Blue Collar Broadcast

American Poets
Interview Series

Beaver Dam Rocking Chair Marathon

Tapping My Own Phone

Blue Collar Boom


American Poets Interview Series
Poets and Hellraisers we've met along the way
The Rocking Chair Marathon tour was kicked off on May 14, 1998 in Beaver Dam, Kentucky to promote the new book by Ron Whitehead. The tour included a juggler, a songwriter, poets from all walks of life, and of course Ron reading from Beaver Dam Rocking Chair Marathon. We're traveling into new places, places we don't really know too much about. Our friends and fellow poets across the country have been really good to us so far and their hospitality makes this all possible. So we thought we would ask the guest poets and some other heroes of ours about their lives, their struggles, and their work in the places that they live and know really well. Really, the point is for us to represent our own home turf as best we can and be a part of an honest encounter, experience some cultural exchange, and try to feel out the reality of the places we pass through. What this all hopefully leads to is a greater sense of connection and understanding through an awareness of life as it affects people and pulses through the world. So this is kind of a tour log based on the experiences of the people we run into along the way. Here goes ...

W. K. Buckley
W.K. Buckley is "a poet that attacks the thinning of self in an age of information, by insisting on images as memory, writing both of exile in the US and praise for the broken parts of its contradictory engine of destruction and loves -- class-conscious, homeless in the sense of being estranged from what is most familiar yet constructing these states over and over again," according to poet Jack Hirschman. This poet will take you there, to all the lost parts you thought you'd forgotten, to the true lineage like a heartbeat, a persistent stream of blood coursing through the Heartlands. Yes, Valparaiso, Indiana, this is your poet, the one that will stand behind you and sing your songs.

Terry Flynn, Rich Martin, and Denis Mahoney
Richard L. Martin is the publisher of Hozomeen Press and currently spends much of his time running the Temporary Autonomous Zone in New London, Connecticut.

Terry Flynn is the editor of Gone.

Denis Mahoney is a guiding spirit in Black Pig Liberation Front and publisher of Ring Tarigh Press in Westerly, Rhode Island.

Lady Gem
barroom poetry introduction:
I'd like to introduce to you a honky tonk angel who causes all the college boys to lose the facility of speech, with the blue of the steel mills run together with the polite pink of corporate America, a dark red flowing river of feminine wiles and rough grace. Let me introduce you to the broken arrow, the drunken angel, the riotess of language, Lady Gem.

Clebo Rainey
Clebo Rainey is an urban western howler, a sojourner from the Civil Rights era and the Beat movement filtered through his own psychedelic experience coming of age in the '60s. He is a bard in the wry fucked-up tradition of Johnny Cash, subjecting himself to a long journey to the end of the night, clear eyed and brutally honest, but without judgment. He has gained the reputation as "Father of the Dallas Poetry Scene" Frederick Turner says, "Clebo Rainey is a uniquely Dallas version of the prophetic type. What he adds to the tradition is an intimate knowledge of and love of the Dallas urban landscape, an engaging sense of humor and self-mockery, a remarkable tolerance and affection for precisely the people that might fear and reject him, the luck of a strong constitution that can endure with gusto the lifestyle, and an intelligence and ironic insight that will not accept easy answers."

Glenis Sherer
Glenis Sherer is a black female bard of the New South, who sings a beautiful and pointed language of righteous justice in the poisoned discourse of a region crippled again and again by its prejudices, whose words burn through Confederate flags. She is the mother of two twin daughters, Celeste and Amber. Her first book of poetry, Mama's Magic , will be released by Alexander Publishing at the end of the summer and a video about her, "Home-Made", will be out this winter.

Kalamu ya Salaam
Kalamu ya Salaam is a poet with maroon guttiness and holy daring. His is a literate tongue, articulating the history and future of Black life, sharp enough to cut through concrete and barbed wire, round enough to sculpt out a song of love and grace, a poet whose voice is an open channel of affirmation for Black women, for Black ancestors, for Black liberation.
Kalamu ya Salaam is the founder of Runagate Press. He is co-editor with Kysha N. Brown of Fertile Ground: Memories & Visions, an anthology of Black literature released in 1996, and From A Bend In the River, published earlier this year.

Lamont Steptoe
Lamont B. Steptoe is a poet / photographer / publisher born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is author of eight books of poetry including In the Kitchens of the Master, Mad Minute, Uncle's South Sea China Blue Nightmare, Cat Fish and Neckbone Jazz, Dusty Road, Common Salt and Trinkets and Beads. Steptoe is a father, Vietnam veteran, and founder of Whirlwind Press.

Rod Stryker
Rod is the founding editor of Sun Poetic Times and with Tanya Keygan is responsible for nurturing an incredible amount of poetic activity in San Antonio through The Times and a bi-weekly reading series.

Troy Teegarden
Troy Teegarden does the "Society of Underground Poets" radio hour on 89.9 FM, WRVG which is broadcast from Georgetown College. WRVG has generated "World Radio" programming, which will be syndicated around the nation next month in competition with NPR and PRI on public radio. Troy is the author of Reflections On the Elkhorn. He is married to Kate Teegarden. Troy and Kate run Sweet Lady Moon Press. Twice a year they host the Society Of Underground Poets Festival in Georgetown. They have a 15 month old daughter, Adrian.

Ron Whitehead
Ron Whitehead is poet, writer, editor, and publisher. His first volume of poems, I Will Not Bow Down: Selected Poems 1990-1995 was released in 1996 at the Wetlands Celebration in New York City by Hozomeen Press. His last book, Blood Filled Vessels Racing to the Heart: Beyond Chaos is The Ocean of Consciousness, also published by Hozomeen, was released in 1997. His CD Tapping My Own Phone was released January, 1998. The Beaver Dam Rocking Chair Marathon was released May, 1998

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