Confessing Animals

Confessing Animals

Seasoned and fresh-faced artists (of every genre) discuss how to make creativity work within the complexities and challenges of adult life. Confessing Animals podcast co-hosts Frances Story + Vanessa Aricco, both working writers, unveil the secrets and struggles of creative living in a rapid fire capitalist society. One guest at a time, Jen + Vanessa ask, How Does Your Life Translate to Art? Intro and all music provided by Ashley Raines


November 14, 2023 76 mins

Jess Whetsel is a poet, writer, editor, and public speaker based in Toledo, Ohio on Erie, Kickapoo, Seneca, and Odawa land. Her poetry has appeared in many literary journals, including Tulip Tree Review, Discretionary Love, and Sage Cigarettes. Her first collection of poetry, A SOFTER KIND OF AUDACITY, debuts on December 1, 2023. You can learn more about Whetsel and her work on her website,, or by following her ...

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Kate Mapother  is the author of two poetry collections, Tell Me You Hear the Riot and carved. She has been published in the lit mag kerning / a space for words, and the book Signs & Symbols of Our Ancestors. She lives in Tucson, in a little adobe at the bottom of a canyon with her dog Riggins.


C A R V E D 

Tell Me You Hear the Riot 



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August 22, 2023 74 mins

In 1988, an explosion killed six Kansas City firefighters. Closure Is Not Justice is a public art project drawing attention to the 1988 explosion, and the public campaign that generated false testimony among residents in the Marlborough neighborhood, turning neighbor against neighbor, all for the sake of closure.

Closure Is Not Justice Exhibition Opening - Friday, September 1
 Vulpes Bastille gallery in the Crossroads,...

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May 30, 2023 30 mins

On endings and new beginnings 

On disappearing 

On completely changing your personality, or learning to speak at a lower volume without the word fuck

7 of Cups from Rachel True's True Heart Intuitive Tarot deck

High Vibe, Choice, options, dream states, luxury, intuition, reflection, meditation

Ram Dass Here and Now Podcast


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May 17, 2022 53 mins

In light of the impending overturn of Roe v Wade, Vanessa & Jen attended the Planned Parenthood Rally: BANS OFF OUR BODIES on May 14, 2022 at Mill Creek Park in Kansas City, MO. 


But before we did, we interviewed Justice Gatson

Justice Gatson is the Director at Reale Justice Network. An Intimate Partner Violence Advocate and Motivational Speaker. She works with Black Mama’s Bail Out with National to specifically add...

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Live @ Charlotte Street Foundation w/Vanessa Aricco 

Reading 1: On the Cusp of Air & Water [Full length poetry manuscript, forthcoming]

Read 2: Self Saints of Becoming [WIP]

Vanessa Aricco is a multimedia poet exploring conflict and duality, the precarious nature of life and the anxiety that arises from it. She is the co-host of Confessing Animals podcast. Her work includes two poetry albums, The Midnight Rush and Human Animal, Ti...

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April 26, 2022 61 mins

Ashley Parsons (she/her) is a queer woman who tells true stories about love, mystery, and embodiment through writing, photography, mentoring, and speaking. She is an alumni of the 2019 Thread at Yale program through the Yale Journalism Initiative and the winner of The Moth / Snap Judgment Competition. Her award-winning work as a storyteller has been captured in photographs, films, and multimedia via We Are the Parsons, Huffington P...

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Listen to Rev. Dr. Peter Tremain's full episode: Dirt, Water & Grace

Listen, Love, Support Us! 

Support the show
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Waleska Barroeta/Waleska Font

Waleska (she/her) is a Venezuelan multidisciplinary artist. Waleska is a cultural promoter, copyeditor, teacher and poet, having performed in Mexico, Venezuela, and Kansas City. Her work explores the limitations of bilingualism, sexuality, culture, and identity. Waleska is currently a board member of No Divide Kansas City and a sponsored artist for Poetry for Personal Power.

Instagram @w...

