Cogitate is COG's podcast, featuring poets, writers, and musicians sharing their work, and answering questions about the creative process. Our shows often consist of three segments: one a literary piece (check out John Panzer's segment in the Shifty episode); one a thought piece (Lisa Schiffman's Shifty segment); and one an interview (Tay Off the Top's Shifty segment). Cogitate stories aren't cogitation/meditation; rather, they cause cogitation and meditation on the listener's part.

Each of these podcasts are organized and recorded by COG students, with assistance from students in Cogswell's Audio Music Technology department. If you'd like to appear on Cogitate, please check out our submittable page 


 As noted by Willow: text 'Help' to 741-741 for free, anonymous support from trained crisis counselors. Twitter: @CrisisTextLine.

COGITATE 6 - "Otherworldly"

Intangible. Fantastical. Welcome to an episode that starts with the raw, ethereal (stress on the "real") music of Azuah, takes a detour through the dystopian vision of writer Leonard Crosby, and concludes in conversation with Jeff VanderMeer, bestselling author of the new novel Borne as well as the Southern Reach trilogy.

COGITATE 4 - "Resignation"

Resignation and resistance: this episode explores dismemberment of the body and of the soul. It is not for the faint of heart. Featuring J.K. Fowler, founder of Nomadic Press and a stellar poet, and acclaimed San Francisco Bay Area director Evren Odcikin

COGITATE 3 - "Mr. Dog"

This episode deals with crime, punishment and monsters who are just babies on the inside. Perk up your ears + hear the 411 from Joe DiPrisco
(Brooklyn boy whose family fled the FBI), Emily Baxter, Director of We Are All Criminals, and author Tomas Moniz. 

COGITATE 7 - "Exponential"

In this episode, we explore what poet Arisa White calls "the multiplying effects of one voice. Each story is unique, but together these narratives form  the harmonious chorus of - us. Enjoy the world Arisa's words unfold, the ocean-deep thoughts of veteran sailor and journalist Kimball Livingston, and some unforgettable sounds echoing in the minds of students at Cogswell College.  

COGITATE 5 - "Deep"

In this episode, we go deep: discover what it's like to fall in over one's head and emerge unscathed from a risky deep web experiences, and more... Featuring Willow (not her real name), American Book Award winner Jeff Chang and Laroilyn Davis, directing the voices of Oakland, California's Young Gifted & Black.

COGITATE 8 - "Theatrical"

This episode starts with a lighthearted look at Rochelle Spencer’s “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop Soul of a Rhythmless Black Child,” then takes a deep dive into heavier subjects. Guided by Yoruba Priest Abegunde, we navigate perilous terrain where we write in notebooks with pages small enough to eat if necessary; where we feel our own vulnerability. And we close out with some old-school audio theater produced by undergrads here at Cogswell College.  

COGITATE 2 - "Erasure"

This episode pulls us into worlds of "defenseless poet" Maceo Montoya and controversial artist Ana Teresa Fernandez, who once erased a national border.

COGITATE 9 - "Poetical"

For your listening pleasure, we rev up this episode with 2018 Berkeley Grand Slam Champion Abe Becker's poetry. Some call Abe the Poet Laureate of Awkward - you decide. Hard on his heels, Cogitate presents devastating, scintillating poetry by Vernon Keeve III, and gorgeous short prose by Nancy Au.  

COGITATE 1 - "Shifty"

This episode takes us into the shifting worlds of formula Ford racecar driver John Panzer, Lisa Schiffman (who has disappeared) and Oakland rapper Tay Off the Top.

Cogitate hearts other crackalackin' audio shows, including NPR/PRI's Snap Judgment. 


A thousand thanks to host Glynn Washington, who broadcasts out of the Bay Area like Cogitate, gave us this interview, and will serve as final judge of the COG Page to Screen Awards.

COGITATE 11 - "Eclectic"

Revolution, not confusion. Disruption, not disorder. This episode's three poets are as different as different can be, so get ready for a bit of everything. Tongo Eisen-Martin is a brainiac, American Book Award-winning poet who can gas the mic or ease up on the pedal; Amos White is a haiku artist whose precise poems are paired with jazz by Dillon Vado; and July Westhale will break your brain - and make you thank her. 


Music accompanying Amos White: "Look Up" by the Table Trio, featuring Dillon Vado on vibraphone and marimba; Jeff Denson on bass; Hamir Atwal on drums. "Bring Back the Color" by Never Weather, featuring Dillon Vado on drums; Justin Rock on guitar; Tyler Harlow on bass; Aaron Wolf on alto sax and Josh D. Reed on trumpet. 

COGITATE 10 - "Sensational"

It's a word traveling circuses once used to describe the mermaid captured alive, or the strongest man in the world. But this episode is even more dramatic. Ladies and gentlemen, hold onto your hats. Here comes Ron Austin, author of the forthcoming, award-winning book, Avery Colt Is a Snake, A Thief, A Liar; Maddy Raskulinecz, ready to reveal the secret art of being a pizza boy; and Bay Area bombshell Cassandra Dallet, poised to blow up your brain.

Maddy-7 Somer Greer_edited.jpg

Ron Austin's "Neck Bones" originally appeared in Ninth Letterand will be anthologized in this year's New Stories from the Midwest. Maddy Raskulinecz's "Barbara from Florida" originally appeared in ZYZZYVA.