Posted by: Joelle Jameson | November 1, 2010

Hitting the metaphorical “bong of disorientation”

Even Curtis' modes of transportation are disjointed

Please note: no bongs were harmed (or used) in the making of this show.

As you are aware, every episode is different here on High Volumes, but no matter who my guest is, or what we’re reading, it’s basically always a big love fest. Which is great. There really aren’t many convenient avenues for hearing work read aloud. However, being constructively critical of others’ work is just as important as reading and appreciating it, in terms of growing as a writer. So this show a little more critical, in a good way.

My classmate and fellow poet Curtis Perdue joined me in doing this. Curtis is a third year poetry student at Emerson College, where he is also a teacher. He is the assistant poetry editor of Redivider, a literary journal I’ve featured on the show a number of times. He is now in his last year at Emerson trying to fill his thesis with poems that explore “the perceptive and deceptive workings of the imagination”–some of which we are treated to in the course of this episode.

Curtis directed my attention to an article published in the September 2010 issue of Poetry magazine by Tony Hoagland, “Recognition, Vertigo and Passionate Worldliness” (which is where “the bong of disorientation” came from). Devotees will remember that Tony read for the show back in February. I think it’s safe to say he’s one of the best-known American poets writing today. He has published four other poetry collections and a book of essays and has won many prestigious awards and grants over about the past 20 years, and he is the head of the creative writing program at the University of Huston. The essay is called “Recognition, Vertigo and Passionate Worldliness” and can be found at

This show will be archived on Sunday, November 7.


“Elective Surgery” by Lewis Warsh

“A WALL IS TORN DOWN” by Ben Lerner

“The Building of a Skyscraper” by George Oppen

“Less and Less Human” by Wallace Stevens

“Expensive Hotel” by Tony Hoagland

“Food Court” by Tony Hoagland

“Memory” by Curtis Perdue

“Neon Jungle” by Curtis Perdue

“For the Record” by Curtis Perdue

“Confessing my ignorance” by Yusef Komunyakaa

“Midalo” by John Murillo

“The Special People” Peter J. Shippy

“Post-Burial” by Joelle Jameson


“Sick and Wrong” by Built to Spill

“Beyond Words” by Wax Tailor

“Use What I Got” by Jimmy Cliff

“There is Danger” by Wax Tailor

“Who By Fire” by Leonard Cohen

“Sound and Vision” by David Bowie

Transition Songs

“Positively Inclined” by Wax Tailor

“Sometimes” by Wax Tailor

“This is Hardcore” by Pulp

Posted by: Joelle Jameson | October 18, 2010

First ever theater show: Rude Mechs and Method Guns


The Rude Mechs in "The Method Gun": Lana in orange, Shawn behind her


I recently began writing theater reviews for Blast magazine, an online magazine that is based in Boston but universally appreciated. One of my recent assignments for Blast was to interview Shawn Sides and Lana Lesley, who are touring with their theater company The Rude Mechs. Shawn and Lana are two out of six co-producing artistic directors. They’ve been making theater together for over 15 years and in that time have taken Rude Mechs productions all over the world. And, as you can hear from the show, they are basically really cool people and I kind of want to hang out with them all the time.

The Rude Mechs came to Boston last week to kick off the national tour of their show The Method Gun as part of ArtsEmerson’s inaugural season. Shawn is the director of the production and she and Lana are both actors in it as well. You can read Jason Rabin’s review of that show on as well as the print version of this interview on


Alternate view of Lana and Shawn in "The Method Gun"


The Method Gun involves Tennessee Williams’ play A Streetcar Named Desire, so I asked my friend Nicholas to read one of Blanche’s monologues. Lana also suggested reading from Donald Barthelme’s Snow White, since the Rude Mechs produced a show based on it a few years ago. I hadn’t read it before—pretty trippy, and I am enjoying it.

This show will be archived Sunday, October 24.


From A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

Blanche in scene 4: “May I speak plainly? . . .”


From Snow White by Donald Barthelme

“What is Snow White thinking? . . .”

“Perhaps we should not be sitting . . .”



