Kiese Laymon and Deesha Philyaw are launching a new podcast focusing on essays and journalism.

The authors will co-host Reckon True Stories with podcast production company Ursa Story Company, which Philyaw co-founded with author Dawnie Walton and former Longreads founder and CEO Mark Armstrong. Philyaw and Laymon’s podcast will focus on “the stories we tell and how they impact our culture,” Ursa says.

Philyaw, who also co-hosts the Ursa Short Fiction podcast with Walton, is the author of The Secret Lives of Church Ladies, the 2020 story collection that won the PEN/Faulkner Award and was a finalist for the National Book Award. Laymon’s books include the novel Long Division, the essay collection How To Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America, and the memoir Heavy, which won the Andrew Carnegie Medal and was a finalist for the Kirkus Prize.

“As we’ve seen with recent shakeups in the publishing and podcasting industries, it’s more critical than ever that we build our own communities and platforms outside of the traditional gatekeepers,” Philyaw said in a statement. “Dawnie, Mark, and I are thrilled to keep building Ursa as a home for the great storytelling that we want to see and hear in the world, and keep doing it on our own terms.”

Laymon said, “These are conversations Deesha and I have on the phone all the time. I couldn’t say no to the opportunity to push ourselves, extend some of those conversations and interview some of the most incredible nonfiction writers on earth.”

The first season of Reckon True Stories will feature authors including Roxane Gay, Samantha Irby, and Alexander Chee. It is scheduled to launch in July.

Michael Schaub is a contributing writer.