Tasha Lemley has spent much of her professional life championing the stories of people on the margins. She co-founded The Contributor, a Nashville nonprofit “street newspaper” that helps to empower people experiencing homelessness. But even with a career’s worth of exposure to the types of hardship that can come from living on a social periphery, there were still some harsh realities that Tasha was unprepared for. Today Tasha speaks with poet Sally Harvey Anderson about her visit to a Southern Nevada cat house and how a brush with the unglamorized fact of the American sex trade transformed her commitment to social advocacy. Then Sally takes that formative experience and turns it into poetry.
Versify is a production of Nashville Public Radio and The Porch, Nashville’s nonprofit literary center. Editing for this episode came from WPLN’s Mack Linebaugh with additional editing by Anita Bugg. The episode was written, hosted and produced by Joshua Moore. Today’s story and poem were recorded by Tasha Lemley at Southern Festival of Books in October 2018.
The music is by Blue Dot Session and Lee Rosevere, found through the Free Music Archive.
The show is distributed by PRX.