I was up in Whitesburg, Kentucky, the last weekend in July to camp and do some writing. My friend and fellow poet, the infamous Wiley Quixote (Jim Webb), owns a private campground on top of Pine Mountain called Wiley's Last Resort. He also DJ's on Appalshop's WMMT 88.7 in downtown Whitesburg. After a fruitful day of writing and relaxing, he asked if I wanted to be a guest on his radio show "Appalachian Attitude." All of a sudden I went from being Thoreau, leading a simple life led close to nature (Wiley actually has a "Walled-In Pond" on his property), to having my voice broadcast all over Eastern Kentucky and the World Wide Web . I was excited, honored, and a little nervous. I called my wife to tell her to listen online at 5pm on August 2nd, but unfortunately she had to take the kids to a doctor's appointment. I didn't think to call anyone else in my family. I also didn't have much time to prepare. Wiley wanted me to read some of my poetry and talk about my life as a writer, so I found some poems and took a few notes for myself.
I had a blast! I didn't have to wear headphones, but I had one of those big microphones on the swing arm to speak into. Knowing a little bit about me, Jim prompted me with questions which I didn't have much trouble coming up with something to say. Unlike most guest writers, I didn't have a book of poetry or my novel to promote, but I did have a caller. During a public service announcement, the red light started flashing, silently signalling a call. It was Walter B. Lane, who lives in Letcher County, I believe. He remembered when I was an editorial assistant at the Appalachian Journal and corresponded with him on several occasions, particularly on a poem ("The Way North") of his the Journal published. He said he appreciated the encouragement I gave him in my rejection notices. That made the whole interview worthwhile, I think.
WMMT didn't post the interview in their online archive, or one earlier in the year by fellow poet and SAWCer Dana Wildsmith (which I would love to listen to), but if ever they do I will provide a link for anyone interested. I wasn't a brilliant orator, but I had fun. And, again I apologize to the feline-lovers out in radio land when I joked during the traffic report about not having a cat to throw in front of a steam roller on Madison Avenue!