What happens when we have a flash of creativity? What makes art happen? Where does that vision come from? We want to single out moments of creative inspiration as experienced by artists, and ask them to consider the source(s).

This is Spark. A podcast about imagination.

It’s WLRN’s first foray into the podcast realm. We talk with artists about creativity: What were they doing when they got the idea for their first novel? What childhood game translated to a critically-lauded poem? What memory inspired their most beloved dance?

Writing a creative description of a podcast about creativity and imagination is tough. So just listen.

-- Tom Hudson, Maria Murriel and Alicia Zuckerman
The Igniters

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In this edition of Spark, recorded at the Miami Book Fair, Eric Bogosian recounts how he recently asked if wife if they could play with crayons. He remembers how he felt the first time he read lines in a play (Shakespeare; he says it was "painful" but in a good way).

Spark: Jennine Capo Crucet's Imagination

Dec 18, 2015

"Two Miami girls reminisce about their chonga days, and other sources of inspiration."

Warren Zanes first heard Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers as an 11-year-old in New Hampshire. By the time Zanes was 18, he was touring and recording with his own band, The Del Fuegos. Zanes' band opened for Petty and the Heartbreakers before they broke up. Zanes went on to get a Ph.D., work with The Rock and Roll Museum and Hall of Fame and become executive director of Steven Van Zandt's Rock and Roll Forever Foundation.

In this edition of Spark, the poet Richard Blanco talks about how crazy he was about Legos. He talks about getting called a "sissy" by his grandmother and why he thinks he got the same score on the math and verbal sections of the SAT.  He talks about discovering poetry because of a girlfriend (before he came out), the first poem he fell in love with and how being an engineer makes him a better poet. He also talks about cat litter. And he tries to imagine what it might be like not to be Cuban American. Tries. 

Author Salman Rushdie lived for a decade with a price on his head. His book “The Satanic Verses” prompted the Iranian Ayatollah to issue a fatwa -- a call for all Muslims to kill Rushdie.

In this episode, I ask him to imagine his life and writing without such a threat. Listen to Rushdie discuss how it's impacted his writing, which is also shaped by urban life in his home cities of Mumbai (which he still calls Bombay), London and New York.