Talking with the Radio: poems inspired by jazz and popular music, Zack Rogow’s new full-length collection, reflects on the lives of recording stars from bebop to doo-wop in a mix of freewheeling free verse, blues, ghazals, and prose poetry that vibrates with the political and personal resonances of the music it celebrates.
“A luscious constellation of poetry & music & politics. I’m on board—conjuring up Billie Holiday just might be able to heal ‘the fracked thighs of the land’!”
—Alisa Clancy, Program Director/Host, KCSM Jazz91
“Zack Rogow’s Talking with the Radio summons the ear with the measures of poetry, esp. the ghazal. ‘The Ecstasy of Curtis Mayfield’ describes the singer/composer as ‘half-denim and half-superhero,’ but also recalls Mayfield’s last awful years and his powerful will to sing. And it is singing that Rogow’s poems commemorate, consider, and celebrate. Join him and listen.”
—Patricia Spears Jones, author of Femme du Monde and Painkiller
“These inventive riffs, raps, tributes to jazz and pop greats like Ella, Billie, Sara, Dylan, and others, are Zack Rogow’s deeply heartfelt response in re-imagining these iconic voices with their honesty of feeling by Rogow’s musically engaging in their fierceness with his own more playful, but no less urgently truthful song—about them. Listen to him on Etta James: ‘Her songs were the gospel proof/ that your whole life can rip like a diamond/ and you can blaze it together every time.’ Highly imaginative, restorative pleasure in their rediscovery, reanimated here.”
—Jack Marshall, author of Spiral Trace