Baffling Combustions


Baffling combustions,” Ted said, “are everywhere,” and we aim to find and dance, however faultingly, in their light. Join hosts Andrew McCarron, Sam Truitt and Sparrow as they plumb the mundane and cosmic strange, mysterious and beguiling events of the human and natural. Please note that while we sometimes wrench and wrest, it’s always inalienably with ourselves: or in these experiments no idea is ever harmed only crested.


Here’s the Baffling Combustions link (on SoundCloud); it’s otherwise available on most podcast platforms. It’s also syndicated on the Pacifica Radio Network via our home station, the Grand Street Community Radio Project (WCAA, 107.3 FM – Albany, NY). This volunteer-based communication resource has been designed to give local artists, activists, neighbors and others a platform to perform, entertain, and inform the public, as well as to educate and encourage listeners to get involved in their own growth and improve their quality of life.


An educator and writer, ANDREW McCARRON chairs the Religion, Philosophy and Ethics Department at Trinity School in Manhattan and is the author of numerous books, including the critical biography Light Come Shining: The Transformations of Bob Dylan, published Oxford University Press. McCarron wrote his first poem as a toddler on his parents’ refrigerator with magnetic letters; and sitting alone in his childhood sandbox at dusk an uncertainty and wonder—that’s only increased as time’s wore on—filled him. A spiritual protégé of Martin Buber, he believes divinity is most palpable in the space between people committed to a shared self and considers friendship his greatest accomplishment. McCarron likes to hike up and down mountains, listen to Motörhead, and mull aloud about the meanings of things.

SAM TRUITT, a language artist and author of the series Vertical Elegies, is the Director of Station Hill Press. His interests fall to making things, investigations into primordial consciousness, an archaic revival, and all manifestations of our potentiality, including this curious many-faced object called “culture.” Born in Washington, DC, and raised there and in Tokyo, Japan, he now lives in Woodstock, NY, with his wife Kim Jaye, their two daughters, three dogs and six cats. He’s always been bewildered by the fact that imagining himself clinging to a cliff face he can make his palms sweat and believes it a window into samskara.

SPARROW alternates reading one “literary” book and one “stupid” book. Right now he’s reading The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht. Recently he finished Crazy Laws by Dick Hyman, a collection of real American laws that are so bizarre they are considered a form of humor. Sparrow has written at least 12,000 poems. Today, for example, he wrote: Prayer

Give / me two / mornings, / Lord. // I don’t / want / another / afternoon.

Sparrow lives in a doublewide trailer beside a mountain in Phoenicia, New York. He has published seven books, and writes for Chronogram, The Woodstock Times and The Sun.


Reach out to us to share stories, provide episode ideas, file a correction, send us press releases or book us for appearances. We’re also happy to dive into review copies of your books and music and try to bring them into our podcasts.

bc at stationhill dot com

Baffling Combustions
The Institute for Publishing Arts
120 Station Hill Road
Barrytown, NY 12507