Paste’s continuing partnership with singer-songwriter Ben Arthur and his storytelling podcast SongWriter today (Oct. 8) brings us to episode 10, featuring a story told by Aura Hernandez, and a song written in response by Denise Reis. SongWriter’s latest Season One episode is premiering right here ahead of its official release next Tuesday, Oct. 15, along with the third single from Arthur’s forthcoming album Perspective, an answer song called “Mothers.”
SongWriter’s 10th episode spotlights the life story of Hernandez, an immigrant mother who’s been living in a church on New York City’s Upper West Side for over a year now. Hernandez recounts how she came to the United States and what compelled her to seek sanctuary, and looks ahead to share her hopes for the future. Brazilian singer-songwriter Reis responds to Hernandez’s story in an original song, which she performed and recorded for SongWriter in the church Hernandez calls home.
“I am so happy to share Aura’s story, and hopefully to help amplify her voice,” says Arthur. “She’s an extraordinary woman, committed to her family and to her long fight for justice. And I love the way Denise’s song brought light into that sanctuary, and how it brought some joy and comfort to Aura.”
“Mothers,” meanwhile, is the third single off Perspective, following “Fantasyland” and “Lake Success,” which Arthur wrote in response to the books of the same name by Kurt Andersen and Gary Shteyngart, respectively.
Recent episodes of SongWriter to premiere at Paste have featured Rick Moody and Xenia Rubinos, Kurt Andersen and Vienna Teng, and Rita Mullaney and Byron Isaacs. Still to come in Season One are episodes featuring Patricia Lockwood and Sasha Dobson, and Anna North and Missy Eaves, plus a bonus episode featuring Jonathan Lethem and Cindy Lee Berryhill. Stay tuned to Paste for early access to the rest of SongWriter’s forthcoming first season.