Episode 2: Is Talent Necessary? (with guest Jennifer Kahn)



If you’re a poet or a painter or a musician or a dancer, you have to have talent, right? Maybe, maybe not. In this episode of Emerging Form, we explore talent. What exactly is it? How do you know if you have it? Is it necessary? Can you make up for it if you don’t have talent? Spoiler alert: the poet and the scientist do not agree on the answer to this one. As always, we’ll end with a game of Two Questions with friend of the show Jennifer Kahn, who writes for magazines like The New Yorker, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine and is an instructor at the Cal-Berkley journalism program. We’ll ask her to weigh in on whether talent is necessary, and if it’s possible to overcome lack of it in a creative field. 

Join our discussion of this episode at our Facebook group.

Picking raspberries at Christie’s farm–more like rapidly disappearing form!

Episode Notes

I Know Astrology Is Bullshit, But I Can’t Stop Reading My Horoscope by Christie Aschwanden at Last Word On Nothing.
Horoscopes by Holiday Mathis
Art and Fear: Observations on the Perils and Rewards of Artmaking by David Bayles and Ted Orland
Jennifer Kahn, UC-Berkeley


Episode 1: Introducing Emerging Form



Emerging Form is a podcast about the creative process. It’s a discussion between a poet and a science journalist, recorded over wine. Episode 1 introduces hosts Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and Christie Aschwanden as well as the podcast’s patron saint, poet Jack Mueller. And the hosts wrestle with what it really means to be in service to the writing–to let your creative project know more than you do.

Join our discussion of this episode at our Facebook group.

Christie and Rosemerry, obeying the emerging friendship at TEDx.

Episode Notes

Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
Christie Aschwanden
Jack Mueller,
Chill Switch Wines, Dave Aschwanden’s boutique winery

Consider the Octopus, by Colette Volkema DeNooyer

A Hundred Falling Veils, Rosemerry’s daily poems
Stop Trying to Be Creative, Christie’s story about Kenneth Stanley’s work on creativity and artificial intelligence.
Why Greatness Cannot Be Planned: The Myth of the Objective, by Kenneth Stanley
Documentary about Jack Mueller

*errata: in this episode, Rosemerry erroneously refers to Jack as a South Beach poet, but the correct name is “North Beach,” which is an old neighborhood in San Francisco and home to the iconic “City Lights Bookstore.”