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Ursa Short Fiction
Ursa Short Fiction
Ursa Story Company

We love short stories. Join authors Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Lives of Church Ladies) and Dawnie Walton (The Final Revival of Opal... more

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Episodes

Ursa Presents: Reckon True Stories, with Deesha Philyaw and Kiese Laymon

Dawnie Walton and Deesha Philyaw introduce us to Reckon True Stories, a brand new podcast hosted by Deesha and acclaimed... more

09 Jul 2024 · 48 minutes
Shows We Love: Black & Published

While we put the final touches on Season Three, we wanted to share an episode from another podcast that we... more

31 Jan 2024 · 46 minutes
That's a Wrap on Season Two! A Special Message from Deesha and Dawnie

Thanks to our guests, contributors, and listeners for a wonderful second season! Help us fund Season Three of Ursa Short Fiction... more

20 Oct 2023 · 2 minutes
What Denne Michele Norris Learned as a Writer and Editor

Deesha and Dawnie chat with Denne Michele Norris, editor-in-chief of Electric Literature and author of the forthcoming debut novel, When... more

05 Oct 2023 · 57 minutes
[Free teaser] Member Exclusive: Deesha’s 7-Figure Book Deal, Listener Questions

This week we’re excited to share a very special episode of Ursa Short Fiction — a Member Exclusive where Dawnie... more

21 Sep 2023 · 23 minutes
Story: ‘What Got Into Us,’ by Jacob Guajardo

Deesha and Dawnie introduce “What Got Into Us,” a short story by Jacob Guajardo, performed by Vicki Valdeon. The story is... more

07 Sep 2023 · 37 minutes
Rubén Degollado on Writing a Family Story, 25 Years in the Making

Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton go in-depth with Rubén Degollado, author of the novel The Family Izquierdo, which started out... more

23 Aug 2023 · 55 minutes
Story: ‘The Seven Songs,’ by Rubén Degollado

This week we're thrilled to feature “The Seven Songs,” by Rubén Degollado, from his novel, The Family Izquierdo. The story is... more

16 Aug 2023 · 34 minutes
Nafissa Thompson-Spires on the Making of ‘Heads of the Colored People’

Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton go deep with Nafissa Thompson-Spires, author of the beloved 2018 collection Heads of the Colored... more

02 Aug 2023 · 52 minutes
Jonathan Escoffery on ‘Under the Ackee Tree’ and Walking Your Own Path

Deesha and Dawnie chat with Jonathan Escoffery, author of last week's audio story, "Under the Ackee Tree," from his acclaimed... more

20 Jul 2023 · 1 hour, 8 minutes
Story: ‘Under the Ackee Tree,’ by Jonathan Escoffery

Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton introduce “Under the Ackee Tree,” a story by Jonathan Escoffery from his acclaimed 2022 collection,... more

12 Jul 2023 · 53 minutes
Jamil Jan Kochai on Separating Writing from ‘the Noise’

Deesha and Dawnie sit down with Jamil Jan Kochai, whose short story “Enough!” from his collection The Haunting of Hajji... more

28 Jun 2023 · 55 minutes
Story: 'Enough!' by Jamil Jan Kochai

Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton introduce “Enough!”, a short story by Jamil Jan Kochai, from his collection The Haunting of... more

21 Jun 2023 · 21 minutes
‘No Saints, No Demons’: Sidik Fofana on Creating Characters and Protecting Dreams

Deesha and Dawnie sit down with Sidik Fofana, author of the acclaimed collection Stories from the Tenants Downstairs, published in... more

07 Jun 2023 · 1 hour, 3 minutes
Story: 'Tumble,' by Sidik Fofana

Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton introduce “Tumble,” an audio short story by Sidik Fofana about two women, Neisha and Kya,... more

01 Jun 2023 · 37 minutes
Dantiel W. Moniz on Hometowns, Girlhood, and the Life Experiences that Fuel Fiction Writing

It’s a very special “Three Ds from Duval” episode of Ursa Short Fiction! Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton welcome fellow... more

17 May 2023 · 57 minutes
Story: ‘Rioja,’ by Shannon Sanders

We’re thrilled to present a new audio story, “Rioja,” written by Shannon Sanders and performed by Khaya Fraites. It was... more

03 May 2023 · 48 minutes
Jocelyn Nicole Johnson on Bravery in Writing and ‘the Introvert's Revenge’

Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton sit down with Jocelyn Nicole Johnson—author of Ursa's Season Two, Episode 3 story, "Virginia Is... more

19 Apr 2023 · 56 minutes
Story: ‘Virginia Is Not Your Home,’ by Jocelyn Nicole Johnson

Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton introduce their first story pick for Season Two, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson’s “Virginia Is Not Your... more

12 Apr 2023 · 27 minutes
ZZ Packer on the 20th Anniversary of ‘Drinking Coffee Elsewhere’

In our Season Two premiere, co-hosts Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton talk with the beloved ZZ Packer, author of Drinking... more

29 Mar 2023 · 45 minutes
Nana Nkweti: ‘I Always Knew I Was Going to Write Stories’

On the Season One finale of Ursa Short Fiction, co-hosts Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton talk to Nana Nkweti, author... more

19 Oct 2022 · 57 minutes
Story: 'Dance the Fiya Dance,' by Nana Nkweti

Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton introduce their latest short story pick, Nana Nkweti’s “Dance the Fiya Dance,” from her acclaimed... more

12 Oct 2022 · 53 minutes
Book Club: 'The Secret Lives of Church Ladies'

This month marked the two-year anniversary of the publication of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, author Deesha Philyaw’s groundbreaking... more

27 Sep 2022 · 1 hour, 25 minutes
Maurice Carlos Ruffin’s Creative Journey from Lawyer to Award-Winning Writer

Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton are joined by Maurice Carlos Ruffin, author of the short story collection The Ones Who... more

31 Aug 2022 · 59 minutes
Story: 'Ghetto University,' by Maurice Carlos Ruffin

A professor in New Orleans loses his job and resorts to a new line of work – mugging tourists in... more

24 Aug 2022 · 30 minutes
The Life and Stories of Diane Oliver, Part Two (with Michael A. Gonzales)

Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton welcome writer Michael A. Gonzales for part two of our deep dive into the life... more

17 Aug 2022 · 40 minutes
The Life and Short Stories of Diane Oliver (Part One)

Content advisory: This episode contains a mention of a racist slur. Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton's two-part book club discussion on... more

09 Aug 2022 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
Cleyvis Natera on ‘Fog,’ Staying True to Your Voice, and Embracing Short Stories as Play

Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton chat with author Cleyvis Natera, author of the new Ursa Original short story, “Fog,” and... more

25 Jul 2022 · 54 minutes
Story: 'Fog,' by Cleyvis Natera

Content warning: explicit language, sex, depiction of violence. Author Cleyvis Natera debuts her original short story “Fog.” It’s the story of... more

18 Jul 2022 · 51 minutes
Chelsea T. Hicks on the Stories and Wazhazhe Language in 'A Calm & Normal Heart'

Deesha Philyaw and Dawnie Walton dive into the short stories of the acclaimed new collection A Calm & Normal Heart,... more

05 Jul 2022 · 1 hour, 3 minutes
Ursa Short Fiction
Story: 'Ghetto University,' by Maurice Carlos Ruffin
Ursa Short Fiction
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Description

A professor in New Orleans loses his job and resorts to a new line of work – mugging tourists in the French... more