Commentary airs on alternate Fridays; podcasts available anytime.

Marginalia is an on-air commentary and podcast hosted by KMUW's Beth Golay. Episodes feature author interviews, editorial commentary and other marginalia to enhance the reading experience.

Several of Beth's interviews are included each year in NPR's Book Concierge.

Listen to the episodes below, or subscribe to the Marginalia podcast through Apple Podcasts or Google Play. (If you'd like to learn more about ways to listen on demand, read our guide here.)

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Marginalia: Aaron Brown

Mar 29, 2019

Born in Texas and raised in Chad, Aaron Brown now lives in Kansas where he is an Assistant Professor of Writing & Editing at Sterling College. With National Poetry Month approaching, he stopped by the KMUW studios to visit with me about his new poetry collection, Acacia Road, as well as pass on a few tips for people, like me, who are intimidated by the genre.

Here’s our conversation:


Acacia Road by Aaron Brown was published by Silverfish Review Press. 

Marginalia: Greg Iles

Mar 15, 2019
Robby Followell

Readers familiar with Greg Iles know that although he writes mysteries and thrillers, they’re anything but formulaic. Rich with detail, Iles' books maintain quality while straddling commercial and literary fiction for hundreds and hundreds of pages. 

Take a look at Peter Heller’s bio, and you’ll see he has worked as a dishwasher, construction worker, logger, offshore fisherman, kayak instructor, river guide, and world class pizza deliverer. He is also is a longtime contributor to NPR, and a former contributing editor at Outside Magazine, Men’s Journal, and National Geographic Adventure. He is an award winning adventure writer and the author of four books of literary nonfiction.

Nickolas Butler has penned a novel of extremes. Little Faith is simple, yet complex; an extraordinary look at the ordinary; an exploration of the ways in which belief is formed and shaken. And quite difficult to describe.

But that didn’t stop us from trying. I recently spoke with Butler as he was gearing up for the publication of Little Faith and the book tour. Here’s our conversation:


Margaret Malone is Wichita State University’s Spring 2019 visiting emerging writer, and the author of People Like You, a 2016 Pen Hemingway finalist.

Malone is wrapping up her month at Wichita State with a book reading at WSU’s Ulrich Museum of Art on Thursday, February 28, at 5:30 p.m. 

Marginalia: Ariel Lawhon

Feb 22, 2019

Ariel Lawhon likes a good puzzle. She likes a mystery that she can research and research and research, and then artistically retell the story to readers. Her first book explored the unsolved mystery of a justice who disappeared in New York in the 1930s. Her second book explored the conspiracy surrounding the Hindenburg disaster. And now her third book explores the life of Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov, and the woman who, years later, claimed to be her.

Marginalia: David Treuer

Feb 19, 2019

In the prologue of his book, The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present, author David Treuer writes, “This book is a counter-narrative to the story that has been told about us, but it is something more as well: it is an attempt to confront the ways we Indians ourselves understand our place in the world.” I recently spoke with Treuer via Skype about this counter-narrative and so much more. Here's our conversation:

I would wager that for most of us, the only time we think about children's picture books is when we’re begged to read “just one more story.” But have you ever thought about what goes into creating a picture book? How do authors and illustrators come together? What is the secret to creating images and stories that keep children enchanted and their adult readers charmed?

Marginalia: Tom Clavin

Feb 8, 2019

As the legend of Wild Bill Hickok still grows, so do the myths, says author Tom Clavin. Which is why he set out to separate fact from fiction in his new book, Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier's First Gunfighter.

I recently spoke with Clavin about what he discovered.  Here’s our conversation:


Wild Bill: The True Story of the American Frontier's First Gunfighter by Tom Clavin was published by St. Martin's Books.

Marginalia: Brad Meltzer

Jan 18, 2019

Here’s something you probably didn’t learn in history class: In the days leading up to the founding of our nation, there was a conspiracy to kill George Washington. Many historians are aware of this fact, but there’s not a lot of information to support it.

But that didn’t stop Brad Meltzer.