Gangrey: The Podcast

Narrative journalism and the reporters who write it

Episode 43: Lane DeGregory

Lane DeGregory is a Pulitzer Prize-winning feature writer at the Tampa Bay Times. In early January, the Times published a long story by DeGregory, told in three chapters, about a five-year-old girl whose father killed her by dropping her off a bridge into the ocean.

“The Long Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck” is a brutal yet powerful piece that shows how a sweet little girl was the victim of a child protective services system that let far too many children fall through the cracks. The editor on this story was Kelley Benham French, now a professor of practice at the Indiana University Media School. We featured French on the podcast after she wrote the three-part series, “Never Let Go.”

DeGregory won a Pulitzer in 2009 for feature writing for her story, “The Girl in the Window.” Her work has appeared in Best Newspaper Writing in four times. She has taught journalism at the University of South Florida – St. Petersburg, been a speaker at the Nieman Narrative Conference at Harvard University, and won dozens of national awards.

She’s also known for finding wonderful stories among everyday lives, including a piece on a flag-toting rodeo rider, and a boy buying a Valentine card for his first girlfriend.


Episode 42: Ed Caesar

Ed Caesar is the author of “Two Hours: The Quest to Run the Impossible Marathon.” The book chronicles the attempts of the world’s greatest marathon runners to inch closer and closer to the magical two-hour mark, and follows one runner in particular, Geoffrey Mutai.

Caesar has contributed to The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Outside, The Smithsonian Magazine, The Sunday Times Magazine and British GQ. He’s reported from a wide range of countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kosovo, and Iran. He’s written about secretive Russian oligarchs, African civil wars, marathon tennis matches, British murder trials, and more.

He’s also written celebrity profiles, as well as a profile on the greatest darts player to ever live.

In 2014, Caesar was named Journalist of the Year by the Foreign Press Association of London.

Episode 41: Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman is the author of six books of nonfiction and two novels. His most recent book, “I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined)” was a New York Times bestseller.

In the two most recent issues of GQ, Klosterman has interviewed Taylor Swift and Tom Brady. In fact, he’s done several celebrity interviews this year, including Kobe Bryant and Eddie Van Halen.

He’s written for Grantland, Esquire, GQ, Spin, the Washington Post, the Guardian, the Believer, and the A.V. Club. He currently serves as The Ethicist for the New York Times Magazine.

Episode 40: Robert Sanchez and Bradford Pearson

Robert SanchezThis episode of the podcast features the work of Robert Sanchez of 5280 magazine in Denver and Bradford Pearson.

Sanchez is a senior staff writer for 5280. In 2014, he was named the City and Regional Magazine Association’s Writer of the Year. He also won that organization’s award for best profile in 2015, for his story “The Rise and Fall of Terrance Roberts.” Sanchez has been a finalist for the City and Regional Magazine Association Writer of the Year three times, and is also a three-time finalist for the prestigious Livingston Awards for Young Journalists. His work has been anthologized twice in “Best American Sports Writing,” and has also been included in “Next Wave: America’s New Generation of Great Literary Journalists” and in the “Missouri Anthology of Narrative Journalism.”

Sanchez also contributes features to ESPN The Magazine and has been published in Esquire and Men’s Health. He’s also worked for the Associated Press, the Denver Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Rocky Mountain News.

Bradford Pearson is a managing editor at Southwest: The Magazine. In September, he published his story “My Kidnappers” in Philadelphia magazine. The story is about a time when Bradford was in college, and he was robbed and kidnapped at gunpoint. In the piece, he actually tracks down the men who did this to him. Bradford has also been an editor at D Magazine in Dallas.

In our Required Reading segment, Zack Lemon offers his thoughts on Tom Junod’s classic piece “The Rapist Says He’s Sorry.” Lemon is a senior at Ashland University who has served as the managing editor of the award-winning student newspaper The Collegian. He is now the senior reporter at the paper, where he has won first place in the Ohio Newspaper Association’s College Newspaper Competition for in-depth reporting for a watchdog piece on the university administration. He recently finished an internship at the Columbus Dispatch.

New RSS feed

If you’d like to follow the podcast using an RSS feed, please use this link:

The old RSS feed is no longer operating.

Episode 39: Glenn Stout & Jeremy Collins

stout hi resThis episode of Gangrey: The Podcast is focused solely on the “The Best American Sports Writing 2015,” which is now on sale at bookstores across the country. This year marks the 25th edition of the book, and it was guest edited by Wright Thompson.

The podcast opens with a conversation with Glenn Stout, the series editor. Stout also serves as the longform editor of SB Nation, and has edited all four pieces that host Matt Tullis has written for the Website. That includes “The Ghosts I Run With,” which you can hear on Episode 37.

