New Book “Poetic Song Verse” Explores Where Poetry and Popular Music Meet » WDET 101.9FM


Ryan Patrick Hooper

Mike Mattison of the Tedeschi Trucks Band and Professor Ernest Suarez invented the musical genre that blends popular blues-based music with poetry, finding its stride in the 1960s with the help of Bob Dylan.

Mississippi University Press

A new book invents a new musical genre.

“Poetic Song Verse: Blues-Based Popular Music and Poetry” explores the connection between poetry and music, beginning in the late 1950s before finding its stride with Bob Dylan and a generation of musicians who followed.

Ernest Suarez is a professor in Washington, DC, who wrote the book with Mike Mattison, who is the lead singer of the Tedeschi Trucks Band.

“We coined it to explain a type of music that happened when poetry came into contact with popular music. Is it literature or is it music? It’s both. —Ernest Suarez

Listen: Authors Ernest Suarez and Mike Mattison discuss their book ‘Poetic Song Verse.’

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  • Ryan Patrick Hooper is CultureShift’s award-winning host and producer on NPR station 101.9 WDET-FM Detroit. As a longtime arts and culture journalist and photographer, Hooper has covered stories for NPR, Detroit Free Press, Hour Detroit, SPIN and Paste magazine.

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