Dig Baton Rouge

That Drawl, Y’all

New spoken word poetry podcast brings a voice to all

These days, the internet is stuffed to the brim with podcasts. There’s a seemingly endless selection dedicated to any subject imaginable, all available instantly. With this being the reality, a new podcast must figure out a way to set itself apart before it even begins. That is exactly what the team at Drawl set out to achieve.

Drawl is a new spoken word poetry podcast. It is hosted by Desiree Dallagiacomo and Donney Rose, both of whom are Baton Rouge based poets. The podcast is produced by Abe Felix and Jacob Jolibois of parachute.fm, whom also produce another show called altBR.  Drawl debuted on October 4, 2017, and has since produced numerous episodes with a wide variety of guests from the poetry community. The show has gained a following of listeners from all over the world, including countries like Egypt and Belgium.

Dallagiacomo and Rose said that their primary mission with Drawl is to help provide a platform to a community that may not otherwise have one. They want to set their podcast apart by shining a light on not only spoken word, but particularly the works of southern poets.

“A lot of it is based on the idea of visibility,” said Rose. “We’ve had folks on who are staples of the southern poetry community that no one had ever interviewed before. So when they come on the podcast, for those 30 minutes or so, with whatever reach we have, they are visible. So much of this has been based around the idea of giving a voice to people who are often slept on.”

Rose was approached with the idea of a spoken word podcast by Felix and Jolibois. He then turned to Dallagiacomo and asked her to be his co-host. They were both happy to give the show a shot, because poetry and writing have been a part of their lives for many years. They even met each other through the Baton Rouge poetry community, and have been friends and coworkers ever since. Dallagiacomo says that this dynamic is what makes the show feel so authentic and a fun project to produce.

“Donney was legitimately one of my first friends when I moved to Baton Rouge,” Dallagiacomo said. “We can riff for literally hours, so it makes the actual sitting down and doing interviews the easy part and so much fun.”

The entire Drawl team are passionate about what they do, and it comes across in the show itself. Each show begins with a brief discussion between Rose and Dallagiacomo, followed by a poetry reading by their guest. They then have an interview and discussion with their guest about the inspiration behind their poem, and spoken word in general. Listeners can tell just how knowledgeable and excited Dellagiacomo and Rose are about their content, and their conversations flow like poems in of themselves. This energy has played a big role in people taking notice of the show.

“I think that Abe and Jacob really envisioned the richness of conversation that could come from a dialogue between poets,” said Rose.

This dialogue has caught the attention of fellow poets. Their guests have included poets like Ashlee Haze who speaks and preforms at colleges all over the country, and Sunni Patterson who has done work with 2 Chainz. Not only have they been able to talk to some big names in the poetry community, they’ve been able to fulfill their vision of giving a platform to southern poets of all kinds.

“People have a certain idea of what they think about the South and southern writers more specifically,” said Dellagiacomo. “Most of our guests are people of color, and a lot of our guests are women of color; and they have a lot of really important stuff to say, a lot of smart stuff to say, and a lot of entertaining things to say. They just may not have been given the space to do it. That’s been kind of most rewarding part. Because of parachute.fm and because of our producers, we’re able to give this kind of archived gift to these poets and the community.”

New episodes of Drawl premier every Thursday. The show can be found through podcast apps and on iTunes. Episodes are also posted to drawl.fm.

Photos by Sean Gasser

Kalynn Barnum

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