PORT ANGELES — Peninsula College has launched a new audio podcast honoring the late poet and short story writer Raymond Carver.
Carver lived the last 10 years of his life in Port Angeles and is buried in Ocean View Cemetery.
The Raymond Carver Podcast is produced with the permission of Carver’s widow, Tess Gallagher, the Port Angeles writer and poet who brought Carver to the Olympic Peninsula in 1978. Gallagher, when not writing and promoting her own books, is the executor of Carver’s literary estate.
Gallagher aided the host of the show, Peninsula College professor Michael Mills, in recruiting high-profile guests.
Most episodes are named for Carver short story or poem titles, and each includes an interview with a guest writer, director or actor. Episodes range from 15 to 96 minutes.
There are also special episodes, including visits to Carver locations and events. Episode three was recorded in Clatskanie, Ore., the small town where Carver was born.
Four-time academy award-winning director Alejandro González Iñárritu agreed to make an episode via a telephone interview while working on post-production for his new film.
Internationally acclaimed novelist, Haruki Murakami, agreed to a brief written interview, which has since been translated from Japanese and was voiced by local actor and teacher, Mark Valentine.
Murakami visited Port Angeles shortly before Carver’s death and translated Carver’s entire body of work into Japanese.
The first season also includes interviews with Gallagher and Washington State Poet Laureate Rena Priest, as well as a graveside poetry reading on Carver’s birthday, and an hour-long sit-down interview with novelist TC Boyle from his home on the California coast.
“I feel incredibly lucky,” Mills said. “When we reached out to a few dream guests, I tempered my expectations. I assumed most, or all of them, would turn us down.
“No one was more surprised than I was when they all agreed to make episodes with us. It’s clear to me that Carver is still highly respected and influential 35 years after his passing.”
The podcast was launched with financial support from the McFredrick Humanities Endowment from the Peninsula College Foundation.
It also was made possible through a National Endowment for the Humanities American Rescue Plan (ARP) grant that supports humanities faculty, staff, and projects impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Listeners can listen and subscribe on their favorite podcast platforms. Those who don’t listen to podcasts can hear the episodes via the Raymond Carver Podcast website at raymoncrverpodcst.pencol.edu,
So far listeners have tuned in from over 20 countries around the world, the college said.
Peninsula College officials said they hope to build on the momentum of the podcast to bring high-profile guests to a literary humanities festival to be named in honor of Carver and Gallagher, they said.