“Shadows” by Au Revoir Simone

“The Duchess of Parma” by Golden Arm Trio

“Dmitri Dmitryevich” by Golden Arm Trio

“The Moment I Said It” by Imogen Heap

“Sailing to Nowhere” by Broken Bells

“Cool Scene” by The Dandy Warhols

Henriette in the studio

You will recall Becky Tuch—or, will if you just scroll down to the previous blog entry—creator of and writer of things. Becky was kind enough to get me in touch with Henriette Lazaridis Power, founding editor of The Drum: a literary magazine for your ears. Yes, The Drum is an audio literary magazine, and most of the stories are downloadable for free on the website. As if reveling in the sisterly bonds of literary audio production wasn’t sweet enough, we are also treated to three excerpts (18 minutes total) of Henriette’s  novel, Clean Monday. I know you’re going to want to rush out and buy it once you hear the clips, but you’ll have to wait, as it is in the very first stages of publication. Another High Volumes exclusive!

In addition to editing The Drum, Henriette is a regular contributor to the writing blog Her work has appeared in Salamander, the New England Review, Middlebury Magazine, The New York Times online, The Millions, and Rowing News. She spent nearly two decades in academia, teaching at Harvard for ten years after earning a masters of philosophy on a Rhodes scholarship as well as a Ph.D.

Henriette is also involved in many upcoming literary events in the Boston area. Be sure to check out the Boston Book Festival on Saturday, October 16: most events are free, and over 100 authors will be present. Henriette will host two fiction panels: “Time and Place” and “The Web of Relationship.” On Monday, November 15, the Four Stories literary series at The Enormous Room in Cambridge will feature authors published in The Drum.

This show will be archived on Sunday, October 10th.

Novel Excerpts:

Three segments of Clean Monday by Henriette Lazaridis Power


Various authors published in The Drum, compiled by Henriette Lazaridis Power


“Waverly Steps” by Roddy Woomble

“Microphone” by Coconut Records

“Let’s Get Out of This Country” by Camera Obscura

Posted by: Joelle Jameson | September 13, 2010

Becky Tuch and The Review Review


Becky Tuch

This week I invited Becky Tuch to be my guest: I stumbled upon her website, The Review Review, over the summer and felt a great need to let you all know how fantastic it is. Luckily Becky was able to stop by to take us on a guided tour of the site, share insights about writing and read the fascinating first chapter of her novel-in-progress.

When Becky isn’t working on The Review Review, she’s busy winning awards for her fiction (from Briar Cliff Review, Byline Magazine and The Tennessee Writer’s Alliance) and receiving Honorable Mentions from the 2008 Pushcart Prize Anthology and Writers’ Journal. She has published stories, poetry and art and reviews in numerous publications including Blueline, Eclipse, Folio, The Connecticut River Review, Artsmedia and The Women’s Review of Books. She also teaches fiction to kids, teens and adults throughout Boston.

Needless to say, we had a great time. Inspired by The Review Review, I looked up the online journal Drunken Boat and chose a few fantastic poems from their latest issue to round out the show.

Contact Becky via The Review Review to find out how you can be a journal reviewer too!

This show will be archived on on Sunday, September 19.


Chapter one of “More Will Be Revealed” by Becky Tuch


“Outsider Art” by Kay Ryan

“A Rothko Conversation” by Lesley Jenike

“Creator Destroyer” by Sally Ito

“Farewell to the First Person” by Clare Rossini

“A Rauschenberg Conversation” by Lesley Jenike


“This is Hardcore” by Pulp

“The Changeling (Get Guilty)” by A.C. Newman

“To Dry Up” by Wax Taylor featuring Charlotte Savary

“First and Last Waltz” by Nickel Creek

“Man on Fire” by Ad Frank

“Underdog (Save Me)” by Turin Brakes

“Rise Up in the Dirt” by Voxtrot

Posted by: Joelle Jameson | September 7, 2010

. . . And We’re Back!

Please pardon my temporary and previously unannounced hiatus from the show. All after I boasted a line-up of three fantastic guests, for shame. The good news is that I’ve found a sort of job and have been busy in a good way. Forgive me?

Good, because we’re back next week with Becky Tuch of one of my new favorite websites, The Review Review. We’ll be reading pieces from various literary magazines; Becky is more of a fiction writer, so it’ll be a nice mix of poetry and prose. Don’t miss it!

