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131. Kate Brandt | Hope for the Worst, 1980s NYC, and a spiritual journey

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 Kate Brandt!

About our Guest:

Kate Brandt is a graduate of the MFA Writing program at Sarah Lawrence College. Her work has appeared in literary anthologies, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Literary Mama, Ginosko, and Redivider, among other publications. Hope for the Worst, her first novel, is informed by her experiences with Tibetan Buddhism, magic, self-delusion, desire, despair, and healing, as well as her travels through Europe, Africa, and Asia. Kate is also a teacher and teacher trainer in adult literacy in New York City. In this role, she is privileged to work with a community of smart, dedicated educators in service to adult students who, despite difficult circumstances, continue to pursue an education in the hope of improving their lives.

Twitter: @kbrandtwriter | Insta: @kbrandtwriter

HOPE FOR THE WORST, now available from Vine Leaves Press!

About Hope for the Worst: At twenty-seven, Ellie Adkins doesn’t have all that much going for her–a dead-end job at a New York City nonprofit; a boyfriend who has left her; distant and divorced parents. But it is the suffering caused by Calvin, her Buddhist teacher, that she can’t get past. A year ago, Calvin seduced her, and his Buddhist teachings became her world. Now, he has dropped her, and Ellie struggles to reconcile his teachings—the idea that nothing has inherent reality; that the way to salvation is through abandonment of the self–with the intense pain in her heart. Ellie’s devotion to Calvin will lead her to undertake an expedition to Tibet on his behalf; there, injured and in danger on a solo trek, she will have to choose between devotion and her own life.

Thanks for this wonderful conversation, Kate! 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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