BACK TO BUSINESS: Saturday has been very productive and full of small surprises. This morning I met Cherryl Floyd-Miller early to discuss our BIG project that has been brewing for some months now. I can finally say what it is, but really can't go into details because those are still being ironed out. Later this year, Cherryl and I are going to relaunch Poetry Atlanta Press. The press will be under the auspices of the Poetry Atlanta organization and offer a first book prize to Atlanta and Georgia poets, educational opportunities for students, quarterly poetry discussions and other activities. The press has been around for a number of years, publishing the occasional chapbook and the organization's Poet's Phonebook. The Java Monkey Speaks Anthology Vol. 1 (we're still on target for our Sunday, June 19, release party at Java Monkey in Decatur, GA) will technically be the press's first new publication. Keep an eye on this blog, the Poetry Atlanta site, local and national media about the first book prize. Giving a voice to emerging poets in Atlanta and Georgia has long been a dream of ours, and this move should put us on the map nationally. Atlanta's poetry scene continues to grow and diversify, but as Cherryl puts it, "we're about to blow up!" More very soon.

After the Poetry Atlanta meeting, Cherryl realized she had lost her car keys, so she wound up driving up with me to tape The Business of Words. I had two interviews lined up, but one had to cancel so I improvised. First I interviewed the whirling dervish of the SoCal poetry scene that is Teka Lark-Lo. I met Teka earlier this year in LA and loved her stream of consciousness, satirical and political work. The work is rough and realistic and biting. LOVE it. The great poet Brendan Constantine called Teka "a force of nature" and he is exactly right. You can hear the interview and her work starting this Tuesday (June 14). The show airs for two weeks every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday at 2, 10 and 6 a.m. and p.m. You'll need Real Player, Windows Media Player or WinAmp to listen.

After Teka, I decided to improvise a show with Cherryl. Since we're planning to have a series of discussions as part of Poetry Atlanta Press, we decided to announce the relaunch of the press and hold our own discussion on poetry and community. We thought it would be just filler, but we touched on a number of issues, including how poetry "factions" can be found in every community, how to bridge the gap between formal and spoken word, the usefulness of workshops and more. That episode should start airing around June 28.

My producer/engineer Harold said the podcasting of The Business of Words has also been successful. In just the last two weeks, 20 people downloaded M. Ayodele Heath's interview and another 20 downloaded Louise Runyon. That may not sound like a lot, but we just started this service a few weeks ago, and it's still new to many people. I'm thrilled. The number of listeners who tune in during regular broadcasts has also spiked. I hope everyone who listens is enjoying the show as much as I am bringing it to you. The interview with the great poet Maureen Seaton is now available for download via podcast. Check it out.


Anonymous said…
That Teka sounds fun. I'll have to try and see her while im out here.


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