In other news, if you have the memory of a goldfish and constantly click my “about” tab to figure out what the heck kind of website you’re visiting, you’ll have noticed that I’ve changed the goals and focus of the show a bit. The tagline has changed from the ever-snappy “a poetry radio show” to the ever-snappier-more-all-encompassing “radio with a literary edge.” Why, you ask? Because I don’t want to be limited to poetry. A quick glance at past setlists shows that I’m already pretty good about breaking my own “rules,” but I want to branch out to theater, music and publishing more readily without confusing my dear listeners who thought they were just going to hear some poems. I’ve also established—in stone!—that this is a bi-weekly show, and that my primary focus is interviews, so, fun though they may be, we shouldn’t have to listen to hastily-assembled “dance parties” anymore.

Thank you all, see you next Monday!

Posted by: Joelle Jameson | August 16, 2010

The New Yorker Book of Poems Dance Party

B-52's concert at Busch Gardens last month (I expect you to dance with as much enthusiasm when you listen to the show)

I wasn’t going to do a show this week because I had to postpone an interview, but at the last minute was moved to have another dance party type show. I did that back in April with the poetry of Edna St. Vincent Millay and a lot of upbeat music to cheer myself up after being sick. And this week I feel the need to cheer myself up after being offered a much needed job and then having it cruelly yanked away from me. I don’t want to complain, I don’t want to have a pity party, I just want to dance it out, and since I happen to run this radio show, you all are lucky enough to share that with me. Never mind the somewhat inane song-poem pairings.

I’m really excited about the poems on today’s show; I’ve been carrying around The New Yorker Book of Poems (1974) for a few years without bothering to open it. Thank God I finally did. I’m in love with these poems.

This show will be archived on on Sunday, August 22.


“The Companions” by Howard Nemerov

“Change of Address” by Kathleen Fraser

“Fish” by Emily Townsend

“The Racer’s Widow” by Louise Gluck

“Fairy Story” by Robert Penn Warren

“Instead of a Journey” by Michael Hamburger

“When the Vacation is Over For Good” by Mark Strand

“The Valley” by Stanley Moss

“Cadenza” by Ted Hughes


“Go!” by Letters to Cleo

“A Modern Way of Letting Go” by Idlewild

“Why Bother” by Weezer

“Shut Up and Let Me Go” by The Ting Tings

“Goodnight and Go” by Imogen Heap

“I’m a Fool” by Letters to Cleo

“Good Morning (The Future)” by Rogue Wave

“Good Days Bad Days” by The Kaiser Chiefs

“Last Person” by Jenny Owen Youngs

“Local Boy in the Photograph” by The Stereophonics

“That’s the Way Life Goes” by Jimmy Cliff

“You Got It All . . . Wrong” by The Hives

“Goodbye-Goodbye” by Oingo Boingo

“Gone Daddy Gone” by Gnarls Barkley

“(Manifest)” by The Weakerthans

Posted by: Joelle Jameson | August 2, 2010

Ginsberg and Slam: Poetry in Performance

Personally, I liked David Cross as Ginsberg in "I'm Not There"

Today’s show is a happy marriage of 1) a new movie about Allen Ginsberg coming out (heh) soon, 2) a CNN video about Taylor Mali and his goal to inspire 1000 people to become teachers 3) rooting for the Cantab Slam Team at the National Poetry Slam in St. Paul, and 4) the general good feelings that come along with listening to my old slam CD.

It’s called Poetry in Performance. I’m going to ignore the fact that every show contains poetry, performed. This is poetry that goes to a completely different level when performed by a certain person on a certain stage.

This is also the first show featuring a piece by Eric Heath, my favorite rapper, who will hopefully become a regular feature on the show. Look out for this guy, he is a word magician.

This show will be archived on Sunday, August 8.


“Greetings, Salutations” by Eric Heath

“How To Write A Political Poem” by Taylor Mali

“Running A Race (No One Knows)” by NYC-Urbana Slam Team

“Song” by Edward Hirsch

“Song” by Allen Ginsberg

“A Supermarket In California” by Allen Ginsberg

“Television” by Todd Alcott

“The Foxhole Manifesto” by Jeffrey McDaniels

“Hand Has Turned” by Celena Glenn

“Howl” by Allen Ginsberg


“Cannot Even (Break Free)” by The Noisettes

“American English” by Idlewild

“Sound and Vision” by David Bowie

Transition Songs:

“Positively Inclined” by Wax Tailor

“This Is Hardcore” by Pulp

“Small Print” by Muse

“Night Windows” by The Weakerthans

Posted by: Joelle Jameson | July 27, 2010

HIGH VOLUMES IS ON TWITTER and other miracles

A real historic moment.

