Join us for The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour Thursday, Oct. 10 at 6 pm at Off Square Books (129 Courthouse Square, Oxford, MS 38655). FREE admission. We’ll celebrate Sarahfest with our friends at the Sarah Isom Center for Gender Studies. Sarahfest is a month-long celebration featuring concerts, lectures, art exhibits and more: https://sarahisomcenter.org/events
Guests: Poet January O’Neill (“Rewilding”), alt-rockers Alabama Rose (“Good Times for Bad Girls”) and Latin funk band, Chócala (“Chócala”).
Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers
Radio: WUMS 92.1 FM (Oxford)
January O’Neil is the John and Renée Grisham Writer in Residence for 2019-2020 at the University of Mississippi. Her latest collection of poetry is Rewilding (CavanKerry Press).
Rewilding, a relatively new ecological term, means to return an area of land to its original state. Reveling in letting go of the damaged and broken parts of ourselves while celebrating renewal and new beginnings,
The poems in Rewilding examine the external worlds of race and culture and the internal, personal worlds of family and desire. Ultimately, these poems tap into what is wild and good in all of us.
O’Neil, who comes to Oxford from Beverly, Massachusetts, is also the author of Misery Islands (2014), winner of a 2015 Paterson Award for Literary Excellence; and Underlife (2009).
O’Neil was executive director of the Massachusetts Poetry Festival from 2012 to 2018, and is a member of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs’ board of directors.
O’Neil told the Ole Miss News Service that she hasn’t spent much time in Mississippi, but she is looking forward to having that experience with her two teenage children.
“This is an honor,” O’Neil said. “The opportunity came along at the right time. I was chosen, so it felt like the universe was telling me to come, and I shouldn’t ignore it.
“I’m excited for a full academic year. It’s a unique opportunity for us to broaden our view of diversity and to see the world and a different region of the country.”
Chócala, a Charlotte, N.C.-based Latin funk band describes their sound as “sonic amalgamation of Latin rhythms, rock, and jazz, with a touch of tropical psychedelia.”
The band is siblings Liza Ortiz on keyboards and vocals, and her brother Claudio on bass and percussion, along with percussionist Davey Blackburn and saxophonist Michael Anderson. The band’s debut EP en[demo]niá was released in late 2017. In August of this year, the group released their eponymous titled full-length album.
Alabama Rose is an alt-country band from Birmingham, AL, fronted by Rose, “the love child of Quentin Tarantino and Wanda Jackson, and Elvis and Tina Turner.” The band “blends elements of surf, soul, blues and old-west twang to create modern music with a vintage twist.”
Rose’s lyrics feature quick wordplay and offbeat phrasing, mixed with bare-bones sincerity. The band’s latest release is the EP Good Times for Bad Girls and the singles, WILDCAT and Come with Me.