hours of radio broadcasts waiting it looks like I have a lot of watering to do this summer - within designated restrictions, of course.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on December 20, 2006 9:53 AM.

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