It’s not an exaggeration to say that Rhiannon Giddens is a narrative archeologist. A historical thaumaturge who conjures the often willfully forgotten chronicles of American history and renders them with a rosined bow.
For Nashville choreographer Diane Kimbrough, her route to a career as a professional dancer was influenced by her family history. A descendant of Ukrainian Jews who fled during the Pogroms of the Russian Empire, for Diane, leaning on resilience in the face of scrutiny is practically an inherited trait. Today Diane speaks with poet Patricia Alice Albrecht about the precariousness of breaking into the world of professional dance, how a family history of self-reliance helped propel her forward, and how her decades as a professional entertainer have given her the courage to face down intolerance and hatred. Then Patricia braids the parallels of Diane’s ancestral and professional histories into poetry.
For artist, influencer and activist Thaxton Waters, the roots of his artistic practice began with a suspicion of history. An unease about the stories around the community he was born into. And that sense of questioning spurred Thaxton toward a career of unearthing untold histories — through art. Thaxton speaks with Versify host Joshua Moore about the process of interrogating history through art: how the dual legacies of education and art making he inherited from his parents have shaped his practice, and how he persists in his commitment to storytelling, in the midst of a city that seems intent on leaving people like him behind. Then Joshua takes the narrative tiles of Thaxton’s life and shapes them into poetry.
Demetria Kalodimos is something of a Nashville institution, anchoring the Channel 4 news desk since she first arrived in Music City in 1984. But 30-plus years into her career, Demetria was unprepared to have her decades of dedicated news coverage cut short. Demetria speaks with poet Lagnajita Mukhopadhaya about her enduring commitment to the power of journalistic storytelling, how she coped with closing the book on more than three decades as a news reporter, and how revisiting family narratives is helping Demetria to write her next chapter. Then Lagnajita takes the weave of Demetria’s personal and professional histories and turns them into poetry.
For attorney and aspiring writer Adam Hill, his journey toward understanding the life of his younger brother, Eric, began by coping with Eric’s death, both in the present and 1,000 years before either of them was ever born. Adam tells his story to poet Kelley Bell about the process of chronicling his brother’s untimely passing, their family’s journey to lay him to rest, and how his death opened a door for Adam to more fully understand a faith practice that motivated his brother to travel across the globe in search of truth. Then Kelley takes the Hill family’s spiritual pilgrimage and turns it poetry.