In this episode, I talk with previous Under the Gum Tree contributor, Maddy Walsh. Maddy is the lead singer and primary songwriter for Ithaca, NY-based, nationally touring, seven-piece moxy rock band The Blind Spots. She received her Bachelor’s degree in English and Creative Writing from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 2005 and received her Master’s degree in the same field from California State University Sacramento in 2007. Her thesis was a manuscript of poetry, the form that most heavily influences her songwriting. Maddy’s essay “Placer County Jail” appears in the October 2012 issue of *Under the Gum Tree* and was listed as a notable in The Best American Essays 2013. Learn more about her current work, visit and


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In this episode, we talk about:

  • Discovering cohesive of a life story without spewing unnecessary details
  • Writing and sharing about a shame-inducing experience
  • Turing an unpleasant experience into a piece of art
  • Orange Is the New Black
  • The benefits of sharing stories instead of not talking about unpleasant experiences
  • Maddy’s song writing and her band, The Blind Spots
  • Visit Maddy online at and

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