Fine Tuning is a metaphor for how poet Laurie Perry Vaughen engages the world and the syllables of language. Vaughen is the daughter of a musician and radio repairman, who learned his trade and a Purple Heart as an infantry soldier and communications expert in the trenches of World War II. Her rural childhood home was insulated with Bakelite radios and she was a constant shadow in her father's workshop learning a technical second language of diodes, capacitors, resisters, and soldering irons. Vaughen studied sociology and history in college and over time began to see the significant role of the democratic, ubiquitous radio as an important change agent, not only in the South but across the world. The knobs she turned both ways brought new music and voices into her rural East Tennessee home and forever changed the consciousness of her life and the South where she was raised. As she notes in her poem 'Radio Repair,' in one direction she would hear a Bill Monroe, but a very small, intentional incremental turn and Billie Holiday stepped up to a microphone. The radio helped desegregate the South. The poems in this collection are included in Vaughen's performances with Atlanta trio Three Way Mirror and billed as 'Billie Holiday on the Radio.' Atlanta composer Jeff Crompton created a score that allows for improvisation. The poems and music have been featured at Word of [South] Festival, Eye Drum in Atlanta, and Georgia Center for the Book in Decatur. Billie Holiday makes an appearance in the collection as well as Bessie Smith, who was born in the poet's hometown of Chattanooga. Smith left as a teen to pursue a singing career as technologies of the radio, automobile, and the record label 'Okey' helped elevate Smith as 'Empress of the Blues' in other places. The books ends with an elegy for Vaughen's musician parents titled, 'What is Left is Music.' The tension that holds Vaughen's collection together is one of a region on the cusp of change, where the static, dischord moments are heard loudly. Technology shifts and shapes consciousness in many ways, and in Vaughen's craft they are revealed not only as the radio, but also as a novel by Harper Lee, a barista's apron pocket holding the world close, a rocket-lined Huntsville, the wheelbarrow claimed by William Carlos Williams and Bob Dylan, or a vintage felt turntable. Image is never static in these poems that move with many fine turns; these are poems of transformation.
Wild Columbine Press
|Формат:||20.3cm x 12.7cm x 0.3cm|
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