SB Nation Longform ran Stout’s Forward to this years BASW, which is a personal look at how the series came about, as well as what made Stout into the writer and editor that he is.

In the second segment, Jeremy Collins talks about his story “Thirteen Ways of Looking at Greg Maddux,” which is included in this year’s Best American Sports Writing. He also talks about his latest SB Nation piece, “The Reckoning.”

Finally, in the Required Reading segment, host Matt Tullis breaks down this year’s “Best American Sports Writing,” and why it is a must-read for everyone, even non-sports fans.

Episode 38: Kim Cross

Cross podcast2Our first guest this week is Kim Cross. Cross is the author of “What Stands In a Storm: Three Days in the Worst Superstorm To Hit the South’s Tornado Alley.” Cross, who lives in Alabama, experienced those storms, although not to the extent of the people she writes about.

Cross has written for The Anniston Star and the Birmingham News. She was a spot news reporter for the New Orleans Times Picayune and the Tampa Bay Times. She has also been an editor at Southern Living and Cooking Light magazines.

In our second segment, we talk with fiction writer Karen Bender. Bender is the author of a relatively new collection of short stories titled “Refund.” That book was recently long-listed for the National Book Awards in Fiction. Bender has also written the novels, “A Town of Empty Rooms” and “Like Normal People.”

karen-author-200Bender is a distinguished professor of creative writing at Hollins University, and has also taught creative writing in Taiwan and at the MFA programs at Antioch Los Angeles, Chatham University, the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and at the Iowa Summer Writer’s Festival.

Finally, in our third segment, Required Reading, Dave Stark offers his thoughts on J.R. Moehringer’s “The Tender Bar.”

Upcoming changes

In the next month, the podcast will be changing Web hosts. We’ll be transitioning from, which has been home to the podcast since we launched in late-2012, to

We’re doing this for two main reasons: First off, Soundcloud will allow us to embed a player on this Website. That will eliminate the need for us to have you click away from this site to listen to each episode.

Secondly, we will have greater storage at Soundcloud, which will allow us to keep every episode of the podcast online. You may have noticed recently that we removed a handful of early episodes in order to make room for new episodes. Those older episodes will all be back online by the end of October.

All of this means that you will need to change your RSS feeds, if you have one, for the podcast. We’ll be shooting out the new feed once everything is transitioned. If you listen to the podcast through iTunes or Stitcher Radio On Demand, you will need to go and search for the new feed.

In the meantime, take a look at Episode 37, featuring Tyler Cabot of Esquire and host Matt Tullis’s “The Ghosts I Run With.” That is the first episode we’ve posted using Soundcloud.

Episode 37: Tyler Cabot

This week’s episode once again features three segments.

The first is a talk with Tyler Cabot, an articles editor for Esquire Magazine. Cabot also directs the magazine’s research and development. He spearheaded the revamping of Esquire Classic, which now includes access to every issue Esquire has ever published.

Cabot has said that today, he is focused with finding new ways to tell and sell stories, and that is evident in Esquire Classic. On that new site, you can read Gay Talese’s landmark celebrity profile, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold,” and you can read it as it appeared in the April 1966 issue of the magazine. You can also read a short, behind-the-scenes piece on the difficulties of reporting that story. And you can read the letters-to-the-editor that the piece spawned.

From Ernest Hemingway to F. Scott Fitzgerald to Chris Jones and Tom Junod, it’s all there on this new site.

In the second segment, we offer our first, full-length audio version of a piece of nonfiction. We’ve got “The Ghosts I Run With,” by host Matt Tullis. The piece of memoir ran on SB Nation Longform in April, and is about the many people Tullis thinks about when he runs, people he came to know when he had leukemia as a teenager, people who didn’t survive their own illnesses.

Finally, in Required Reading, freelance writer D. Rossi tells us why we should all read Brian Ives’ piece “How Bruce Springsteen Got His Groove Back,” which ran on Rossi maintains the blog Life among the Humans.

New episodes coming!

We’ve got two new episodes planned, and you can expect both in September.

The first, which you can expect around Sept. 15, will feature Tyler Cabot of Esquire talking about Esquire Classics and what you can expect from the magazine in that realm in the near future. The second segment of the Sept. 15 episode will be an audio version of host Matt Tullis’s “The Ghosts I Run With,” which ran on SB Nation Longform in April. Finally, Required Reading comes from freelance writer D. Rossi.

Then, on Sept. 29, we’ll push out an episode featuring Kim Cross, author of the book “What Stands in a Storm.” Cross also recently wrote the piece “The King of Tides” for Southwest Mag. The second segment will feature fiction writer Karen Bender, whose latest collection of short stories, “Refund,” has gotten rave reviews. Finally, our Required Reading will come from Dave Stark.

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