Where Music, Literature, and Pop Culture Converge
Third Man Books is proud to announceRe\VERB, a podcast about the convergence of music, literature and pop culture. Hosted by Kendra DeColo and & Ciona Rouse, Re\VERB—Third Man’s first podcast— talks about how life and culture influences literature & how literature influences life and culture. The hosts invite writers, mostly, but also songwriters, musicians, filmmakers—people they love—who have a thing or two to say about music, literature and pop culture, and host them at Third Man Records to have a chat in the Blue Room. Each episode runs for just about an hour and includes readings, songs and a writing prompt. Each season, they will host one podcast in front of a live studio audience, as well. Re\VERB’s debut episode, which is out now, features guest Hanif Abdurraqib, a poet, essayist, and author of theNew York Times bestselling book Go Ahead in the Rain – Notes to A Tribe Called Quest.
2019 NEA Literary Fellow Kendra DeColo is a poet, essayist, and aspiring screenwriter living in Nashville, TN. She is the author of My Dinner with Ron Jeremy (Third Man Books, 2016) and Thieves in the Afterlife (Saturnalia Books, 2014), selected by Yusef Komunyakaa for the 2013 Saturnalia Books Poetry. Her poems and essays appear in Tin House Magazine,WaxwingLos Angeles ReviewBitch MagazineGulf CoastVIDA, and elsewhere. She has received awards and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and Split This Rock. She has been a visiting poetry professor at Sarah Lawrence College and Vanderbilt University. She is currently working on a graphic memoir, her third poetry collection, and a sports comedy. “While I love talking with writers, artists and musicians about their craft, I’m often more interested in hearing a poet talk about their first musical love, first concert, the bad sitcom they watched religiously in the 90s, or favorite fast food. Re/Verb is a place where artists reveal the sometimes hidden but vital parts of their creative process; the areas where pop culture mingles with “high art” and categorization no longer matters.”

Ciona Rouse is a poet and author of Vantablack (Third Man Books, 2017). Rouse is poetry editor of the literary journal Wordpeace and cohost of the Re/Verb podcast from Third Man Books. Her work can be found in Native MagazineGabby JournalMatter: a journal of political poetry and commentary and Talking River. In addition to curating many poetry experiences and workshops in Nashville, she also collaborates with various artists to create multi-disciplinary performances, including the show The Longest Night with saxophonist Jeff Coffin and composer Jason Shelton at Oz Arts, the Blair House Collective with musician and poet Adia Victoria and poet Caroline Randall Williams and Nick Cave: Feat with the visual artist Nick Cave for the Frist Art Museum, which was a performance at the Schermmerhorn Symphony Center in 2018, which was recognized as the year’s best poetry performance in the Nashville Scene.

“Kendra and I often find ourselves in a coffee shop somewhere in Nashville talking about craft, the poems we write, the latest thing we read. These conversations are usually littered with a little current events here and there, a reference to a favorite Prince song every once in a while and a bit of reminiscing about a favorite movie starring Molly Ringwald. We thought, “why not get to chatting with our other writer friends & favorite authors about these same things?” So here we are! I love that we share tips of the trade, discuss early experiences with literature or talk about our personal ghosts one minute and then somehow end up talking about yoga or Courtney Love the next minute. And it’s a great excuse to hear from some dynamic voices we know and want everyone to know.”

Season 1 Schedule Episode 1 – Monday 3/25Hanif Abdurraqib: “A Nuanced Kind of Love”We talk with poet, music critic, and essayist Hanif Abdurraqib about kindness, the art of fandom, Courtney Love, the legacy of 90s artists, and knowing when you are “not the person.” If Hanif’s poems ate ice cream their favorite flavor would be Supermoon. “I don’t know if I’m writing toward the future as much as I am trying to make sense of the present so I can live long enough to see a future.”  

Episode 2 – Monday 4/29Maggie Smith “You Can’t Hide from Yourself on a Legal Pad”We talk with poet Maggie Smith about the end of the world, ghost cells, writing her shadow self, dream collaborations, and what it’s like to have your poem read by Meryl Streep. If her poems wore sneakers, they would be red high-top converse. “The idea of haunting and of family are different and wider and stranger than we might think.” 

Episode 3 – Monday 5/27Camille T. Dungy Episode “The Person from Porlock is Knocking at Your Door”We talk to poet, editor and essayist Camille T. Dungy about memorizing poetry, the human and non-human natural world, being an extroverted poet on the move, artist motherhood and refraining from a writing routine in case she lands in prison. If her poems were a piece of furniture, they’d be a bed on fire (á la “Shockadelica”). “If you haven’t been practicing your scales, you’re not going to actually be able to play . . . The muse wants in-shape brains and bodies. So, these kinds of practices/exercises, for me, are the equivalent of wall squats.” 

Episode 4 – Monday 6/24Rebecca Gayle Howell and Brett Ratliff Episode: “American Capitalism is Purgatory”We talk with poet, editor, and teacher Rebecca Gayle Howell along with her partner musician Brett Ratliff about writing into received musical and poetic forms, Appalachia and resistance, moving across time and place, Young MC and an incompetent bandit. “I really do think that Appalachia is the bellwether. If the rest of the country wants to understand what corporatocracy does, what being colonized inside of America does, we will start playing very close attention to the last 100 years of Appalachia.” 

Episode 5 – Monday 7/29Danez Smith Episode: “We Rise in Circles”In this episode we talk with Danez Smith about writing “the unsavory parts” of ourselves, balancing truth with tenderness, having a healthy fear of fucking up, finding one’s poetry family, and form as self-care. If Danez’s poems collected crystals their favorite would be rose quartz. “Tenderness sometimes isn’t always about the way that truth is told but maybe it’s in the images or it’s in the sound, trying to offer some kind of play or delight.” 

Episode 6 – Friday 8/26Nickole Brown Episode: “Be Mean and Fight For It”In our very first live episode, we talk with Nickole Brown about “totem objects,” literary code-switching, permission to return to one’s roots, and her special relationship with her grandmother who “might not be like your grandmother.” If Nickole’s poems drove, they would own a Prius with faux leopard-skin covered seats. “I realized I had to go back to where I came from in order to find my voice. When I did, it was this mother tongue. It was my grandmother. It was my mama. It was then that the accent that I had to lose, I had to return to in order to speak my own poems.”

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