Thanks and I owe a big hug to Al Abonado for talking with me about my collection, Where Is the River Called Pishon, on his weekly radio show, Flour City Yawp, on WAYO 104.3 FM (Rochester, NY) and, of course, online.
After some introductory music,* the interview starts around 4:00. (Click here, yo.)
Two amazing things about this show.
One: Rochester actually has a low-power live FM radio broadcast, playing all kinds of crazy stuff, from out-there modern music to, well, a one-hour show about poetry. Stream it and let it roll in the background while you are organizing your books or working up your resume at Linked Everywhere or whatever.
The other, of course, is the host, Al Abonado. Not only is he a fine poet, slogging his way towards recognition in the publishing world — a place which has become as attention deficient as the Internet itself — but doing great work in his adopted back yard of Rochester, New York, to help poetry thrive. Poetry, of course, exists independent of promotion, as a level of consciousness triangulating somewhere among meditation, orgasm, and raising squash, but Al does what he can to keep it real in the City of Rochester and environs.
The eight arms of Al Abonado.
- Flour City Yawp (see above)
- Poetry prof at SUNY Geneseo
- City Newspaper CityVersePoetry Column
- New Ground Poetry Night, first Tuesdays, Equal Grounds Cafe (with Jonathan Everitt)
- Bloom Poetry: Prompting poetry to pop up and bloom in beds, cracks, and crannies in the Rochester area
Arms 6-8 are currently in the darkroom.
And thanks to Al for reading the helical poem, “Valentine,” with me superbly well.
As for the interview, I was nervous as heck before the show, even though I’d spoken on his show once before. This time, it was all about me. Am I real news? Am I fake news? Snopes.com had no data. So you must decide.
As I did in my first years of teaching, I over-prepared. Fortunately, Al was gentle, and time passed quickly. I have a few things to learn about interviewing. Say “um” less. Breathe more. Keep the focus.