The Wheeler Centre
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Nate DiMeo’s Memory Palace
Nate DiMeo is the voice and producer of The Memory Palace, a celebrated storytelling podcast about the past. In this conversation, recorded live at Geelong Regional Library & Heritage Centre, he talks about history, time and wonder – and how he's built a creative livelihood around his writing. Hosted by Jon Tjhia.
In each short Memory Palace episode, DiMeo’s evocative, elegiac monologues reach back into history, returning with quiet magic; a flickering of something timeless. More than many podcasts, the show hinges on writing. ‘I'm just looking for some little fleck of something wonderful in the past,’ DiMeo has said of the process. ‘I latch onto that thing that moved me … We know the subject; what's the story? That's the part that takes forever.’
Based in Los Angeles, he’s recently been the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s artist in residence. Other recent writing projects include ghostwriting Pawnee: The Greatest Town in America with the Parks and Recreation writing team, several TV staff writing gigs and a novel in progress.
Note: We apologise for the poor audio quality of this recording, due to technical circumstances beyond our control.
Clips featured in this episode
- Excerpt from 'One to Another', episode 59 of The Allusionist
- 'Fifty Words Written After Learning the Arctic Bowhead Whale Can Live up to Two Hundred Years', episode 50 of The Memory Palace
Both used with permission.
This event was part of The Creative Exchange, presented in partnership with Creative Victoria, the Wheeler Centre and Geelong Regional Libraries.
Nate DiMeo is the creator of The Memory Palace, a storytelling podcast about the past. He was the artist-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in 2016–2017. He's been a finalist for both the Peabody Award for excellence in media and the Thurber Prize for American Humor. He's written for television, including the acclaimed comedy, Parks and Recreation. He's reported for National Public Radio in the US. A book collecting stories from The Memory Palace was recently released in translation in Brazil.
Jon Tjhia was the Wheeler Centre’s Senior Digital Editor.
He worked on the Wheeler Centre's multimedia, editorial and digital projects from 2010–2020, including #discuss, the short-form multimedia series Housekeeping, and long-form podcast series Better Off Dead and The Messenger, which won several awards. He's a co-editor and co-founder of the Australian Audio Guide, and has been a member of Audiocraft's programming committee, the Walkley Awards' Radio/Audio Feature judging panel, the New York Festivals Radio Awards Grand Jury and ABC RN's Ian Reed Foundation committee for audio fiction/drama.
Elsewhere, Jon produces the Paper Radio literary fiction and creative non-fiction podcast, makes the occasional radio thing, writes essays and plays music with Speed Painters. In 2016, he was a top-ten finalist in Radiotopia's Podquest competition.
Better Off Dead was named Finalist at New York Festivals Radio Awards 2016. The Messenger was awarded the Grand Trophy and two Gold Medals at New York Festivals Radio Awards 2017; the 2017 UNAA Media Award for Best Radio Documentary; the 2017 Walkley Award for Radio/Audio Feature; and (with Behind the Wire's They Cannot Take the Sky), the 2017 Australian Human Rights Commission Media Award. It was also a finalist at the 2017 Quill Awards, and runner-up for the 2018 Whicker's Documentary Audio Recognition Award.
Previously, as a digital producer at ABC Radio Australia, Jon developed websites in seven languages, interviewed musicians from around the Pacific Islands, and provided multi-platform coverage of that region’s largest music festival, Fest'napuan. He’s occasionally involved in art and sound projects (including a collaborative residency in Wiluna, Western Australia, Eavesdropping at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, and the Soundhouse programme at London's Barbican Centre) and has presented, suggested and advised on sound design and audio storytelling at an armful of festivals, conferences and email threads.
He holds a BA (Cultural Studies) and MMm. The latter is an actual postnominal, although your cooking is indeed good.