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Introducing a new series: The Beat

Watch for an upcoming poetry podcast produced by Knox County Public Library. It’s called The Beat.

David Orr, a poetry columnist for the New York Times Book Review, describes a common idea that some people have about poetry—that understanding it "is like solving a calculus problem while being zapped with a cattle prod." Or maybe worse, we hear people give (again quoting David Orr) "testimonials announcing poetry’s ability to derange the senses, make us lose ourselves in rapture, dance naked under the full moon, and so forth." We’ll try to avoid all of that.

Each show will introduce a new poet and you’ll get to hear poems being read aloud by the poets themselves, usually. The first episode of “The Beat” will air in a couple of weeks. Please tune in for the show. And if you aren't already a subscriber, you should do that in your favorite podcast app.

Transcript
Alan:

Hi, I’m Alan May and I’m here to tell you about an upcoming poetry podcast produced by Knox County Public Library. It’s called The Beat. David Orr, a poetry columnist for the New York Times Book Review, describes a common idea that some people have about poetry—that understanding it "is like solving a calculus problem while being zapped with a cattle prod." Or maybe worse, we hear people give (again quoting David Orr) "testimonials announcing poetry’s ability to derange the senses, make us lose ourselves in rapture, dance naked under the full moon, and so forth." We’ll try to avoid all of that. In each show, I’ll introduce you to a new poet and you’ll get to hear poems being read aloud by the poets themselves, or, sometimes, by me or another reader. If you’re an experienced poetry aficionado, welcome. I hope you enjoy the poems. If you’re fairly new to poetry, relax. When you feel a connection to a poem, listen to it again or look for links about the poet in the show notes. You don’t need to be a quote/unquote “expert” to enjoy poetry. Often, with enough time and attention, the poem itself will teach you how to read it. If you hear something you don’t like, that’s okay. The great American poet C.D. Wright compared reading poetry to ordering food in a restaurant. Not everybody likes the same thing. And, in the world of poetry, “the menu is vast." All that said, the first episode of “The Beat” will air in a couple of weeks. Please tune in for the show.

About the Podcast

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Knox Pods
Podcasts of Knox County Public Library

About your hosts

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Melissa Brenneman

Melissa listens to hours of podcasts on most days. She started the habit with the intention of taking long walks, but podcasts proved to be more addicting than exercise. She records, edits and mixes podcasts for the library.
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Alan May

Alan May works as a reference librarian at Lawson McGhee Library. In his spare time, he reads and writes poetry. May's most recent books are Dead Letters (2008) and More Unknowns (2014). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New York Quarterly, The Hollins Critic, New Orleans Review, Plume, and others.