For artist, influencer and activist Thaxton Waters, the roots of his artistic practice began with a suspicion of history. An unease about the stories around the community he was born into. And that sense of questioning spurred Thaxton toward a career of unearthing untold histories — through art. Thaxton speaks with Versify host Joshua Moore about the process of interrogating history through art: how the dual legacies of education and art making he inherited from his parents have shaped his practice, and how he persists in his commitment to storytelling, in the midst of a city that seems intent on leaving people like him behind. Then Joshua takes the narrative tiles of Thaxton’s life and shapes them into poetry.
Versify is a production of Nashville Public Radio and The Porch, Nashville’s nonprofit literary center. Editing for this episode came from WPLN’s Mack Linebaugh with additional editing by Anita Bugg. The episode was written, hosted and produced by Joshua Moore. Today’s story and poem were recorded by Tasha Lemley at WPLN in March 2018.
The music is by Blue Dot Sessions. The show is distributed by PRX.