This podcast series of monthly conversations organized by Adam Pendleton features pairs of notable writers, theorists, philosophers, and musicians. Participants include Jack Halberstam and Lynne Tillman, Michael Hardt and Joshua Chambers-Letson, Ruby Sales and Simone White, Susan Howe and Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and Tyshawn Sorey and Matana Roberts. This audio series is published on as part of the exhibition Adam Pendleton: Who Is Queen? Excerpts from these dialogues are periodically incorporated into the sound installation within the exhibition, on view September 18, 2021–February 21, 2022. The conversations are presented in fragments, purposely incomplete. Transcripts of these conversations are available upon request by emailing [email protected].

Adam Pendleton: Who Is Queen? exhibition page

Episode Five

Episode Four

Episode Three

Episode Two

Episode One

Episode Five: Solo: A Conversation with Matana Roberts and Tyshawn Sorey

Composers and musicians Matana Roberts and Tyshawn Sorey discuss the collaborative nature of solo music and composing as an embodiment of the self.


Matana Roberts is a sound experimentalist, musician, composer, and alto saxophonist who works in many performance and sound mediums, including improvisation, dance, poetry, and theater. Their music aims to expose the mystical roots and intuitive spirit raising traditions of American creative expression.

Newark-born composer and multi-instrumentalist Tyshawn Sorey is celebrated for his virtuosity, his mastery and memorization of highly complex scores, and an ability to blend composition and improvisation in his work. He has performed nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and with such artists as John Zorn, Vijay Iyer, Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams, Wadada Leo Smith, Marilyn Crispell, George Lewis, Claire Chase, Steve Lehman, Jason Moran, Evan Parker, Anthony Braxton, and Myra Melford, among many others.

Episode Four: Heard: A Conversation with Susan Howe and Alexis Pauline Gumbs

Poets and writers Susan Howe and Alexis Pauline Gumbs read each other’s work and discuss reading and being read as an act of intimacy.


Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a Queer Black Feminist Love Evangelist and an aspirational cousin to all life. She is/they are the author of several books, most recently Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals, and the cofounder of the Mobile Homecoming Trust, an intergenerational experiential living library of Black LBGTQ brilliance.

Susan Howe’s most recent poetry collection was Concordance, published in 2020 along with a reissue of Spontaneous Particulars: The Telepathy of Archives (2014), a prose meditation on her research in various rare book collections. Her selected essays, collected in The Quarry, were published in 2015, and a poetry collection, Debths (2017), won Canada’s Griffin Award for Poetry in 2018. Her earlier critical study, My Emily Dickinson, was reissued in 2007 with an introduction by Eliot Weinberger. Four CDs in collaboration with the musician/composer David Grubbs, Thiefth, Souls of the Labadie Tract, Frolic Architecture, and Woodslippercounterclatter, were released on the Blue Chopsticks label.

Episode Three: Souls: A Conversation with Simone White and Ruby Sales

Poet Simone White and theologian Ruby Sales discuss faith in institutions and faith as an institution.


Ruby Nell Sales is a long-distance runner for justice, social critic, educator, public theologian, and the founder and director of the SpiritHouse Project. Her body of work enmeshes itself in an emancipatory holistic praxis that blends theory, practice, and spiritual reflection. Ruby Sales’s work appears in journals and books and is cited in films and documentaries. In her role as the director of SpiritHouse Project, she steers the organizational work in the areas of race, class, gender, and sexuality within the social landscape of a 21st-century post-industrial America in which very few lives matter, and Black lives matter least of all.

Simone White is a poet and critic. Her most recent book, or, on being the other woman, is forthcoming in 2022. Also the author of Dear Angel of Death, Of Being Dispersed, and House Envy of All the World, she is Stephen M. Gorn Family Assistant Professor of English at the University of Pennsylvania.

Episode Two: We: A Conversation with Michael Hardt and Joshua Chambers-Letson

Performance studies scholar Joshua Chambers-Letson and political philosopher Michael Hardt discuss the politics of love and the composition of social movements.


Joshua Chambers-Letson is professor of performance studies at Northwestern University, author of After the Party: A Manifesto for Queer of Color Life and A Race So Different: Law and Performance in Asian America, and co-editor with Tavia Nyong’o of José Esteban Muñoz’s The Sense of Brown.

Michael Hardt teaches at Duke University, where he is codirector of the Social Movements Lab. Among the books he has co-authored with Antonio Negri are Empire and, most recently, Assembly.

Episode One: Wild: A Conversation with Jack Halberstam and Lynne Tillman

Gender theorist Jack Halberstam and author Lynne Tillman discuss the roles of writing, bewilderment, and wildness in their work and lives.


Jack Halberstam is professor of gender studies and English at Columbia University. Halberstam is the author of seven books, including Skin Shows: Gothic Horror and the Technology of Monsters (1995), Female Masculinity (1998), In a Queer Time and Place (2005), The Queer Art of Failure (2011), Gaga Feminism: Sex, Gender, and the End of Normal (2012), and a short book titled Trans*: A Quick and Quirky Account of Gender Variance (2018). Halberstam’s latest book is Wild Things: The Disorder of Desire (2020). Places Journal awarded Halberstam its Arcus/ Places Prize in 2018 for innovative public scholarship on the relationship between gender, sexuality, and the built environment. Halberstam is now finishing a second volume on wildness titled The Wild Beyond: Music, Architecture and Anarchy.

Lynne Tillman is a novelist, short story writer, and essayist. Her most recent novel is Men and Apparitions (2018); her latest story collection, The Complete Madame Realism and Other Stories (2016), was published in Spanish in Argentina (2021). Her writing appears in literary and art magazines, including “The Dead Live Longer” in n+1 (2020), a piece on Kaitlin Maxwell’s photographs in Granta (2021), and a piece on Steve Pyke’s 9/11 photographs in Aperture (2021).