Versify #12: A Hurricane, A Wedding, And A Flood

Photo courtesy of Betty Malo.
For Betty and Raul Malo, lead singer of country band the Mavericks, their romantic life has been punctuated by a series of severe storms. August of ’92: Hurricane Andrew throttled the Florida coastline, destroying Betty’s home just months before their wedding. So she and Raul eloped instead and moved to Nashville. But then, May of 2010: A 1,000-year flood devastated the city. In this episode, we’ll hear from Betty about the couple’s struggles over 25 years of marriage and learn why their experience resonates with poet Allison Boyd Justus, who takes what she’s heard and turns it into poetry.

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Versify #11: The Blood Tie

Photo courtesy of Emily Tan
Emily Tan comes from generations of immigrants and refugees; and she’s traveled the globe in pursuit of a family history fragmented by war. In this episode, Emily speaks with poet Destiny Birdsong about her journey to reconnect with relatives both past and present. You’ll hear about Emily’s experiences abroad, her mother’s ongoing search for the siblings she lost while fleeing Cambodia, and Emily’s own search for a relationship with her older brother, who lives in the same city but might as well be on the other side of the world.

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Neighbors: Matt Got Shot, Part 1

Neighbors: Matt Got Shot, Part 1
Photo credit: Eric England

It was inauguration day 2017 when Nashville singer-songwriter Matt Lovell was ambushed while sitting in his car — and then shot in the chest. A doorman at a nearby bar miraculously saved his life, setting in motion a series of life-changing events. In this first episode of a three-part Neighbors mini-series, we explore how the shooting forced Matt to come to terms with his identity and gave him an unexpected gift—peace.

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Neighbors: The Manifestor

Neighbors: The Manifestor
Photo: Eric England

Everyone seems inspired by fitness instructor Katherine Tisha Wilson. People describe going to her class as “going to church.” Her fierceness comes at you instantly from the front of the class, but this high school dropout wasn’t always confident in herself. After a long road of disappointment, she found a fitness dance program and lost over 100 pounds, then used that momentum to start changing lives.

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Versify #10: Learning To Fight

In creating Versify, we’ve realized the power of listening to people’s stories and sharing them as poetry. To close out our first season, we’re gonna take you through some of the first poems and conversations that inspired us to make this show. And you’ll journey with us as we explore what it truly means — for our participants and our poets — to feel heard.

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Versify #8: Sometimes It’s The Simple Things

For Eloise Briscoe, raising two daughters hasn’t been about splashy gestures, but more “the simple things” — an approach gleaned from the long line of women in her family. As the unofficial family historian, Eloise is a diligent keeper of memories, and today she challenges poet J. Joseph Kane to honor all of these women — Emma, Nana, Margaret, Eloise, Shannon, and Maura — with a poetic gift that she intends to share with her aging 92-year-old mother.

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