Every Sunday at midnight, a new episode of “Our Moment: A Literary Podcast” comes out, and Exquisite Williams turns a new leaf with its book club.
Williams, a senior LSU specializing in communication studies and creative writing in English, started the Book Club podcast as part of a new media project for a screen arts class.
“It’s like a halfway through school project and halfway through a passion project because I’ve always wanted to do it,” Williams said.
A self-proclaimed reader by trade, Williams loves to talk about books. She finds it especially important to raise the voices of various characters, so she uses her podcast to celebrate books that center characters of color by authors of color.
“Reading is the first way for many children to learn about the world – reading and television – and if they learn from reading experiences that are different from them, they can somehow begin to sympathize with those who have them. surround, ”Williams said. “This is important, and if someone is going to read these books and develop more empathy for a stage in life that they’ve never had to face before, that would be great.”
For the first season of “Our Moment: A Literary Podcast,” Williams highlights “Legendborn,” a contemporary fantasy with a twist on the Arthurian legend written by Tracy Deonn. The book follows Bree Matthews, a 16-year-old who recently lost her mother in an accident. In an effort to find an escape, Bree begins attending a residential program at the University of North Carolina, but on her first night on campus, she witnesses a magical attack.
“This book made me slow down, which is very rare,” Williams said.
Since discovering “Legendborn” earlier this year, Williams has read the book at least five times, and she owns almost as many copies. She has digital copies of the book on Audible and her Kindle, she has an unopened physical copy with the cover still intact, and then there’s the copy she uses during her podcast.
Dogeared, underlined, and full of pen-and-pen notes, Williams brings this copy with her to every recording session in the booth of her Speakeasy in LSU Communication through Study Program Studio 151.
Williams said that by sitting down to record her podcast, she imagines what her audience might be doing while listening. She said a lot of unexpected backend work goes into a podcast, like long hours of editing.
In preparation for the frontend, Williams said she was going with the flow. She thinks about her favorite scenes from the book, the most important themes, and how they may apply to listeners in everyday life.
Williams also chairs an in-person book club with the Ogden Honors College Black Honors Initiative. The club also reads “Legendborn,” so Williams draws on the conversations and thoughts from those meetings as she prepares to record.
Since not everyone can be in person to talk books with her, Williams said starting another audio book club is one way to create shared yet accessible moments celebrating the books and each other.
“We take time together and this is ‘our time’,” said Williams. “The reason we have books is to explore or create these shared experiences.”
Williams had listeners from all over the world, including Germany, Jamaica and Spain. Jason Buch, an English teacher from LSU who teaches the Williams New Media course, is one of the wide range of “Our Moment” listeners.
“Exquisite has found a topic that excites her and that she believes deserves to be highlighted, and that enthusiasm shines through in every episode,” said Buch. “It’s also a great way to combine traditional and new media, delivering the podcast through platforms such as YouTube or Spotify, while encouraging reading and exploring from an author that his listeners cannot. -be not exposed otherwise. “
Highlighting writers who may not be getting enough attention is one of Williams’ main goals. She seeks to find and explore authors whose writings constitute a new literary canon.
“My main goal is for people to start taking an interest in the book and start to see that only literary works aren’t just classics,” Williams said. “The books we have now are also, like, important in terms of what we read and how we see the world.”