Something that’s been a huge pleasure for the past year has been listening to fountain pen and stationary podcasts. I had been filling my ears and brain with political ones, but last summer that all got to be a bit much and I doubled down on working through the podcasts for the Pen Addict. From there I’ve found others. My favorites are the ones from fountain pen users, the ones that exist not to review products so much as to talk about what they’re doing with the pens they have, why they have them, and using them with enjoyment.
What I listen to:
Pen Addict – mentioned above. If you’ve found this blog and are into pens, you’ve most likely read Brad Dowdy’s blog and listened to the Relay FM podcast he does with Myke Hurley. They’re based in the US and UK respectively. There are currently 458 episodes and they record a new one weekly. Both of their enthusiasm and affection for each other shines through. They manage to even make the ads interesting. Most podcasts are about 45 minutes to an hour.
Tokyo Inklings – This podcast is relatively new (started in March 2020) and I’ve been listening since CY and Jacob started recording it. There are currently 29 episodes It’s a podcast about the Japanese fountain pen scene, but more than that it’s a reflection on their lives in Japan. I find it deeply interesting and am so pleased when they put up a new recording. They put up new ones consistently every other week, with surprise “emergency podcasts” when fountain pen news drops. The regular podcasts are usually a little over an hour.
The Bent Tines – This podcast is also relatively news and another one I’ve listened to since the start. It’s hosted by fountain pen collectors InkyKatWrites (Katherine Palmisano) and HeyMatthew (Matthew Morse). They’re based in the US. There are currently 22 episodes with topics that range from gardening, to work. They always circle back to pen collecting, with a lovely feature called “character carries” where they imagine what kind of pen a character in a film or television series would carry. It’s like getting to listen in on a fascinating conversation going on at the table net to you. Podcasts vary in length from just under an hour (rarely) to 90 minutes or more.
The Nib Section – I’ve just started listening to this one. This podcast, which is part of the organization Fountain Pens Oceania group is a rotating roundtable of fountain pen enthusiasts from Australia and New Zealand (though so far I’ve only heard ones from Australia). There are currently 75 episodes. So far I’ve listened to the three most recent and, going back to the beginning, the first ten. I’ve no doubt I’ll work my way through these despite the occasionally uneven sound quality. Listening in (and it does feel like listening in) make me want to find a fountain pen meet-up when such things are possible again. [Edited to add: This is fast becoming my favorite podcast. It really is like being at a pen party. Please don’t let my comments about the sound keep you from checking them out.]
Latinos Who Lunch – Okay, this isn’t a pen podcast, but I can’t write about podcasts and not mention this marvelous Justin Favela AKA FavyFav and Emmanuel Ortega AKA Babelito. They’re an artist (FavyFav) and art historian (Babelito) respectively and this podcast is a riot of color, sound, and enthusiasm. It’s about all kinds of things connected to Latinx culture, but mostly it’s about two friends who are hysterically funny together. There are 197 episodes with new ones going up… when they can. Sometimes weekly, sometimes less often, but always eagerly awaited.
That’s the pen podcast lineup I listen to. Please leave comments below, especially if you have suggestions on what I’m missing.
Image by Ruta N Medellín, used under Creative Commons license.