The SpokenWeb Podcast

The Agony and the Ecstasy of Elizabeth Smart

Episode Summary

Over the years, Elizabeth Smart’s 1945 novel "By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept" has risen from obscurity to cult classic. In this poetic reflection, producer Myra Bloom weaves together archival audio with first-person narration and interviews to examine both the great passion that fueled "By Grand Central Station" and the obstacles that prevented Elizabeth from recreating its brilliance.

Episode Notes

SpokenWeb is a monthly podcast produced by the SpokenWeb team as part of distributing the audio collected from (and created using) Canadian Literary archival recordings found at universities across Canada. To find out more about Spokenweb visit: . If you love us, let us know! Rate us and leave a comment on Apple Podcasts or say hi on our social media @SpokenWebCanada.

Featured in this month's episode are Sina Queyras, a poet and teacher currently working on an academic project about Elizabeth; Maya Gallus, a celebrated documentarian whose first film, On the Side of the Angels, was about Elizabeth; Kim Echlin, author of Elizabeth Smart: A Fugue Essay on Women and Creativity; and Rosemary Sullivan, Elizabeth’s biographer.

This episode also features archival audio of Elizabeth in conversation at Memorial University (1983) and reading at Warwick University in England (1982).

All the music in this episode is by Blue Dot Sessions.

Episode producer: Myra Bloom is Assistant Professor of Canadian literature at York University-Glendon campus. She is currently writing a book called Evasive Maneuvers about Canadian women’s confessional writing, including Elizabeth Smart.


Warwick Archive (2019, Nov). Elizabeth Smart - English Writers at Warwick Archive.

MUN Archive Video Collection. (pre 1994). Elizabeth Smart: Canadian Writer.