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130. Wendy Bashant | The Same Bright Moon, teaching in China, and writing a memoir

Arts Calling Podcast | Down-to-earth conversations with independent artists about craft, community, and a life well-lived.

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Hi there,

Today I am excited to be arts calling writer and educator Wendy Bashant!

About our Guest:

Wendy Bashant taught and served as a dean and professor of English for thirty years at schools as diverse as UC-San Diego, Coe College, New College of Florida, Eastman School of Music, and California Western School of Law. Her writing includes scholarly articles, book chapters, poetry, and travel articles. She was a finalist for both the Peter Taylor Prize for Literature and the Gival Press Novel Award. Her memoir, The Same Bright Moon, was a 2023 New York Book Festival winner. A graduate of Middlebury College (BA) and the University of Rochester (Ph.D.), she currently lives in San Diego with her husband and two cats. She teaches adult literacy through the public library system and volunteers at the San Diego Zoo. She also plays the harp and tries to practice her Mandarin with as much regularity and discipline as she can muster.

Insta: @wbashant1 | Twitter: @BashantWendy |

THE SAME BRIGHT MOON, is now available!

About THE SAME BRIGHT MOON: In 2019, Wendy Bashant, a burned-out college dean, quits her job to teach two hundred students in the ancient, walled city of Xi’an, China. The year turns extraordinary when tensions between China and the U.S. escalate: first tit-for-tat tariffs; then a worldwide pandemic; finally lockdowns, closed consulates, and expelled journalists. All the while, accusations are lobbed back and forth like flaming arrows launched over the Pacific. Against this background of aggression, Wendy tries to teach a class in American culture. Instead, her students describe the realities of growing up in an emerging global power. Through their experiences and compelling perspectives, the students debate various issues, such as environmentalism, gender, healthcare and political conflict. The Same Bright Moon is a collaborative memoir highlighting the stories of these students through their assignments, discussions and poetry at the height of Covid-19. Their vibrant voices will challenge, inspire, and bring hope for the future.

Thanks for this wonderful conversation, Wendy! All the best!

Arts Calling is produced by Jaime Alejandro ( If you like the show: leave a review, or share it with someone who’s starting their creative journey! Your support truly makes a difference! Go make a dent. Much love,


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