Instead of producing a new show this week (in the meantime, listen to last week’s show on demand), I have decided to make a Twitter account. Please follow High Volumes on Twitter. There’s not much there now–it seems silly to tweet when I have only two followers–but it will become more frequent very soon. For example, this weekend, when I go to the Boston Poet’s Tea Party, a marathon of 88 poets reading for eight minutes apiece. Or in a few minutes, when I start reading the current issue of Jubilat.

I’ve never been one for Twitter, but that’s because I was thinking about it in the wrong way: as a way to keep up with friends. I’m sure some people are successful in using it in that fashion (all your friends have to be active tweeters for it to work), but it’s incredibly useful in that you can follow many different presses and organizations and magazines and celebrities and news networks and almost anyone you want really in a handy and contained environment. I’ve spent a good part of the afternoon becoming a follower (there’s gotta be a better way to say that) of about 90 pages, so check out the page for those neat literary resources as well.

Stay tuned for when I evolve enough to create a Facebook fan page.

Posted by: Joelle Jameson | July 19, 2010

Word 4 Word Poets: The Dilemma of Muses, Memories and Love

Ann and Mike

I spent my first post-graduate year in Virginia, during which I became starved for poetry and found comfort in attending monthly Word 4 Word Open Mike Nights at Aroma’s Cafe in Newport News. The audience and readers consists of people of all ages, backgrounds and styles of poetry, but the common factor was an undeniable enthusiasm for the spoken word, which is wonderful and what High Volumes is really all about.

So when I returned for a brief visit last week, I made a point of speaking to Ann Falcone Shalaski and Mike Correa, two of the hosts of the open mike (the third is Hollis Pruitt). I always enjoyed hearing their work and wanted a more behind-the-scenes look at Word 4 Word, and I was not disappointed. We had some great conversations not just about the organization, but the nature of poetry itself. Not to mention reading some great poems.

Since Ann presents a challenge at each open mike night for the next month to get everyone’s creative juices flowing, after reviewing all the poems they read, I decided to pretend that I had given them specific challenges to fit the bill. That’s where muses, memories and love comes in.

Make sure to check out Word 4 Word’s website; it has some fantastic resources for all lovers of poetry, no matter your location. Ann’s book, World Made of Glass, is also available; email me at highvolumes at gmail dot com for more information.

This show will be archived on on Sunday, July 25.


“Lorca as Bullfighter” by Mike Correa

“Hershey Kisses and Elvis” by Ann Falcone Shalaski

“Pablo” by Mike Correa

“You Again” by Ann Falcone Shalaski

“History in a Cup” by Mike Correa

“A Night So Warm” by Ann Falcone Shalaski

“Something About a Man” by Ann Falcone Shalaski

“Celisse” by Mike Correa

“Sign Here” by Ann Falcone Shalaski

“The Dilemma of Words” by Mike Correa


“Stuck on You” by Elvis Presley

“Shousetsu” by Radicalfashion

“Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol

“Wild Thing” by The Troggs

“Waverly Steps” by Roddy Woomble

Posted by: Joelle Jameson | July 12, 2010

Coming Attractions

En route from Boston to Virginia

No new show this week, since I am visiting my family in Virginia. I have, however, conducted an interview with two fantastic poets and community organizers, Ann Falcone Shalaski and Mike Correa, which will air next Monday at 11AM EST. Last week’s show is now archived on for your listening pleasure.

While you wait patiently for next week’s show, here is a sneak preview featuring some of Ann’s favorite quotes for inspiring writing:

“We can leave the house of our childhood, and the people who live in it, but we never leave home: it’s always within us, and we remember it.”

“Poetry puts into words the things in life that often leave us speechless.”

“Poetry often enters through the window of irrelevance.” —May Sarton

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It’s not that poets have answers for suffering and sadness; poets have insight into the human heart.” —Gwendolyn Brooks

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