Photo by Carla Harris

From June 1999 to July 2004, I produced and hosted “Inspiration House: VoiceMusic for Whole Living” on KPFK, 90.7 FM, Pacifica Radio for all of southern California. Every Monday night at 10 p.m., LA’s dazzling mix of poets and spoken word artists found common ground at a radio crossroads. Hip Hoppers and Jazz Heads, the celebrated and the novice, men and women, gay and straight, Generation X’ers and Baby Boomers, all blended their voices, politics and meditations and their most personal codes — in English, Spanish, Chinese, Armenian, Arabic.

The program featured poets in-studio reading their work to recorded jazz, African and World Music. Occasionally, I even poured some “gravy,” (a Motown oldie, or classic R&B number, or folk song) into the seamless, improvisational ebb-and-flow. Writers dove into the shifting musical sound-scape after spontaneously selecting the poem they felt best connected with the song they heard playing. They created VoiceMusic in a format unique to the audio presentation of poetry.

Click here to listen to samples of Inspiration House: VoiceMusic for Whole Living