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Act Three: Without

Poet Donald Hall reads about his wife Jane Kenyon, who contracted leukemia, went through treatment, and died. His book is also called Without: Poems.

Act Three: Reverb

Ellery Eskelin never met his father but always heard he was a musical genius. Years after his father's death, Ellery started finding recordings of his musical output: he was the king of "song-poems." These are the songs that result when people answer those ads in the backs of magazines that say, "Send us your lyrics, and we'll write and record your song." Ellery's father's musical output was prodigious — and very odd.

Act Three: Chicago

Nora Moreno with tapes of her father, a pioneer in Spanish-language broadcasting in America. Her mother fell in love with her father because of his poetic character on the radio, but in real life, the very things that attracted her to him over the radio drove them apart.

Act One: Yearning

Artist Julie Laffin talks about the inspiration for her "kissing projects." Jessica Yu's film Breathing Lessons is about Mark O'Brien, a man using an "iron lung." In this excerpt, Mark talks about the yearning he tries to quell through the use of sex surrogates. Poet Luis Rodriguez reads his poem "Waiting." Writer Dolores Wilbur tells a story of wanting love.

Act Four

Dwight Okita reads the poem "Farewell Samba" from his book Crossing with the Light.Ira Glass reads Philip Larkin's poem "Poetry of Departures." (3 minutes)

Act Two

Poet Michael Warr talks with Ira and reads some of his poems inspired by his childhood. Warr grew up as a Jehovah's Witness and found that he had some problems with the religion's rules.
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