the idiotplayers podcast 11: Steve Mitchell

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The idiotplayers podcast is a caravanserai of conversations with important thinkers, be-ers and doers. The idiotplayers podcast aims to explore art, creativity and expression.  If there is an elephant standing in the dark, as the Sufi story goes, we want to do more than grope and theorize. We invite conversations with people who aim from the heart to make practical, the far-reaching.


Steve Mitchell has published fiction in The Southeast Review, Contrary, The North Carolina Literary Review and The Adirondack Review, among others. His short story collection, The Naming of Ghosts, is available from Press 53. He is currently completing on a novel, Body of Trust. He has been nominated three times for the Pushcart Prize and his short story, Above the Rooftop, and was a 2011 storySouth Million Writers Award Notable Story winner. Steve has a deep belief in the primacy of doubt and an abiding conviction that great wisdom informs very bad movies. He is open twenty four hours a day at

Show Music

Salesman by Bruce Peninsula.

Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra – How Slow the Wind by Osvaldo Golijov with Dawn Upshaw (Soprano).


the importance of doubt; seeing 2001: A Space Odyssey an important turning point; the act of making something beautiful changes the world — not just in a metaphorical sense; reading Beelzebub’s Tales to His Grandson; the power of witnessing; what is memory? — the intrigue of recurring, living, vital memories; experience of time, different kinds of time; the shape and flow of awareness; what does it mean to be intimate?; the wonderous music of language; strengthening awareness of awareness; The Naming of Ghosts; first person and the present tense; Southern writer?; Steve reads, “Flare” from The Naming of Ghosts; breath; the importance of precision; writing and re-writing; influences that have shaped Steve’s craft; the grammar of film; Herman Melville; Joan Didion; Marguerite Duras; Philip K. Dick; Raymond Chandler; Fyodor Dostoyevsky; Anthony Blake; Claymont Society; John Wilkinson; sound environments; trialogue; Gurdjieff and Bennett; making your own work; the sense of irony; Christof Koch; the wholeness of seeing; holding contradictions.

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3 Responses to the idiotplayers podcast 11: Steve Mitchell

  1. Steffan says:

    Another great interview. The part on doubt near the beginning is striking. I grew up loving challenges with others: mental, emotional and physical. When we were in high school, we were shown how great it is to learn, to not know and to move toward knowing, to see, to challenge ideas, to discuss, debate, interact, disagree, change our ideas in mid-stream, change our opinions because the other showed us something — maybe something they did not even know that they knew. What the heck is wrong with modern education? We need more open Individuals like you two; thanks for sharing.

  2. idio says:

    Steffan, your conditions of education were quite rare. Is the alternative school you attended still around? If so, is it still the same place? Is it as being-based as it was when you where there?

    thanks for your post.


  3. Steffan says:

    Yes, it is still great and producing real world leaders. I am fortunate, and the Work is far beyond the practices in place at this top notch high school. Perhaps it takes conscience to integrate a good education with real life.

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