Versify #14: Insider’s Guide To Prayer

Photo courtesy of Mark Lemley
When Mark Lemley was 17, he lived through a near-death experience that fundamentally altered his outlook on life: a car accident that has haunted him for 24 years, and he wasn’t even the one in the car. In this episode hear the story of Mark’s relationship with his childhood best friend Ryan — and how Ryan’s brush with death forced Mark to reevaluate his beliefs. Mark tells his story to poet Megan Leanne, who takes his complicated history and turns it into poetry.

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Versify #13: The Thread Stretched Between Us

They say you should never go into business with family — but for Craig Fernandes, starting a patriotic clothing company with his son Brady has actually brought the two of them closer together. Craig speaks to poet Kelley Bell about how experiencing a mid-career layoff helped him get to know his son better, at a point in life where most parents and their children grow apart.

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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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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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