Writer in the World Podcast EP 2: “Defying Gravity”

Defying Gravity Podcast

“Defying Gravity”

In the second episode of the Writer in the World podcast, Rahna Reiko Rizzuto interviews MFAW faculty Richard Panek who teaches fiction and non-fiction at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont.

Panek, an essayist, journalist, humorist and fiction writer, talks about how he became enamored of writing about science:

“I saw that in writing about the history and philosophy of science you are actually touching on eternal issues. The same kinds of issues you might be dealing with in fiction… Death. Metaphor. And then I just never looked back.”

His newest book, “The Trouble with Gravity: Solving the Mystery Beneath Our Feet,” tackles a topic that is both pervasive and mysterious.  Panek speaks about the metaphoric implications of gravity, as well as the thrill and the fear of writing about topics you “don’t know anything about.” 

“Writing is hard,” Panek reminds us.  In writing, and also in teaching, he emphasizes both surprise and surrender: the act of losing one’s self in one’s work.

How do you enter your writing, and how does the journey change you?

Read more from Richard, as well as other faculty, alumni and students from the Goddard MFA in Creative Writing community, at the blog The Writer in the World.

Find out more about Goddard’s low-residency Creative Writing program here.

Music Credits:

  • “An Oddly Formal Dance” by Blue Dot Sessions, Album: Calumet
  • “Quiet Sill” by Blue Dot Sessions, Album: Darby
  • “Bridgewalker” by Blue Dot Sessions, Album: Bitters
  • “In Other Times” by Blue Dot Sessions, Album: Darby
An image of Richard Panek

About the author

Richard Panek, MFA

Affiliated Faculty

Affiliation MFA Creative Writing

Important Announcement

The Board of Directors for Goddard College have made the difficult decision to close the college at the end of the 2024 Spring term.  


Current Goddard students will have the opportunity to complete their degrees at the same tuition rate through a teach-out with like-minded institution, Prescott College. Updates and scholarship funds will be available in the coming weeks and months. Information will be posted to www.goddard.edu

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