Chad B. Anderson

Chad B. Anderson’s story “The Kelley Street Disappearances” has been lodged in my brain for almost a decade, so I decided to track him down, and I was so grateful when he agreed to be on the podcast. I’m sure if you are an avid reader like me, you know how rare it is to have a story resonate for that long. I hope you feel the same way I do about this one!

Thanks also to LDAS-featured writer, Robin Martin, for sending me the story many years ago.

For the first time with this podcast, in the interest of fostering our community of writers, I sent the story to all of my previous guests. LDAS-featured writers, Desiree Cooper and Renee Simms, weighed in with a couple of really compelling questions for Chad. You can check out my interviews. with Desiree and Renee here as well.

Also, I’m grateful to Renee for mentioning the story, Recitatif by Toni Morrison, which I had not read, and the stunning New Yorker essay about the story by Zadie Smith.

Salamander Magazine has kindly removed the paywall for “The Kelley Street Disappearances.” Please find it here.

Thanks so much to the managing editor, Katie Sticca, for helping us keep this podcast accessible.

**Salamander runs a fiction contest every year that runs from May 1 – June 1, with results announced by early September. Anyone interested can find more information on the website

Please check out the Let’s Deconstruct a Story podcast on Spotify, Apple, Audible, or wherever you get your podcasts after you read the story, and if you have a chance to rate the show, I would really appreciate it.

On October 1st, I will be talking with George Singleton about his short story, “I’m Down Here on the Floor” in StorySouth. Thanks to Dan Wickett of Dzanc Books for suggesting George’s work.

On October 12th, I’m hosting a Zoom discussion of Jai Chakrabarti’s short story, “A Small Sacrifice for an Enormous Happiness,” sign up here.

On November 1st, Bonnie Jo Campbell visits to talk about her short story, “Boar Taint” in The Kenyon Review.

Chad has just finished editing this wonderful anthology. Check it out:

Bio: Chad B. Anderson has published fiction in Salamander Review, Black Warrior Review, Nimrod International Journal, The Best American Short Stories 2017, Clockhouse, and Burrow Press Review, and he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He has had residencies at the Ledig House International Writers’ Colony, the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando, Florida, and the Carolyn Moore Writers House in Portland, Oregon. He has served as an acting managing editor for Callaloo: Journal of African Diaspora Arts and Letters and a guest editor for Burrow Press Review and is currently an associate fiction editor for Orison Books. He edited and penned the introduction for an anthology of art, poetry, and prose titled What’s Mine of Wilderness?, published by Burrow Press in 2023. Born and raised in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, he earned his B.A. in American Studies and English from University of Virginia and his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Indiana University, where he served as fiction editor for Indiana Review. He currently lives in Michigan.

If you would like to donate the show (and even earmark it for transcription services) you can make a donation here on this page (see right hand column.)

Thank you so much! Kelly.


Jason Ockert

Hi Everyone,

I’m happy to welcome Jason Ockert to show! We discussed his story, “The Peoplemachines” in storySouth Spring 2023. It blew me away! Who reminds me of a modern-day Agathocles??…hmmmm….I can’t imagine.

Please read the story (available below) before listening to our discussion. Thank you SO MUCH to storySouth for publishing this thought-provoking dystopian story. It will stay with me.

Thanks also to Dan Wickett of Dzanc Books⁠ for recommending Jason’s work.

⁠The Peoplemachines by Jason Ockert ⁠

Afterward, look for the podcast on Apple, Spotify, Audible, or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks to ⁠Elliot Bancel⁠, audio engineer extraordinaire for his meticulous work.


In other news…

Coming up in the near future: Interviews with Chad B. Anderson and George Singleton.

Also, I was thrilled to visit the podcast Homespun Haints, where I tried hard but didn’t even make it through half of my Irish ghost stories. Saving a few for a later date! Becky and Diana are so fun–if you have any ghost stories, you should definitely contact them here⁠.

One last thing I wanted to mention, Susan Perabo (a past guest and extraordinary writer) is featured on Symphony Space here. This story is not to be missed.



PSS: Looking for ways to support LDAS? Send us a one-time or recurring donation. We (meaning me…it’s just me) would really appreciate it!

Bio: Jason Ockert is the author of the novel Wasp Box and three collections of short stories: Shadowselves, Neighbors of Nothing, and Rabbit Punches. His fiction has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Granta, Oxford American, One Story, and McSweeney’s. He teaches at Coastal Carolina University.

You can purchase Jason’s books here on my Bookshop.

