The Vanguard Podcast: The Forefront of Creativity is a bi-annual program featuring interviews and commentary. Each episode, we feature intimate conversations with artists, authors, musicians, innovators, and activists who are pushing the boundaries of the creative endeavor.


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Leslie M. Browning

Leslie M. Browning

Co-Founder and Co-Host

The Co-Founder and Host of The Vanguard Podcast is Leslie M. Browning

(L.M.) Leslie M. Browning was born in 1982. She grew up in the small fishing village of Stonington, Connecticut. In her writing, Browning explores the confluence of the natural landscape and the interior landscape. A proud native of New England, she travels often throughout the region using her photography and writing to explore the ecological and cultural identity of the Northeast.

In 2010, Leslie debuted with a three-title contemplative poetry series: Ruminations at TwilightOak Wise, and The Barren Plain. These three books went on to garner several accolades including a total of 3 pushcart-prize nominations, the Nautilus Gold Medal for Poetry, and Foreword Reviews‘ Book of the Year Award. She followed this success with, Fleeting Moments of Fierce Clarity, which was named a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Balancing her passion for writing with her love of learning, Leslie sits on the Board of the Art’s Cafe Mystic, a poetic art’s venue that has run for 17 years in Mystic, Connecticut and has featured authors who are Poets Laureate of the U.S. and winners of the Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, and MacArthur “Genius Award.” She also sits on the Board of Directors for the Independent Book Publisher’s Association. With over 3,000 members, IBPA is the largest publishing trade association in the U.S. She is a graduate of the University of London and a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Writers. She is Partner at Hiraeth Press; Co-Founder of Written River: An Anthology of Eco-Poetics as well as Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Wayfarer.

In 2011, Browning opened Homebound Publications, one of the rising independent publishers in the country. Collectively through its imprints, Homebound Publications releases between fifteen to twenty books each year. The press has almost seventy-five titles distributed worldwide. Over the years, the library has received dozens of awards including: Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year, Nautilus Book Awards, Benjamin Franklin Book Awards, and Saltire Literary Awards. Highly-respected among bookstores, readers, and authors alike, Homebound Publications has a proven devotion to quality, originality, and integrity.

In 2015 went on to establish Owl House Books as an imprint of Homebound Publications devoted to genre fiction. She is currently working to complete a B.A. at Harvard University’s Extension School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her latest novel, The Castoff Children is now available. Tomm Moore, Academy Award nominated filmmaker of Secret of Kells and Song of the Sea reflects, “The Castoff Children is a lovely story of hope and the power of dreams and friendship….”

Browning has freelanced for several publications including Rhode Island Monthly, New Haven Magazine, Coastal Connecticut Magazine, Edible Nutmeg, and The Wayfarer. Recognized for her in-depth profilesas an interviewer, Browning is known for her genuine desire to connect with her subject and the insightful questions she composes to delve into the mind of those with whom she speaks. She has interviewed dozens of notable figures such as Academy Award-Nominated filmmaker Tomm Moore, Peabody-winning host of On Being Krista Tippett, Emmy-winning Filmmaker Alan Cooke, Sandy Hook mother Nelba Márquez-Greene.


Kelly Kancyr

Kelly Kancyr

Co-Founder, Producer and Co-Host

The Co-Founder and Producer is Kelly Kancyr

At the rebellious age of 8, Kelly Kancyr turned her first instrument—the violin—(her mother’s choice) into a guitar, playing it like a distorted Les Paul. Learning in that moment that musical instruments don’t have to be played in a traditional way; a philosophy that lies at the heart of her style.

After taking a hiatus from music while she attended Quinnipiac College, a chance phone call from a friend inviting her to hangout and listen to a jam session reignited her passion. Working with a borrowed guitar, Kelly spent the next few months teaching herself chords, scales, and progressions. A year later she joined her first band and never looked back. It wasn’t long before she was writing and recording original music and performing at venues along the East Coast.

Drawn to wide array of genres, Kelly finds she can change musical stylings as easily as she has moved around the world. Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell and Lucinda Williams, are just some of the influences echoing as undercurrents to her songs. In her vintage folk rhythms and emotionally raw lyrics, you can hear both the wide open spaces of Santa Fe, and the rocky beaches of the east coast.

Now 20 years into her career, Kancyr finds herself taking on the role of a mentor. Reflecting, “I find teaching the next generation of young musicians deeply rewarding. I enjoy watching my students begin what I hope will be their lifelong friendship in music.”

Kelly has performed throughout the United States. Her music has been featured on television stations such as ABC-WTNH, and radio stations such as WNHU and WPKN. She is currently working on her first album.



The program is released by Homebound Publications.

An award-winning independent publisher since 2011. Homebound Publications is a small press with big ideas. As an independent publisher, we strive to ensure, that the mainstream is not the only stream. It is our intention at Homebound Publications to preserve contemplative storytelling. We publish full-length introspective works of creative non-fiction, travel writing, poetry, and novels. In all our titles, our intention is to introduce new perspectives that directly aid humankind in the trials we face at present as a global village.