Out of Season: Kathryn Scanlan & Devin Johnston

November 24th, 2019

Not days of anger 
but days of slow connection, 
days of snow geese passing 
north above the river, 
days of eros 
endlessly drawn out 
through error and confusion.

From "Slow Spring" from Mosses and Lichens by Devin Johnston


At 82, May Sarton “made a dialogue out of what had been a soliloquy,” in her journal. On this entry of Open Stacks, we take the measure of our days in diaries and diaristic units of shared sense in conversations with Kathryn Scanlan and Devin Johnston.

Kathryn Scanlan (left) discussed Aug 9--Fog on June 18 with author Maryse Maijer at the Co-op. Read more about her process of bringing a stranger's five-year diary to light on FSG's Work In Progress blog.

"Ezra Pound called this the most beautiful book in the English language. It has a richness and physicality that tends to be missing from other translations. Written in fourteeners, Golding has room in his long lines to include several interpretive possibilities, rather than choosing just one. So I consulted it occasionally, while working on the loose versions of Ovid included in Mosses and Lichens."

Browse a complete list of books discussed in coversation with Devin Johnston in his annotated bibliography. Listen to unedited cut of our conversation in the stacks here.

Are you reading a diary? Keeping a diary? What's your process? Write to us at podcast@semcoop.com or join the conversation on social media.

Browse all the books we featured in this episode below. And explore our Front Table wherever you are by subscribing to our weekly email newsletter and visiting semcoop.com/blog.

This episode was produced by Veronica Karlin and Jackson Roach. Thanks to booksellers Adam Stern, Fred Tadrowski, and Alena Jones. And thanks to our guests Kathryn Scanlan, Maryse Maijer, and Devin Johnston. It featured music by Kevin MacLeod, Gallery Six, Daniel Birch, and Andrei Pohorelsky.