SongWriter: Keith Rosson + Antje Duvekot

SongWriter is a podcast of stories and “answer songs” featuring David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Joyce Carol Oates, Mary Gauthier, Amanda Shires, and Michael Ian Black.

Keith Rosson is an author and a visual artist. Along with the artwork for his own books, he has produced album covers for Green Day and the Goo Goo Dolls. Keith is also legally blind. 

“It lends a certain quality to my work that may look stylistic, but is more a limitation,” Keith says. “I certainly haven’t let my visual impairment infringe upon my visual art.”

In the upcoming episode of SongWriter, Keith reads his short story, “Forgive Me This.” The story is about a young man’s journey back to his hometown after learning his father is in the hospital. The main character is broke, exhausted, and emotionally dissociated.

“All my characters are inherently ruined in some way,” Keith says.

Keith chose songwriter Antje Duvekot to write a song in response to his story, as he is a longtime fan. Antje considers herself to be a “confessional” songwriter, self-deprecatingly describing her songs as “diary entries set to music.”

“I was raised on singer-songwriters that just put it all out there,” Antje says. “It’s very vulnerable.”

A songwriter who prefers to write from a personal perspective might conceivably have difficulty writing a song in response to another person’s story, but Keith’s story felt very familiar to Antje.

“This story…hit in the bullseye of what I love to write about, and what I love to think about,” Antje says. “I feel the fit was amazing, so much so that it kind of blew my mind.”

Antje wrote a song called “Lottery Ticket,” about her own difficult homecomings.

Ben Arthur is the creator and host of SongWriter. He’s @MyHeart on Twitter, and his newest song is “If You Need Me.”

Jonathan Lethem + Tift Merritt SongWriter

Bestselling author Jonathan Lethem reads from his recent “dystopian pastoral” novel, The Arrest, about a farming community dealing with the worldwide collapse of technology. Jonathan also speaks about his long history of writing lyrics for bands including They Might Be Giants and the Silos. Tift Merritt performs a song called “Asylum in a Mad, Mad World” that she wrote in response to the story, but also reflecting the history of a former asylum in her hometown.
  1. Jonathan Lethem + Tift Merritt
  2. Keith Rosson + Antje Duvekot
  3. Jeremy Welch + Maia Sharp
  4. George Saunders + Ben Arthur (Part 1)
  5. George Saunders + Amanda Shires (Part 2)

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