In each episode of The Beat, host Alan May introduces a poet and we hear one or two poems, usually read and recorded by the poets themselves.
The Beat is produced by Knox County Public Library in Knoxville, Tenn.
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Ashley M. Jones and Phillis Wheatley Peters
Ashley M. Jones is Alabama's first African American Poet Laureate, and she's also the youngest. Her books are Magic City Gospel, dark // thing, and REPARATIONS NOW! She teaches creative writing at the Alabama School of Fine Arts and also at the Low Residency MFA program at Converse University.
Phillis Wheatley Peters was abducted in West Africa and brought to Boston where she was sold as a slave when she was around seven year old. Her first and only book, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, was published in 1773. She was in poor health for most of her life, and she died in her early thirties. According to the Smithsonian Institute, she was the “first American slave, the first person of African descent, and only the third colonial American woman to have her work published.”
Read the poems
https://inspicio.fiu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Ashley-M-Jones-V2.pdf (Think of a Marvelous Thing / It’s the Same as Having Wings at Inspicio Arts)
https://main.oxfordamerican.org/magazine/item/1698-four-poems ("Harriet Tubman Crosses the Mason-Dixon for the First Time" at Oxford American)
https://poets.org/poem/being-brought-africa-america ("On Being Brought from Africa to America" at poets.org)
Ashley M. Jones
https://ashleymjonespoetry.com/ (Ashley M. Jones’ website)
Jones’ Bio and Poems at the Poetry Foundation
https://www.npr.org/2021/09/08/1031840999/ashley-m-jones-alabama-poet-laureate-reparations-now (“Alabama's First Black Poet Laureate Takes A Personal Approach To 'Reparations” on NPR)
https://www.reckonsouth.com/ashley-m-jones-alabamas-youngest-first-black-and-possibly-dopest-poet-laureate-on-the-need-for-reparations-now-tomorrow-and-forever/ (Interview with Ashley M. Jones at The Reckon)
https://therumpus.net/2018/08/01/the-rumpus-interview-with-ashley-m-jones/ (“How to Become a Poet: A Conversation with Ashley M. Jones” at The Rumpus)
Phillis Wheatley Peters
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/phillis-wheatley (Bio and Poems at the Poetry Foundation )
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/finding-multiple-truths-in-works-enslaved-poet-phillis-wheatley-180975163/ (“The Multiple Truths in the Works of Enslaved Poet Phillis Wheatley” by Drea Brown)
http://www.phillis-wheatley.org/ (Phillis Wheatley Historical Society)
https://www.masshist.org/features/endofslavery/wheatley (Wheatley’s Bio and Poems at Massachusetts Historical Society Collections Online)
Music is by https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Chad_Crouch/ (Chad Crouch).
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Mentioned in this episode:
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Joyelle McSweeney; Season 2 Intro.
Joyelle McSweeney is the author of ten books of poetry, stories, novels, essays, translations, and plays. She has won The Pushcart Prize, The Fence Modern Poets Series Award, and The Leslie Scalapino Prize for Innovative Women Performance Artists. With Carmen Maria Machado, she was the guest editor of Best American Experimental Writing 2020. With Johannes Göransson, she co-edits the international press Action Books and teaches at the University of Notre Dame.
Read today’s poem at BOMB: https://bombmagazine.org/articles/two-poems-joyelle-mcsweeney/ (“Two Poems by Joyelle McSweeney”)
https://www.joyellemcsweeney.com/ (Joyelle McSweeney’s Website)
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/joyelle-mcsweeney (Bio and Poems at the Poetry Foundation)
https://poets.org/poem/simon-good (Poems at Poets.org)
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/17/magazine/poem-kingdom.html (“Kingdom” in The New York Times Magazine)
https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/04/13/joyelle-mcsweeneys-poetry-of-catastrophe (“Joyelle McSweeney’s Poetry of Catastrophe” in The New Yorker )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53YJ_Ijvgqc ( “A Poetry Reading by Joyelle McSweeney in conversation with David Baker and Kendra Sullivan”)
https://actionbooks.org/ (Action Books, Edited by McSweeney And Johannes Göransson)
Janet McAdams is the author of the novel Red Weather and the poetry collections Feral and The Island of Lost Luggage, which won an American Book Award. Her chapbook of prose poems Seven Boxes for the Country After won the Wick Chapbook competition and was published in 2016. She teaches at Kenyon College, where she is the Robert P. Hubbard Chair in Poetry.
