Feeling down about the human condition? Consider the spiritual dilemmas of a school crossing guard, a documentary filmmaker, an artist who likes belts, and more. Constellation Prize, a podcast from The Believer magazine, talks to subjects about their daily existential problems—how art, God, and loneliness fit in their lives.
I. Crossing Guard
Bianca goes looking for a stranger and meets Sophia, a school crossing guard. They spend six months together.
Featuring: Sartre, twists, and organ music.
Thank you to Sophia for letting me tell her story. Music in this episode was by Zubin Hensler and Stellwagon Symphonette. Special thanks to Andrew Leland and Laura Irving.
II. Caveh is God
Nonfiction filmmaker Caveh Zahedi, creator of The Show About the Show, talks about how his relationship to God has changed over the course of his life.
Featuring: mushroom trips, a metaphorical meat locker, and an earthworm.
Music in this episode was by Greta Morgan. You can check out her music project Springtime Carnivore. We also featured the song “Pale” by Akira Kosemura. It was mixed by Zubin Hensler.
III. Spool of Thread
A short reflection on a spool of thread.
Featuring: the aforementioned spool of thread.
Music and mixing by Zubin Hensler.
IV. Two Years With Franz
Bianca spends two years listening to over 500 recordings made by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright.
Featuring: a tape recorder, a cat named Robert, and a hatred for MFA programs.
This piece was produced with Jay Allison for the public radio website Transom.org. Music by Zubin Hensler, The Westerlies, Springtime Carnivore, and Stellwagen Symphonette. Special thanks to Samantha Broun, Sydney Lewis, Viki Merrick and Melissa Allison. Funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.
About the Producer
Bianca Giaever is an independent radio producer. Her work has aired on podcasts such as Radiolab and This American Life. She enjoys interviewing children, talking about God, and stories that have no point. You can check out more of her work at www.biancagiaever.com.
About the Editor
Hayden Bennett is a Deputy Editor of The Believer. His work and criticism have appeared in BOMB, The San Francisco Chronicle, The LA Review of Books, Art in America, and elsewhere. His fiction “offers a vertiginous cognitive map of an inapprehensible world, maximal and mysterious.” He is quoted in The New Yorker about his opinion on hard shell tacos, and lives in New York City.