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Aspen Public Radio is proud to present select lectures, discussions, and conversations from area events and festivals, thanks to a remarkable collection of community partners. Click here to view the full archive. Events are recorded at no cost to the partner and archived here online; select recordings are broadcast on Aspen Public Radio Sunday nights at 7 p.m.

Aspen Words: Author Talk: Brittany Penner, August Writer in Residence

This event was recorded August 17, 2023, at The Village Smithy, in partnership with Aspen Public Radio.


Brittany Penner is an Indigenous Métis writer and family physician. Her pieces have appeared in Salon, The Globe and Mail, Maclean’s, Huffington Post Canada, This Magazine and The Canadian Family Physician. She is currently working on her first memoir with Doubleday Canada. She was adopted at the end of the Sixties Scoop in Manitoba, Canada, and was raised in a large extended Mennonite family with over 30 Indigenous, adopted family members. Most of her writing focuses on the complex nature of identity and finding one’s place in the world, while navigating a nuanced understanding of what it means to claim a place in one’s culture and (potentially many) families. She has maintained a busy family practice in southern Manitoba since 2017, performing clinical duties, obstetrics, inpatient hospital work and providing care to personal care homes. She is also a lecturer with the Max Rady College of Medicine. She was the keynote speaker at the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame Discovery Days at the University of Manitoba in November 2021. She is currently a candidate for a Master of Liberal Arts (ALM) in Creative Writing and Literature at Harvard with an anticipated graduation date in 2023. She lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba with her rescue cats, the most recent of which is a fluffy orange cat named Caesar, who has two missing teeth and decided to adopt her in 2021.


Daniel Shaw is a journalist, filmmaker and musician living in Woody Creek, Colorado. He currently is co-producing and co-writing a documentary on the late gospel/soul/rock musician Billy Preston with the Oscar, Emmy and Grammy-winning team at White Horse Pictures in Los Angeles. Daniel has written for dozens of publications, including The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Postand recently wrote a book on the history of Snowmass, CO-based Anderson Ranch Arts Center. He has reviewed music for Daily Variety and the LA Weekly, was a Washington, D.C. bureau chief during the second Clinton administration, was a staff writer for The American Lawyer magazine, spent several years on fishing boats reporting on the global commercial fishing industry and served as press secretary for the Navajo Nation. As a blues, rock and country harmonica player, Daniel has played live with numerous acts and recorded albums and commercials. Through their Catto Shaw Foundation, Daniel and his wife Isa Catto host a writers’ residency with Aspen Words. He currently chairs the board of trustees at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, co-chairs the board at TACAW and chairs the Leadership Council at Conservation International.