To say Garrison Keillor is a public radio icon, may be under-selling him a little. His show, A Prairie Home Companion, has aired on public radio stations across the country since 1974. He writes novels and opinion articles, edits poetry anthologies and regularly contributes to The New Yorker, Salon.com and The Atlantic. He also wrote and starred in a feature film about A Prairie Home Companion that was directed by Robert Altman.
Now, for the first time, Keillor’s published a book of his own poetry. He describes O, What a Luxury as “light verse.” The subtitle serves as a kind of description: “Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic & Profound.” The title poem celebrates the act of urination, for instance — and Garrison notes it was rejected by “every serious journal” he submitted it to.
But as the subtitle suggests, there are also many different kinds of poems in the book. They explore love, fatherhood, the limerick and places from San Francisco and Seattle to Los Angeles and his home state of Minnesota.
Garrison Keillor is in Portland to read from his book at the Newmark Theatre. We’ll talk to him about O, What a Luxury, and about the different kinds of writing he does for books, magazines and of course, the radio.
Do you have a favorite Keillor poem, book or episode of A Prairie Home Companion? What would you like ask to Garrison Keillor?
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OPB | Feb. 22, 2017