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Peter Tremain is a retired Lutheran Pastor, who served as Pastor of three congregations over a span of forty years. After retirement and the death of his wife he traveled solo outside the USA at least two months a year for the last ten years with only a backpack, staying in hostels, walking the 500 mile long Camino de Santiago in 2013. He is interested in Contemplative Spirituality as it transcends the arbitrary boundary between th...

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Season 4 is all about Confession! 

Our first guest is Peregrine Honig: Artist. Curator. Writer. Wife. 

CW: Mention of sex trafficking, pedophile, ephebophile, and murder

Peregrine Honig (she/her) (born 1976 in San Francisco, CA) is an American artist whose work is concerned with the relationship between pop culture, sexual vulnerability, social anxieties, the ethics of luxury and trends in consumerism.

Her work is ...

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February 15, 2022 41 mins

Welcome to Season 4 of Confessing Animals Podcast. Jen and Vanessa discuss why this podcast is called Confessing Animals and talk a lot of shit per the us cuz no one's listening! 

*plz note that Vanessa says "appear" when she meant to say "appeal" 

A few things we talk about:
Michel Foucault
Jean Baudrillard

Holy Shit...

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December 28, 2021 25 mins

Happy First Year!

Jen calls Vanessa, who's two mimosas deep,  on her tin can to wrap up the first year of Confessing Animals.

Intro and Outro Poems by Vanessa Aricco
Download poetry albums!

We love you <3

Intro & music provided by Ashley Raines 

Follow us on Instagram @confessinganimalspodcast

Listen, Love & Support Us!

Support the show
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Andreas Fleps is a poet based near Chicago. He studied theology and philosophy at Dominican University, and his debut collection of poems entitled, “Well into the Night” (via Energion Publications) was released at the end of 2020. He translates teardrops.

Buy the book! Well Into the Night


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November 23, 2021 53 mins

Patrick Grant grew up in Overland Park, KS where he is now a high school Spanish teacher. After graduating from the University of Kansas, Patrick worked with a Christian collegiate ministry in San Antonio, Texas and then the Dominican Republic. In his free time he enjoys playing sports, hanging with friends and family, and being overly-particular about beer and coffee.

Seasoned and...

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November 16, 2021 36 mins

PLUG Gallery
Solid Poetry: Andrew Mcilvaine

Andrew Mcilvaine is an interdisciplinary artist originally from Southern Texas and later relocated to Missouri. Mcilvaine makes work that explores notions such as the displacement and replacement of culture through settler colonialism, identity, trauma, memory, and longing. Currently Mcilvaine's practice is based in Kansas City, Missouri and he holds a visiting assistant professo...

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Leanne Kubicz is an origami artist and tv & film critic based in Kansas City, MO. A person of many talents, she was an official statistician for the New York Red Bulls Major League Soccer team from 2001-2013, was founder of her own company -- 1898 House Nail Lacquer, and was also a reference librarian. Leanne is currently working on multiple origami projects and has a new Substack for capsule film reviews. 


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November 2, 2021 48 mins

Rachel Puckett is a lifestyle and wedding photographer residing in Columbus, Ohio, who has dreams bigger than her body can handle at the moment. When her 7th grade Biology teacher enthusiastically insisted the students were all scientists, her eyes lit up and she received the title in earnest and has looked at the world with curiosity and a hunger to understand ever since. Her love of writing and photography take root from the line...

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October 26, 2021 58 mins

Erin McGrane is a writer; musician; actress; public speaker; and professional development mentor. Notably, Erin appears in the Oscar-nominated film, UP IN THE AIR alongside George Clooney. She has toured the US extensively with her musical group, Victor & Penny, and co-founded an annual performance, creativity, and songwriting event. Erin was honored in KC Magazine’s “The 100: People who make Life Better in KC" and is prou...

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October 19, 2021 57 mins

Stephen Hill is a human aboard Spaceship Earth trying to figure things out through writing, shaping, talking, helping, and documenting. His present location is within the Kansas City Metro area with his family, and he helps pay the bills by working for Mid-continent Public Library's Delivery Services. He'd like everyone to know that Truth is at the intersection, so keep on intersecting.


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