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Episode 545: David G. Brooks on The Grass Library

By Jasmin and Mariann — June 20, 2020

This week Mariann speaks with novelist and poet David G. Brooks about his new book, The Grass Library, his life-changing shift to veganism and animal-centric writing, his thoughts on anthropomorphism, and the devastating effects that Australia’s recent fires had on the animal population.

David G. Brooks is a poet, novelist, short-fiction writer, and essayist. He has taught literature at various Australian universities, and from 1999 until 2018 was co-editor of Southerly, the premier journal of Australian literature and new Australian writing. Brooks’s work has been widely anthologized and translated, and has won or been shortlisted for numerous awards (the National Book Award, the NSW, WA and Queensland Premiers’ Awards, the Adelaide Festival Award, and an Australia Council Fellowship for his distinguished contribution to Australian and international literature, among others). His novel The Fern Tattoo was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin award, and The Sydney Morning Herald—which called Brooks “one of Australia’s most skilled, unusual and versatile writers”—described his poetry collection The Balcony as “an electric experience.” Currently honorary associate professor in Australian literature at the University of Sydney, Brooks is a vegan and animal rights advocate, and lives in the Blue Mountains of New South Wales.

In the intro to the show, Jasmin has an interesting intersection with a Trump relative, and Mariann and Jasmin discuss Mary Oliver and what to do with our wild, precious lives in the time of social change and Coronavirus. We also continue our Supporting Vegan Businesses program by shouting out Might Be Vegan, Vegan Wines, and Brewing Good Coffee Company. Later in the episode, Mariann brings us Rising Anxieties!

This episode is brought to you in part by the Barnard Medical Center. To set up a telehealth appointment today call 202-527-7500 or create an account on

As always, the award-winning weekly Our Hen House podcast is hosted by Mariann Sullivan and Jasmin Singer.


This episode is brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at

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Don’t forget to tune into Our Hen House’s other two podcasts: The Teaching Jasmin How to Cook Vegan Podcast, and The Animal Law Podcast.

The Our Hen House theme song is written and performed by the incredible Michael Harren.

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