Your Host: Kelly Fordon’s latest short story collection I Have the Answer (Wayne State University Press, 2020) was chosen as a Midwest Book Award Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist. Her 2016 Michigan Notable Book, Garden for the Blind, (WSUP), was an INDIEFAB Finalist, a Midwest Book Award Finalist, Eric Hoffer Finalist, and an IPPY Awards Bronze Medalist. Her first full-length poetry collection, Goodbye Toothless House, (Kattywompus Press, 2019) was an Eyelands International Prize Finalist and an Eric Hoffer Finalist and was adapted into a play, written by Robin Martin, which was published in The Kenyon Review Online. Find her books here on Bookshop, Amazon, or Audible.



Hi Everyone!


This month I”m happy to host Lily King who will be discussing the title story from her new short story collection “Five Tuesdays in Winter.”

The short story collection Five Tuesdays in Winter is available at most libraries throughout the United States or for purchase through Bookshop and Amazon.  The title story “Five Tuesdays in Winter” was first published in Ploughshares in 2005, and may also be available here.

I’m so sorry a PDF was not provided by the publisher this time. I believed it would be available in PDF form, but I was mistaken. Grove Atlantic does not own the serial rights.

Despite my disappointment, I am very grateful to have a writer of Lily King’s caliber on the podcast, and I wanted to make this episode available to listeners anyway.

It is best to read the story before listening to our discussion.

And then listen to our discussion:

Here on Anchor:

Or here on Spotify:

Or wherever you get your podcasts!

Lily King is the award-winning author of five novels. Her most recent novel, Writers & Lovers, was published on March 3rd, 2020, and her first collection of short stories, Five Tuesdays in Winter, was released on November 9, 2021. Her 2014 novel Euphoria won the Kirkus Award, The New England Book Award, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award. Euphoria was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by The New York Times Book Review. It was included in TIME’s Top 10 Fiction Books of 2014, as well as on Amazon, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, Publishers Weekly, and Salon’s Best Books of 2014.

Upcoming Episodes:

May 1: Sara Majka
June 1: Ellen Birkett Morris
July 1: Maurine Ogbaa
August 1: Selena Anderson
September 1: Jacob M. Appel
October 1: Peter Ho Davies
November 1: Peter Orner
December 1: Toni Ann Johnson


This is the second “Let’s Deconstruct a Story” podcast offered in collaboration with the Grosse Pointe Public Library in Michigan. The GPPL has committed to purchasing ten books by each author this season to give to their patrons! If you are a short story writer who has tried to make money in this game then you know what a big deal this is! My hope is that other libraries will follow the GPPL’s lead and be inspired to buy books by these talented short story writers. I will be contacting many libraries this year to suggest this programming. Feel free to do the same if you enjoy this podcast!







Hi Shanta,

Thanks for joining us today! Please let us know: at this moment in time which of your own poems is your personal favorite, and why?


First, please read Syna-ghetto-sthesia An Exhibition by Shanta Lee Gander

Shanta Lee Gander on her personal favorite:

This is an interesting question because it is not only hard to choose, I am still working on looking at my work as “good enough.” Perhaps an odd thing to admit out loud, but as an artist – I am also a photographer as well and write in other genres – I find my work to be perfectly imperfect in different states and stages of finish. Some things are more finished or “complete” than others. While some things I have decided to let them stay as they are while constantly seeing what could have been better.

I feel like that is just the overall cycle of life. If I am to pick which one of my poems I feel the most drawn to at this moment, it would have to be, “Syna-ghetto-sthesia: An Exhibition.” I wrote this a bit ago and it was the first time that I actually started engaging with the place where I grew up without shame but as an artifact within the process of creating and making art. When people ask me where I am from, I often say Connecticut clear and without a mumble. But if there is a further question of where, or if I am just volunteering saying, “I grew up in Hartford,” there are edges and notes of shame underneath my voice. I think for the construction of this book, before I ever knew it was a book, I decided to engage the urbanscape as a place of possibility within my poetry. It was something, previous to this, that was easier to do in prose. The urbandscape didn’t have to just be in places like New York, but other places where the urban offered a lot of flavors of the surreal, fantastic, the ridiculous, alongside all of the other things about the place that still cause my face to twist in disdain.

Creating the past and the place that I have so many complex feelings about into an exhibition space on the page allowed me to enter it a different way. Again, it was not expected in terms how how this came to be and when it did, it was almost as if the place itself – the apartment building that did burn down in late 2019 while my parents were still living there – was instructing and inviting me to see it, in habit it in a different way.