https://files.captivate.fm/library/e108a721-ad8b-4f64-a609-3321c1b01e92/thanatoptic-janet-mcadams.pdf (Read "Thanatoptic")
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/janet-mcadams (Bio and poems at the Poetry Foundation)
https://poets.org/poem/lie-0 ("Lie" at Poem-a-Day)
https://shenandoahliterary.org/681/janet-mcadams/ (Interview at Shenandoah’s website)
http://www.southernhumanitiesreview.com/_____-and-the-elders-by-janet-mcadams.html ("______and the Elders” at Southern Humanities Review)
Jesse Graves is a Professor of English and Poet-in-Residence at East Tennessee State University. His poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, North American Review, Southern Poetry Review, and other literary magazines and anthologies. He has published four books of poetry and his book Said-Songs: Essays on Poetry and Place is forthcoming from Mercer University Press in 2022. Graves received his PhD in English from the University of Tennessee and his MFA in Creative Writing from Cornell University. He has won the Book of the Year in Poetry Award from the Appalachian Writers’ Association and the Thomas and Lillie D. Chaffin Award for Appalachian Writing.
https://files.captivate.fm/library/668124c0-1698-4889-ac41-b108e5539a3d/in-a-familar-city-and-sage-grass-brushing-against-my-shins-jess.pdf (Read "In a Familiar City" and "Sage Grass Brushing Against My Shins")
https://jessegravespoetry.wordpress.com/ (Jesse Graves’ website)
https://chapter16.org/an-unbroken-thread (Interview with Linda Parsons at Chapter 16)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUc_e6DSliw (YouTube reading through West Virginia Wesleyan MFA Program Summer Reading Series )
https://jessegravespoetry.wordpress.com/poems/ (A collection of Jesse Grave’s poems available online)
https://www.facebook.com/JohnsonCityPublicLibrary/videos/poet-to-poet-interview-a-conversation-with-jesse-graves-and-rita-sims-quillen/655903492030350/ (Poet-to-Poet Interview: A Conversation with Jesse Graves and Rita Sims Quillen, hosted by Johnson City Public Library)
Bruce Alford’s work has appeared in the African American Review, Imagination and Place Press, The Comstock Review, and elsewhere. He teaches poetry at Louisiana State University. Before working in academia, he was an inner-city missionary and journalist.
https://files.captivate.fm/library/939f195f-1704-4f75-8eea-4c690cf57750/from-alford-s-devotional-bruce-alford.pdf (Read "from Alford's Devotional")
https://brucealfordcom.wordpress.com/ (Bruce Alford’s website)
https://sicklitmagazine.com/2016/07/18/poems-by-bruce-alford/ (Poems at SickLit )
https://stormcellar.org/2017/09/15/bruce-alford-perfect/ (“Perfect” at Storm Cellar)
https://www.writersforum.org/news_and_reviews/review_archives.html/article/2008/05/05/terminal-switching (Review of Terminal Switching at Alabama Writers Forum)
Robert Penn Warren
Robert Penn Warren is primarily known as the author of the great American novel All the King’s Men, but he’s also a well-respected poet, and was the USA’s first Poet Laureate. He grew up in Guthrie, KY, and then crossed the state line to go to high school in Clarksville, TN. In 1921, he began his studies at Vanderbilt University and joined a group of poets who called themselves the Fugitives. He went on to publish over 40 books, and he is the only writer to win the Pulitzer Prize for both fiction and poetry.
https://poets.org/poem/vision-0 (Read "Vision" and other poems by Robert Penn Warren at Poets.org)
https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/robert-penn-warren (Biography and poems at the Poetry Foundation)
https://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/warren/ (Online Resources (Library of Congress Web Guide))
An amuse bouche of poetry for your midweek slump
A lovely, eclectic offering of poets and their works from different periods and walks of life. Laconic and just what is needed by Wednesdays.