University of New Mexico Press, unmpress.com

Irish American poet and award-winning journalist Lawrence Welsh speaks with Chad Lampe on Sounds Good about how growing up a first generation Irish American in south central Los Angeles influences his work.

The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berry, a documentary premiering today at the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, conveys the joys of living in a rural American community and, also, the hellish changes to that manner of life wrought by massive industrialization.

The film takes place in Henry County, Ky., where writer and activist Wendell Berry's family has farmed the land for 200 years.

Celebrate Women Luncheon, via Facebook

Monday is the 28th Annual Celebrate Women Luncheon recognizing efforts and accomplishments of women affiliated with Murray State University. Constance Alexander says she's been involved in the luncheon since she moved to Murray in 1988. This year, through a grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, she's sharing writing from women's and LGBTQ groups, and reads some of the poems on Sounds Good

Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center, courtesy of Carrie Jerrell, Murray State University

Louisville Poet Adam Day reads from his poetry tonight in the Clara M. Eagle Gallery on Murray State's Campus. He speaks with Tracy Ross on Sounds Good ahead of his visit about his inspiration, acclaim and thoughts on the succinctness of poetry.

Mark Jarman

The Murray State University Creative Writing MFA program kicks off with acclaimed poet Mark Jarman reading from his forthcoming book, The Heronry, Saturday at the Clara M. Eagle Gallery. Jarman taught at Murray State from 1980 to 1983 and is presently Centennial Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. His honors include a Guggenheim fellowship in poetry as well as numerous awards. On Sounds Good, Matt Markgraf speaks with Jarman about his thoughts on writing and teaching poetry, 'New Formative' and 'New Narrative' style and how and how fresh forms of poetry emerge.

Jenni Todd, WKMS

Murray author Constance Alexander holds a reading this Sunday at 2 p.m. at Calloway County Public Library, titled "Old, New, Borrowed & Blue" featuring a variety of work, including new material on her recent project with the elderly and caregiving and her book of poetry "64 Blue Letters," about a high school yearbook in the year 1964. Alexander stops by Sounds Good to preview some of her work ahead of the reading.

Book Cover, goodreads.com

Poet and essayist Andrew Hudgins is a guest author for the 2015 July Reading Series of the Murray State University MFA in Creative Writing Program, presenting Sunday at 6 p.m. in Clara M. Eagle Gallery. He was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for his collection Saints and Strangers and winner of the Poetry Prize for After the Lost War. Murray State professor of English and published poet Peter Murphy speaks with Hudgins about his art on Sounds Good.


Paducah-based poet Samuel "Snacks" Hawkins has been performing his poetry at events around the region for many years (including the 2014 WKMS Battle of the Bands Competition at Maiden Alley Cinema). On Sounds Good, Kate Lochte learns about his new book This is Why Kids Wanna Stay Up Late, hears some of his poetry, and his process teaching kids poetry in class workshops.

The Big Smoke book cover, adrianmatejka.com

Update: This reading was rescheduled to April 2, due to winter weather in February. This conversation was re-broadcast on Sounds Good, April 1.

In 2013, Penguin Books published Adrian Matejka's book about the flamboyant boxer Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight champion of the world who held the title from 19088 to 1915. The book received the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award recognizing its important contribution to the understanding of racism and human diversity. Writing for Boston.com of The Boston Globe, John Freeman says that Matejka's voice is that of the boxer: "The gold-toothed, Shakespeare-loving, womanizing child of ex-slaves talks jive, taunts opponents, and muses philosophical about the American condition: 'When I clinch a man/it's like being swaddled in forgiveness.'" Kate Lochte visited with Matejka about The Big Smoke ahead of his reading Thursday night at Murray State.

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

'Have a good summer! Love ya! Stay as sweet as you are! Don't ever change!' These are some of the messages that have appeared in high school yearbooks for decades. While much has changed since 1964, much of the fundamental high school experience are more or less the same. Playwright, author, teacher, former business executive Constance Alexander joins Kate Lochte on Sounds Good to read from her book of poems 64 Blue Letters, recalling a high school yearbook in verse.