Shanta Lee Gander


Shanta Lee Gander is a writer, photographer, journalist whose work has been featured in The Massachusetts Review, PRISM, ITERANT Literary Magazine, Palette Poetry, BLAVITY, DAME Magazine, The Crisis Magazine, Rebelle Society, on the Ms. Magazine Blog, and on a former radio segment Ponder This. Shanta Lee’s photojournalism has been featured on Vermont Public Radio ( and her investigative reporting has been in The Commons weekly newspaper covering Windham County, VT. Shanta Lee is the 2020 recipient of the Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts and 2020 and named as Diode Editions full-length book contest winner for her debut poetry compilation, GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues. Her contributing work on an investigative journalism piece for The Commons received several New England Newspaper & Press Association (NENPA) awards for her journalism work. Shanta Lee gives lectures on the life of Lucy Terry Prince (c. 1730-1821) — considered the first known African-American poet in English literature — as a member of the Vermont and New Hampshire Humanities Council Speakers Bureaus. She is the 2020 gubernatorial appointee to the Vermont Humanities Council’s board of directors and has a solo photography show, Dark Goddess, being featured in the Manchester, VT gallery, Southern Vermont Arts Center in August 2021.

Shanta Lee is an MFA candidate in Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has an MBA from the University of Hartford and an undergraduate degree in Women, Gender and Sexuality from Trinity College. To see more of Shanta Lee’s work, visit


GHETTOCLAUSTROPHOBIA: Dreamin of Mama While Trying to Speak Woman in Woke Tongues is available at Diode Editions. Also at Bookshop


In other news:

I’ll be visiting the Crazy Wisdom Poetry Circle next week! Please join us AND bring a poem to share during the open mic. See the link below:

Kelly Fordon.flyer.6.23.2021


harris picture

Bill Harris, Art by Nicole Macdonald from her Detroit Portrait Series

Today on the blog, Bill Harris and I will be talking about his story, “That First Year the Business Was Wood,” from his award-winning Wayne State University Press collection, I Got to Keep Moving.

Bill Harris is a Wayne State University emeritus professor of English. He is a playwright, poet, and arts critic. His plays have been produced nationwide and he has published books of plays, poetry, and reappraisals of American history. He received the 2011 Kresge Foundation Eminent Artist award.

It’s best to read the story before listening to our discussion so we don’t spoil the ending for you. Just click on this link below:

That First Year the Business Was Wood from I GOT TO KEEP MOVING







“I Got to Keep Moving” is available from Pages Bookshop here or Wayne State University Press here or Bookshop here or Amazon here.


I plan to continue discussing stories through the fall. Please let me know if you have a new book of short stories out so we can talk about it!



I Have the Answer has been out since April 11th. It was hard to market or even think about a new book this past spring, and if you are so inclined, I would love your help.

There are two main ways:

  1. Write a review on Amazon and Goodreads. Reviews at these places make a big difference and help drive sales. My hope is that people read the reviews and then purchase the book from their local indie bookstore like Pages Bookshop in Detroit!
  2. If you have already read and enjoyed the book, please let your friends know on social media with either a picture or just a suggestion that they might want to buy the book. Here’s a link to WSUPress for more information: Please use the hashtag with #IHAVETHEANSWER and please tag @WSUPress and @kfor24. 


I recorded a podcast last week for Without Books and if you haven’t heard of them, I highly recommend the short messages they record by authors reminding us all about the importance of books.

Stay safe and well.




Featured Poet: Vievee Francis

I asked my friend and teacher, Vievee Francis, if she would contribute to this blog, and she asked me to pick out my favorite poem (of hers) and post it, so here we go. Vievee is brilliant and there are many poems I could pick, but I am drawn to this one at this moment in time because of the line:

What does it mean/to silence another?

Given to Rust

Every time I open my mouth my teeth reveal

more than I mean to. I can’t stop tonguing them, my teeth.

Almost giddy to know they’re still there (my mother lost hers)

but I am embarrassed nonetheless that even they aren’t

pretty. Still, I did once like my voice, the way it moved

through the gap in my teeth like birdsong in the morning,

like the slow swirl of a creek at dusk. Just yesterday

a woman closed her eyes as I read aloud, and

said she wanted to sleep in the sound of it, my voice.

I can still sing some. Early cancer didn’t stop the compulsion

to sing but

there’s gravel now. An undercurrent

that also reveals me. Time and disaster. A heavy landslide

down the mountain. When you stopped speaking to me

what you really wanted was for me to stop speaking to you. To

stifle the sound of my voice. I know.

Didn’t want the quicksilver of it in your ear.

What does it mean

to silence another? It means I ruminate on the hit

of rain against the tin roof of childhood, how I could listen

all day until the water rusted its way in. And there I was

putting a pan over here and a pot over there to catch it.

Hear Vievee Francis reading this poem

Bio: Vievee Francis is the author of Blue-Tail Fly (Wayne State University Press, 2006), Horse in the Dark (Northwestern University Press, 2012), and Forest Primeval (Northwestern University Press, 2016), winner of the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Poetry. She is an associate professor at Dartmouth College and an associate editor for Callaloo.