The Shades & Shadows Podcast

We are Los Angeles's only regularly occurring genre fiction reading series. Each episode, we will introduce three authors who write the kinds of works you won't hear about anywhere else. Debuting, emerging, and established authors in the fields of horror, science fiction, fantasy, noir, and anything else that slips through the cracks, is hard to identify, or plays with the things that go bump in the night.
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Now displaying: May, 2017
May 15, 2017

We got a chance to sit down with Ana Castillo and discuss her writing, her place in "genre fiction," and much more. She has a piece included in the anthology Latin@ Rising (linked on our website, go to the Podcasts page). Enjoy!



Ana Castillo (June 15, 1953-) is a celebrated and distinguished poet, novelist, short story writer, essayist, editor, playwright, translator and independent scholar. Castillo was born and raised in Chicago. She has contributed to periodicals and on-line venues (Salon and Oxygen) and national magazines, including More and the Sunday New York Times. Castillo’s writings have been the subject of numerous scholarly investigations and publications. Among her award winning, best sellling titles: novels include So Far From God, The Guardians and Peel My Love like an Onion, among other poetry: I Ask the Impossible. Her novel, Sapogonia was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has been profiled and interviewed on National Public Radio and the History Channel and was a radio-essayist with NPR in Chicago. Ana Castillo is editor of La Tolteca, an arts and literary ‘zine dedicated to the advancement of a world without borders and censorship and on the advisory board of the new American Writers Museum in D.C. In 2014 Dr. Castillo held the Lund-Gil Endowed Chair at Dominican University, River Forest, IL and served on the faculty with Bread Loaf Summer Program (Middlebury College) in 2015 and 2016. She also held the first Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz Endowed Chair at DePaul University, The Martin Luther King, Jr Distinguished Visiting Scholar post at M.I.T. and was the Poet-in-Residence at Westminster College in Utah in 2012, among other teaching posts throughout her extensive career. Ana Castillo holds an M.A from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D., University of Bremen, Germany in American Studies and an honorary doctorate from Colby College. She received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation for her first novel, The Mixquiahuala Letters. Her other awards include a Carl Sandburg Award, a Mountains and Plains Booksellers Award, and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts in fiction and poetry. She was also awarded a 1998 Sor Juana Achievement Award by the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago. Dr. Castillo’s So Far From God and Loverboys are two titles on the banned book list controversy with the TUSD in Arizona. 2013 Recipient of the American Studies Association Gloria Anzaldúa Prize to an independent scholar.

Spring 2016 Publication of BLACK DOVE: Mamá, Mi’jo, and Me (Feminist Press) released to critical acclaim. It is the recent recipient of a 2016 International Latino Book Award in the category of autobiography. Her most recent novel, GIVE IT TO ME is the recipient of the LAMBDA AWARD, 2015.


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May 11, 2017

Welcome back to the Shades & Shadows Podcast! This episode features authors recorded live at our show in January of 2016. If this is your first time listening, please be aware that we feature content that may contain adult themes and language. We do not censor the authors who read for us.





JOSHUA SCHER has written for the stage and screen since 2006. He holds a BA with Honors in Creative Writing from Brown University and an MFA in playwriting from Yale University. His play, The Footage, has been produced from NYC to Australia and its cinematic adaptation was developed by Pressman Film. Scher’s television pilot, JiGsAw, was developed by Danny Glover with Louveture Films and his film, I’m Ok, starring Dot-Marie Jones, is in post-production, set for a 2016 festival run. His first novel, Here & There, launched in November. io9 says, ““For people who do take the plunge, an incredible payoff awaits…Anyone interested in quantum physics, data encryption, and advanced computing will relish Here and There’s deep meditations on these topics.”

STEPHANIE DIAZ  Twenty-three-year-old Stephanie Diaz wrote her first novel at age nine. Ten years later, she landed a publishing deal for a YA science fiction series, Extraction, while studying filmmaking at San Diego State University. She has since written the two sequels, Rebellion and Evolution. When she isn’t lost in books, she can be found singing, marveling at the night sky, or fan-girling over TV shows. Visit her online at and follow her on twitter @StephanieEDiaz.


SHERRI L. SMITH is the award-winning author of YA novels LUCY THE GIANT, SPARROW, HOT SOUR SALTY SWEET, FLYGIRL and ORLEANS. In October 2015, she makes her middle grade debut with THE TOYMAKER’S APPRENTICE from G.P. Putnam and Sons for Penguin Random House.

Sherri has worked in film, animation, comic books and construction. Her books have been listed as Amelia Bloomer, American Library Association Best Books for Young People, and Junior Library Guild Selections. FLYGIRL was the 2009 California Book Awards Gold Medalist.
She loves her family, travel, chocolate chip cookies, reading, and and a really good cup of tea.



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