Celebrating books with ‘Made To Explode!’

Poet Sandra Beasley, cool Memphis jazz band, the City Champs and Austin, TX punk popsters, Parker Woodland!

December 11, 2021 at 7 pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting; 9 pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio; 3 pm (ET) University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Thursdays 6 pm (CT) University of Mississippi; Fridays 9 am (CT) WYXR Memphis Community Radio

This week (Dec. 9-11) The Thacker Mountain Radio Hour is proud to celebrate The Twenty-Seventh Oxford Conference for the Book. Our guests will include poet Sandra Beasley and her exciting new collection, Made to Explode: Poems. Our musical guests will include Memphis soul-funk-jazz trio The City Champs and Austin, TX-based rockers, Parker Woodland.

Hosts: Jim Dees and our house band, the Yalobushwhackers

Air times:

Saturday, Dec. 11 – 7pm (CT) Mississippi Public Broadcasting

9pm (CT) Alabama Public Radio

3pm (ET) University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Thursdays 6pm (CT) WUMS – University of Mississippi

Fridays 9am (CT) WYXR Memphis Community Radio



Sandra Beasley

Sandra Beasley’s latest collection of poetry is Made to Explode: Poems (Norton). In these poems Beasley probes memories of growing up in Virginia, in Thomas Jefferson’s shadow, where the poet was steeped in the cultural traditions of the American South. Her home in Washington, DC, inspires prose poems documenting and critiquing our capital’s institutions and monuments.

Thus, Ruth Bader Ginsberg shows up at the Folger Shakespeare Theatre’s show of Kiss Me Kate; Albert Einstein is memorialized on Constitution Avenue, yet denied clearance for the Manhattan Project; as temperatures cool, a rain of spiders drops from the dome of the Jefferson Memorial.

Beasley, who wrote about her severe food allergies in her memoir, Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl, voices frustration in Made To Explode with the ways society codes disability as inferiority.

“Both unflinching and tender, Beasley’s smart and radiant poems glow with a historian’s exactitude and a poet’s lyrical heart.” — Ada Limón, author of The Carrying

Beasley is the author of three previous poetry collections, including I Was the Jukebox, winner of the Barnard Women Poets Prize.

The recipient of a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, she lives in Washington, DC.


The City Champs

Memphis soul-funk-jazz instrumental trio, The City Champs’ latest single is the title track from their new album, Luna ’68 (Big Legal Mess). The City Champs first came together 14 years ago. The group features guitarist Joe Restivo, organist Al Gamble, and drummer George Sluppick. Their albums include The Safecracker and The Set-Up.

In recent years, the three have gone on to separate projects with Gamble joining St. Paul & the Broken Bones, Sluppick appearing with JJ Grey & Mofro, while Restivo, a member of the Bo-Keys, backed artists such as Don Bryant and Percy Wiggins.

Parker Woodland

Austin, TX-based Parker Woodland is an energetic indie rock collective led by writer/bassist Erin Walter. Parker Woodland mixes punk, pop, and heart-on-sleeve indie folk without a care for categories. Their debut EP is The World’s On Fire (and We Still Fall in Love). Their latest single is Forget Your Face.