Jessica Bates

writer | reader | mother | lover

May 27, 2017

Everyday Poetry : Radio Free Nashville

This past Sunday, May 21, I was the featured poet on Everyday Poetry with Sandee Gertz on Radio Free Nashville.

Listen to Sandee & I talk motherhood, birth, breastfeeding, poetry, writing, and more. The track is on Soundcloud & I also made a YouTube video if you’re in the mood for some light visuals.



Sandee, the host of Everyday Poetry on WRFN, asked me to be on her program to read some poems from my newborn book Birth & What Came After. So I put on my Harry Potter shirt & my husband’s mala from Organic Punk (you know, for grounding and luck).

I drove way out to the sticks, west past Loveless Cafe, turned off the main road and wound around a bit. I found the station across the street from three donkeys rolling around in the grass. I found a four leaf clover & didn’t pluck it.

I met Sandee in real life a few minutes before the show. (We met on Instagram!) She was so nice and upbeat and calmed my fears. I breathed until the show started. Then I was fine.

I read the poem Feeding, an ode to breastfeeding. I also read Song for my Second Sister, about my youngest sister, What the Body Remembers, about the labyrinth of childbirth, Beauty Mark, about my son’s obsession with a mole on my hand, and Fears, about the bone-chilling fears that grew after I became a mother. We also read two poems by Sharon Olds, one of my favorite poets, or possibly my all-time favorite. Sharon Olds talks a lot about motherhood and about family in her poems. It was really fun.


Sandee was such a great host! After the show I talked to my dad and he said Sandee’s voice was smooth & she had great pacing. And I agree. Let’s do it again, Sandee!

Everyday Poetry is on Radio Free Nashville every Sunday morning from 11 am to noon, Central Time. Tune in for some more delicious words!

PS ////

I wanted to work in a Delicious Dish joke, but I couldn’t do it naturally. As kids (teens?) my cousin and I wrote our own Delicious Dish skits — remember, from SNL? — and had my mom record them on VHS. We also reenacted music videos like Devil Went Down to Georgia & Did I Shave My Legs for This. Good times!


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birth, Birth & What Came After, books, breastfeeding, female authors, motherhood, nashville, poetry - Jessica Bates