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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Coming Soon: Versify, Season 2

In our second season of Versify, we bring you moments of impact: those times when our storytellers’ lives were changed forever. Decisive moments, pivotal shifts, and even brushes with death. You’ll hear moving personal stories, and also how our writers turn what they hear into poetry.

Season 2 launches Feb. 8. Listen to the trailer:

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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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Versify #5: Don’t Try This at Home


Ambushed by a menacing dog, Nashville physics teacher (and standup comedian) Bob Clark taps into some unconventional wisdom in his attempt to flee. Bob slyly reveals his story to poet Destiny Birdsong. She’s caught off guard, but weaves the compelling tale into an original poem about physics, relationships, and survival.

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Versify #4: It Is Not What Is Written On Your Tombstone


For much of her life, Ali Russell has been uncertain about religion. Even as a little girl, she’d ask her parents, “How do we know we’re worshiping the right God?” She even had a Jesus dream that still lingers with her today. In this episode, Ali shares her story to her longtime friend and Nashville poet Dana Malone, who takes Ali’s religious odyssey and transforms it into poetry.


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