Episode from the podcastRocket Feather Podcast

How to Love Poetry in an Apocalypse

Released Monday, 21st September 2020
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Do you like poetry? Do you care about art? Do you wonder, sometimes, how art fits into society? How creativity fits into your life?

This week’s guest is Jim Natal. Jim wrote his first poem when he was in high school but let poetry go when adult demands got in the way. Jim had a successful but ultimately unsatisfying career working for the National Football League, shepherding big corporate deals, and polishing the brand. After 25 years, and in spite of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s assertion, Jim managed to create a second act for himself. Six books later, Jim is an award winning poet, teacher, and event promoter.

For the last 12 years, Jim has worked to draw renowned authors for readings and interviews to the little city of Prescott, Arizona. His efforts have built a literary culture where Jim had originally found none.  This week on September 25th, we’ll be watching online as Jim welcomes Lisa Ko to the Literary Southwest Virtual stage. Lisa Ko’s novel The Leavers is a 2017 National Book Award Finalist and was on Best of lists at NPR, LA Times, Buzz Feed and, yes, Oprah Magazine.

The link for the event

Although Jim joined us ostensibly to talk about Literary Southwest, we wrung him dry for his insight into the purpose of poetry, that nature of creativity, and whether there is a place for art in the apocalypse. Jim also reads two of his poems, both of which are incredibly relevant to the moment.

Our original interview with Jim lasted two and a half hours and was full of fascinating anecdotes, inside stories, and generous ruminations. We whittled the audio down to something a little more digestible for the average listener, but if you would like to hear the whole conversation, email us at Charles@rocketfeather.com and we’ll send you a Dropbox link to the unedited version.

In the meantime, stay tuned as we talk writing, connection, and self-discovery with Jim Natal. We think you’ll finish uplifted, more hopeful, and see a pinch more beauty in your world.


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