Audible Original from Luisa Beck
Callers Seeking Advice Are Given Helpful Insights and Guidance in the Form of Poems
NEW YORK, NY - 05/19/22 - On July 7, Dear Poetry will launch exclusively on Audible. The Audible Original limited podcast series created and hosted by international reporter Luisa Beck (Washington Post, NPR) is an advice column that turns to poems for answers to caller dilemmas. In each episode, the host invites a poet or writer to respond to listener calls by choosing a poem that offers guidance, a new perspective, or some levity to lighten the load.
This podcast isn’t just for poetry enthusiasts; rather, it shows that lyrical writing isn’t always niche and inaccessible. Instead, poems can offer guidance that is often more vivid, intuitive and memorable than the kind found in typical advice columns. On Dear Poetry we’ll hear poets and writers like Cheryl Strayed reading Maggie Smith’s “Good Bones”, Camille Dungy reading Lucille Clifton’s “i am accused of tending the past”, and Chen Chen reading Sarah Gambito’s “Grace”. The guests talk about how the poem they chose speaks to a callers’ deeply personal questions, as well as to current events and the world at large.
Dear Poetry is hosted by Luisa Beck, a reporter in Berlin who observes the news all over the world, but who turns to poetry for answers to life's most difficult questions. They're questions we all ask, but even the most unbiased facts and well-researched articles can't answer.
The Audible Original podcast was inspired by a book that was gifted to Beck by her godfather – a dissident in communist East Germany – which was a book of poems sorted by ailments. It’s called Erich Kästner’s Lyrical Apothecary and was written by the German satirist and poet Erich Kästner in the 1930s. In it, he prescribes ‘lyrical medicine’ for common ailments like ‘feeling homesick’, ‘being broke’, ‘dealing with know-it-all’s’ and more. Said Beck “they’re funny, charming, political, and everything in between.” At the height of the COVID pandemic, when Beck was feeling burnt out by news reporting and doom scrolling, Beck said, “I picked up the book, looked up my own ailments, and spent the rest of the day laughing, crying, and finding bits of respite and comfort. I’ve been hooked on poetry ever since receiving the book, and it’s guided me through life’s biggest decisions.”
ABOUT LUISA BECK:
Luisa Beck is a writer, reporter, and producer based out of Berlin, Germany, originally from former East Germany. By day she makes audio stories and covers the news. By night she dabbles in poetry, music, and roller skating on the runways of Berlin’s Tempelhof’s airport, while making up songs and embarrassing disco moves.
She’s a former reporter for The Washington Post, where she covered a wide range of topics – from Germany’s history of colonialism and racism to its climate science and peculiar language. During the Trump presidency, when much of the world turned to Angela Merkel as the “last defender” of liberal democracy in the West, she reported on the political backlashes that nearly torpedoed Merkel’s government. During her time at The Post, she visited her home country – former East Germany – to report on the refugees who want to create a home there, and far-right sympathizers who want to keep them out. She also regularly contributed to the Posts’ daily news podcasts Post Reports, where she created audio pieces about a nursing home that revived the GDR for dementia patients, a composer who turned Bauhaus into a song, and a same-sex penguin couple that’s adopted an egg, among many other stories.
Before joining The Post, Luisa produced an hour-long investigative feature about the rise of Germany’s far-right for The Center for Investigative Reporting’s flagship radio show Reveal. She also reported several stories for some of NPR’s most popular storytelling shows: a Rough Translation episode about a Syrian man who – with the help of a dating coach -- is looking for love in Berlin, and a Snap Judgment story about one of the most surveilled women in the GDR who confronted, and then befriended, the person who spied on her.
In her former life, she could be found roaming the streets of San Francisco, New York and Chicago, making location-based audio walks for the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the media start-up Detour – meant to get locals and travelers (almost literally) walking in the shoes of Cleve Jones, The Black Panthers, Errol Morris, a garbage collector, houseless residents of SF’s Tenderloin, and the French tightrope artist Petite Philippe. SFMOMA’s chief content officer referred to the tours as a cross between This American Life and the movie Her in Wired.
ABOUT AUDIBLE, INC.:
Audible, Inc., an Amazon.com, Inc. subsidiary (NASDAQ:AMZN), is the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, offering customers a new way to enhance and enrich their lives every day. Audible content includes more than 700,000 audio programs from leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers.