Poetry on the radio

William S. Burroughs used to party with Nirvana. True story.

So, remember last week when I couldn’t stop talking about what a great city Seattle is (both in comparison to Spokane, and just in general)? Well, I’m going to do that some more. I’m sorry. Please bear with me.

Seattle has a really amazing public radio station, KEXP. They play music from all over the world, get hella awesome bands to come for in-studio sessions, host music events around town, and play more indie rock than you can shake a stick at.

On top of all that awesomeness, for the last seven weeks, KEXP has been producing a documentary series called “Poets and Music.” Each week, a new mini-doc is released on the life of a different poet and their influence on music. When the project is complete, they’ll have 10 of these pieces in total. Featured poets run the gamut with regard to style of work and era of existence. My favorite of the documentaries so far have been the ones on William S. Burroughs, Jim Carroll, and Saul Williams. Did you know that Burroughs accidentally shot his own wife in the face? Did you know that Williams got invited to open for The Roots after his first public reading of the first poem he ever wrote? Did you know that Sonic Youth is, like, BFF’s with practically every famous writer? So much to learn!

You can listen to the first seven episodes of “Poets and Music” here. New documentaries air Saturday mornings, which, should you happen to live in Spokane (and not Seattle), you can stream via iTunes.


  • Jason Sommer jason says:

    everything you said is true. and also what i would have said on this blog if i’d only thought of it first. i heart kexp & everything they do. everyone should give them their money. like, all of it. everyone’ll be fine because everyone’ll have the music to warm their souls, even if they don’t have a house anymore.

    • Leyna Krow says:

      Besides, anyone who gives all their money to KEXP can just build a new house out of KEXP tote bags and t-shirts, all held together with those little yellow KEXP buttons. It’s a win-win.

  • Cathie Smathie says:

    I want, no NEED, to know how he “accidentally” shot his wife in the face. Poets are passionate people – I have my doubts.

    ps I would have commented earlier had I not been so foggy on my dayquil, nyquil, & pepto cocktail.

  • Sam Edmonds says:

    KEXP is phenomenal. Great way to research new music. Kevin Cole makes the Willow Springs office a wonderland.

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